I am so excited about the Mystery Stole! I had no idea there would be this many people interested in it. Here is a supply list for those of you who need to get spinning, or are looking to shop at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend:
- Approximately 1200 yards of laceweight yarn (19-27 wpi for all you spinners)
- Knitting needles 4.0mm - 4.5mm (US 6-7) Use the smaller needles on the finer yarns, use a little bit bigger needle if you want something more sheer. Or just grab some in this range and go for it. Its a stole, gauge isn't crucial.
- Stitch markers
I got a lot of great questions yesterday, so I'll try to get them all answered. If I don't answer your question, feel free to ask. OK, I've had a slight change in plans (don't panic, this won't affect you guys at all!) I had started the stole in a handspun yarn, but I realized that many of you will be using commercial yarn, not handspun, so you might like a sample knit in a yarn you can actually get, not just one that's exclusively mine. Also, a few of you were concerned about the cost of the yarn involved. I am now using KnitPicks' Alpaca Cloud to test knit the stole. The great thing about this yarn is that its $3.99 a skein and 3 skeins will do the stole! Under $12 has got to be some kind of record, don't you think? Any of you who are wondering about the quality of the yarn, don't worry, its beautiful, soft, drapey, and has been approved by Ramius, the cat with an Alpaca fetish (I have no clue how I'll block this thing). The KnitPicks yarn Shimmer, will also work for this project, just be aware that multicolor yarns don't show lace patterns as well as solids. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from this yarn, you just need to be aware of what the differences will be. Remember, any laceweight yarn will do, I just have 3 skeins of the Alpaca Cloud so I'll be using this. I'm working with needles that are 4.25mm. You can use either straights or work back and forth on circulars.
As far as difficulty goes, this will not be a difficult pattern. You will need to pay attention, but very little lace knitting is the kind you can do on autopilot. You will of course need the know how to do yarnovers; knit 2 togethers; slip one- knit one- pass slipped stitch over; and slip one-knit 2 together-pass slipped stitch over. I will give the pattern in a chart form so that you will be able to see it both in chart and in your work, but it won't be so difficult to figure out, just put a post it note below the line you're working and that should keep you on track. When I was first learning how to read charts, I kept the list of chart abbreviations next to the chart and just kept referring to it as I worked.
Someone was asking about size adjustments (tall people and people with broad shoulders need a longer shawl). These are easy to do and all you'll have to do is a few more repeats in the main body of the stole. I'll cover this as we knit it. I think this covers most of the questions I got. If you have more, just post them and I'll answer them ASAP. I plan to get the Yahoo group set up either this weekend or at the first of next week, but I'll let you know when its ready for you guys to go sign up. I think this is going to be so much fun!
UPDATE: Remember when you're picking your yarn, synthetic fibers will not block. They'll just bounce back to where they were. You'll need to use natural fibers (wool, alpaca, silk, llama, cotton, linen, etc) if you want your lace to look like anything. Offhand, I don't know of any laceweight synthetic yarns, but I just want to give a head's up for any lace newbies out there!