I have been busy this week. A while back, I conceived of a shawl. This was after my trip to Scotland and I was enchanted. I wanted to design a shawl that was like some of those I saw on my trip. Most traditional shawls in Scotland are square in shape, and are either 1) functional working women's shawls or 2) fancy lace shawls originally knitted for sale to wealthy women. I wanted to design one that incorporated the earthy-crunchy feel of the working croft woman's shawl, but with some added lace patterns. I also wanted it in a nontraditional triangle shape.
I knew in my head exactly what I wanted to do...it is designed in my head.
For the first attempt, I wrote down the directions as I knit. There are many opportunities for mistakes over the course of 300+ loooooong rows.
For the second attempt, I started a graph. I wrote about it here. The second shawl is cute (and alpaca!) and seen here. But my graphing skills and perhaps my problem solving skills failed in the border. I screwed up the border and must go back and redo it...later.
This month, I returned to the graph and the shawl. So, I being my own test knitter. Again.
I should add that I am using excel for this graphing task. There are some internet resources to help me, discussed here. And, it helps to have a teenaged son at home for some basics on how to move a graph chunk from excel to a word document (use paste preview). Working on the graph is much more fun; this will be a graph only pattern.
I am having more success this time. Here we are so far. But...I'm not sure after all these hours of work that it will be free...the yarn is from Harrisville Designs New England Shetland and is lovely to work with.