The long story of a shawl design

So, this is where the shawl design all began.  May 26, 2016.  I can’t believe it has been almost a year already.

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I was feeling so inspired!  I had a great idea for a shawl design.  I had a palette of colors that I loved in a yarn that I was absolutely enamored of.  But then, along came trouble in Paradise.


I still felt good about the colors and I still loved the yarn, but I didn’t like the thing.  I tried to put a positive spin on it.  I tried really desperately to like it.  I spent a lot of hours thinking about it and trying to figure out why I didn’t like it.  I even wrote a blog post about it.  I wondered if I was really cut out for shawl design.  That was before the black hole sucked my old website into oblivion without a single backup.  I would post the link here for you to read all about it if I could.

Anyway, to make a long story not quite as long, the above photo was the thing that helped me figure out what was wrong with it.  I’m so thankful for the visual record in my Instagram account.  I didn’t like the gold color against the eggplant because the colors were blending together into a yucky brown when I looked at it.  I love brown, but the brown that I was seeing was not good and it wasn’t what I wanted in my shawl.  So, I ripped it out.  The. Whole. Blessed. Thing.

And started over again.


So, do you see what I did there? With the gold moved into more of an accent color, it actually pops the way I wanted it to, instead of just looking muddy and gross.  Sometimes the colors are fine, but they need to be rearranged just a little bit.


Oh, that’s so much better.

And then, I got involved with this super huge and totally crazy wholesale order that required a gargantuan number of crocheted alligators to be finished in an unrealistic amount of time.  The shawl thing had to be put on hold.

When I finally got clear of the alligator swamp and had the energy to really think about the shawl again, I decided that it needed a touch of elegance, but I wasn’t exactly sure of what was next.   I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at images of gypsies and caravans for inspiration.  I got out my trusty dusty stitch dictionaries and started browsing.   I found a couple of patterns that were nice, but I had to do some swatching.


Swatchin’, swatchin’, swatchin’! Pay no attention to the clashing colors. I needed to see the join very clearly.

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And that eventually became this:



I worked one more band of color and then decided that, in order to really have that gypsy style, it needed a ruffle. That’s a lot of stitches, but the end design was really worth it.

I really do love those ruffles!

And tassels!


And after I had it all finished, I sent in the design idea to Knit Picks, which has been one of my favorite online yarn suppliers for about the last 18 years, or so. Maybe longer. And guess what? They liked my design! So, I got to knit it again in Knit Picks Paragon yarn. Talk about another yarn swoon! It’s really lovely to work with. It is, however, a slightly heavier gauge yarn than the Valley Yarns Charlemont that I had done the original shawl in, so shawl number two is quite a bit larger than shawl number one was. And do you know what? That’s totally ok with me. I love wrapping up in my big, bright Gypsy Caravan Shawl.

The Gypsy Caravan Shawl pattern will be available soon.  Email me and I will send you a link to the pattern as soon as it goes live.  And while you’re at it, subscribe to this blog for all the latest woolly news.  I promise, I won’t spam your inbox.

Wrap up in this gorgeous shawl
I love this shawl

6 Replies to “The long story of a shawl design”

    1. Thanks, Emilie, I worked really hard on getting those photos just right. I’m so glad to hear that you like them. It definitely makes me smile. 🙂

  1. Hands down a GORGEOUS shawl !!!!!! I want to wrap my hole life up in these colors… wonderful once again Wende !!

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