My solstice shawl has been getting a lot of knitting time lately. The colorwork is ever so much more motivating than the acre of stockinette was. I've started modifying the pattern to fit my own whims, too. The progression in the pattern as written is: suns, roses, disks (or "blobzenges" as they are called by the KALers on Ravelry), vine with berries, and stars.
The shawl was intended by the designer to reflect the return of sunlight after the dark of winter. As I knit on this shawl and the seasons change (I started it December 21, 2008) I want to also incorporate elements that reflect the seasons. So, first, I have added a leaf motif just before the roses. I used the leaf from Chart 3 of the pattern, which was just a single leaf in red on either end of the roses. I put 2 leaves, mirrored, centered over each rose. To have enough room for the leaves and a stitch between them, I added one extra stitch between each of the roses. I was hesitant about adding green into the color scheme, but I like it. It's Mossay from BMFA.
So far, so good. The next change I have planned is to substitute a wave motif for the disks, possibly one I found in Knitting Over the Edge. This will represent water, which along with sunlight is essential for growth.
I'm also thinking of changing up the colors in the vine section. The pattern shows a red background with a blue vine, but I'm currently planning to use my bright gold for the ground, with a green vine and the berries in Thraven (dark blue) - this combo reminds me of the blackberry bushes along the side of my house, one of the sunniest spots in my yard.
Finally, the stars at the end will become acorns - for fall. I need to find a good acorn motif that's the right size, about 11-13 rows tall. I'll do this last section with a red background and use the Oregon Red Clover Honey for the acorns. The combination of red and gold feels right for autumn.
My new progression: sun, leaves, flowers, water, fruit, seeds. And so the cycle begins again. This is merely a record of my thoughts at the moment. It's a big project and many stitches lie between thinking and realizing those thoughts. And, there's a lot of time to keep on thinking, so I personally will be interested to see how this project continues to evolve as I knit. Right at the moment, I'm preparing for Fall Wee Tiny Sock Club (busy) and things are starting to get into back to school mode (even busier), so the shawl may have a little rest for a bit. That, and, at row 12/22 of the roses, it's feeling like bit a of a slog.