Thursday, October 19, 2017

Belle Époque Shawl

Kira Dulaney's Belle Époque Shawl

On Saturday afternoons I knit and/or crochet with a group of ladies in Santa Monica. We call ourselves the Ocean Park Fiber Artists. Previously, this group met at Fairview Branch Library in SM until they threw us out. We now meet at The Coffee Bean down the block.
Ocean Park Fiber Artists, L-R: Marian, Sherry, Meri, MaryLou, Barbara F, Ana, Lee, Barbara S.

One of the ladies in this group, Sherry, is a knitter. She knows how to crochet, but rarely practices. Sherry went on a knit retreat recently In Northern California. One of the knit designers in attendance was Kira Dulaney. Sherry was intrigued with one of Kira's crochet shawl patterns called Belle Époque Shawl.
Kira Dulaney's Belle Époque Shawl, close-up

Since I crochet more than I knit, Sherry asked me to help her with the pattern. There are written and charted directions. Sherry is more comfortable with the written instructions. I like charted patterns. Together, we figured out the pattern. It's a lovely pattern, very simple and shows off whichever yarn you decide to use. The main part of the shawl is a triangle. The stitches are easy double crochets with an eyelets every fifth row. The shawl border is a bit more complicated.
Kira Dulaney's Belle Époque Shawl, close-up

Sherry is using a beautiful sock-weight yarn in a cool, denim blue for the main part of her shawl. She will use a burgundy color for the trim. I was so enchanted by this pattern, so I decided to make one too. I had some yarn in my stash, gifted by my friend Carol years ago. It's from Art Fibers in San Francisco, called Sportif. It is merino wool tape. I have 448 yards. The fiber is rather bulky and the label suggests a #10.5 needle. I'm using a "K" crochet hook, so this project is going quickly for me. Once I finish the body of the shawl, I'm thinking of using a denim color for the edging. I'm using the reverse colors of Sherry's shawl for my Belle Époque. My yarn is less than delicate. We'll see how it turns out after blocking!
Ellen's Belle Époque Shawl in progress

The name for this shawl was chosen by designer, Kira Dulaney. The Belle Époque era is described beautifully by Wikipedia: "French for "Beautiful Era") was a period of Western history. It is conventionally dated from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.[1] Occurring during the era of the French Third Republic (beginning 1870), it was a period characterized by optimism, regional peace, economic prosperity, an apex of colonial empires and technological, scientific and cultural innovations. In the climate of the period, especially in Paris, the arts flourished. Many masterpieces of literature, music, theater, and visual art gained recognition. The Belle Époque was named in retrospect, when it began to be considered a "Golden Age" in contrast to the horrors of World War I."
The fashion and the architecture is rather frilly, grand and glorious. A perfect name for this lovely shawl design!
Belle Époque Fashion
Belle Époque Architecture in Paris

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