theraineysisters knitting and so much more

September 9, 2011

From Sally — Rain, rain, go away . . .

Filed under: Forest Path Stole — surly @ 11:35 am

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.


  1. From Susan — It is absolutely stunning and an inspiration to me and others. Love the border — a big improvement!!

    Comment by lv2knit — September 9, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

  2. Beautiful shawl! My son lives in Chevy Chase and loves the weather – it makes him think he is back in Seattle. 🙂

    Comment by Connie — September 9, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  3. Wow! It is really beautiful I agree that that edging is an improvement. I love those little leaf things. And of course, they make it more foresty.

    Comment by Joanna — September 9, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  4. Beautiful, and how clever with the leaf border. I’m going to go look it up.

    Comment by Katie K — September 9, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  5. Beautiful!

    Comment by Penny — September 9, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

  6. Like everyone else, I love the border you made. Did you use a provisional cast-on?
    Too bad for me that I have the seed stitch on the bottom of the forest path that has been hibernating in my yarn closet for two years.

    Comment by dana — September 9, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  7. This is just gorgeous! I love your blog and check in with it everyday.

    Comment by p — September 9, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  8. Your Forest Path is absolutely exquisite! The border is so lovely and truly fits with the rest of the pattern. Sorry about the rain! Our weather in MN is wonderful – warm, sunny and much lower humidity. Don’t mean to rub it in but, we, Minnesotans have to grab now for all the sunshine we can get for we know all too well what is just around the corner!!

    Comment by Kathy W. — September 9, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

  9. My husband’s plane could not land in Washington last night due to the rain so I can only imagine you must all be busy sketching plans for an ark. However, the stole is so lovely – great job and excellent modifications.

    Comment by Wool free and Lovin' knit — September 9, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  10. Beautiful. The new border really enhances the shawl.

    Comment by Beverly — September 9, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

  11. The new border suits the shawl perfectly. It’s beautiful!

    Comment by technikat — September 9, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  12. Sally, your shawl is Gorgeous!!! And I think your border is certainly an improvement.

    Comment by Bonnie — September 9, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

  13. Well, I won’t be the first to tell you how lovely this is — the leaf border was such a good idea — it seems integrated into the overall design — dare I say, organic?

    Comment by Pam — September 9, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  14. Inspirational!

    Comment by Marsha — September 9, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

  15. What a gorgeous shawl. love the leaf border.

    Comment by Evie — September 9, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

  16. Your corners with the leaf border look amazing. Do you just improvise these corners based on experience or is math involved? I don’t have much experience yet with rounding corners with lace borders but for me math would definitely be involved.

    Comment by GinkgoKnits — September 10, 2011 @ 3:14 am

  17. Ditto everyone else!

    Comment by Suzan — September 10, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  18. I agree with all of your Commenters – perfectly gorgeous!!! I really believe that your stole will raise A LOT of money for the charity auction. Your work always inspires me – I love to read your blog and see what you two are knitting. You always inspire me! Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    Comment by Barb — September 10, 2011 @ 11:13 am

  19. Thank you so much for this post!
    It’s just a great delight to see all the creative changes people made to the pattern.
    I always believed that published pattern is a design idea, not a command and I really enjoy it when people alter the pattern to suit their taste and needs.
    Enjoy your shawls!
    Thank you!

    Comment by Faina Letoutchaia — September 10, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  20. I remember seeing that in the magazine and loving it, too. Yours is just stunning, as was the original. I hope making one is in my future, too.

    Comment by Kathy — September 11, 2011 @ 12:42 am

  21. Oh, it is lovely! What a great job! I do think that we need just a little more information, though, about how you did the border and how much math went into it, and exactly where you located the pattern. I know that if I don’t have a hyperlink, I can’t ever find what I’m looking for…

    *sigh* I just can’t get over how beautiful it is!

    Comment by Lisle — September 11, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  22. Just stunning!

    Comment by Kym — September 12, 2011 @ 7:13 am

  23. I love the border. What an excellent modification!

    Comment by Ruth — September 12, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  24. What a stunning piece and thank you so much for the inspiration on changing borders. I took my first lace class at Knitters’ Day Out on Saturday, the Winterlude Shawl taught by its designer, Laura Nelkin, and was unhappy with the twisted I-cord border which IMHO prevents the center from being adequately blocked. You’ve given me some ideas for changing the edging … and the confidence to do so.

    Comment by Pru — September 13, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  25. Truly lovely rendition! Thank you for detailing your modifications; it never occurred to me to change this particular pattern, but I like what you did with it. How many yards of the Alpaca With a Twist did you use?

    Comment by Linda in NC — September 15, 2011 @ 8:48 am

  26. The shawl is beautiful! I am sure The National Inclusion Project will benefit from you talent and hard work.

    Comment by Cindy — September 21, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

  27. Gorgeous! But not fast – at least not for me. Somehow mine has been in the UFO pile for about 6 years. Yours inspires me to dig it back out. I have, alas, made mine WIDER than the original, so it won’t go fast even if I do start knitting on it again!

    Your leaf edging is stupendous. I am now planning on removing the seed stitch border that I’ve started and going some similar route.

    Comment by twinsetellen — September 23, 2011 @ 12:04 am

  28. Ellen had me intrigued with this stole…and now I’m even more so! Beautiful!

    Comment by twinsetjan — September 24, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

  29. I loved this shawl the moment I saw it! It will be my reward for finishing one sweater that is 1/3 done.

    Comment by Karen Gass — October 21, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

  30. Hi, Sally
    I’m finishing up my 3rd Forest Path Stole, this one is for my niece’s wedding in June. Of all the FPSs I’ve seen your border is by far the loveliest. Can you tell me more about the faggotting before the leaf edging? For my previous FPSs I used a) the knitted leaf edging w/o extra faggotting and b) a very wide border from the Diamonds and Triangles shawl in the same book. But for this one, I’d love to follow your lead. Thank you ever so much.

    Comment by Catherine Smegal — March 10, 2016 @ 6:01 pm

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