Thursday, January 6, 2011

All Good Things Flow from Shepherd’s Crook

Lyn Robinson's Festival Shawl,
a free pattern released on Ravelry 
Yesterday was a busy, fun and amazing day. Remember the pattern that was languishing, the one I wrote about here? Well, it was released today from the designer – utilizing my photos. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am not only to see my photos used in this way, but also to see the creative interpretations of this shawl that are certain to follow. The designer, Lyn (the Crochet Guild of America's book reviewer) released the free pattern on Ravelry (under the pattern name Festival Shawl), and as I wrote to her earlier today, I think I’m more excited than she is about the release! To see more of her original designs, feel free to visit here.

Lyn is also an adept instructor. She, along with a few other Ravelry crocheters, started their own crochet discussion group on Ravelry at the beginning of the year – the Crochet Small Talkers. (An aside: there’s nothing small about the volume of talk generated or the beautiful finished objects crafted by these Ravelers.) In connection with this new group, Lyn is currently leading a “class” on reading crochet charts – utilizing a Japanese organic cotton scarf pattern. Not only has she provided useful links to key resources for non-Japanese language readers who wish to make these incredibly designed Japanese patterns, but she has been so generous with her time and wealth of crochet knowledge in helping us demystify the instructions, which are fairly uniform across Japanese hand-craft publishers.

For the uninitiated, all hand knit and crochet patterns contain written instructions. Many (although not all) utilize craft-specific charts – a series of symbols that instruct the hand crafter which stitches to use, in the appropriate sequence, to achieve the garment or accessory’s design. Depending on one’s learning style, charts are either a blessing or a curse. For some, these charts can be a real deterrent when choosing a pattern to craft, so there’s some incentive to increase skill in order to widen one’s crafting options.

Lyn has superbly walked us through how the pattern is structured, where to find specific information, and how to (with a little deductive reasoning) translate what’s there into something an English reader can understand.

I admit: until this experience, I have used written instructions and charts together. In many instances, charts and written instructions inform each other. While I am generally proficient in reading charts, since virtually all of the written instructions in this pattern are in Japanese, I am without an important piece of the instructional puzzle. I am forced to rely solely on my chart reading abilities. The result? It’s making me a much better and intuitive chart reader.

A big thank you to Lyn for absolutely making my day … and making me a better, more crafty crafter. She rocks!


  1. Wow, how lovely - well done on the use of your photo and also well done on honing a new technique!

  2. Congrats on the publication! Your photos are truly great, I'm sure they more than complement the lovely pattern.

  3. Thanks to both of you! Scarf soon ...

  4. This is a great shawl! I love the green, but then this is about my favorite color! Great work, great photo, congratulations!

  5. I am LOVING your shawls! I have just begun knitting and have plans to try a simple shawl soon . . but LOVE these so much! yum--