Seasons In The Studio

Nature, and the things it inspires..........

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pretty as a Peacock Shawl - The 2016 CGOA design competition

UPDATE!  See this post for my latest pattern inspired by the Pretty as a Peacock Shawl:  https://turningleavesstudio.blogspot.com
And on Ravelry:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/garden-walk-shawl
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I can't believe it's taken me so long to write this post!  It's almost time for another conference!!

We were living in temporary housing for a year until we finally moved into our new home in late June of 2016.  I didn't have many of my belongings, and we were in an apartment complex with a lot of other transitioning people.  It was just a strange situation.  The one good thing that came from it was that I had more time than ever to spend crocheting!

I had something I wanted to enter into the CGOA design competition, but it was in lace weight yarn and was taking a long time to make.  I decided my back up plan would be to enter more than one design in case I couldn't finish the lace shawl.

I approach this competition as an opportunity to stretch my skills and experiment.  In addition to the shawl, I also made a wool vest with a Monet inspired design on the back and one side of the front.  I experimented with several intarsia techniques before I developed something that worked, and didn't leave the inside looking really ugly.

The primary yarn for both entries was from Ellyn Cooper's Yarn Sonnets.  In the vest, I used a yarn she called Pot Luck.  It was a challenge because of it having so many different weights and textures and the strands only averaged about 36 inches long.  I took the entire skein apart and laid each strand out, so when I was working, the color and texture choice was very deliberate.  It was row by row, with many rows being ripped back because I didn't like the effect.  I ended up with a sort of "Freeform Intarsia" that isn't like any other crochet intarsia technique I've seen.  I'll be experimenting with it again, but with fewer colors and textures!

Here is the vest:


What I'm most pleased about is the fit.  This is one of my first garment designs, and the fit came out just right!

I worked on the vest when taking breaks from the lace shawl.  Here is the shawl in Ellyn Cooper's hand dyed Swiss Lace:


There are 1500 seed beads on the shawl as well.  I'm really pleased at the way it came out, but I was working up to the last minute, of the last day that it could be sent in!!!  Whew!

The shawl won second place in the Thread category.  You can see all the winners here:  http://www.crochet.org

There will be a pattern this spring for a less complicated version of the shawl in a heavier weight yarn.  I'm excited about getting this out!

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