Saturday, July 19, 2008

Shawl Evolution

This whole process started with seeing some colors that were naturally morphed a bit in a digital image.  They were not the original colors my eye processed but I loved the change.  I thought about those colors for days and then played with silk to dye them just right.  Then they were duplicated in superwash merino/tencel .  The new colorway was called Navajo at first but once researched, changed to Santa Clara as the Navajo did work with turquoise but not really with copper as the Santa Clara Mexicans do.
Next was superwash merino tencel yarn in the same colorway which again took some fiddling but is quite satisfactory to me now.
Usually that is about as far as I go with a new colorway. Usually I am overwhelmed with writing sock patterns.  I think the new Knit Visualizer software has relieved me of quite a bit of chart stress so I have more mental space for other than sock creativity.  How about making a wrap with fingering yarn and using only one skein?  After all we do need something else to do with all that sock yarn we have acquired. VBG.

I poured through my Barbara Walker books. Aren't they the best? --page after page of stitch patterns grouped by categories like ribbing, lace, eyelet, cables, etc.  I found a few that I thought might work so proceeded to play with the yarn.
Finally reaching a decision on which stitches and how to adapt them to my vision.
I really wanted to do this in the round but spent a restless night seeing one problem after another. I like my patterns to look complicated but not actually be so. If this was done in the round, who eee. NO!   So then I thought about back and forth knitting and most of the problems just disappeared.  Such fun!  I was in happy play mode for most of this pattern, actually telling myself it was OK when I'd catch myself.    After all it was for the business and I was just having a good time as we are told our true calling should be.  (Have I told you I have no regrets about not teaching middle school anymore?)Notice the beads on the edging  Very simple to add during the cast on and the cast off.  Oh and those are size 9/5.5mm circs.  How's that for hand relief?

Somewhere around two thirds done I got a call from a yarn shop in California that carries both my fiber and yarn. Carole ordered 6 kits sight unseen for a class she was giving a little over a week from then. How truly fantastic to be so validated but oh my.   Fun time instantly turned into work. Gone was the feeling of timelessness. Gone was the feeling that I could rip this out and start again at any time. Not that it was needed, but just the feeling was important. Now I had a deadline so had to have it all ready to go quite soon. Calm breaths. Calming thoughts. Drink tea.  Keep knitting and writing and typing and making notes and corrections and tweeks. Once I got over the deadline burden the pattern proceeded quite easily.  I found myself really looking forward to blocking the stole, and just in time for Knit Night.

Carol, whom some of you have met at vendings, graciously consented to be the model as long as her head was cut off.
I have left the finishing choices up to the knitter; leave it as a stole, graft it as a wrap or as a moebius. My feeling is that options are a good thing in a pattern as they allow the knitter to make the item more her/his own.  In its first outing at Letchworth, this pattern was a definite hit!Santa Clara Wrap or Stole --- available on my website as a paper pattern in a protective sleeve, a pdf download or as a kit in many of my colorways.

1 comment:

Wardmom said...

Hi susan. I finished the wrap last Friday and wore it to the "Fun4Kidz" event in Fairport (where I was spinning with the Girl Scouts) on Saturday. I got a lot of "I love your shawl" comments.

This was a lot of fun to do. Thanks.
Cheers,
Sharon