Itâ€™s been well over a decade since I really and truly started crocheting, and in that time Iâ€™ve been intimate with dozens, probably more like hundreds, of crochet patterns. Many have taken my breath away. But thereâ€™s one Iâ€™ve come back to over and over throughout the years, and Iâ€™ve been trying very hard to figure out why. Itâ€™sÂ Seraphinaâ€™s Shawl. (You can find more information about the pattern here.)
I mean yes, certainly, one of the main reasons is that I just love making it, and it looks so good in a wide variety of yarn weights.
But what about it makes me enjoy it so much? And why does it look so good when made in so many varying ways?
The pattern is easy to memorize, thatâ€™s for sure a part of it. When it comes to crochet (and knitting), I just love not having to look at the pattern after I get the hang of it. Iâ€™ll count rows and repeats if I need to, of course, but I just love not needing to.
And one of the reasons this pattern is so easy to remember is that itâ€™s very elegantly designed. Not elegant as in fashion or style elegance, but elegant in the way itâ€™s engineered. There are four increase points in every row: one at each end, and two flanking the centre shell. So there isnâ€™t much to keep track of, and that there are increases on every row means you donâ€™t have to keep track of whether youâ€™re on the right or wrong side.
This is the fourth time Iâ€™ve made this pattern. The first time, I made it over a weekend in chunky-weight alpaca. The second time I made it for my new sister-in-law, out of laceweight silk. The third time I made it in DK merino held double throughout for a friend to wear at her rustic-styled wedding. This time itâ€™s DK merino singles held on its own.
Iâ€™ve crocheted other shawls and enjoyed it, but this is the pattern I come back to over and over. Itâ€™s for all of the reasons Iâ€™ve listed, and I think itâ€™s also for the interplay of the shells and double crochets. Isnâ€™t it odd that there arenâ€™t more patterns that involve an interplay like that? Many crocheted shawl patterns involve shells of one kind or another, and for good reason. Theyâ€™re lovely and can be very lacy or not-very lacy, and any way you do it you end up with a lovely project thatâ€™s probably easy to memorize.
Anyway, now Iâ€™m thinking about solid sections and shell sections, and Iâ€™m feeling a hankering to design something new using these two elements together. Iâ€™m feeling a hankering to play.