I've been spending some time checking over the stash recently. I don't know about you, but sometimes I will get a skein of yarn that is so pretty I am almost afraid to use it. Such has been the case with this skein of Yarn Yard Aurora, a merino and silk lace weight in a lovely subtle shade which Natalie called Corn Dolly. However, being in need of a travel project with plenty of plain stocking stitch, I remembered a really pretty stole that Rachel over at My Life in Knitwear made some time ago and decided that this skein would be just right so I wound it. All 1200 metres of it. The pattern is the Float Stole from Interweave Knits in Spring 2009. I don't have quite enough yarn so am working on a slightly reduced version.
I haven't done a lot of knitting in yarn as fine as this so it seemed like a good way to practise before maybe attempting something a little more complex in the future. However, despite appearing deceptively simple, even casting on 355 stitches and working a few rows of garter stitch in yarn this fine can take some getting used to.
You also have to get used to working away for what seems like hours and hours only to produce a rather unprepossessing crumpled heap.
However, this apparently simple stole has some hidden treasures. Its flowing lines show off the gentle variegation of the yarn perfectly. It also includes pleating, a little feature that I have never tried before where you insert a lifeline,knit ten rows of stocking stitch and then pickup and knit the stitches from the lifeline together with the next row to form an elegant little pleat. Together with rows of eyelet holes this pattern really plays around with the translucency and opacity of a fine lace yarn.
Whilst this project may well take me some time as I have lots of exciting things to do over the next few weeks at least, I am really looking forward to the moment that I take it off the needles and block it and really see the pattern properly.
Lace knitting is certainly an exercise in delayed gratification....