Last autumn I was driving past some recently ploughed fields. I couldn't help thinking the parallel rows of furrows in the fields looked like the ridges you get with garter stitch. I was coming towards the end of a year-long garter stitch blanket project (which will be a whole other post in itself) so garter ridges must have been on my mind.
A few days later, browsing on Pinterest, a cable pattern caught my eye. It looked like a long ear of wheat. I immediately put the two images together in my mind. The idea started to develop into a triangular shawl. I like the asymmetrical shape of my Yarnshine shawlette but this time I fancied working it the other way.
The main problem with this design has been actually writing it down. There are knitters who prefer written instructions and knitters who prefer charts, and I very much prefer charts. It's a regular pattern, regular increases and regular cable placing so I thought this would be a nice easy chart. Oh, how wrong I was! The frequency of the cable crosses and the increases and the spacing between the cables just didn't mesh to form any kind of regular repeat and I soon found if I was going to chart it I was literally going to have to chart every single stitch of the entire work. Back to the drawing board....
Once I'd resigned myself to written instructions, I thought the regular spacing between the cables would make it easy to set up the first couple and then leave the knitter to follow the steps I'd set them off on. Wrong again! Having run the pattern past a couple of testers it became very apparent that, in order to be able to do what I was asking, the knitter needs to be able to read their knitting. Personally I find this very easy so it doesn't always occur to me that other knitters, even experienced ones, can't do it. Asking someone to use the established work to continue with the next section doesn't work if they can't look at their knitting and tell you how many knit stitches or purl stitches there are without referring back to the pattern and counting each one individually.
I ended up writing out line-by-line instructions for the shawlette. Long-winded but it works, and if it means that more knitters can make and enjoy my pattern then so be it!