Winter escapes and a chunky crochet shawl
Just after New Year’s Day, Mr. BeardMan and me found the chance for a brief getaway. To be precise, for a three day trip outside the city and… WITHOUT kids! It’s a tradition we established not long ago. Twice per year, once in winter and once in summer, we escape shamelessly, leaving the girls with my mum. It’s not a long trip, just three to four days per time, but so refreshing and marriage-saving, believe me! It used to be different back in the days before the arrival of our Little Miss no 1; escapes back then were often and much longer and done on a motorcycle. Now we settle for twice per year, short car trips. Life with kids is life-altering in many aspects…
This year, our winter adventure was to a mountain lakeside, up in Northern Greece. And I use the word adventure because escapes with Mr. BeardMan can be characterized by no other word. Highways are a big no-no, country roads a must, maps all around, snow, rain, mud, wind, sand –depending on the season- getting stuck in the middle of mountains or deserted beaches and so it goes on and on… ;-).
The weather was cold, very cold for our standards, but at the same time the air was wonderfuly crisp and clear and the nearby mountains were white with snow, which was a marvel to stare at.
We enjoyed very long car rides during daylight, with warm boots on, cups of hot coffee and nice music in the car. Frequently we’ve taken the high-up mountain roads with the hope that ice wouldn’t be an obstacle, but alas! this was not the case. So we settled with the low, lake-level routes with a view to the snowey mountains. Not adventurous, not at all; still utterly beautiful.
The light by the lakeside was magnificent; My friends know me as a light addict, as a person whose mood heavily depends on the weather and the natural light levels 🙂 This wandering by the lake didn’t let my addiction down. Even with partly cloudy skies, the light was filtered and touched the water subtly and gracefully. It was such beauty that could make me cry.
As the winter days are short, it was already dark by five thirty in the afternoon and the car rides were over, leaving us tired and a bit dizzy to a beautiful hotel, superbly decorated for the Christmas holidays. This was the right time for sitting at the hotel cafe-bar, relaxing with a cup of coffee (or even a Martini, but only once!) and crocheting by the fireplace.
When packing for the trip, I wanted to take with me some new crochet project, which had to be wintery and warm. So I remembered the several skeins of a beautifully soft alpaca yarn that I’ve bought a couple of years ago, intending to knit (yes please, knit) a cardigan. I gave up soon of course and my circular knitting needles holding part of this cardigan still sit in a pink opaque box at my studio… So, I decided that this cardigan will never come to life and that it’s a pitty to leave this yarn unused. I had no idea what to crochet with it, I just packed it along with some big hooks and put it in the car trunk. It was not that difficult to work up a quick and easy pattern for a large rectangular shawl. I wanted for long to make myself a blanket-like shawl, a very thick and warm one. So, I used the yarn double stranded with a 15 mm hook and started a plain v-stich crochet shawl. It was totally out of my comfort zone to work with such a thick yarn and such a big hook and my hands,wrists and fingers were protesting in the beginning. But the whole scenery was if made especially for such a project, countryside, mountains, snow, fireplace, hot coffee… And the third night of our journey, our last night at this place, the shawl was finished, with thick tassels hanging from its four corners, warm and black as hell 😉
I think it was the quickest wearable project I’ve ever crocheted and the most warm shawl that sits in my wardrobe!
Now that the holidays are over and life has come back to normal again, throwing this shawl over my shoulders during the cold evenings or wearing it above my coat during the freezing morning school runs, puts a big smile to my face.
** If you fancy making one similar shawl for yourself, here is a quick pattern (no big surprises, simple v-stich pattern) in English Terms:
Supplies I’ve used: 22 balls of Peru Alpaca SuperBulky Black Melange (50 gr/45m) by Ice Yarns (it’s what I had in my stash and really needed to do something with!) and a 15mm crochet hook.
With two strands of this super chunky yarn held together and a 15mm crochet hook, ch 97 (this makes your shawl appr. 150 cm long, which is loooong!)
Row 1: Tr (dc in US terms) in 5th ch from hook, ch 1, tr in same ch (V-st made), *sk 2 ch, (tr, ch 1, tr) in next ch (V-st made); repeat from * to last 2 ch, sk 1 ch, tr in last ch. Rows 2-end (stop when your shawl is as wide as you wish): Ch 3, turn, (tr, ch 1, tr) in each ch-1 space across, tr in 3rd ch of turning ch. Fasten off, weave in ends. Make 4 tassels, one for each shawl corner and sew them firmly. Ta-dah! The blanketish shawl is ready for your icy winter days 🙂 **
Hope that your holidays were also full of pretty moments~ Let’s see what the new year will bring to us all!
Kisses and hugs from Cherry Frog 🙂