Eight years ago, Faina Letoutchaia’s Forest Path Stole pattern appeared in Interweave Knits (Summer 2003). I loved it. I wanted to make it.
To be honest, most of the time if I don’t immediately embark on a pattern that I have fallen in love with, I gradually lose interest or forget all about it. (That can be a good thing; I don’t have enough hours in the day to knit everything I’ve wanted to knit in my life.) Despite my fickle nature, the Forest Path Stole continued to enchant me. I bought yarn for it. More than once. Susan and I discussed what changes we might make in it. I periodically scrolled through the finished projects on Ravelry. Finally, a few weeks ago, I actually started it.
Back in 2003, the pattern looked intimidating to me. I didn’t have all that much experience with entrelac or lace, and the pattern looked complex to me. Now, in my dotage, I realize it’s actually a very simple pattern. Each of the three lace panels is easy to memorize. Because it’s entrelac, you are only working with about twenty stitches at a time (the stitches for one lace panel motif), and so there’s a sense of immediate progress each time you finish a panel. It’s a relaxing, fairly portable project. My yarn is Alpaca with a Twist Fino in the color Champagne. Fino is 70% alpaca and 30% silk and knits up beautifully.
I’ve made a couple of changes to the pattern. First, I am knitting a narrower and shorter version. Second, instead of the seed stitch border, I started with a provisional cast on and I’ll do some kind of knitted on border at the end. (I have several ideas, and will decide which one when I get there.) I’ve completed ten tiers, with my current plan to end after tier 19.
Progress photos of lace are usually uninspiring: unblocked lace looks shriveled and a little sad. But here are two shots anyway to give an idea of the color.
I love working on this stole. It’s a good thing, too, because after all these years of loving this pattern I am not knitting it for myself. It will be auctioned off in October to benefit The National Inclusion Project.
I knew it was smart to buy yarn more than once. I can’t wait to finish this one so I can start it again.
Additional Comments from Susan
Sally is so right: we both fell in love with this shawl, and I was intimidated! I saw the actual shawl in person at a trunk show at Amazing Threads years ago. I walked in and saw this stunning (and very large) lace stole and knew it was completely beyond my knitting capabilities. But not beyond my dreams! So, quite a while later I bought a ton of yarn (the same yarn Sally is using, but in cream) and ended up using it for Lyra. Oh well! Then I bought Exquisite in Slate Blue. It, too, is beautiful and currently marinating in my stash. I have definitely earmarked it for Forest Path, but have to wait for the knitting planets to align…some day…soon? Sally is doing the pre-work so it will be easy for me to follow!