On Thursday I finished the last of the squillion of miles of seed stitch edging and cast off the Forest Path Stole. WooHoo!
The edging wasn't quite as evil as I feared it might be. It was mindless knitting and once I got going went reasonably quickly. There was a heart stopping moment after I cast off when (for the hundredth time) I muttered about the inelasticity of the cast on edge. I attempted (possibly with a bit too much determination) to stretch it to match the width of the rest of the stole and the yarn in the cast on edge ripped apart! Eeeeeeeeek.
A bit of emergency surgery later and all was well again. In fact, a bit better as the repaired edge had a little more stretch in it.
It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve blocked lace at this stage I lose my faith in the process. I look at the unblocked lace and think it’s disappointing and worry that blocking won’t be able to save it.
Ha! Wrong again!
I love the finished stole. It is huge, and oh so light and airy.
Forest Path Stole – available as a single pattern from http://www.sandrasingh.com/ or in The Best of Interweave Knits.
I used just a smidge over 6 ounces of Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk in Cinnabar on 3.25mm needles.
Unblocked the stole was an impressive 24 inches x 58 inches.
Blocked it is a staggering 34 inches x 84 inches!!!!
The stole can be shortened fairly easily by simply working fewer tiers of lace panels.
The pattern is really well written so if you are worried about tackling entrelac – don’t be. The directions for each step are clear and easy to follow.
The pattern suggests using stitch holders for all stitches but the live ones, but in the end (after trying a few methods) I found keeping all the stitches on a FLEXIBLE 24inch circular needle was the easiest. A flexible cable is key – I used a KnitPicks Harmony circular needle.
My only issue with the pattern is the cast on edge. The pattern suggests a knitted cast on – but that has never produced a very stretchy cast on for me. For some reason though I stuck with it – with disastrous results as you read above! If I were to knit the pattern again I’d find a different cast on.
The knitting did get repetitious – 3 lace panels over and over and over - but the final result is definitely worth perservering. The Lily of the Valley (the nupps panel) was my favourite, and for no reason that I ever understood the Birch Leaves panel was my least favourite. All three are easy enough to get your head around and before you know it you won’t need the charts at all.