02 June 2010

Getting edgy

7 Small Shawls: T - 213 days and counting down.

I've really been enjoying this knit. It's just mindless enough, but with some interest added in the right places. And it's so fun to see the pattern emerge! Look at that texture!
I'm in love with the colors in the yarn and the way they play against the textures.
I'm down to the point where I need to start thinking about how the edging will be accomplished. On some shawls, I have a really clear picture of exactly what I want (Fiori di Sole for instance) but in this case, I have a more vague picture in my mind, and there are several issues to solve first. I am weighing two overall choices: knitting the edging straight down, or knitting it on sideways as a bind-off. Most importantly, I want the edging to work for many different sizes of shawl. (On Merope, for instance, you can upsize the shawl just by doing more repeats of the second chart).

If I knit the edging straight down, it will have to work for assorted stitch counts. Another issue is the way the shawl is increased. I want the edging to flow down from the leaf pattern and look the same all the way around the shawl, so I have to take into consideration the line of yarn-over increases beside that leaf motif. I've put arrows in the picture below to show you what I mean.
I don't want little partial leaves around those while I am increasing. I think that would ruin the look of the shawl. And the stitch count and the increases could be completely thrown off if I'm not careful. I am thinking of ways that I might accomplish an edging of the same pattern as I have along the spines, but it would take some serious tinkering, and I'm not sure that I would even like the look all that much. I think a different pattern would be better. But which one?

A sideways knitted on edging would be a very different look from an edging just continued straight down. I would still need to contend with many stitch counts, but not in the same way. The repeat of the chart would need to correspond to different sizes and numbers of chart repeats. In this case, I would need to take into consideration another feature of the leaf panel: that little triangle of stitches that builds the next leaf. I've circled them below.
I would want to integrate them into the pattern so that the leaf tapered off. I don't want to end the pattern abruptly in mid-leaf. So that means I would a) stop increasing the shawl, which would be ok for a few rows (lace is super stretchy and forgiving), but I'm not sure if it would be appropriate for so many rows; or b) figure out a way to disguise the increases.

Then there's the question of an edging. I haven't so far found a knitted on edging that I like with this particular pattern, so I'm leaning towards knitting straight down if there's any way I can swing it.

It's time to get out the graph paper (or preferably Intwined!) and do some serious calculations until my brain hurts. More tomorrow!

Oh, wait. What about that contest?! Well, there were 63 comments and I went to random.org to use their random number generator. The number generated was 41, and the 41st commenter was...Thérèse! So congratulations to you! And everyone else? Not to worry. a) There will be more contests, and b) I'm naming the shawl Maia. :)

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Anonymous Maia said...

A lovely shawl! I love your attention to detail. The mark of a good designer. Nice name for the shawl too. ;-)

10:35 PM  
Blogger SuperRunt said...

So far it looks fantastic. Can't wait to see the edge. Thanx for sharing your 'process' btw. It's really interesting to see how a pattern gets 'built'.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Wow! My brain hurts after trying to figure all that out. LOL!!! I'm getting an education on shawl design. And I cannot wait to knit that shawl (edging bedamned!)!

7:14 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I am really looking forward to this pattern; it is the REASON I bought the ebook! (Plus, I figured if you could come up with this, you are bound to come up with something else I really like. :-)

I would love a row of leaves all the way around the bottom, oriented the same way as the others. But that would probably be impossible to do on an adjustable-size shawl.... I am spinning some variegated light grey Shetland/mohair roving, and am thinking of overdying it green and using it for this shawl. In my mind it looks wonderful!

7:28 AM  
Blogger JelliDonut said...

Thanks so much for sharing your design thought process. This is going to be one gorgeous shawl!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

How interesting to learn how you design a shawl. I never would have guessed! I think I always thought it was done on paper first! I don't underSTAND everything, but very interesting.

Yeah for the name Maia! And I can't wait to find out what the yarn you're using is. (If you mentioned it, I missed it).

4:17 PM  

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