theraineysisters knitting and so much more

August 13, 2011

From Sally — The Path to Enlightenment

Filed under: Forest Path Stole — surly @ 1:54 pm

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!


  1. It will be beautiful. I’m kind of inspired. I have been inspired by many of your projects, but often that is as far as it goes. Daydreams! I am still struggling with my Eala Bahn, (inspired by you two), and have a couple of others, which I have even gotten the yarn and patterns for. Once I finish … or more accurately, start them, I plan to give this one a go. Maybe.

    Comment by joanna — August 13, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  2. Looking forward to seeing the border you decide to do. I’ve loved this pattern for years and it is also on my to-do list.

    Comment by GailR — August 13, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

  3. That shawl does have a tendency to haunt once you’ve laid eyes on it, doesn’t it? It’s somewhere on my knitting bucket list. Glad you got to finish it – it’s lovely!

    Comment by Joan — August 13, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

  4. Hi Sally, I too have thought about this shawl for a long while, but unlike you I never actually read the pattern and did not realize it was entrelac. It’s doable. Who knew!!I anxiously await your edging and will hopefully start it in the not too distant future. Thanks.

    Comment by Marsha — August 14, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

  5. Count me in too. It is an unforgettable shawl. I always thought that when I was a good enough knitter, I would take my lone skein of Fino in delicate greens and make it. Then I noticed how much yarn the shawl needs and I have been looking for a replacement yarn ever since. Nothing has matched my dream so far, (it is a pretty fantastic dream) but I keep looking.

    Comment by Needles — August 15, 2011 @ 9:11 am

  6. I’ve loved this pattern for a long time. Nice reminder! Thanks for that. Your work is gorgeous, as always!

    Comment by Ruth — August 15, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  7. It looks beautiful (what else would it look?) but I am surprised at the color. Given the name, I would think dark green, or given the knitter, I would think deep red. Both would look good on you. However, so would light gray (am I right?) and perhaps this light color brings out the design better, which is why you chose the pattern in the first place. Sorry, had to get it out of my system.

    Comment by chloe — August 15, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

  8. Whoops. I read the blog yesterday and did not re-read before commenting. It’s being auctioned off so of course it is a very appropriate color.

    Comment by chloe — August 15, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

  9. Here I am again. You’ve obviously struck a nerve, Sally. There is something about working for charity that seems to jump start a lot of people in knitting and other endeavors. After many, MANY false starts I finally got into knitting after knitting a simple garter stitch shawl in Red Heart Yarn for a charity organization.

    Comment by Chloe — August 15, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

  10. So beautiful! I’ve always thought about trying this one, too. Maybe someday. . . For now, I’ll just enjoy yours… vicariously!

    Comment by Kym — August 16, 2011 @ 9:03 am

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