Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Organic Shawl in Tea Green

Several yarn makers now offer yarn made of organic material.
While organic does not necessarily mean 100% environment-friendly - growing cotton uses a lot of water, be it organic or not, although organic farms strive to make the most of rain water and use less irrigation - it does entail that no pesticides were used, which is particularly significant for cotton, as 25% of the world use of pesticide is solely devoted to cotton!

A major brand that makes organic cotton yarn in France in Plassard. It offers organic cotton in sports weight, as well as recycled cotton.
(I doubt their recycled cotton is suitable for crochet though, as it is more loosely spun; you need an extra firm ply in crochet, as you handle the yarn in the opposite direction from knitters and therefore unwind it at every turn of the hook. This article explains it quite well. Plassard's "coton bio", OTOH, is quite crochet friendly.)

You may recall I was crocheting this shawl in the spring - I also gave you a sneak view before I left on holidays. I was simply waiting for the opportunity of a photo shoot in natural outdoors to share pictures with you. The shade is a pale tea green, though it may appear washed out by the sunlight there was that day. (The pictures were taken in Northern France).

The pattern for this is "Eva's Shawl", one of the most popular crochet shawl patterns on Ravelry. It's free - here's the direct link to the PDF.

I added a shell border of my own - here is it (in the improbable case anyone's interested!):
Final row of shawl has to be row 3.
Row 1: ch 1, sc in beginning chain, sc in each DC, 2 sc in top of beginning chain
Row 2: ch 3, DC in first sc, ch1, skip next sc, ch1, DC in next sc across, except in the 3 ch-1 sp increases: DC, ch1, DC ch-sp. Put final DC in top of beginning chain.
Row 3: ch3 (count as 1 DC), 2 DC in first DC, sc in next DC, 5 DC in next DC across.

I crocheted this after I was done with my Mom's shawl, mainly during my commute from work (I work on the way to work, but am too knackered to work/read on the way back, so a repetitive crochet project is ideal).

This shawl is very lightweight, and perfect for those slightly chilly moments that may (or may not!) occur in early morning here in mid-season, just as this morning.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Mum's Ripple Shawl

Hi everyone,
I'm still in the countryside of Northern France, for another couple of days. The sun finally came out after a whole week of rain, so I was able to go out and take long-delayed pictures of some recent, and not-so-recent projects. Here's the first of them.

This shawl was made for my Mum's birthday, which we celebrated last April. I started this in November 2009 - this is, in effect, the second crochet project I started, and it was my mindless project of the winter when watching DVDs. Here's a picture of it in progress, back in February - the colour is truest to life in this picture:
The design is very simple, great for a beginner to become more confident with his/her hook. You can find it on the Lion Brand website, for free.
I remember finishing it on the train to my parents' in April, as I wanted it to be as large as possible and thus pushed the finishing line to as late as possible; but as I'd forgotten to take my camera, I wasn't able to take pictures of it when I gave it away - and consequently didn't blog about it until now.
This was a time- and yarn-consuming project, with almost 9 balls (1200 m) of yarn that make a very dense fabric. I wanted a super warm shawl for my mother to use when she's working at her desk - she lives in Northern France and their house can get quite cold. I chose a dark shade so she wouldn’t be afraid to soil it easily, but decided against black as I didn’t want this thick heavy shawl to appear mournful ;)

Lastly, for the fans of P'tite Mignonne out there, here are a few pictures of her holiday in the Alps. The place where we stayed was very kitty-friendly and had a huge garden/field, so she had a grand time - and was quite the star among our co-vacationers!

P'tite Mignonne doesn't mind travelling at all as long as she can see/feel me, and it's wonderful to have her share in the holiday fun. To be honest, I was sicker than her in the coach driving the last few miles - she was purring away in my lap while I was struggling to make it to destination without puking like a kid. :D She's been to so many places both in France and abroad - London, Amsterdam, and various counties in France - that she must be one of the best-travelled cat in Europe.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hiking in the Vercors - a few pictures

These are set in vignette size but you can click through them all to get to the full sizes. I had a wonderful time hiking all day, every day, and it did me a world of good - the hiking, and the singing masterclass I attended afterwards (not a minute to take pictures there though!).

I'll share more later, with P'tite Mignonne/Ms Cutie as guest star.