Meet the Belle Époque Shawl, a beautiful crochet pattern by Kira Designs on Ravelry.
This is my first ever shawl that I've made, so I was looking for something fairly simple. But I also wanted something elegant, lightweight, and PRETTY that I would actually wear. This little pattern fit the bill! Not only is it all of the above, it is also SUPER quick to crochet. I made this shawl in under a week!
The pattern is simple enough to remember so that you don't have to constantly check your pattern printout, but challenging enough to not be boring. I found it refreshing to make, and was so surprised at how easy it actually was.
I'm not a newbie crocheter, I've been crocheting since I was 8 years old (I'm 21 now). But that also doesn't make me advanced, as I've mostly stuck to making the same sorts of things since I first begun crocheting, and only recently have dived into challenging my skills.
This was just the perfect amount of challenge, not for the beginner, but challenging enough that I learned a few new techniques and have better developed my understanding of increases and also motif borders.
The pattern gives you instructions for either making it all in one color, or you can make the lace motif border in a contrasting color. I chose to stay all one color. The yarn I used was my own (Serene Fiber Arts) hand-dyed merino-nylon superwash sock yarn. The colorway was Midnight Sky (now sold out!) and I used about 480 yards, which was a full skein plus a little extra from a second skein.
I have many sock/fingering weight yarns in my shop, my inventory is always changing:
The pattern calls for a size H hook (5mm), which is what I used, and is also my favorite hook size. I found this to be perfect with the yarn weight to make a lightweight, flowing shawl with a gorgeous drape.
I didn't make any modifications to the pattern and just followed as is, not changing color. I do believe I messed up my count at some point so I kind of had to wing it with the lace border, and thankfully it turned out great and you can't even tell. So my advice would be to count your stitches each row to make sure you're doing the correct increases and don't skip any stitches.
The pattern includes both written directions and a chart. I followed the written directions since that's what I'm more comfortable with, but there ARE charts so that's definitely a benefit for those who either just love charts, or if you have a language barrier and can't read the written directions as well but can read charts. That's one good thing about charts, pretty much anyone can understand them no matter the language. Kind of like a piece of art or a photograph, you don't have to speak the same language to get the meaning of it.
I was definitely impressed with the Belle Époque Shawl and totally recommend it for intermediate or advanced-beginner crocheters. Or heck, even beginner crocheters. If you really want to challenge yourself, this pattern would be a great one to take that step forward. Sometimes you can learn A LOT by testing yourself and doing something that you didn't think you knew how to do.
This shawl pattern helped me become more confident in making shawls. I am actually in the process of designing my own shawl, which will be playing around with stripes in some gorgeous yarn I received from The Flying Kettle along with some of my own lace weight yarn. I've been updating my Instagram with photos of the progress, so be sure to follow me on IG to have a look at my new shawl pattern. I may be on the lookout for some test crocheters to try out my pattern before it's officially released, so if you're interested in testing it out send me a message on one of my social media for more information.
Hope you enjoyed this post!
Serene Fiber Arts
Amanda J. French
Fiber artist from Louisville, KY. Professionally, I spend my days spinning one of a kind yarns from wool and recycled fibers, and weaving with them. Other hobbies include; yoga, fitness, painting, studying languages, reading, and knitting.