As noted earlier in the week, Project Stole c'est finis! Oui! Oui!
I rushed home yesterday hoping to take some photos of me modelling the stole before the sun set. I took many photos, most sucked. If I liked the pose, the stole wasn't sharply detailed; if the picture was crisp, I hated the pose. C'est la vie, non? You'd think that would stop me from posting far too many pics but it wont. (I do think, though, I've gotten this French thing out of my system!)
Ahhh! Project Stole, how I love thee, let me count the ways. I am a little ashamed at how proud I am of this project. It's not that it was difficult, because it wasn't. It's just that it is really one of the first things I've designed and implemented and completed sucessfully, with the stress on implemented.
I'm one of those people who always bites off more than they chew, as my recent foray into sewing can testify to. My eyes are bigger than not only my talent, but my fortitude. Somehow, though, I succeeded and in success I achieved a great deal more than a beautiful garment.
Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in the Empire Colorway
Depending on the light the yarn looks grey or blue.
85% Wool, 10% Silk, 5% Cashmere
Approximately 1209 yarns, or 13 skeins.
I love this yarn to no end and will use it again.
Both circular and straights in size US8/5.00 mm.
I had envisioned a 20-25" wide, 60-70" long garment, but I didn't swatch. I knew I'd decide on both dimensions once I had gotten the knitting underway. I also put my faith in a Knitter's Review write-up of the yarn which indicated the yarn grew 5% per inch once washed.
After I began knitting the project, it became obvious that blocking to obtain the desired width would take a great deal from the length so I settled on a pre blocking length of 80 inches. At about 70 inches, the weight of the WIP convinced me I wouldn't need 80 inches. I stopped knitting at 76".
I failed to take a pre-wash measurement of the width, but post wash and block my stole measures between 21 and 24 inches wide (I'm obviously a sucky blocker!) and 76 1/2 inches long.
My project was inspired by the Cabled Shrug from Fall 2005's Interweave Knits. When I came across some pictures of the pattern I was compelled to take it on, although I knew right away I'd design my own.
The main motif, the embossed twining vine leaf, comes straight out of a stitch dictionary, specifically Barbara Walker's Second Treasure of Knitting. It is a fairly common motif, as I have since seen it in other stitchionaries.
The biggest hurdle I faced was in framing the embossed vine motif. I really wanted something simple to make it pop, but I was immediately overwhelmed by the rantings from my inner engineer. She wanted more cables, more texture, more, more, more. Good sense won out, I think. The simple double seed stitch and zig zag cable quietly frame the star of the design, the embossed twining vine leaf motif.
One may think to add fringe to a project like this, but the article at Knitter's Review advised against it. Once washed "the previously flat and relaxed loose ends shortened and became puffy and pearl-like" which make it unsuitable for "fringe-heavy projects.
And finally, the true test of success will be how I feel about it in five years. I'm extremely proud to say I'm ready for that test.