Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chrysanthemum Tea Shawl - FO

Last night I experienced what an athlete must feel when s/he sees the finish line. I finally finished the Chrysanthemum Tea Shawl I've been working on for a week.

I've always had problems with big projects. I love starting a project-I'm so excited whenever I have a new one lined up. Ideas keep jumping off the top of my head. But once I'm IN it, swimming in it, up to my scalp in it, I somehow lose interest and leave it hanging there unfinished. I know, I know, I should always finish what I started... But it gets difficult for me when there are no conceptual facets of the project left. I just love solving the puzzle of how to get things done, but not so much the fact that I have to actually DO it to get it done.

Whew! I did it!

I admit that I have a form of crochet ADHD. That's why I always go for the small projects. And that's also the reason why I love making accessories, and not apparel. I just have to have instant gratification!

So I was amazed when I finished this gynormous shawl for my lovely crazy wonderful mom. It got so big, that my mom said we could use it as a tablecloth when we have guests over. As if I would let her.

I made this shawl for my mom to wear to a wedding. She is to be the couple's godmother (what we call here ninang). The occasion's motif is celadon green. CELADON GREEN!?!? *said incredulously* It was extremely difficult trying to decide what exact shade that is. It seemed that every person had a different opinion about it. I sought help from Mimi of Crochet and Other Stuff, and she said the same thing, that a simple Google Images search comes up with a hundred shades of green. My eyes (and brain) hurt just trying to differentiate the subtle tones of all the greens I saw.

So I reached deep down and sought counsel with the girl scout inside of me. She said that I should make do with the materials I have, and that a true artist would be able to make it work. *said a la Tim Gunn* With resolve (and a nagging suspicion that I just might be bipolar), I marched valiantly to my yarn stash and made the best of it. I got the huge mint green mystery yarn from Baguio, and mixed it with crochet thread of a darker shade. I thought it sort of looked celadonnish. Besides, that was the closest I made to celadon, so I just went for it.

Looking at it objectively in the early stages, the mint green totally dominated the subtle sheen of the mercerized crochet thread. So halfway through, I used two strands of crochet thread (I also thought this just might add more swing to the garment).

I still cannot believe I finished this piece in less than a week, considering that I do have a day job. It was difficult yet addicting -- I often fell asleep with this blanketed over me, crochet hook still clutched in my palm.

Thank you so much, Doris Chan, for dreaming up this lovely pattern. I do hope that I did not fail you and/or put you to shame with this piece.


  1. Congrats, Claire! That's lot of work - but worth it, its lovely! (Isn't it quite heavy?) You certainly have the patience and good sense to make a Celadon shawl ;)
    I have the same book, since my son gave it to me last year on mother's day...I didn't like that most of the lace patterns were from antique thread crochet patterns, remade using thicker yarns.

  2. Hi Ms. Mimi! It's not really heavy... The cotton yarn I used is very light. My mom ended up wearing another shawl though--the mobius shawl in the book. She was worried that the bigger piece would make her sweat a lot, LOL. I love this one though, and I'm happy that I actually get to use it since it's been raining lately. Also comes in handy for a spur-of-the-moment picnic. Hehe.


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