I have to say that I love Doris Chan’s patterns. She’s been designing crochet patterns for over a decade now, a vocation she stumbled onto later in life. Her specialty is lace weight crochet and seamless designs, including top-down construction. Her patterns span a variety of shapes and sizes in weights from lace weight yarn on up to sport and heavier weights. Most of the ones I’ve used or studied are beyond beginner, though I think she’s published a few easier patterns, too.
What I love most about Chan’s designs is her attention to detail. I learn from each one, like the one I just finished, Pearl River Lace Wrap. This one incorporates large pearl stitches and broomstick lace, both new techniques for me. Truthfully, the pearl stitch isn’t entirely new. I’ve crocheted pearls, just not in any full-sized projects. I loved the broomstick lace, once I got it down. I can so see using that stitch in one of my own patterns in the near future.
The new stitches, though, weren’t the details that really made this project for me. It was the subtle shaping of this pattern. Chan included increases every few rows right in the center back of the piece. The result is that this wrap is more stole, or rectangle-shaped, than shawl, or triangle shaped; it breaks the general rules. When laid out flat, it looks like a very wide V-shape. That shape lets it drape across the shoulders, hugging them so the ends don’t want to slip off like the ends of a stole or shawl so often do. That, my friends, is pure genius. Genius I intend to copy sometime in the near future.
The yarn I worked with on this project was from Cascade Yarns, a super soft merino, cashmere, acrylic blend I got on clearance a couple of years ago. The resulting wrap is super soft and luxurious. Mine is a deep purple, a color I’ve longed to work with in yarn for a long, long time.
Check out my rendition of Pearl River Lace Wrap in my Yarn Arts portfolio.