We have had nonstop rain here in Washington, DC for what seems like forever. I know that other areas are suffering from fires and drought, so I shouldn’t complain. But that never stopped me before. One side effect of the rain is increased difficulty in taking good photographs of finished knitting; it is so gloomy out that adequate lighting is a problem. Le sigh.
I did finally finish my Forest Path stole, and I love it.
(Sadly, it’s not truly mine; I knit it for charity and have to mail it off to be auctioned.) To recap, the Forest Path, designed by Faina M. Letoutchaia, first appeared in the Summer 2003 issue of Interweave Knits. I had wanted to make it for a very long time. It was fun and relatively fast to make.
I used Fino Alpaca with a Twist, which is a lace weight blend of alpaca and silk, in the color “Champagne” (a warm ivory). I made several modifications. First, I narrowed the shawl and shortened it. The original has 23 tiers of entrelac lace panels; for this charity project I knit 17. (I’ll probably do 19 when I knit it again for myself.) The tiers in the original alternate between four and five lace panels as you work your way up; my version has three and four. Even with those changes, my finished shawl blocked out to 70 inches by 26 inches, which I think is a generous size for a stole. When I reknit it, I will keep my width.
The other major change I made was to the edging. As written, the stole is bordered by seed stitch. You work base, side, and top triangles of seed stitch as you knit the shawl and then add a seed stitch border to the sides, which you sew to the stole. (The bottom and top seed stitch strips are done before and after the base and top triangles respectively.) This didn’t appeal to me because I didn’t like sewing the border to my Crown Prince shawl, and I find that much seed stitch a bit boring and tedious to knit. More important, my reading at Ravelry had made me a bit leery about the border. [Side note re Ravelry: This is one of the strengths of Ravelry as a knitting resource. By skimming through finished projects, you can learn a lot about what does and does not work in a pattern before you knit it.] A number of knitters who made the shawl felt that they couldn’t block it as much as they wanted to because the border wasn’t as willing to stretch as the lace panel center. Therefore, I added a lace leaf border based on a motif in Victorian Lace Today. It was slo-o-o-ow, but I was very pleased with how it turned out.
So here, without further ado, is my first Forest Path. A second, that I will keep for myself, is definitely in my future.