Do you remember a review I did of a while back called A Garden of Shawls by Karen Whooley? I made one of the shawls in the book and I still wear it a lot now. It’s great. So when Karen contacted me recently with the opportunity to have an early preview her new book Coastal Crochet I said yes please!
Karen has created 12 wearables made for fingering weight yarns, designed to evoke the feeling of being by the coast. Karen grew up near coastal shores and this has inspired the entire Coastal Crochet collection.
What’s in the book?
Coast Crochet has 12 beautiful patterns, each inspired by the Pacific Coast of the USA, Karen’s love of the coast and all it means – sand, sea, sun, and sky. I can relate with my town being on the coast, albeit a different ocean. You’ll find shawls, a scarf, cowl and matching mitts, a hat, a fitted tank t, jumpers and a cardigan.
Each of the 12 patterns has a chart as well as the written pattern and notes to help you achieve the best results possible. All special stitches are explained fully so there’s no guesswork involved with the patterns.
Some of the patterns have many size options, while others are one size fits all. Karen gives you all the tips you need and recommends a gauge swatch to make sure your garments fit.
If you know the most common crochet stitches, I am sure you could tackle any of the patterns. The book is in US terms, but as only the most common stitches are used, it’s easy enough to translate in your head as you go to UK terms.
Karen explains how to substitute other weight yarns so you can make what you want with the yarn you want.
If you’d like to see more of the projects in the book, check out Karen’s blog where she’s got a gallery of book photos.
What am I making?
I bought some 4ply/fingering yarn from The Purl Box at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool show last year with the intention of knitting a shawl, but as I am still going on a very large knit shawl, I thought I’d see how it would go with one of Karen’s patterns. The yarn is called “Eden’s Blend” in the Ghostwalk colourway and is made from 70% Bluefaced Leicester wool, 20% silk and 10% cashmere. So pretty lush! I only have one skein though so I’ve asked the Purl Box girls to bring some more to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool show in a couple of weeks.
I am going to try my hand at Coastline which I think suits the colour yarn I have. I like it because it’s long and drapey but with fitted cuffs so it doesn’t feel like a cape. Plus, it’s worked in one piece, so no seaming – gotta love that!
I started with a gauge swatch, even though this is one size fits most, I wanted to check my gauge. I know I am a tight hooker, but I haven’t checked my gauge for a long time. I wanted to see if things had changed. So I began with a 3 mm hook, then each yarn scrap mark you’ll see below, I went up a hook size.
It turns out things haven’t changed. I am still a tighty. I needed a 5 mm hook to get the right across gauge. I am not too worried about vertical gauge as I can adjust sleeves as I go and I like length.
I’ve started the yoke and I am loving it so far. The colours are working so well don’t you think?
Where can you get a copy of the book?
Well done Karen on a lovely book of wearable crochet.
So there you go, another new crochet book for your crochet library.