As I was desiging Petiole, I was struck by how many options there were for the shawl. How easy each section was to lengthen (or shorten) and all the fun things to do. With writing up the pattern, however, I ended up being limited by having to chart the edging and write it for people to follow. I have a couple of notes in the pattern on customizing, but there just isn't room in a pattern for talking at length about that sort of thing.
Reading through posts from several people working on Petiole (and wondering about extending this section or that to make a bigger shawl) I thought, "I have a blog! I can talk about these things!"
Petiole, as I mentioned, is an easy shawl to modify. One of the reasons is the motif. Each motif ends up separate from the other (no interconnectedness) so stitch counts can be played with and tweaked. Also, there are garter wings on the sides between the last motif and the edging motif, so if you have a different number of stitches than specified in the pattern, you can account for that in these plain areas at the sides. Here are some of my ideas on how to customize.
1. You want the solid body of your shawl bigger: This is easy, instead of going straight into the stem section, work another body section by doing another yo increase row (yo every 4 stitches this time) and work another section of the plain garter like before. You will have extra stitches when you go into your stem section, but just account for them in the garter bits as I said earlier.
2. I mentioned this in the pattern, but if you like the striped stem section, go ahead and lengthen it! Just make sure your leaves in the next section line up with your stems, and you are good to go!
3. Another option (one I am working on in a handspun Petiole) is to leave off the leaf on the outside edges of the shawl. I like how the leaf looks when I wrap the shawl around me, but I wanted an easy version of this shawl to work on when I was stressed out, so I decided to go without. If you do, don't work the stem on the edge or the leaf motif, just keep increases on the outside edges as you have for the rest of the shawl.
4. Beads, did someone say beads? Again on the Petiole I am working on, I decided to add beads for fun (cause I am a sucker for pretty beaded things). The beads are going on the slip stitch stems (only on the rightside row as you are knitting them in B (so on row 5, place a bead on the stem), and then continue to do so through the leaf.