On Board For Mystery Stole #3

I've signed up to do the Mystery Stole #3 KAL. To sign up (hurry...you have to sign up by July 6), send a blank e-mail to mysterystole3-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. As you may guess, this is something that's gone on before since this is the third in a series. Some of you may know what i's all about, but I didn't know myself until a few weeks ago, so I'll fill you in if you're similarly uninformed.

It's a group that's doing a lace stole KAL (knit along) together. The interesting thing about it is, the "clues" (i.e., bits of the chart) are sent in small pieces, so you only get 25 charted rows per week (equivalent to 50 rows of actual knitting as the purl-side rows aren't charted). You receive hints about what yarn type and color to choose, but the finished stole pattern is a mystery.

Also, this stole features beads and though you don't HAVE to use beads to participate, I've decided to give it a shot. Heck, in for a penny, in for a pound, right? I'm feeling brave about the beads since I learned of what sounds like an easy way to add the beads. Check it out: Beading Made Easy.

Another challenge for me is the clues come out in chart form. I've only rarely worked from a chart, and then only in filet crochet. I much prefer written out directions. But the question is, could that be because that's all I work from? We'll see! I've ordered a magnetic Chart Keeper from KnitPicks, so that should help. A little.

And the stole even has a theme! Of course, no clues about that just yet either, though there have been many interesting guesses.

Here's my swatch with my chosen yarn (Skacel Merino Lace in white), though this is NOT the pattern for the stole, we've been assured:

I'm really excited about it. Of course, I need another project like I need a hole in the head. But I've had this laceweight yarn in my stash for maybe five or more years, just waiting for the right project. So the time is right!

Have you worked on lace projects before? Do you enjoy it? Do you work from a chart or a written pattern? Tell me your best tips! :-) I'm gonna need 'em.



Jen said…
I enjoy knitting lace. I actually prefer to have a combination of charts and written instructions - you can check one against the other and understand the pattern better.

All assuming the pattern is well written, of course. I just yesterday frogged a shawl that should have been nearly finished - I was halfway through the final border.

But the pattern was filled with errors from the start, and the point at which I paused it had revealed yet another. The company finally put up corrections, and they revealed that my attempts to work through the mistakes hadn't come close to matching the intent of the design.

I was no longer enjoying the project. Better to reclaim the yarn, put the pattern away, and consider a different project.

My tips? You've probably heard most of them - put a marker between every repeat of the lace patterns. Count your stitches frequently to make sure you're still on track. I don't use them, but I've heard that running a lifeline - a thread run through the stitches on an entire row of knitting - can give you a ripping-back-to point if needed.

Something I like to do with a pattern where the wrong side rows are plain purl - always end a knitting session by working a right side pattern row. That way, when you pick up your knitting again, you have a plain row to ease you back into the process.

Have fun with the KAL, Liz!
Hi Jen!

I'm so sorry to hear about your problems with the shawl. It wasn't the Fiddlesticks Lily of the Valley Stole, was it? Because that one's next on my list.

I have heard of using markers...what kind do you use? My markers are round plastic circles, and I'm not sure they're "gentle" enough for laceweight yarn. I've also heard of the lifeline thread but I think I'm going to be brazen and try it without it.

I like the 'always end with a knit row' idea. That way I can take my time getting back into knitting with that teeny tiny yarn again. Thanks!

N. Maria said…
I just read that you finished Clue #1 so I am looking forward to a picture! Your swatch is perfect!
Jen gave some great tips. I am using only marking the center stitch for the stole. Normally, I place a marker at the beginning of every repeat.
I am also using a magnetic chart holder. It's great!
"Reading" the pattern sometimes makes my eyes dance around and then "looking" at a chart (at first) can be time consuming with remembering what the symbol stands for. So, like Jen said, it's good to have both so you can compare. I did that with an Orenburg Diamond Triangular Shawl. A few symbols were reversed and then there was the omission of one, too. I can now spot either on a chart!
Good luck and happy knitting!
Thanks for your comments, Maria. I'm being wild and crazy, and not using any markers. The markers I have aren't suited for lace and I just didn't want to spend more money on this project than I already have. I'm also not using lifelines. So far, so good. Knock on wood!

I haven't started Clue 2 yet because I was finishing up another shawl--the Trellis Shawl from Knitty.com. It came out great and is blocking now. I'll post a picture when it's dry!


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