myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Crochet Virus Shawl

I have been really enjoying knitting socks over the last few years (and shared a few pairs over here), but I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that my hand problem (inflamed tendons due to RSI) flairs up more with knitting than any other hand activity.

However I love working with the self patterning Regia sock yarn, and have accumulated a fair stash of it too, new balls and leftovers from pairs of socks.

Earlier in the year, when I was still trying to knit, I had an idea to try to learn lace knitting and use up all my left over sock yarn in one big crazy multi coloured shawl!

I have tried a little lace work before and found it very hard. I thought I would get better with practice and started with this ‘fountain lace’ pattern (you can see it a little better in the closeup photo below).

But I really can’t take the amount of concentration required. I keep all my hand work for when I am relaxing of an evening in front of the tell. Well lace knitting is not relaxing – it is hard! Maybe eventually it would come easily but I just don’t have the time or brain cells to work on this now.

You can’t really see how bad my lace knitting is due to the coloured wool, which is some comfort!

And then back in the summer one of my students Tess introduced me to the Virus shawl, which just happens to work really well with sock yarn, and is crocheted!!

Oh my goodness it is such a doddle compared with the lace knitting! And crochet seems much easier on my hands.

I used my favourite Arne and Carlos Regia sock yarn in this wonderful mix of orange, ochre and blues. Someone described it on Instagram as looking like a sunset! Here it is a few weeks ago.

I used 2 x 100g balls but still needed two more rows of the pattern to properly finish.

So I used a charcoal grey 4-ply by Cygnet, which works really well as an edging (there are greys amongst the colour mix too).

Here I am modelling the finished shawl.

You can also wear it ‘cowboy style’. Well there are loads of ways you can use it but I quite like the traditional ‘draped around the shoulders’ look. It’s going to keep me warm on winter nights (and I don’t care if I look like an old granny!!).

The lovely Tess, who first introduced me to the pattern, is teaching a workshop to make the shawl (well get you started anyway) at myBearpaw a week on Saturday.

Tess is hiking to Machu Picchu in Peru next year to raise money for Global’s Make Some Noise charity. Her fee for teaching will go towards her fundraising. If you would like to book a space or find out more then head over here.

As you would expect this won’t be the last one of these shawls I make. In fact I have already started a new one!

This one is going to be a Christmas present.

I have pulled out that awful lace knitting and will be using all my sock yarn ends to make a crazy psychedelic virus shawl for my son’s girlfriend!

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