Here are some more photos from the development of the BSM.
The early ones date back to January, and show the start of the knitting of the sample shawl. There was a previous round of swatching to establish the best cast on method, the rate of increasing and positioning of the increases, the rate of zig-zagging of the zig zags and where the zig zags should begin relative to the increases, and which stitches should be knit through the back loop, etc. The charts went through a number of revisions, and the knitting went smoothly once the increases and the zig-zags were synchronised gracefully. Beads were initially added along the increasing edge, but have been removed from the final pattern.
A couple of the photos show the knitting-on of the knitted-on edging – my first time attempting such a feat – and it took a couple of attempts to establish a graceful transition from the corner point into the border chart – once this work was done, the knitting was straightforward, but relatively slow – working the fringe is time-consuming, and as usual I wondered why it’s so difficult for me to keep things simple – but I can’t help trying things out to see what will happen…
Then there was the question of how to approach the blocking – I used sewing thread, one length threaded through the beads on the fringe with a small sewing needle, and a second through the outer yarn overs along the increasing edge. Unfortunately (as mentioned in a previous post) it became clear post-blocking that the beaded fringes were incompatible with their adjacent yarn overs, and it seemed that the pattern would have to be reluctantly added to the scrapheap of failed experiments! But inspiration intervened in the form of the sewn on extra beading. Again, there was some calculation necessary to establish the number of extra beads necessary to maintain the spacing of the fringes. This turned out to be a very enjoyable task, and a great use for materials left over from previous projects. Also, the unexpected little dashes of colour and the extra weight along the lower edge add significantly to character of the shawl.
It seemed like a good idea to include a simpler option for the knitted-on edge – so a final round of swatching commenced. Two wonderful test knitters are knitting this simpler version at the moment.
The story of this pattern is not entirely typical, but hopefully it conveys some idea of the time and effort – the combination of finding and interpreting a theme, inspiration, research, sketching, choice of materials, swatching, calculations, experimentation, risk-taking, chance, persistence, frogging and knitting – that is compressed into my pattern pdf’s in their final published form.