|Green Chai Cardi (c) Interweave Publications|
The first cab off the rank had to be the Green Chai Cardi. (The logic behind this decision? It's my Mum's birthday soon, and she looks like the model in the photo. Certainly more than she looks like me! So I figured it would look great on her and therefore would be an awesome birthday present).
For my first trick, I had to work out what would substitute for Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK (yet another yarn that we can't get in Australia! Grrrrr....). I could have tried buying some over the internet, but with a February deadline and Christmas/New Year likely to delay shipping, I didn't want to take the chance. The obvious answer would be 'substitute any DK yarn from the shop' - however, I've tried crocheting US patterns with Aussie DK yarns before, with pretty ordinary results. I tried a broomstick lace swatch with some leftover Jo Sharp DK, just to prove my point, and came up with something significantly smaller than the gauge required.
Previous experiments with US patterns and Aussie wool suggested that an Aran yarn would probably give the right results. Sure enough, I dug out some scraps of Jo Sharp Aran Tweed, whipped up more swatches and it was right on target. It also comes in a colour that looks fairly similar to the Tosh Merino Thyme shade used in the photos (shade 139 Spring). Surprisingly, it worked with the hook and needle sizes specified in the pattern - usually, I need to go down one size to get the correct gauge for a crochet pattern.
|Green Chai Cardi Yoke in Jo Sharp Aran Tweed (Spring)|
I've done the back yoke and the left front yoke already (less than an hour for both pieces - broomstick lace is an incredibly fast technique). More importantly, I've also tried this on Mum just to confirm that I've selected the right size Luckily, I'd guessed right - Mum's a perfect US size 8 and the yoke went across her shoulders perfectly. Off to work the last yoke panel tonight - then onto the shell pattern tomorrow.