caravan of love

caravan_of_love.jpg
From the highest mountain, valley low, we'll all join together with hearts of gold

I listen to this song a lot, Caravan of Love from the Housemartins (written and originally by the Isley Brothers). It was an integral song of my youth, reminding me of hanging out in smokey pubs drinking snakebite and black in my Dr. Martens and a dodgy perm.

I started listening to it again recently because I thought Betsy would like it (and sure enough she does), but it also reappeared in my life at a time when I really needed it too, funny how these things happen though eh?

I had just started work on a design/yarn collaboration at a time when I wasn't feeling the right kind of vibration for it. Tons of awful online shit had gone down and I was feeling like retreating back into the safety of my castle (very high walls, very handy indeed)!  But, and this is the damnedest thing, I had already agreed to the collaboration, so I had to continue to work even though I really didn't want to.

IMG_8232.JPG

Luckily for me I had already done the preliminary drawings etc, I knew how I wanted the shawl to look and how I was going to design it using double crochet stitches only, I just needed a really big kick up the bum to get me started on it.

Caravan of Love was that kick up the bum.

A song about love, pure and simple.

It got me started, it kept me going and it saw me finish this shawl and immediately start work on a knitted version.

I've always loved the idea of having a crochet AND and knitted version of the same shawl, and I think it works (I think, hope, pray) because the pattern is so simple. I can't wait to launch and show off the knitted version and it will be coming really soon.

You can buy the crochet pattern in UK and US terminology on Ravelry here and note that as soon as the knitted pattern is launched, it will be immediately added to your library. Well, you may have to download it but it will be there for you as part of the package and you will most definitely get an email about it.

IMG_3609 2.JPG

I designed this shawl in collaboration with Canadian indie dyers Krityum Handmade and they have some amazing yarn kits to go with the pattern. The kits include two skeins of yarn, the pattern and a reusable tote bag. I really like that they have lots of contrasting colour sets but also some lovely complementary sets too, I love the browns in the Ready for Safari and Earth set and the combination of Thums Up (the dark coppery colour I used) with the golden beige of Raet.

I used Thums Up, which I have to confess is my new favourite colour of all time (see also my Conker Mitts which are made using the same), and the pretty pink of Blush. I don't know how but these two colours seemed to combine to make a simple double crochet shawl look stunning.

The pattern is easy enough for even a beginner, for both the knit and the crochet versions, and I hope that you love it as much as I do.

Happy hooking and knitting yo!