I just released a new free shawl pattern on Ravelry: Alva. Alva takes one ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe (or two balls of regular Kidsilk Haze) and is knitted on 5mm needles. My sample is knitted using sh. 200 ("Twillight").
I designed Alva because while I love the new KSH yarn, there was a real dearth of patterns available for it. I wanted a simple, straightforward knit which would showcase the colours. Alva is designed for beginning knitters which is why the lace edging is optional (and written out rather than charted). .
I find it is very different to design for yarn support (which I guess Alva is) rather than design for myself. With yarn support, I keep the end user in mind: who would be knitting this pattern? What skill level am I aiming for? How can I make this even easier to knit? I want my design to be accessible to as many people as possible. This is a fun challenge - and actually more than a challenge than it is to design for myself.
My Karise shawl is currently being knitted in a KAL on Ravelry. It was also designed for yarn support, but I took advantage of being able to play around with charts. S. of MooncalfMakes described Karise as having "..a kind of architectural quality to it, like wrought iron-work or granite carvings." I consider this a huge compliment: I find architecture incredibly inspiring and I hope Karise would have a certain sense of stillness to its lace. It is possibly the closest I have come to designing anything for myself.
I look around Ravelry and I see increasingly complicated lace shawls being showcased. In my own quiet way I guess I'm reacting against that trend. I just don't get it. I do not want to wear things that have 1001 details. I would feel overwhelmed, drowning in frills and bobbles and twisted stitches. I would much rather wear a carefully edited shawl, something understated, something knowing. Maybe it is the Scandinavian in me, maybe it is because I like sparseness in most things.
On a whole other note, Fourth Edition is being moved about in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for disruption (unless I manage to work things out quickly).
PS. 'Tis now the season for CRAP light so until April, expect bad photos.