The Grey Lady

Meet my new stole:

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Celes, by Jared Flood (ravelry)
Yarn: Bristol Yarn Gallery Buckingham (beautiful yarn for lace! 80% alpaca, 20% silk)
Needles: US 6 / 4 mm

I like very simple things. Clean lines, solid colors, classic styles, black, grey, green, white. Because of this, I tend to knit very simple things: lots of stockinette, plain colors, nothing flashy or terribly stylish. So I’ve ended up with a lot of sweaters and accessories that I love, but that aren’t really impressive to either knitters or non-knitters. There was a big hole in my knitted wardrobe where an impressive piece might go — something that knitters and non-knitters alike would be impressed by.

And ok, maybe Celes isn’t that technically impressive — it got really damn dull toward the end there — but it does exactly what I want it to: it sits prettily around my neck and looks complicated enough that I’m not embarrassed to encounter other knitters while wearing it (like I am when wearing, say, my garter stitch Malabrigo scarf).

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Celes represents something else I love: old things. It’s a perfect confluence of simple (repetitive pattern, grey yarn, easily disguised as a scarf) and old (the Shetland lace that inspired Jared’s pattern). And I’d be lying if I said the Scottish heritage of this scarf didn’t tug at my 25% Scottish heartstrings just a little.

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I mentioned before that technique-wise, this stole isn’t much to brag about, and I think that’s true for most of you, my talented knitter friends. But it is the first time I ever grafted lace. I knit Eunny Jang’s Print ‘O The Wave for my grandmother a few years ago, but the grafting was intimidating so I left it out, knitting a single panel in one direction. But you know what? Grafting? Totally not scary. At least, not if you’re content with it being visible (and research on the internet has lead me to believe that there is no such thing as completely invisible lace grafting).

This truly crappy photo does a pretty good job of showing you the kitchenered graft:

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See? Not terrible, but visible if you’re looking for it (which I would be if I saw another knitter wearing a two-panel stole).

Another technique footnote to this pattern: I will never, EVER, be able to pick up the correct number of stitches. You could hold a gun to my head, threaten my family, burn my books, or even help me count the stitches, and I would still pick up the wrong number. When picking up stitches for the edging of Celes, the pattern told me to pick up 211. I picked up 186. Not a big deal, because I just decreased a few extra times (k3 tog instead 2 at the end of RS of edging rows) to make the total divisible by 6 and made it work. But I do not know where I was supposed to find those extra 25 stitches.

Although none of that really matters because the finished object is beautiful and I am completely in love with it.

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8 Comments

Filed under Accessories, FOs, Knitting, Lace

8 responses to “The Grey Lady

  1. Ashley

    Hooray! It looks gorgeous. And yes, the grafting, it turns out, is ok! I forget what I had to do it on and I was terrified, and it was totally ok! Yours looks fantastic.

  2. oh my gosh LOVE. That scarfstole (scole? starf?) is amazing. And I’m really glad you said that thing about picking up stitches because I am the same way. That shit is some kind of voodoo as far as I’m concerned.

  3. Fantastic job! It totally does everything you want–and I had to seriously look for your grafting spot in that photo.

  4. I have been wanting to do this pattern for so long but have been put off by the grafting, but if you say it isn’t scary…I might requeue the pattern.

  5. Because of you, I shall now queue this.

  6. Oh, hey, I already had it queued. Now I guess I just need to knit it.

  7. It looks gorgeous! Nicely done.

    As far as picking up stitches goes, I never go with the stitch count given. I ballpark it when it’s not one to one. Usually pick up 2, skip 1. As long as the pattern repeat fits in, no one’s the wiser.

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