Do you still love me even though I talk about knitting all the time and haven’t crocheted anything in months? How about if I quit talking about the knitting for a bit and show you this swatch?

Seraphina swatch

I became frustrated with the lace shawl—okay, I know I was going to talk about crochet, but this is how I got to the crocheting. This knitting project is kicking my ass. I’ve never had any real trouble following complex crochet patterns, but I can’t seem to follow the instructions for this knitting pattern. I broke it down into knitting-for-dummies, putting individual line instructions on their own index cards, no more than three things to a line and each in a different color of ink to make it easier to keep track of where I was. That made me feel ten different kinds of stupid, but it worked. For a while. Right now I’m having difficulty figuring out what went wrong in the last row I did, and it has been put aside until I can return to it with a more Zen-like approach. Or at least without breaking out in hives.

In the meantime, I need something to do here. While I caught up reading blogs, I saw Sara say the magic word: Seraphina. I’ve made a Seraphina shawl before, and I absolutely love it. It is not summer-weight, though. It’s made out of very warm and somewhat heavy yarn.

I immediately co-opted the red-and-purple laceweight that was intended for the Janet lace shawl. (I’m thinking the Janet shawl will be done in the a solid-color laceweight that doesn’t have a project intended for it yet. And yes, that is an awful lot of laceweight yarn lying around the house for someone who has not successfully managed to knit any lace yet.) I started swatching with an F hook but came up with something so stiff I could probably have sided a house with it—I’m using two strands held together so the colors blend better, but didn’t take that into account when I first started swatching. I kept going up until I got to a K hook, and the bit up there is the beginnings of the shawl.

Y’know, I think my knitting problem is at least 50% due to my listening to that voice in my head that keeps suggesting that maybe this is a bit more than I can handle. Every time I screw up that shawl and start over again, I start to believe it a little bit more. But you know what? The directions for the first several rows on the Seraphina shawl, the part before you get the pattern repeat memorized, are just as complicated as this knitting pattern, and I’m not having problems with that. So it can’t be that I just can’t follow the directions.

The other 50% of the problem? A combination of things. I never noticed this until fairly recently, but I tend to mix up the directions in my head. I keep reading certain sections of the Seraphina pattern, for example, as “ch2, dc, ch2” when it’s actually “dc, ch2, dc”. I’m good enough at crochet that I don’t generally mix up the stitches even though I’m reading the pattern wrong and tend to notice and fix things right away when I do screw it up, but I’m not at that point yet with knitting. I’m also not yet as good at fixing knitting mistakes as I am at crochet mistakes.

So. Crocheting this shawl because I need a relaxing project, but planning to get back on the horse after I’m done with this.

As a side note, that little voice also suggests that this color combination might possibly look like technicolor barf, but I am steadfastly ignoring it. I like red and purple, and I’m trying not to be such a wimp about color.

4 thoughts on “Seraphina

  1. Sara

    I love the colors!

    I have a voice that tears me down sometimes, too. Some days I listen and some days I don’t.

  2. Marvie

    Seraphina is a good choice =) I’ve always meant to do it in a lighter weight for spring/summer but just never got round to it.

    I lack confidence in knitting that doesn’t seem to bug me with crochet too. You’re right, Seraphina is tough till you memorize it, but it never occured to me to give up. Several times though I’ve looked at or started a knit that confused me and just tossed it aside for something easier. But with crochet, my stubborn kicks in and I keep at it till I figure it out.

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