Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's About Time

A new pattern and a new blog post.
I thought I would take you through the steps of my design process for my new shawl, Boardwalk.

1. Purchase yarn that speaks to me.
While visiting my daughter in Philly I stopped by Loop and bought some yarn, including Madelinetosh DK. I had a gift certificate from Loopy Ewe and later purchased more Madelinetosh DK. I can't remember if it was intentional to purchase these 2 yarns to go together or not. The William Morris does have a hint of the blue running through it.
These yarns were destined to go together, but it was going to be tricky.

Madelinetosh DK, William Morris colorway, purchased at Loop in Philadelphia, March 17, 2012.
Madelinetosh DK, Celadon colorway, purchased from Loopy Ewe online, March 26, 2012.

2. Lust over these yarns for more than a year and finally start swatching.

I wanted something other than the typical garter stitch stripes and played around with horizontal ribbing or welting. I love the texture of this stitch pattern where you alternate sections of stockinette stitch and reverse stockinette stitch. I wanted to do it with 2 colors and when you alternate colors it is best to change on even rows. The stitch pattern I wanted to use changes on odd rows. I don't know anyone who likes to weave in ends so I fiddled around with the concept and figured out a solution. Now what to do with this stitch pattern, how do I place it in whatever I was going to make?
I decided a shawl would be the most practical, I knew I didn't have enough yarn for a garment, but too much for a hat or cowl and everybody (at least in the knitting world, or at least on Ravelry) loves shawls.

I prefer crescent shaped shawls; I visualized both colors edging the shawl and the body of the shawl worked in just one color.  After the edging is worked, stitches are picked up along one edge and the body is worked in short rows.

3. I finally started my first shawl on May 28, 2013 (gotta love Ravelry, I know just when I started my project).

The tapered ends are a little tricky, but after that it is autopilot knitting.
Stitches are picked up and short rows are being worked.

4. Blocking. I love the texture of the border, but it was a little too springy for the desired drape, so I decided a wet block was in order.

5. Naming the pattern. I decided to ask my Facebook knitting friends to suggest a name. This was the photo I submitted.

Boardwalk was suggested. My local knitting friends were all looking forward to enjoying our new boardwalks in the coming weeks after the devastation of superstorm Sandy. The name boardwalk just immediately evoked positive feelings and made the local knitters smile. A winner.

5. Now for some creative photography, especially since my model was on vacation. My friend Frank Parisi helped me get some great photos for the pattern. You can see more photos for my pattern on Ravelry. He took the photos and I did the editing; I edited my head right out of the picture.

I happened to wear my second Boardwalk to a summer party and liked the photo my daughter took with her phone.

6. When I work on a pattern, I often make it more than once. Even though it is relatively easy, I wanted to make sure I had all of the counts perfect for anyone else who wanted to make it. I hope there are no mistakes in the pattern. I made this one 3 times, because it was so much fun. My son, James Punderson, amateur photographer, took photos of my third one for me. This Boardwalk was made out of a light worsted yarn, project details are on Ravelry.

I had a test knitter who lent me her sample to photograph. Her project is here on Ravelry.

                                                  James Punderson
                                                         James Punderson

                                    James Punderson
7. The pattern goes through lots of rewrites and reformatting; friends read through it for grammatical editing, my other son creates the schematic for me and then I am finally ready to publish. When I think everything is ready, I make it available on Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy. I make it available on my blog (which will take you to Ravelry where you can purchase the pattern). I look forward to seeing more projects show up on Ravelry as they are added.

Island Heights Cultural and Heritage Association Garden Tour.
In case I didn't have enough for you to look at in this post I wanted to add some photos from a garden tour we had in town on a beautiful day in June.


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