The Making Of Plant Anatomy: Creating a Shawl Pattern Collection From Start to Finish

The Making Of Plant Anatomy_ creating a shawl design collection from start to finish

Last June, the book Plant Anatomy by Nehemiah Grew (published in 1680) inspired me to create a collection of shawl designs around this theme. The book is full of detailed, beautiful illustrations of the microscopic anatomy of plants: mostly cells, and lots of interesting textures evolving naturally.

I decided to create a shawl design collection and document the project from start to finish, providing you exclusive insight on the details of creation processes of ten different shawl designs, their compilation into a pattern collection and their final publication in book form.

This is the main post for updates and documentation of the Plant Anatomy project. Additional links and information will be added here continuously.

Yarn Support for Plant Anatomy (July 3rd)

The Making Of Plant Anatomy

This was the initial post that started it all: Inspiration for Knitted Lace Shawls: Plant Anatomy.

FB Plant Anatomy

Yarn Support for Plant Anatomy

Shortly after the initial post, Deborah Ogden from Yarn Indulgences generously offered to provide yarn support for the project.

The box full of yarn finally arrived last week. The delay was caused mostly by myself, as I was moving across the country last August and started Med School which didn’t leave much time for anything else.

Yarn for the Plant Anatomy shawl design collection project

All this yarn is dedicated to knitting the prototype (sample) shawls for the Plant Anatomy project.

Let’s Talk Shawl Design: The Master Plan for Plant Antomy

The master plan is the following: create ten shawl patterns inspired by the 1680 book Plant Anatomy with yarn provided by Yarn Indulgences and publish them as a collection in book form. Document the whole process and compile this documentation into a handbook on how to create shawl design pattern collections.

To create ten shawl designs I need to repeat my processes for shawl design and pattern creation ten times.

So what the heck is a process? Find out about processes and check lists in How To Create A Knitting Pattern, Day 14: Knitting Pattern Check Lists. An overview about shawl design is provided in my free online course on shawl design, details about the design process and detailed instructions for each step are part of my online course Successful Shawl Design.

After finishing all patterns, I follow my book creation and book publishing processes. (Yes, even for that I established processes.)

Step 1: Selecting Yarn, Stitch Patterns and Shawl Shapes

At the moment I’m in the very first phase of shawl design: selecting stitch patterns, yarn and colorways to match each other as well as the general concept. (Don’t have a clue what I’m talking about? Maybe reading my article series How To Create A Knitting Pattern: The Complete Guide helps.)

Usually, this step is done separately for each shawl design. All graduates of my online course Successful Shawl Design know the importance of matching yarn, stitch pattern and shawl shape to avoid common pitfalls like stitch patterns getting lost in busy colorways, or gauge that doesn’t work well with the drape we want to achieve – to name just a few.

When I’m looking for inspiration for a new shawl design I usually start with either a shawl shape or a skein of yarn. (You can start with a stitch pattern too, but I rarely do). For this project, I have to make this decision ten times – once for each shawl design I’m creating – but luckily this time I have been provided yarn especially for this project so at least I don’t have to make color decisions.

(To be continued)



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