The pattern for this semi-circular shawl is now available in both English and Spanish.
Let’s hang out together on the beach, crocheting shells, pebbles and waves under the beach umbrella.
Delve into the various stitch patterns that will keep you entertained all summer long. The stitch patterns are smoothly integrated into the shawl shape thanks to a modified half-pi construction – increases made simple!
This shawl is worked with one ball of Scheepjes Whirl, with so many beautiful gradient colourways to choose from, and one ball of its’ single-coloured sister yarn, Whirlette.
Choose your colours to go with your most beautiful summer outfits. On the Beach will drape over your shoulders to keep them from the sun or the evening chill.
The pattern is available in English and Spanish, on Ravelry and on my own website.
This cowl is worked in the easy technique known as inlay mosaic crochet. This is mosaic crochet worked in two-row stripes, carrying up the yarn along the selvedge, yielding only a few ends to weave in.
The pattern is achieved by working simple stitches (chains, sc’s and dc’s), using only one colour per row.
The mosaic panels are explained both with a chart and with detailed written instructions. It’s a great first mosaic crochet project if you think charts are daunting! (And check out the link to my ebook below!)
Oh, how we love to crochet! We do it as often as we can, for hours on end!
But sometimes, our body suffers from our enthusiasm. Our fingers hurt, our shoulders tense up, and tendinitis makes it hard even to hold the hook.
How can we crochet without pain? I am not a doctor or a physiotherapist, but I have been crocheting a lot for decades – and I have 4 tips that I hope can help.
Please note that this is all about prevention. If the damage is done and you are already hurting, please see a doctor!
Manage your time
You’re back home from work, dinner is finished, and you can at last settle down and crochet for hours until you go to bed!
But that might not be such a great idea…
Crocheting means repeating the same, tiny movements over and over again. When you do this for hours on end, you can end up hurting a lot from repetitive strain injuries.
My tip: intervals. I suggest that you take regular breaks.
To help me remember to take breaks when I delve into a fascinating project, I use a timer. When it goes off, I put down my hook and go do something else for a little while.
How long you can crochet and how long your pause should be depend, of course, on your specific situation.
I personally try not to crochet for more than 45 minutes at a time, and then take a break for at least 15 minutes. This enables me to continue crocheting after the break without injury.
Of course, it is frustrating to have to stop, but I tell myself that in the end, this enables me to crochet more. Crocheting in intervals means that I no longer have to refrain from crocheting for days or weeks because of tendinitis.
Manage your posture
How are you sitting while you crochet? Slouching on the couch? With your shoulders pulled up to your ears and your work right under your nose?
Take notice of your posture, and modify it according to the needs you observe. Perhaps the slightly firmer armchair will be better. And perhaps your back will get better support if you simply slide a cushion behind it.
When you concentrate on your stitches, it’s so easy to tense up, tighten your shoulders and bring your work close to your eyes. When you do this for a long time, you put a lot of tension on your muscles. Try to remember to lower your shoulders and relax your arms.
I’m nearsighted, and I often find myself holding the work very close to my eyes. When I deliberately lower my hands, I almost always realize that I can see my stitches perfectly well even with my work on my lap.
If your hands, arms and shoulders feel tense, it might be a good idea to use your break (when that timer goes off!) to massage yourself and do some stretching. You don’t necessarily need to do anything very complicated or specific, but if you want to dive a bit further into this, there are plenty of exercises to be found with a simple search on the Internet.
Manage your activities
Always making the same, small movements puts a lot of strain on our muscles, joints and tendons. So, having lots of hobbies is a good thing!
Do you have something else you love to do? Knitting, sewing, baking, woodworking? Changing activity to do something else means that some parts of your body will get a well-deserved break, while you stay creative.
You can also vary your crochet projects. Working with a big hook is fun and gets quick results – but it can also be quite a strain on your hands. If I have an ongoing project using a 6 mm (US J-10) hook or bigger, I try to also have one going with a 3 to 3.5 mm (US D or E-4) hook. I find that using the smaller hook is more comfortable – it might be the opposite for you!.
Manage your hands
Once more, it’s time to have a good look at ourselves!
Let’s start with the tools – what kind of hook do you use? A thin metal hook, or one with an ergonomic handle? I find that the latter puts far less strain on your hands.
The material of the hook itself also matters. There are hooks in metal, wood, plastic…. Perhaps you will find that warm wood or lightweight plastic is exactly what you need.
Changing hooks is not too complicated. However, the way you hold your hands also counts.
For example, how do you tension your yarn? Do you pull with your index finger, lift your little finger or weave the yarn around all your fingers? There are so many ways to do this. We tend to always use the same method, but it can be very useful to try another one.
Changing the way you tension your yarn isn’t easy, but I think that it’s even harder to change the way you hold your hook. Nevertheless, that’s what I’ve done.
Like many crocheters in Europe, I learned to hold my hook as I hold a pen, and I crocheted in this way for many, many years. One day, I had to face the facts: if I crocheted for more than 15 minutes, my hands started to hurt intensely. I realized that I had a choice to make: change the way I hold my hook, or not be able to crochet at all.
It was very hard for me, in the beginning, to hold my hook like a knife. This is what is natural for many crocheters in the US and for people doing Tunisian crochet. But I felt extremely clumsy, as if I were just learning to crochet – a very uncomfortable situation for an experienced crocheter like me.
I kept working on it and managed to change how I hold my hook. At first, it was slow, uneven and, honestly, very frustrating. But it was worth the while. Today, I can crochet without pain.
So, there you have my 4 tips:
– manage your time
– manage your posture
– manage your activities
– manage your hands
How about you? Do you have any ideas on how to make crocheting more comfortable or more ergonomic? Or do you have a specific problem when you crochet? Let me know in the comments!
It’s the perfect time for me to discuss this pattern in detail. Today I want to share my ideas behind the shape chosen for Circaetus.
The triangle is a classic when it comes to shawl shapes. It’s easy to crochet a square, and a triangle is basically half a square.
However, there are many ways to reinvent the classics! When it comes to shawls, I do appreciate the shape of an elongated triangle, where the side tips are longer and the shawl not so deep at the tip. Nine times out of ten, I wear my triangular shawls like a bandana with the center tip at the front. The elongated side tips are just perfect to knot the shawl for comfort and style.
When moving away from the basic half square, you need to create different increases at the beginning and end of the rows, as compared to the increases at the center tip. It’s a nice little challenge for me, as the designer. If you are following the pattern, you need only to be a little bit more careful in these places and follow the instructions – it will work out perfectly.
And there we have it, a beautiful, elongated triangle, like a bird opening its wings. A shape that is both simple and sophisticated.
To celebrate the publication of the pattern in Spanish, I’m putting out a special, time-limited offer:
It’s the perfect time for me to discuss this pattern in detail. Today I invite you to explore the stitch patterns I chose for Circaetus.
After having fallen in love with the yarn Balayage (see my article about the yarn, published yesterday), I wanted to showcase the yarn in a crochet pattern.
One of the reasons for my fascination with crochet is the ease with which you can obtain more sophisticated versions of basic stitch patterns, using simple variations.
One of these variations is to insert your hook in one loop only in the stitch in the row below (rather than under both loop, which is the standard technique).
The stitch patterns in Circaetus are composed of basic stitches such as chains, single crochets and double crochets. However, by inserting my hook in the front loop only of these stitches, I obtained both subtle but clear texture and beautiful drape.
Create your own crochet stitch patterns!
I’m working on an online course to help you develop your own, original stitch patterns based on existing ones. Click the button to learn more and be notified before the course launches.
With 175 meters (191 yds) in each 50-g ball, this yarn is a very good option for crochet. I used a 4 mm (US G-6) hook for a soft and light fabric. However, the shawl is still fluffy and cozy thanks to the fiber content and the way the yarn is spun.
The Balayage yarn is available in both muted and vivid colours in the shop – the latest addition, Cayesh, is a subtle blend of pale pink and grey.
To celebrate the publication of the pattern in Spanish, I’m putting out a special, time-limited offer:
Many people start their year with resolutions, goals, intentions, a word of the year … or a North Star to guide their path.
This is a small star to crochet at the beginning of a new year, or at any other time.
Techniques and abbreviations: MC: main colour CC: contrast colour sl st: slip stitch ch: chain sc: single crochet hdc: half double crochet dc: double crochet
dc2tog: double crochet 2 stitches togeter – * yo, insert hook in indicated stitch or space, pull up a loop (3 loops on the hook), yo, pull through 2 loops *, repeat from * to * once more, yo, pull through the 3 remaining loops on the hook.
The star in the photos was worked in my Wool and Linen yarn with a 5 mm (US H-8) hook.
With MC, ch 6, close to a ring with a sl st in the 6th ch from the hook.
Round 1: Ch 2 + 1 dc in ring (count as dc2tog), ch 3, repeat [dc2tog in ring, ch 3] 5 times, fasten off and close the round with an invisible needle join. There are six 3-ch spaces separated by dc2tog clusters.
Change to CC
Round 2 (with CC): (1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 picot, 1 dc, 1 hdc) in a 3-ch space, ch 1, * (1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 picot, 1 dc, 1 hdc) in next ch space, ch 1 *, repeat from * to * to end of round, close the round with a sl st in first hdc. Fasten off.
Change to MC.
Round 3 (with MC): 1 sc in a dc2tog in round 1, working around (enclosing) the ch-1 in round 2, ch 5 going behind the stitches in round 2, * 1 sc in next dc2tog in round 1 working around (enclosing) the ch-1 in round 2, ch 5 going behind the stitches in round 2, * repeat from * to * to end of round, close the round with a sl st in first sc. There are six 5-ch spaces placed behind the stitches in round 2.
Round 4: (1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 picot, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc) in each ch space in round 3, close the round with a sl st in first sc.