Sunday, February 22, 2015

Decision Day

Now that I'm completely caught up - and now that my workbasket has been cleared of all lingering projects - it's time to turn my attention to new projects!
You may remember that right after Christmas I finally decided to start a project I had been considering for a while - a hap shawl made with my Knit Picks Palette Woodland Mittens Kit.  The diamond center was a quick and easy knit, and it gave me a very nice break from Sean's sweater.  The plan at the time was to wait until everything else was done before I figured out how to move on with the colors in the border.
Well, today's the day.

 After much consideration (believe me, this took way longer than it should have), I decided to line the 10 colors up in the order shown in this picture.  It's a fairly natural progression, and was based somewhat on how the colors are lined up in several of the Woodland mitten patterns.

Here they are, back in the basket in the order they are to be added - starting at the bottom left and moving from bottom to top of each row as you go to the right.  The two skeins of black at the end are for the edging.
 Hours invested in that meant that it was time to invest yet more hours in looking at stripe patterns in Sharon Miller's brilliant hap shawl book.  (Which I'm using for the instructions/template to this shawl.)  Here's an example of some of the traditional, symmetrical stripes,
 and here are some of the modern, asymmetrical looks.  I'm leaning towards traditional.
The big trick is that I have a total of 11 colors...and none of the examples that Miller provides tops 7.  So really, I'm going to have to figure this one out for myself.  The good news is that I'm using a template for the shawl that allows me to make the striped border as wide as I want to make it!  Yay!  I don't want to go too crazy as I like the proportions of the originals, but it does help. I'm leaning towards the second from the right...but I also freely admit this might be something I want to play with as I actually knit the piece.*
At this point, I'm leaning towards using a more symmetrical, traditional look.  The one thing I know for sure right now is that I'm going to edge the stripes on either side with a narrow stripe of the lightest color (oyster, which is lovely, lovely, lovely) and then work from the darkest inwards.  My inspiration for this is one of the historical pictures in the book.**
It feels really good to have made some of these decisions.  (I would have preferred to have not spent the entire day working on them - I'm normally a LOT more decisive - but that's just how it went this time!)  The fact of the matter is that this is going to be a fast knit now that I know what I'm doing.  The feather and fan/old shell design in the border is not only super-easy, but it's also something of a family tradition.  As such, it's so deeply ingrained in my hands that I practically don't have to think about it while I knit!'s time for me to get to work.  This is going to be fun!
*Who am I know my reputation for "random" and "freeform"!!!
** I love this book...I can see myself making dozens of these!  Crazy, but who cares!?!

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