I am done with my stole, and…well…it didn’t exactly turn out as I’d have liked it to. I am going to start with the pretty shots, and then I’ll give you a rundown on the problems.
It is really nice and long:
Now let’s talk about the issues. I used malabrigo laceweight. Malabrigo really is some of my most favorite yarn, so I thought I’d enjoy using it for this stole as well. If you don’t know malabrigo, you need to know that it felts. It is a singles yarn, not plied, so in order to make it strong it has to be slightly felted before it is sold. This makes it difficult to wind into a ball, but the pay off is a fantastically soft laceweight.
Now, as fantastic as it is, when frogging, tinking, or working the stitches more than once, it doesn’t hold up well. This stole requires a knitted on edging, which basically calls for handling the stitches repeatedly toward the end. By the time I was getting to the end of the edging, I was dealing with a mass of stitches all felted together. It presented rather a challenge.
The second issue was more my fault. The pattern calls for a provisional cast on, and the stole is knit from the middle toward the end, then picking up the cast on and knitting again from the middle to the other end. Early on I decided rather than use this method, I would just knit 2 pieces and kitchener them together. I chose to do this because I wanted to knit both sides at the same time, eliminating my tendency to get bored and not finish my lace projects. Sounds like a good idea right?
Perhaps, IF one is not using malabrigo laceweight. Picking up the stitches again was a bear. Again, I had a felted mess. Then, when I kitchenered it, one of the sides of a motif wasn’t lining up. But I couldn’t do a darn thing about it because I couldn’t unravel the kitchener, since all the stitches were felted. It was extremely frustrating to me, and I spent all weekend fighting with it. Kind of a sorry end to an enjoyable knitting experience.
Below is a picture of the center motif:
And now a close up of the problem area, left side of the diamond:
The rest looks pretty good, and I have to admit it was really hard for me to post this picture. I am quite sad about this ending. Nonetheless, it is a pretty, and long, and wide stole, and for that I am happy. Considering I wear my malabrigo icarus ALL the time (J and I even fight over it, as it is so soft and scrumptious) this one will probably get plenty of wear too.
My public service announcement? Malabrigo laceweight is wonderful, but best shied away from when using a pattern which will require handling the same stitches more than once.