Saturday, 2 February 2008

The End of the Path

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.





Pattern Details:

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.

40 comments:

fleegle said...

THat's the prettiest Forest Path I have ever seen. I have the pattern, but I really didn't care for the original, so was never impelled to knit it. Now that I have seem yours, I shall think about putting it into my Serious Queue! Congrats on yet another tour de force!

clarabelle said...

It's stunning, Soo... the blocking works wonders... really fantastic stuff... gulp. You see, I'm almost lost for words!

I will take note of all your practical suggestions for when I (finally) get round to knitting 'The Path' too.

The Caked Crusader said...

One word: Masterpiece!
Have a friand as a reward....

Knitelly said...

Beautiful. And it has to be the quickest Forest Path ever! I love how it falls in the hanger picture.

You know how Zephyr shrinks a little in between blockings? (Or is it just me?!) Well, you won't notice it at all with the size of your stole.

Gale said...

Wow oh wow oh wow. It's spectacular.

knittink said...

A great piece of knitting! Looks absolutely wonderful.
x
Andrea

The Knitting Blog by Mr Puffy the Dog said...

Gosh that is beautiful. I know everyone uses this yarn, but this is the first project that has me tempted to try it!

Batty said...

You have persevered, and oh, the result is gorgeous! Now you have to wear it, a lot.

Blocking really is magic.

LittleBerry said...

Soo it's stunning and a testement to your skill.... it's not a pattern I fancy knitting but I do admire your version of it.... the colour shows up everything so well....

Jacqui said...

Absolutely stunning! Wow! I want one.

Just me said...

GORGEOUS! It gives me hope that when I have to stop with mine since I'm running out of yarn(thanks to a cat) that blocking it will redeem it's shortness. I think I want to do mine in Zephyr now. Love the sheen of it! And larger needles too.
Heather(www.xanga.com/yarnsnob)

Queen of the froggers said...

Gorgeous. I didn't know it was entrelac, I'd never be able to knit lace and entrelac. You are the Queen of lace!

Beverly said...

Amazing work! I thought I recognized that color. I used the same for my secret of the stole.

The Caked Crusader said...

Soo I have tagged you!

http://thecakedcrusader.blogspot.com/2008/02/ive-been-tagged.html

Write 5 facts about yourself, tag 5 people, and link back to the person who tagged you.

Laritza said...

It is beautiful! One of the prettiest I have seen. I just made a deal to knit one. I am waiting for the yarn to come to get started.

lv2knit said...

Oh my! I am in love with your stole! Do you think it would work to make it a pattern repeat narrower?? Oh, I love yours!

Agnes said...

Looooovvveely! The red is gorgeous!
The Lily of the Valley is my favourite stitch too ... the result is just cute and beautiful. Great project!

HPNY Knits said...

stunning! took my breath away! and that lovely red- delicious.

Kay said...

Oh, look at it. It's incredibly gorgeous, and once again I bow to your superior (and speedy!) lace-knitting skills.

My heart jumped just reading about your snapped yarn, though. Ack.

Lothlorian said...

wow soo, the colour really makes the pattern special I think, its a pretty pattern and you did such an amazing job of it as always!!

Holly said...

That is a stunning stole, Soo! I'm glad that you were able to correct the problem with the edging - that type of thing can be heart-stopping!

knitmd said...

I have nominated you for one of my ten "You Make My Day" awards.... thank you for your contribution to my daily life!

cpurl17 said...

My admiration for your work knows no bounds. Stunning.

Kathy said...

I am seriously floored by how quickly you put that project to bed Soo!

I swear after all the blogs I have been reading today I will be dragging out every UFO tonight, and casting on another ten.

This is some serious concentration on your part though, my fluttery mind can't handle all them little squares.

I don't like the nupps, I don't like one of the other charts, can't remember which one now, but the other one I was fine with.

I also didn't like the cast on, nor particularly the seed stitch everywhere, but I think after seeing your finished item I may just dig it out and work on it tonight.

Well done, you really deserve a drink after that.

K

Sharon said...

Truly a work of art! What an inspiration you are. were the nupps tricky? any tips? They are why I have stayed away from the pattern, but I love it, and yours makes me want to tackle it anyway. congrats!

Opal said...

Oh it's gorgeous. Care to finish mine now? :)

Angelika said...

Very gorgeous indees. Even unblocked it looks like braided. It looks like a lot of work and you really did it.

Robin said...

Absolutely gorgeous!!! Beautiful color, also.

punkin said...

Stunning! (the word 'gorgeous' had already been used a few times).

Jane said...

You did a fantastic job on this stole! I agree with fleegle. The color made me think twice about knitting it as well. Except for the fact that I had knitting entrelac that is. Congratulations!

Bearium said...

wow, another magical lace shawl!

Sherilan said...

Your work is beautiful and I have enjoyed reading your blog (led here by Fleegle). I look forward to seeing much more. I did notice your comment about Wyoming visitors. I lived outside Cheyenne, Wyoming for 2 years, but am in Colorado now. After seeing such gorgeous work, I am thinking about trying a doily (something small). Happy knitting.

Bearium said...

oh and I forgot to say before "you make my day" ;)

Fiona said...

That is exquisite - you make beautiful lace.

z's momma said...

Gorgeous!

I'm still stuck on tier 2. I think I might have to rip and redo the cast on.

modelwidow said...

That is just fantastic - I`m in awe.

hetty said...

Wow! What a beautiful piece of work! A true masterpiece! I want to make one too! Maybe one day.......

the Lady said...

What a beautiful shawl!

Gill said...

That is stunning!

Anni said...

Wow, that's amazing. And what a difference after blocking.