In Which the Pirate Designs Lace.
I’ve been thinking about lace design.
I have a single skein of Madelinetosh Merino Light, 440 yards of yarn in the Vintage Frame colourway, to work with. I’ll have to swatch, of course, but I’m thinking that using US 5 (3.75 mm) needles would give a nice drapy fabric without looking too open in the stockinette sections, and help the yarn to go further. Not only is it a matter of not wanting to go buy a second skein, it’s also that I want this to be my first for-sale pattern, and I don’t want it to break anyone’s budget if they should decide to knit it up.
The first question is, what shape to make the shawl? A rectangular stole might be easiest to design, with no increases or decreases to account for, but I like the look of triangle and half-circle shawls as well. The half-circle could be made up of wedges or it could be made up of three triangles put together, which would look sort of like a square with one triangle cut out of it. I am considering making up two versions of the same design, one in the rectangular shape and one in another, as-yet-undecided, shape. And there will almost certainly be an optional ruffled edging.
Which type of shawl do you prefer: rectangular, half-circle, triangular, or some other shape? And why?
The second question is, what lace patterns should I use? This shawl/stole is being designed with a specific theme in mind, one that I’m not ready to share until I am a little further along in the process. After some consideration, I’ve come up with three symbols that represent my theme – heather flowers, chevrons, and cats’ paws. I am armed with the Barbara Walker Treasuries, several instructional webpages on how to integrate lace patterns into differently-shaped shawls, and a knitting symbols font loaded onto my computer. I am ready! Here we go! This will be fun!
I guess if I’m going to be the sort of knitter who makes shawls, that makes me into the sort of person who *wears* shawls. This is very, very far away from the image I have of myself, but I like to push that image sometimes to see how far it will go. I have a necklace made from a vintage typewriter key that says “margin release,” and I think that’s become my new motto. Push the boundaries, try new things! Get outside of the lines!
Your last paragraph is very interesting and inspiring. It took me to my forties and a move to be willing to start pushing boundaries.
I tend to make triangle shawls, but there is one shape of shawl I haven’t done yet that I REALLY want to do, and that is the faroese shawl. It’s essentially a triangle, but it has shaping for the neck and shoulders that help it to stay on, and a panel going down the center of the back rather than just a “spine” in other triangle shawls.
I’d love to work on a faroese shawl as well. I love the idea of the panel pattern down the back.