Stuck in a rut! aka the evolution of a shawl design

Stuck in a rut! aka the evolution of a shawl design

I have been working with this one design element for over a year, maybe two, and I can’t seem to move past it, grrr. My creative mind seems to have taken a vacation and won’t let me move on until I truly finish this project. 

It started when a friend learned she had cancer. She took the attitude F??K Cancer it’s not going to win here. I loved the way she was fighting and wanted to honor her fight with a design. She is still fighting the side effects of the treatment, but luckily the cancer seems to be gone. Me I’m still playing with the design. 

The primary element of the design is a subtle awareness ribbon. The first generation was a simple triangular shawl done in bright colors with a black lace border to honor the type of cancer she had. The one thing she told me is she was not going to be covered in pink to spread her cancer awareness, no give her black. 

The second iteration of the design was an asymmetrical triangle with a very simple border, the yarn was the focus rather than the design. As I was knitting the sample other ideas began it form … why not add a lace border that could be knit at the same time as the body. Why not add a cable! And if you are adding a cable, why not take it to the next level and add beads!!!!

So I started a shawl in a wonderful sock yarn, that has a mohair fuzzy look, Poems. The color variations move from greens to blues, very deep ocean feel. I had some wonderful turquoise beads from my favorite bead place, Jumping Mouse Beads. And I was off. I put beads everywhere, in the border, in the cable and in the body. The beads in the cable got lost, definitely a no go, and the beads in the body were too much, way too many. So frog it and start again. This time I only put beads in the borders and every other right side row. Finally it was shaping into a shawl I liked!

While I love beads, they really slow me down in knitting. You can’t easily travel with them, and you have to pick up a bead and put it on your stitch to add it to your project, so this slows down your rhythm. So then I decided lets modify the design for a really quick knit. And wouldn’t it be wonderful to do this project as a summer piece. So I stripped out cable and the beads and kept the lace border. I had this really lovely light lavender yarn I got almost 10 years ago when the Red Needle was closing in Savannah. Time to put it to use!

Then a thought struck me, okay you have all these variations of the same design, you need to create a collection/ ebook when you release the pattern. But all the samples were in drastically different color ways and yarn types. So yes, you got it I started new shawls, mind you without finishing the originals, that all are matchy – match in terms of colorways, and somewhat in terms of yarn types. The theme is now centered around the lavender shawl. The triangle and beaded-cabled-bordered designs are now in lace weight Chroma yarn that has long colorway changes from purples, grays, greens, turquoise, etc. When all three are finally done they will be great together.

Then comes designing the ebook, my mind can’t seem to go there. Which is probably a good thing since I have an awful lot of knitting left to do. Hoping to complete this set of three shawls early in 2019. Then go back to the originals while I am having the patterns tested. And then maybe once all of this is done, my brain will let me move on to a new design!!!

Here’s the entire evolution of the Jennifer Shawl Design

Back To Top