Posted on 7 Comments

How it’s made

I thought it would be interesting to show how shawl is created from scratch, what happens behind closed doors.
I must say, there are reasons why not every pattern is done this way. Since this work was done by me personally, I didn’t quite finish pattern before starting. I will add comment where I did things differently.

My pattern How It’s Made (available for free) was translated to Danish by Marianne Holmen on How cool is that 🙂

First I needed to decide what pattern I will choose for this pattern. Seemed best and easiest option to just design specially for this. I wanted to use hand dyed multicolor yarn, so pattern couldn’t be too complex. First draft had only diagonals, that was starting point.

In the picture you can already see everything I added later. I wasn’t sure how I want to fill those spaces, so I did it when I needed.

Next step was writing pattern down in Excel. In all of my years of designing pattern, still best and easiest program for this.

Before I or knitters can start testing knitting, pattern needs to be broken down to charts. It’s best way to find mistakes, which does happen from time to time. This time I managed to make a mistake in last chart (Chart 4). It could’ve been avoided, if I had finished pattern beforehand.

Most important tool in designing patterns I must say is Photoshop. I did use way back Microsoft Word for this, but wow, how much easier and better it is with PS. I’m really happy that I tried out PS for patterns and now I can say, I would never go back. It saves time and result is waaaay better. Here is a screenshot of work in progess in PS.

I print out pattern, add paper for notes and info, I get out everything I will need for work. I am using hand-dyed 100% baby alpaca 16/2 yarn (dyed it myself at Woolmint in Pärnu), white Rowan Fine Lace for casting on, 6 mm and 3,5 mm needles (60 cm cable), 3,5mm/25 cm straight needles, sitcht markers and notebook for tracking time.

I cast on 405 stitches with white and colorful yarn, and knit one row. I always check carefully my stitch count so I won’t do any mistakes. Casting on and knitting first row took me 55 minutes.

I’ve finished knitting Chart 1, it took me 5h and 47 min. Before continuing I had to figure out what is next. Added some nupps to Chart 2 and I could continue knitting.

My cute little helper fell asleep on pattern.

Chart 2 is finished in 13 h and 10 min. And after adding some notes, switched to straight needles and started with 3rd chart.

It took me 7 h and 9 mins to finish 3rd chart. Before starting with next chart, I had to correct my mistakes.

Last chart took me 4 h and 5 mins. I didn’t take photos of finished shawl before blocking. Couldn’t wait to see final result. I use 180 cm blocking cable made by Lazadas, stainless steel pins by Knit Pro and puzzle mats. I fix shawl in the middle of two matts, so I will have lines to follow. I pin down top edge and fix middle stitch (green stitch marker). I pin pointy things on each side 5-6 at a time, to keep middle stitches straight. If necessary, I re-pin some later before I let it dry. I hide loose ends and shawl is ready for photoshoot.

Final result after photoshoot and PS for editing picture.

Before publishing, I edit correct mistakes in PS, add pictures, combine as PDF and make it smaller. After that I only need to add description and info to shop and Ravelry page. And that’s it.

7 thoughts on “How it’s made

  1. This is a beautiful, lace shawl. Interesting to learn how you designed this shawl. Blocking the shawl really shows off its beauty. I have never knitted a fine lace shawl like this. This would be a first for me. I believe I have some lace weight yarn in my stash. Thank you for sharing “how it’s done”. It is most generous of you to share the pattern with us knitters.

    1. Thank you for your kind words.
      I’m here for support if you need any with knitting this one 🙂

  2. Great and an article!
    Best regards,
    Mead Raahauge

  3. This goes far beyond the commenting! It wrote his ideas while reading the
    article amazingly 🙂
    King regards,
    Abildgaard Schneider

  4. Intriguing post. I’ve been pondering about this matter, so a debt of
    appreciation is in order for posting. Cool post. It ‘s extremely
    exceptionally decent and Useful post. Thanks!

    King regards,
    Thompson Dencker

  5. Hello. I’m caring for my elderly mother full time and have taken on some delightfully challenging or challengingly delightful projects! 🙂

    Now we both have COVID and I’m better enough to embark upon this lovely lace shawl.

    How do you make the nub (bobble)??


    1. I’m sorry for delayed answer, I don’t always get notified.
      Did you get your answer?

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