I was a little bit smitten as soon as I saw the photo of the Hotel of Bees Shawl last month. This lovely pattern by Christina Hadderingh of the blog A Spoonful of Yarn was adopted by Sandra (Cherry Heart) and Sam (Betsy Makes) for a joint crochet along – their HOBCAL. I did try to resist but failed miserably and even though I was behind with the Hygge CAL and already had far too many projects on the go, I just had to pick out some yarn and get going.
One Sunday morning I raided my own Etsy shop stock and chose a very pale lavender cream, Best Silk Lingerie, one of my best-selling colourways that looks like shot silk with shades of peach, grey and speckles of delicate lilac. And to finish off, Pewter, a gently tonal grey with a hint of lavender purple in there.
As well as caking up the yarn and printing the 21 page pattern, I also made myself some stitch markers – little silver bees. The pattern doesn’t call for these but they are very useful when you start as you can use them to help keep count of your stitches. I placed mine every 30 or 40 stitches to cut down mistakes in counting.
About the Hotel of Bees shawl
The shawl is quite intricate both in its design and its inspiration. Without giving too much a way, it has a bee theme and different elements within the shawl design reflect bees, their honeycomb and their wings. The great thing about joining in with the CAL is that although everyone has been making the same shawl, we can all get creative by choosing the yarn and colours. Each finished shawl is unique and if you look for the hastag HOBCAL on instagram you can see photos of many really gorgeous ones.
This one is by Alyson of the Keep Calm and Carry Yarn podcast. I met Alyson in Edinburgh when I was up there with my friends Nicola and Clarisabeth (of the Crochet Cakes podcast, who came all the way over from Puerto Rico). Alyson used my yarn for two of her colours – Mint julep and Chartreuse and she combined them with a natural cream, another 2ply natural British wool from Jamieson’s of Shetland.
It looked gorgeous in progress…
But the finished Hotel of Bees shawl is just stunning…
My hotel of bees progress
The pattern is interesting in that you start at the long edge and work an asymmetric triangle. So the rows when you are just starting out are veerrrrryyyy looooooonnnnnnggggg… But once you get going, the pattern is so interesting. The first section uses two colours to produce a winged design, then you race away onto some open honeycomb.
As you progress, the shawl gets narrower, so you feel as if you are making really good progress once the first section is complete.
I really enjoyed the filet crochet section, which produces the larger honeycomb design…
After Section 1, which has the winged section, the open honeycomb, the bees section and the filet crochet, I opted to change plans a little bit and add in the Pewter for the next winged section. I’d decided that some plant-dyed yarn that Clarisabeth had given me would be perfect in this shawl. She had dyed it herself with avocado from Puerto Rico and I only had about half a skein. Using it in the Hotel of Bees shawl meant I could use it in something really special!
The colour toned perfectly with the Best Silk Lingerie…
After sewing in the ends and completing the simple border along one side, the Hotel of Bees was done!
I’m wearing Miss Hotel of Bees in Podcast 32, which went live on the 18th May 2017. If you are reading this not too far after that date, check out the podcast because I’m giving away three skeins of my yarn and some little bees to give someone else the fun of making this beautiful project in pure British wool. If its a couple of weeks later and you’ve missed the giveaway, subscribe anyway as I’m planning more giveaways as we approach 5000 subscribers xxx Kathryn
You can also see what’s still available in my Etsy shop xxx