Thanks for your kind response to Shawl Book One, and for the birthday wishes. I had a very full day yesterday. For the next couple of weeks I'd like to do feature posts on each of the patterns from the book.
Today I begin with my most popular pattern to date, and the cover design on the book, Cladonia. Cladonia is a half-pi shawl that begins with a basic two color stripe before moving onto delicate lace. Although the lace looks complicated, there are only 16 rows of it, and once you get going you'll see that it's not so difficult after all. The pattern has both a chart and written instructions for the lace, so knitters may work the way they are most comfortable. After the lace there is a unique looped picot bind off. All picots take a bit of extra time, and this one is no exception. But I think it's with it.
When it came to naming this design I looked to the design elements for inspiration. The frilliness of the looped picot bind off reminded me of lichen, and after a search for different types of lichens, I settled on Cladonia which is a lovely, delicate genus of lichen.
And have you seen Gale Zucker's fabulous photos of Sofie modeling Cladonia?
I love the above photo of Sofie the shawl so much it made the cover. But I also love Sofie's eyes, and that sweet "Mona Lisa smile" she sometimes gives the camera, so although the photo below didn't make the book it was a favorite too.
Then there were the whimsical Cladonia photos that are on the inside of the book. Sofie as tightrope walker, using train tracks as tightrope, her parasol for balance.
If you are interested in making your own Cladoina, I recommend looking through the finished Cladonias on Ravelry. You will find loads of inspiration there for color combinations, and even ways of arranging the colors. I'm also teaching a class on this pattern at The Yarn Spot, in Silver Spring, MD on May 17th. Join us for the class and I'll show you how simple this pattern actually is.