And so the days are filled...

25 July 2006

My own Baltic Sea Stole, revealed!

Thank you for all of your encouraging comments about the Baltic Sea Stole. I was being perfectly vile when I taunted you will all kinds of links to other people's stoles but did not give any details of my own. Well - here it is! Your wait is over!
This photo shows the stole at 5 pattern repeats, lazily pinned out for your viewing pleasure. It also shows the cone, from which I am taking the yarn directly (without winding into balls first, thanks to those of you who provided advice about that). The cone contains a life-changing yarn. Yes, it's Jaggerspun Zephyr. I allowed myself to be persuaded to order a cone in cahoots with the lovely Jacqueline, and now I have her to blame for my new-found desire to only ever knit with yarn that is this beautiful. (Don't worry, the cheapie in me will return someday and I'll recommence ripping up Vinnie's jumpers.) As always, I don't think these photos capture the true essence of the colour, which is sage. It's a delightful colour, much lighter in real life than it tends to appear on the on-line colour cards I've seen, yet much more saturated than is showing up here. (Despite always missing out on important details like colour, digital photographs always seem to pick up on the undesirable details, such as the muddy paw print on the couch from when Guinness decided he wanted to have a closer look at this stole he'd heard so much about. Can you spot it?)

I have to apologise in advance because I'm mentally working in inches on this project. YES I have generally converted to the metric system for every day use (and YES I advocate the metric system to be used by EVERYBODY) but for some reason, certain projects just beg to be thought of in inches. Bear with me.

I would like the finished stole to be at least 60 inches long, and, depending on my stamina and levels of boredom or whatever other factors may come into play, would like to aim for it to be about 80 inches long. Each pattern repeat is giving me just over 3 inches. Some approximate maths would show that I will need to do between 20 and 30 pattern repeats. I have taken a leaf out of Blue Garter's book and am attempting to do 3 pattern repeats a week, which works out to 16 rows (1/2 pattern repeat) a day, with an extra day in there for good behaviour. Why the rush? This stole is going to be worn at a big shindig in November and I want to be sure to have it finished well ahead of time. I hate last minute like nothing else.
Above you can see some of the detail of the stitch pattern. I like the way the border is straight, yet the body of the pattern is wavy. The increasing and decreasing is clever indeed. I'm hoping some of the puckering evident in between the wavey lines will block out. Despite what others have said, I've found the pattern to be perfectly suitable for memorising and working intuitively, that is, you can always tell where you are by 'reading' the knitting. And although the repeat is 32 rows long, it essentially contains only 2 sections - sections without yo's/decreases (2 per repeat) and sections with yo's/decreases (2 such sections per repeat - one is a mirror image of the other). Aside from this, there is only the increasing and decreasing at the sides to keep track of, which is fairly straightforward.

So far I have not found myself getting bored of it. Perhaps it is the loveliness of the Zephyr that keeps me going. Perhaps it is my self-imposed goal of 16 rows a day (I have been making myself put it away after I finish those 16 rows, which I think will help prevent pattern burnout). Perhaps it really is just too early to say and the honeymoon period will come crashing to a mind-numbing and jaw-grinding end at some unexpected point in the near or far future. Who can say? For now I'm content.

Fiver seems to feel the need to point out occasionally that the cone does not appear to be diminishing in size at all. I don't see why he needs to worry - perhaps it is the magical bottomless cone and all my lace knitting needs will be provided for forever! Anyway, rather than take discouragement by the baffling ever-full cone (is your cone half-full or half-empty?), I like to think of it as insurance against having to weave in ends. And although transportability is a bit hampered by using the cone, my French Market Bag is working a treat for the job. I think I might become a cone snob. Some people describe themselves as yarn snobs. Why can't I be a cone snob? Sorry, dahling, I ONLY knit from the cone.........

Ah! sorry, I drifted off there in my cone-land fantasy. More excitement will soon be presented here on Days Full as a certain milestone is fast approaching! Sharpen your pencils, it's gonna be a contest...