Work In Progress: Doggerland

The weather in Glasgow is hawt - as in 'I need to stay indoors or I shall melt' hot. I have put aside my cardigan project for the time being - although I did find time to separate for back and sleeves - and I have been yearning for a shawl project. Small, light and portable is acceptable for Surprise Summer knitting, right? I had no shawl patterns on the go, so trustworthy Ravelry came up trumps with a delightful shoulder shawl and so I cast on for it the other day. I abandoned it just as quickly. The shawl was not to blame - it was beautiful and very well-written - but I kept going "but if I change that and, oh, you could insert a lace repeat that spanned that section.." Evidently I did not want to knit a shawl; I wanted to design a shawl. I have long wanted to work on a new collection and today was that day. I am currently working on a chart quite unlike anything I have ever worked on before. My other patterns have all been triangular, aimed at beginning lace knitters, easy to modify and rather intuitive. The new shawl pattern will be a semi-circle, aimed at confident lace knitters (although it still has rest rows rather than lace worked on both sides); and you won't be able to combine charts as you please. Working on this is exhilarating, scary and a learning curve. I cannot wait to show you the final shawl.

However, what I can show you is the moodboard I put together for this collection and also explain a bit about the inspiration behind the collection (which will contain other patterns than just shawls).

The collection has a working title of Doggerland, although that is likely to change. Doggerland is a submerged landmass between Great Britain and Denmark which was last inhabited during and after the last great Ice Age to hit Europe. Today Doggerland is covered by the North Sea but once it was a rich, fertile habitat for prehistory humans. Maritime archaeologists are incredibly interested in Doggerland as the seabed may yield fascinating insight into Mesolithic life.

The Doggerland collection is using yarn from the North Sea regions - Britain, Faroe Islands, and Denmark - to explore organic textures inspired by Mesolithic prehistory.

I took a lot of inspiration from visits to the prehistory sections of The National Museum of Scotland and the National Museum of Denmark. I took a lot of photos on worked flintstones, carved antler bones, well-preserved fykes, and excavated shell middens. Lately I have also thought a lot about the landscape - although this is a construct at best - with peat bogs, rolling hills, estuaries, ferns, moss and lichen. Colours play an important role in me imaging Doggerland - expect a lot of earthly tones combined with mossy greens and pale greys.

And so back to work..