Langsjal Jóhönnu

The stole came off the blocking board this morning, and was finally seen out in the wild (in between rain showers!).

Yarn: Lodband Einband, Icelandic laceweight wool, purchased at Schoolhouse Press. The color number is 9808, and I used all but 1 gram of 5 skeins of yarn (225m each).

Pattern: Langsjal Jóhönnu, from Three Cornered and Long Shawls, by Sigridur Halldórsdóttir. I also purchased this from Schoolhouse Press.

Needles: Knitpicks Options circular, size 3.75mm

For: Me

Started: May 2006, for the Amazing Lace knitalong. It went into an extended timeout in September of that year, when I got sidetracked by other stuff. I did a row here and there just so the poor thing wouldn’t feel abandoned, but started back in earnest on it over this winter.

Finished: April 5, 2008 (Thanks, Chris, for noticing the “2007” typo!)

Modifications: None, except for my possibly creative interpretation of the charts. I also used way more yarn than what the pattern called for, which was 500 yards of laceweight. I used 1230 yards of the Lodband Einband. I did use a larger needle than called for in the pattern, as I liked the look of the pattern stitches better at that gauge, so that accounts for some of the difference. The finished shawl measurements given in the book are 25″ by 75″. Mine is 26″ by 84″, so that accounts for some of the rest. I think if you only went with the 500 yards, you’d have a really short stole. I wanted something that I can really wrap up in.

What I Learned: Where to start? This is easily the most difficult thing I’ve finished. The original book is in Icelandic, and the included translation is somewhat terse, at only 15 pages to the original book’s 77 pages. This shawl is one of the more challenging in the book, as it is patterned on both sides, meaning no long purled or knitted row on the return row. If you make a mistake, there’s no “easy” row to rip back to where you can get your bearings and get the thing back on the needles. I did a lot of painstaking “tinking” to fix mistakes. I used lifelines, and stitch markers to separate the horizontal repeats.

The chart in the book also doesn’t have the horizontal repeats marked, so that required a whole lot of fiddling in the beginning that I probably made much more difficult than it really should have been.

There’s a really looooong grafting row at the end; 125 stitches to be exact. It’s done on a plain knit row, though, so it works just like grafting a really big sock toe, and if you think of it that way it’s much less daunting. I also learned the hard way to make my grafting much looser than I would think necessary. A lot of ripping and swearing ensued, then re-grafting.

While I would not necessarily recommend this to a complete beginner, any knitter with patience and an ability to read a chart can do this one. After I first started this, I wasn’t thrilled with the yarn, as it’s fairly rustic and plain, but it has grown on me. It goes with the pattern perfectly, and will be a warm, yet stylish stole. It also blocked out beautifully.

While this book is fairly expensive at $45, it has several other lovely patterns that I want to make someday.

Here’s a close up of the stitch pattern:

And me, all wrapped up and warm.

The only thing I’m not happy about? It doesn’t make me look like this woman from the pattern book:


Langsjal Jóhönnu — 56 Comments

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! This is easy for me to say, but it seems it was worth all of your effort and the occasional angst.
    P.S. The woman in the picture is probably a PITA – you’re lots more fun!

  2. You are prettier! Simply…wow! thanks for sharing what you learned with the stats… Congratulations for finishing something simply gorgeous!

  3. Lovely! The color! the pattern! the size! Everything! I know the book is “short on words” to say the least.

  4. Oh Lorraine – it is spectacular when worn – you look magnificent (and truthfully, even better than the book model !)
    Congratulations on an amazing completion. It is lovely.

  5. Well, DUH! You’re not blonde! Beautiful, Lorette! I have that book and someday I may make that shawl/stole, too. Thanks for the beautiful close-up picture.

  6. It’s breathtaking! Congratulations on finishing it.
    And you look wayyy better than the manniquin in the photo!!!!!

  7. That is one SERIOUS piece! And you better believe I wouldn’t even touch it! Your patience and tenacity speaks volumes with this F.O.!!
    Wonderful work Lorette!

  8. It is stunning! And of course you look fabulous in it and NOTHING like that scary woman from the pattern book. But… did you mean that you finished it in 2007 or 2008? 😉

  9. Oh Lorette, it is simply stunning. Congrats on a job very well done! I’ve been coveting that “3 Cornered” book for a while now. No more excuses! It’s going on the next Amazon order!

  10. Really,now. You look a lot BETTER than the model in the picture! The shawl is beautiful!! You did a great job and I agree, that 500 yards wouldn’t have been enough.

  11. I learned the same things you did. Grafting was such a mess with that many stitches and I used many technical terms to get through it. Mine is short, like a small scarf, but your Joho is so nice and large…you’ll enjoy wrapping up in it and showing it off! Nice work.

  12. Where to start? First of all – get rid of the model for the actual pattern because she’s got nothing on our beloved Knitting Doctor modeling this gorgeous purply passionate stole. Second – I love it. I really love it. I love the pattern. I love the yarn. I love the way this color looks on you. I love that you made it longer than called for. I’m thrilled that you conquered such a complicated project. It is an inspiration for the rest of us who are sometimes feint of heart. I hope you stop heads whenever you wear it. It’s simply stunning.
    Have I said enough yet?

  13. Wow! That is one very, very beautiful stole. And the color is stunning on you. (It also happens to be my favorite color.)

  14. I agree – forget about the blonde in the picture. You are absolutely stunning. And I bet anything that SHE didn’t knit the stole she’s modeling. You should be really proud of this one!

  15. Wow! Gorgeous. You look like Snow White in those photos — the red lips, the hair, the clear skin, the royal purple shawl. 🙂

  16. The color and pattern is goegeous . You can and should be very proud of this stole . arn’t you glad you finished IT. ???

  17. Well, so you don’t have blond hair but otherwise, you and the shawl look identical to that picture! That is some accomplishment. Kudos for perservering and I will be on the lookout for you somewhere between the rain drops.

  18. It’s gorgeuos on!
    You are so rocking the pose.
    And I do think your pic looks better than the original. Your light top lets the pattern show really well.

  19. You did a fantastic job. What a beautiful piece of knitting. Congratulations. You have inspired me to gets one of my old unfinished objects out of the closet.

  20. Wow, I have no words to describe how beautiful that is. So worth the effort! (When I finish my current shawl, can I send it to you for blocking? I hate blocking shawls with a fiery passion and you are so good at it!)

  21. You really do look lovely in the shawl. The shawl is drop dead gorgeous. And you look lovely, with or without the shawl. You know, we all can’t be svelte blond Icelanders!! I’m currently making a Dale pullover modeled by a sultry blond and young Norwegian. If only I could be as sultry and young in the pullover. But alas, we are what we are.

  22. WOW! That is amazing! No matter what you say, I can’t believe a beginner would be able to do that! That is amazing!!

  23. Lorette, that is not a real woman in the photo. It’s a Stepford Wife. You look ravishing! That stole is beautiful!

  24. Thanks for your comment about my knitted “kite.” You mentioned cold weather–we actually had snow last night!!! The snow disappeared by morning, but it is cold and dreary. Mother Nature is having a bad year, so far. Maybe we need to build outdoor bonfires and make sacrifices as in days of old. I’m ready for some warm sun!!

  25. It’s breathtaking! I like you better than the model in the book and I’ll bet she didn’t the one she’s wearing!

  26. OOops It’s breathtaking! I like you better than the model in the book and I’ll bet she didn’t knit the one she’s wearing!

  27. Lorette – the stole is simply stunning! You must be thrilled with finishing it. Enjoy wearing it.