After several rounds of imagining what different patterns would look like in real life - my life - I came across Martina Sommer's Costa Brava Shawl pattern and was attracted to the sprawling, expansive design of the piece, as well as the small details throughout.
|The shawl pattern includes a a series of knits and yarn-overs along the edge to create a lace border.|
This particular pattern contains a stitch pattern series within the pattern. I like this kind of design, where multiple rows repeat and one intricate pattern row comes back up every x number of rows. In a sense, it feels as though my mind can go offline into a relaxed mode for a couple of knit and purl rows and then reignite for a more-intricate, pattern row.
|Every three rows, the pattern repeats a more complex series of stitches, which I wrote out to keep in my pocket.|
While visualizing the layout of the pattern from the design file, I was drawn to the series of yarn-overs along the border of the shawl and the stitch increase up the middle of the design - a technique that makes a sort of spine or backbone alone the center of the piece. These techniques are not difficult, but they do lead to the creation of an intricate bit of flair when the piece is finished. In some ways, these details function as punctuation marks, like a comma or period in a sentence.
|The pattern includes the KYOK technique, which can be identified here as the group 3 stitches made from 1.|
It took me many attempts to get into the full pattern of this design because I first had to learn a new skill: how to make the garter tab. This was difficult for me. I had to start, knit, tink out all of my stitches, and restart several times. I really didn't understand what was happening with the garter tab set up until I watched a couple of videos again and again. It turns out that the garter tab is a common way to start a triangular lace shawl.
The mathematics of this project are still emerging for me as I knit. There is a curious pattern reflection across the middle stitch that has only become clear as I near the end of the first skein (this project call for approximately four skeins of the yarn I have chose). Soon, I will transition into a new section of the pattern that will be used for the remained of the shawl. The pattern changes slightly in this section, but uses many of the same stitch techniques. It is an interesting exercise to try to visualize how the pattern will play out with my individual knitting style and tension habits, as no two knitters are exactly the same and there will inevitably be variation in actualization of two pieces created by different knitters from the same pattern.
|A series of stitch increases - the m1R and m1L techniques - create a spine down the middle of the shawl.|