I found this great-looking pattern on Love Knitting's pattern search when I was looking for a Mother's Day shawl. It had straightforward center-out repeating panel construction, a nice light weight, and was not a yarn hog. I downloaded it in the yarn store and bought the right-size crochet hook. With Premier's cool white cotton yarn in hand, I settled in to a day of crafting and Lost in Space. I had this project all planned, so why did I end up frogging this simple piece 10 times in 2 days?
I learned to knit before learning to crochet, and I never liked it as much until I realized how fast you can whip out a blanket. These days, I switch between long-term and sometimes delicate knitted work and quick, satisfying crochet pieces. I'm still not an expert in crochet, and very new to following charts. The chart for this pattern didn't look terribly confusing, and it had short repeats that I could remember and put aside the pattern after a while.
However, appearances were deceiving. First, I had the hardest time finding a definition of a half treble crochet two together. I found several charts that showed a stitch that I knew as a half double crochet two together, and I couldn't make sense of this. Finally, I stumbled upon a site that explained that what US knitters call a double crochet is a treble or triple crochet in the UK. I wish the author had defined this stitch, especially since you're working two stitches together.
My next mistake was not swatching a shorter version of the repeats because the pattern starts with a ch87. This is important because my stitches looked decent in the middle, but I kept losing stitches at the end. My work was getting narrower! So I ripped it out a few times, and I tried skipping and not skipping the first stitch after the chain 2. Usually you do skip the first stitch when working double crochet, but the chart clearly says not to.
I kept trying, because it really looked so simple on paper, but after awhile I just felt like I had wasted to much time. I probably could have finished half the shawl by the time I ripped out 9 attempts. I still can't make sense of the top row (as pictured). My stitches leaned the opposite way, and I just don't get how the edge wouldn't look awkward with that hole at the end (highlighted).
However, my mom had specifically requested a white shawl so I wasn't totally done with the idea of making one. I love structured mesh and I already know how to do one from the Reyna shawl. I started another attempt, this time with knitting needles. It was still going pretty fast, but then I set my work down for dinner and when I started again later I had dropped a few stitches. I thought I picked them up cleanly, but after a few rows I could still see a big hole where the drop occurred. Ohhhhh nooo time to frog again!