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Stellarium

Pattern available on Ravelry and Etsy.

 

As soon as I saw this yarn I knew I had to have some. I mean, just look at this gorgeous stuff!

The colorway is called Starry Nights. Van Gogh, of course. And this wrap came dangerously close to being called No Blue Without Yellow. But the truth is that dark blue just looks so much like black! I love the way that quote makes me pause for a moment, flickering from momentary confusion (there is no yellow in blue - they're both primary colors!) to wonder and curiosity (contrasting colors, right?) to thinking outside the box.


He wrote in a letter to friend and fellow artist Emile Bernard,

"There is no blue without yellow and without orange, and if you put in blue, then you must put in yellow, and orange too, mustn't you? Oh well, you will tell me that what I write to you are only banalities."

And you know that just amuses me to no end!


Van Gogh was, of course, rather a fan of yellow. But then who wouldn't come to adore that golden light painting under the sun of Provence!?

Another favorite quote:

"We spend our whole lives in unconscious exercise of the art of expressing our thoughts with the help of words."

And that, my friends, is quite the truth.


How indeed can you express what you think and feel in that magical moment of basking in the gentle warmth of the sun as it embraces you with the joy of an early spring morning?


How do you put words to the awe and wonder of lying flat on your back, connected with not only the earth but the sky and stars above you, stretching as far as you can imagine and beyond on moonless night?


We try. With words. With colors. Painting. Painting with yarn, perhaps. Emotions and thoughts and wonders and so much more is poured into artistic expression in every way we can imagine. Every day. Over and over and over again. And it never quite captures what we experience deep within ourselves.


It is indeed an exercise in art.

Stellarium, to me, is a wonder at the magic of art, of words, of color, of the sun and stars in the sky. It is an exploration, an expression of curiosity, imagining what might be possible beyond the conventional shapes we usually work within. It is an invitation to take a journey through color and time and maybe even space itself! What wonders could you behold if you traveled the galaxy?


Ah, but I'm letting my words run away from me, aren't I!?


This really was such a magical piece to create. The ombre yarn was SO much fun to work with, constantly shifting through varying widths of soft straw yellow to a rich golden yellow and then that blue started phasing in and it was just so exciting! That contrast! And then that deep, deep dark blue, like the expanse of night beyond millions of twinkling stars.


Ha! There I go again! Waxing all poetic.

Okay. Enough of my musings. Let's get into the details!


STITCHES & TECHNIQUES (you can browse video tutorials here):

  • Single crochet

  • Double crochet

  • Foundation double crochet (optional)

  • Extended single crochet

  • Chainless double crochet (optional)

  • Increases (defined in pattern)

GAUGE:


Rows 1–14, unblocked, should measure about 4” (10 cm) wide across the short side edge and 3” (7.5 cm) deep from center inverted point to short side edge. 29 sts and 23 rows = 4” (10 cm) in body, unblocked.


Here's my gauge swatch (isn't it cute!?):

Finished measurements after blocking: 30.5” (77.5 cm) across short side/bottom edge and 20” (51 cm) deep. 41” (104 cm) along the long side edges and 32” (81 cm) along the inside edges.


And here's a schematic:

SUGGESTED MATERIALS:

  • Metamorphosis Sock by Malabrigo Yarn (100 g, 440 yds [402 m]), fingering weight (1: super fine) yarn, 100% superwash merino wool, 4 cakes

  • C/2 (2.75 mm) crochet hook

  • stitch marker(s)

  • scissors

  • darning needle

Let's talk for a second about how much yarn you'll need.


I'm rather short at precisely 5'0 and four cakes turned out to be a pretty good size, I thought. It could have been a tad smaller, but here's what it looked like on me (unblocked) with only three cakes:

I was really tempted to leave it like this because I liked the way it ended with the darker color, but I realized that I would actually need to dip into a fourth cake of yarn anyway if I wanted it to really have a solid dark blue edging (or try to match a solid to it just to finish it off). Plus, I do think it would have been a tad too small, even after blocking.


And, of course, I felt validated when I finished up that last cake and it looked so great with that final fade out to the lighter gold! So yes, I think four cakes or around 1800 yards is going to be a decent size for most folks. But if you like really long tails on your shawls? Or if you're tall and you love a big enveloping wrap? I'd go for about six cakes!

This yarn has a nice weight to it and it doesn't feel heavy to wear despite the stitch density. But if you want it to be BIG but also light? Look for a lace weight yarn or throw in some sections of mohair or another super airy carrying yarn. In fact, that would be a great way to add some controlled striping to it if you're using solid colors!


Speaking of striping, this would be a SUPER pattern for stashbusting! Just imagine those ripples of color! In fact, I think now is the perfect time to introduce you to my pattern testers. Let's have a look at what they made!

Many, many thanks to everyone who worked on this with me, including my tech editor, Catherine Whelan, as well as to my pattern testers Keinaphels, Toni Dufficy, Bahar E., and Brandi Trout.


Aren't they fabulous!? The ombre cakes are fun, of course, but how about that stashbusting one!? There are TONS of different ways you could combine stash yarn to make this wrap, too. You could choose a color family and stay within that. Do a gradient or color fade. Use an advent paired with a solid color from your stash. Alternate a neutral color with all your minis/scraps every two rows for some cool dynamic striping. Or try the three color change method!


Ah, so many wonderful possibilities with one simple design. I love it so much!


So pop on over to my Ravelry shop to get your copy of Stellarium now, or find it in my Etsy shop if you prefer.


What yarn would YOU choose to make this shawl? Comment below, tag me @crochetcetera on socials, or join us in the Facebook group to be cheered on while you work on it!


I can't wait to see what you'll make. Happy crocheting!


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