A girl just has to swatch if she wants to create new design ideas. It may not feel productive to knit up a little square, but it is a critical piece of information about whether your finished design will actually work like you think it should.
This past weekend I was on the search for some kind of ripple or wave pattern to use in an Outlander-inspired scarf/shawl. So off I went to the my knitter's bible bookshelf to consult the Barbara Walker Treasury books and found the Old Shale pattern, a traditional Scottish knitting stitch.
Next I consulted this great book, 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns, by Jane Eaton. She has a couple of Old Shale variations in her collection.
The cool thing about this book is that it includes both knit and crochet stitch patterns. It's a great resource if you like to make afghans!
I made a half dozen swatches before creating a favorite variation. The swatch in the photo was the last one to be made before I decided what to do for my shawl.
I'll be writing some more about the Old Shale pattern later and sharing photos of the project in progress. Meanwhile, here is a treasure for you. It's a baby blanked called Old Shale Variations, by Mary Spanos, that uses over 40 different variations of the Old Shale pattern, and it's a free Ravelry download. Cool find! (There was one pattern almost the same as mine, but not quite.)
Have fun exploring, and share in the comments any of your ripple experiences, or what you are working on now.