The next part of the pattern is my own variation on an antique Shetland Lace stitch called: Crest of the Wave (a close relative of Old Shale aka Feather and Fan/a Victorian renaming of Old Shale). If you read about these old Shetland stitches, the stories are amazing and the stitches were very much inspired by the world around these past knitting relatives of ours — as we all of course, belong to each other in one big family of Knitters and Fiber Artists. Old Shale mimicked the waves of the ocean on a beach of shale, spider lace looks just like little wee spiders that must have been up in the ceiling corners of the cottages they lived and knit within. There’s so much more to this heritage. Sharon Miller is the best source I can think of. Martha probably will put other citations/authors in the comment section so take a look in a day or so.
Getting back to the business at hand, the next part of the shawl will draw down all those eyelets you just made in the garter section into a ripple that looks like the bubbles at the top of a wave; just as the undertow in the flow of the ocean would draw a swimmer down into its own natural movement. The technique uses what are called delayed decreases…all the increases are together in one place and all the decreases that balance out the increases (keeping the stitch count the same) come later all in one separate section. Depending on how you use delayed decreases you can bend a fabric in many ways; creating a bias (slanted) fabric, or zig zags, or wavy ripples as we are in this lively shawlette. (Thanks to Maggie Boga for the illustrative photograph!)
You will begin with a piece of fabric that looks like this:
And end with a much wider piece of fabric that looks like this:
I think I might have been interested in physics and engineering if someone had only pointed out how the basic principles work in knitting! Instead, now it will always be some Higher Form of Magic.
And maybe that’s not such a bad thing either…
xx M.E. and Summit Yarn