I love a design challenge. Sometimes that means making crochet fabric do extraordinary non-crochet like things, sometimes it means getting complicated and technical but sometimes its like Acer making the very simple, very beautiful.
I decided I wanted to create a shawl design that looked complicated and beautiful but would be the ideal project for anyone who could crochet but hadn’t really ventured into the world of patterns yet. Maybe they know the stitches but so far have stuck to the classics they have been taught like ripples and granny squares or perhaps they have learnt all their crochet from youtube videos. I wanted to open up the wonderful world of patterns to these people. Maybe this describes you?
I also wanted the pattern to be something that was very beautiful and very wearable, something you could complete and pop on to admiring glances and then maybe make a second, a third and a fourth for some very special gifts.
My final requirements were that I didn’t want the outcome to be hindered too much by not matching gauge or tension (let’s fight one battle at a time, look at matching the tension once you’ve mastered following a pattern!) or by access to blocking equipment and knowledge. Blocking is the finishing stage for all crochet and knitting where you wash the finished piece and pin it to shape, in the case of Acer, this opens up the lace pattern and makes the finished piece much bigger. Acer looks marvellous unblocked, lightly blocked or aggressively blocked depending on your skill level and tools you have available.
And just to make it more open and inclusive it is written for two weights of yarn 4ply or DK but really you could make it in whatever you liked by just adjusting the hook size.
Of course for the more experienced crocheter you have a quick and fun project perfect for gifting or to make for yourself something to match an outfit at the weekend – yes it is that quick! Although its written with beginners in mind it still has the same precision and style you’d expect from The Crochet Project.
So how do you join in the fun?
Lovecrochet.com are kindly hosting the crochet-a-long (CAL) for us. For the uninitiated, a CAL is where lots of people get together, in this case online, to make the same pattern. It’s a great way to get going with a pattern: if you get stuck there is always someone to hold your hand, if you are unsure you can ask questions and get really quick replies and you can be inspired by all the lovely yarns and finished shawls other CAL participants are sharing. We are also sharing some detailed videos and tips to help you from start to finish on their blog.
What do you need to do?
- Buy the pattern – its available for £3 here.
- Get some yarn organised – you’ll need at least 100g of 4ply OR 150g of DK but I’d advise more if you want a larger shawl OR you don’t want to try and match tension OR you don’t plan to block it. If you head here and leave your email address you can have 10% off at LoveCrochet.com and they did a wonderful blog post full of yarn suggestions.
- Come and join the very friendly LoveCrochet CALs facebook group (just request to be added)
We are throwing a launch party this Wednesday at 8pm UK time (UTC+1) on the facebook group where we will be getting to know one another and sharing our plans for the CAL. Do join us!
Not on facebook? Tag #acerCAL to play along on instagram or twitter and I’ll find you!
Beautiful photos courtesy of Kat Goldin.