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A new lace shawl design, part I

I often think it’s equal parts brilliance and magic that makes a knitting pattern spring from the mind of a knit wear designer.

(Even though I know better.)

So, I thought you might enjoy learning what goes on behind the scenes of creating a new design.

I just finished the first prototype for a new lace shawl knitting pattern, using Skein Yarns’ gorgeous silk/merino for the body (shown above, click on the photo to link to the yarn listing).

And it only took me a year and half to design!

Seriously, I started working out the design for this shawl in Winter 2010.

I wanted to use the lace stitch pattern that I used for my Dappled Lace Neckwarmer pattern (above) in a shawl.

Just one problem.  A strongly diagonal pattern doesn’t work very well in a shawl’s structure.  I wanted the stitch pattern to be symmetrical on either side of the center stitch.  Using the stitch pattern as it stood made a horribly unsymmetrical pattern, sort of a 15 degree slant on one side and then a nearly 90 degree slant on the other.

I knit countless swatches trying different solutions.  Different shawl shapes. Different stitch counts.  None of which worked out …

NEXT: On not working out … until it does

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