Sorry friends, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. I really haven’t been up to much, so I didn’t have much to post.
My nephew got married last month. Being that my sweetie and I are simple folk, we don’t often attend such important events. Naturally, we had to dress up! Yes, we were woefully overdressed (we usually are). But, we don’t get to get gussied up very often and we take advantage of it, whenever we can.
I’ve found a wonderfully-affordable place online to buy formal wear. The things are made in China, which I’m not too happy about, but they do a great job and dresses are very inexpensive. Inexpensive and quality are things that I need – if it has to come from China, so be it. For an extra $20 I can have the dresses custom made to my measurements. Big plus!
I had asked the bride about color restrictions and preferences, she had none. So, I was left to my own devices. After much consideration, I decided to go with a sage-green chiffon affair. It has a lovely black lace band at the hem and a pleated skirt. The bodice is simple, plain and sleeveless. I thought that would be fine for an end-of-May wedding in the high desert.
The dress arrived and I made a couple of observations… First, the color was not what I expected. I knew I was taking a chance (because computer monitors don’t always show colors accurately) but this was bad. And I waited too long to order, so I didn’t have time to have another dress made (and I really couldn’t afford it, regardless).
The dress turned out to be a very-bright spring green. This is soooo not my color! In the color analysis world, I’m a Cool Summer. This dress screamed Soft Summer – fairly opposite of colors that look good on me. Well, nothing to be done for it, I had to live with it.
The second observation that I made about the dress was that I made a big mistake when I sent them my measurements. The company doesn’t automatically factor in ease. They will make the dress in whatever measurements you send them. Last time I ordered from them (for my son’s wedding) I gave them the perfect measurements (unfortunately, I couldn’t remember much ease I added in). This time, I factored in too much ease. The measurements I gave them were 2-inches bigger than my actual measurements, all over. Bad, bad idea. I was swimming in the thing.
So, I had a chartreuse tent to wear to the wedding. My sweetie was going to look sharp (he really cleans up nice and looks great in his suit) and I was going to look awful. What to do?
I decided that I needed to make a wrap. A wrap could be made in a cool color, to help balance out the poor color choice against my face and it would cover me up a bit. Hopefully this would detract from the ill fit of the dress.
I took a look at my handy-dandy color wheel and decided that an aquamarine wrap would be lovely. I love the Red Heart Soft Baby Steps Aquamarine yarn. Unfortunately, I can’t find it in my local stores. At this point, I have three weeks before the wedding day. Definitely not enough time to order the yarn online and then get it crocheted up. Ugh.
I went with my second choice, which is Red Heart Super Saver in the color Soft White. For you crafters who are also into color analysis, RHSS Soft White is a match for our Cool Summer white.
I went to Ravelry and looked at hundreds of different shawl patterns. It needed to be crochet (for the sake of speed), it needed to be rectangle (again, for the sake of speed) and it needed to be lacy. Nothing struck my fancy. After searching the internet, I ran across something called “delta crochet”. I thought it looked really neat. I had an idea percolating…
I’m not really a good designer. I’ve designed a few simple things, but nothing fancy. But, I had this idea for the wrap… I found a delta crochet group on Ravelry and bounced my ideas off of them. They were enormously helpful and supportive.
I did some swatching to learn the technique. I changed the way that delta blossoms are made, to make them look the way I wanted them to. I designed my chart and started crocheting.
Three weeks after I created my initial chart, I was finished. Unfortunately, the wrap wasn’t growing in length as fast as the chart implied that it would and I had to add to it.
Delta crochet is done in a series of up-pointing and down-pointing triangles. It looks similar to v-stitch crochet, but v-stitches are stacked v upon v. With delta stitches, you make a triangle going in one direction on the first pass and then on the second pass, you make the triangle go in the opposite direction.
This alternating triangle pattern produces a hexagonal mesh. Like filet, you can also fill in the triangles with stitches, to make solid triangles – I didn’t do this with my shawl. The blossoms are a little tricky. I will admit, it took much hair pulling and bad word saying before I finally got it. And then I went and changed the way they’re done, because I didn’t like the final look. I much prefer my way of doing it.
I wanted the mesh field to look like it had flowers scattered across it. Because my brain is attuned to symmetry, I have a hard time coming up with randomness. I did a google search for a random scatter generator. I used that as the basis for the pattern and then added blossoms here and there, as I wanted.
I found the edging here. It turned out to be a bit more ruffly than I wanted, but I could live with it.
After blocking (by way of the washer and dryer) the piece measures 28-inches wide and 72-inches long. I used just over three skeins of yarn. It took me nine days to crochet, though the entire process took about three weeks.
In my opinion, the chains are a bit long. My next delta project will utilize 3-stitch chains, rather than the 4-stitch chains that I used this time.
It turned out that the weather went bad on us. The outdoor wedding was held on a day that was quite cold and raining. And though I felt like I was wrapped in a blanket, I was still freezing. Thankfully, I was smart enough to wear pantyhose.
I threw away the chart that I created for this project, so I can’t share the pattern with you. However, if you would like to try to reverse-engineer it, I would be happy to help.