This one is a winder, so settle in.
Travel back with me about decade, when I was but a wee teenager. We went to visit my aunt in Austin, Texas, and these trips mostly included eating fantastic food and shopping. One such shop we were able to fit in was Gauge, one of my first ever local yarn shops.
I remember it very distinctly. It was spring, lots of warm weather yarns (it is central Texas, after all), and it was a bit overwhelming in the best way. I only really crocheted with box store yarns at the time. I had no clue what I wanted, and yet somehow, I picked this:
It’s Ruca Multy, from Araucania (please ignore that late 2000s picture quality). I think the appeal must’ve been it’s yarn made from sugar cane, because what are these colors?! I know I have an unconscious affinity for pastels, but even so, this was too much.
Now, I hear the cries of all those anti-stashers: “Get rid of it! Sell it! Give it away!” There is some merit to that, of course, and for many years, I tried. Every time I picked it up, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia, and it never made it into the “going away” pile. The yarn, oddly colored as it was, made me happy, and because of that it sat in my stash for many, many years.
Fast-forward to a few years ago. I dug out this yarn again and was determined to turn it into something I could wear. These colors scream “Easter” at me, which is a bit odd as I’m not particularly religious. It is a day my family observes, though, and I also have Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s cowls that I wear all their respective months. So, why not? Let’s make an Easter shawl, I said. It’ll be fun, I said.
I decided I wanted to crochet it, because that’s what I would have done if I had used the yarn in its prime. The chosen design was a crocheted, lacy, triangle scarf pattern, and I swatched. I’m not sure how it was physically possible, but that fabric hurt my eyes even more than the wound yarn. It was hidden away.
Another Easter rolls around, and I think “I should make that shawl.” I find another, more solid pattern; still crochet, with shells. I hated it less than I did the lacey one, but I still wasn’t loving it. To that end, it fell out of the project rotation and was hidden away once more.
It doesn’t resurface until I decide on my WIP challenge for this year. I saw it on the list and immediately dreaded working on it. On this last Ash Wednesday, I sat down, determined, and looked at shawls on Ravelry made from this specific yarn. I found this:
This is Ishbel (Ravelry link), a super popular design, I found. Not crocheted, but I thought the stockinette and lace played together really nice here. They even subbed in a completely different yarn, and it still works. I tentatively ripped out what I had already crocheted, and swatched one more time.
So far, I love it. Since I started it on Ash Wednesday and want to have it done for Easter, it seems I am accidentally observing a form of Lent this year (You know, assuming I finish it on time). Fingers crossed that the lace goes the same way and this’ll be something I’ll actually wear!