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
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: