I finished this V-stitch shawl last weekend and am over the moon that I finally got the pattern to work and that I managed to use up nearly all the half-balls and bits and pieces in my yarn stash.
This project has been a long time in the making. I was inspired by the Kría shawl pattern from this book (here's a lovely example of one) and wanted to make something similar, also using a V-stitch. But instead of the slight crescent shape of the Kría, I wanted more of a straight triangle and more open Vs for an airier feel.
So I started experimenting with some Létt Lopi and ended up with this.
I liked the straight top edge but the triangle was getting too deep and was also starting to wrinkle at the sides.
Since this result came after many tries and I was sick of frogging, I made a few adjustments and started again with some handspun lace weight. This time the top edge kept dipping at the corners.
After ripping this one back multiple times too and still not getting it quite right, I decided to start yet again with some thicker yarn from my stash, figuring that a) it would be easier to see what I was doing with thicker yarn and a bigger hook, b) it would be faster to frog and rework than a more delicate yarn, and c) I wouldn't care as much if it didn't turn out perfectly, being a "practice" project made with odds and ends instead of a "real" one in my precious handspun, for example.
I wound up frogging this one too, more times than I'd like to admit. I really wish I were better at visualizing and calculating on paper before even picking up a hook, but, well, I'm not. I just have to do it to figure out how to do it, if that makes sense.
I set a couple of rules for myself before I started, so I wouldn't be paralyzed by too much decision-making. The first rule was that I could only use yarn that I had in my stash, and only the small bits and partial balls - no full balls and no running to the store to pick up more of something. The second was that I would work the colours according to how much I had of each, starting with the smallest pieces and ending with the largest partial ball. And the third was that I had to try my best not to end a ball in the middle of row, which worked out really well for the most part (with a couple of exceptions).
I am so happy with the result! I was worried that some of the colours would look weird or ugly together, especially when I added the that mustard-y yellow at the bottom, but I actually like it, and having "rules" helped me to not second-guess it too much.
If you'd like to try one yourself, here is the basic "recipe" below:
Stash-busting V-stitch shawl
- Stash yarn in any weight, enough for the finished size you want, plus extra yarn for the fringe (optional)
- I used about 250 g (250 m) of Álafoss Lopi, which is equivalent to a bulky weight yarn. I worked 23 rows, and my shawl measures about 142 cm across the top and 64 cm down the centre.
- Crochet hook in a size that is appropriate for your yarn
- I used a 9mm hook because I wanted my shawl to be chunky, but not too dense or heavy.
- Yarn needle
- Stitch marker
- It might help you to place a stitch marker in the centre of the triangle as you go to make sure your increases are in the right place.
Gauge is not terribly important for this project.
How to make the V-stitch (V st)
Make (1 dc, 1 ch, 1 dc) in the same space or stitch.
Row 1: Ch 4, make 4 dc in the 4th ch from the hook. You will have one ch 3 and 4 dc in the same stitch, or 5 stitches total.
Row 2: Ch 3, V st in same st, skip next stitch, (dc, ch 3, dc) in next st, skip next stitch, (V st, dc) in last st.
Row 3: Ch 3, V st in sp between dc and V st, V st in next ch 1 sp, (V st, ch 3, V st) in ch 3 space, V st in next ch 1 sp, (V st, dc) in sp between last V st and dc of previous row.
Row 4: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc and 1 ch), dc in same spot, V st in each ch 1 sp to centre, (dc, ch 3, dc) in ch 3 sp, V st in each ch 1 sp across the other side, V st in last dc.
Row 5: Ch 3, V st in ch 1 sp, V st in each ch 1 sp to centre, (V st, ch 3, V st) in ch 3 sp, V st in each ch 1 sp across the other side, (V st, dc) in last ch 1 sp.
Repeat rows 4 and 5 until you've reached the size you want. I did 23 rows in total. Basically, you are increasing at the ends and the centre of every row, and alternating the number of increases every other row.
I added fringe because I love fringe and it was a good way to use up every last bit of yarn, but it's entirely up to you. I cut my fringe about 32cm long and used four strands in each one. I included three neutrals + one of the other colours to tie it all together (here's a great tutorial on how to attach fringe, if you're not sure how).
After weaving in all the ends, I wet-blocked my shawl by washing it on a delicate wool cycle in the machine with a tiny bit of wool soap, and laying it flat to gently reshape it and allow it to dry. It's now nice and soft with lovely straight edges.
This is great project for using up stash yarn and experimenting with colour and proportion (here's a helpful tutorial on joining colours). If you're using a bulky yarn and big hook, it works up pretty fast too.