In my 2012 round up I mentioned I hadn’t crocheted much last year and that I planned to learn Tunisian lace crochet this year. In particular the Venus, Freya and Honeymeade shawls by Irish designer AoibheNí. So when This is Knit (my LYS) announced a CAL (crochet along) using the Venus pattern I was quick to sign up. It’s my first ever CAL, my first KAL was only this January for the Swallowtail shawl. The yarn I’m using was a present from Knitmas. It’s a gorgeous dusky tea rose colour in a soft plied merino with SPARKLES!
I started well after watching the video demonstrations on youtube. These are definitely required! I was flying along, getting the hang of the right hand throwing yarn method. Until the dreaded row 8. There were two problems – the first was that I had counted the setup row (row 0 if you will) as row 1, so I had skipped row 6. Lots of ripping later I was ready for row 8 again.
Second problem – I got to the halfway point of the row before I had done half the fans. I re-read the instructions, re-counted the stitches. Repeat. Then I did the calculations and there’s no way following the instructions as written would make it possible in the number of stitches required. I read everyone else’s notes. It seems there are three different fixes – each to make the connecting chain of each fan shorter by one stitch. I tried all of them on different fans and didn’t find any one better than the other. Eventually I made it to the end of row 8.
For the subsequent rows there was still a fair bit of fudging involved because for each fan the connecting chain/block takes one more stitch than the pick-up block (as written in pattern). Which left me with one stitch too many/too few. I balanced it out by skipping the last stitch before a fan. It seems to work except at the last fan of the row where it puckers a bit. In future I’ll just do the last picot over two stitches to balance that.
Now I’m motoring along and it’s nice sweet crocheting. Enough interest that it’s not boring but easy enough it doesn’t require thinking. I haven’t decided on whether or not to do the cnupps. It will depend on how much yarn, concentration and patience I have left when I get that far. I’m hoping that when I block it the fudges will all even out, and that it won’t grow too much as it’s large enough already!