I am SO thrilled to share my favorite design to date with you today. The Garden of Blooms Shawl pattern incorporates a few techniques that might be new to you, but they are fun and easy to master!
I had a few balls of Lion Brand Mandala in the Spirit colorway, and I knew I wanted to make them into a cozy oversized shawl. I also knew that I wanted to do something completely different, stitch wise, than I had ever done before. I stumbled on another version of the puff flower stitch, and I just new I had to incorporate a version of it in my shawl.
It was originally going to be just puff flowers throughout the shawl, strategically placed so they appeared to be completely random. But, three things happened- One, I got bored using the same couple of stitches over and over. Two, I started my design far too wide and it was going to end up almost throw blanket sized. Three, I realized that if I was going to truly randomize the flower placement, that was going to mean an awful lot of instructions both for me and you to keep track of.
So initially I frogged it to the beginning, made it a bit narrower and decided on more flowers than the original concept. That helped me with both the size and pattern writing aspects, but it didn’t fix the boredom part.
I need to keep myself entertained while I am writing a design. If I find my pattern too boring to work up a sample, I’m unlikely to ever finish the design and publish it. Even if I do manage to get the pattern released, you’re going to be too bored to finish the project. So clearly I needed to come up with a way to break up the flowers with something else, which brings me to a side story:
I tried about 6 years ago to learn the star stitch, but for some reason it just wouldn’t “click” in my brain at that point. I declared myself “too stupid to learn the dang star stitch” and never tried it again. It was really pretty disappointing, because I absolutely love the way it looks on everyone else’s designs. I had it in my head that I would just never be able to learn the technique, so I didn’t try again to learn it for years.
But I really needed another stitch to incorporate with this shawl, and after hours of searching through my stitch dictionaries and scanning the internet, the only stitch I wanted to add to this design was the star stitch. I figured I would try again to learn it, and this time it took me all of 5 minutes to “get it”. I don’t know why I was scared to try this again for so long!
The Garden of Blooms Shawl took me a few months to complete, and in the meantime I did have to crank out a couple of other designs. When the time came to design a hat for this year’s Cancer Challenge, I was super excited to be able to incorporate the star stitch into my design.
If incorporating both the puff flower and star stitch into my shawl wasn’t enough, I also wanted to do something I had never done before with the border. I started out the curly fringe technique and got about 6 of them done when I realized that it was rather time consuming, and I really wanted to get this pattern finished. So I held up my shawl to show my husband and get his opinion, frankly hoping he was going to say it looked stupid. Instead he said that it was really neat and he couldn’t wait to see once it was done. Ugh, lol!
I really don’t love single crochet because it takes so long for your project to grow. But in this case, the time I spent on the curly fringe really was worth it!
The Garden of Blooms Shawl pattern is one of over 50 Straight Hooked patterns included in the 5th Anniversary Bundle, now available exclusively at Straight Hooked! November 2023 marks 5 years since Straight Hooked was founded. All month long, you can save 50% on any Straight Hooked pattern bundles with the discount code 5years at checkout.
Just want the Garden of Blooms Shawl by itself? You can snag your copy below:
Think a bundle of patterns is more your speed? Each photo links to the bundle so you can easily add them to your cart! Don’t forget to use the code 5years at checkout to save 50% off your purchase.
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Until next time,