So, friends of mine, I have released two new patterns over the past fortnight. The Rock Strata Mitts are an epic pair of fingerless gloves that are so fun, easy, and quick to make and give a FANTASTIC result (if I say so myself... ;) )
Then this week I released my newest shawl, Bumper Crop. This is one of my new favorite shawl patterns and this post is to tell the story behind the shawl.
So the idea for this shawl started with a picture of wheat stalks in a field of grain. I had a sketch that stylized the pictorial, ideal image quality of a stalk of wheat. This made the first motif in the shawl and I sketched it out, knowing how and when and where the lines would diverge and meet. I placed this motif at the bottom of the shawl, evoking the earth and having the growing stalks poke up through the earth, each showing a stage of birth to full maturity.
The second motif, the wave motif, came about as a space filler motif. I needed something to give a line of demarcation betwixt the growing wheat and the harvested wheat bundles. Thinking on this, I decided to think organically and think about the process of growing wheat. You need earth, heat, and water to cause the seed to sprout and flourish. Insert the wave motif. The double wave signifies the wave of heat that allows the soil to warm the seed and cause the grain to ripen and become golden and the wave of water that moistens the soil and seed, allowing the plant to grow and reach to the heavens in all its verdant glory. I placed this motif above the wheat ears to remind one of the way the magical, natural spell of the elements playing around this little seed to nurture it to maturity.
The third motif signifies the end of the growing season: harvest. The harvest is brought in with all its bounty and the sheaves of wheat in their iconic bundled look, fill the band between growing and the fruits of hard labor. This is to pay tribute to the equally important harvest period that requires much patience, dedication, and hard work from both man and beast. I placed in the center to serve as an anchoring focal point of the shawl.
The last, textured bit of the shawl symbolizes the fruits of the harvest, the wheat berries. They have been thrashed out and dried out and now the harvest is over. The textured bits of slipped stitches and purl bumps add the needed textural relief from the travelling stitches and rounds out the shawl.
This is about the way this shawl happened. My brain came up with the entire shawl as a way to distract my sick body during a horrible cold I had this past winter and I LOVE the end result.