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.
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.