A knitalong for Hazel Carter's Sampler Stole from A Gathering of Lace
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March 29, 2006

Still here

I just haven't been knitting this stole. I've been rather ADD about my projects, and trying to finish things I started long ago. I haven't forgotten about it, though.

Is anyone making progress?

I've set mine aside to make another shawl. I'll get back to it in a few weeks when I finish my other projects. But no one has posted for awhile, and I wondered if anyone else was still working on it. I'm afraid that once I finish one border, I'm going to totally lose interest in making the second one! Hope everyone is progressing nicely!!

March 21, 2006

Slow but steady

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still here and I'm working on the stole! I ended up with Jaggerspun Zephyr in a pink color that's lighter than what it looked like on the Internet. It's very pretty - somewhat like Eunny's, although I was TOTALLY not trying to do that! ;-) I'm using size 2 Inox circulars. I'm making slow but steady progress - only 1 repeat done. :-( I'm not that experienced of a lace knitter, so I'm having to use stitch markers to separate repeats, a Post-it to help me read the correct row, and the spreadsheet to make tickmarks on so that I know what rows I've done. When you've got a 6-year old demanding your attention, it's too easy to lose your place!

Anyway, just wanted to report my progress. I love the way it looks when it's stretched out. Maybe later on this week it'll get to a point that'll justify a picture.

March 20, 2006

Some border progress

One border is a little more than half done. I love the borders - as Melissa found before, each row is blessedly, wonderfully different from any other, but it's still easily memorizable. The center panel was starting to drive me a little bit batty, so I'm excited to be moving on. This is really fun - seeing how the different patterns work up to completely differend effects in each square.

Finally get some done

Hi all, I finally got 2 repeats of the central panel done:
Sampler Stole - central panel 2 repeats.JPG
I am using US2 needles and I like how it looks. I am working into the 3rd repeat already. When stretched, 2 repeats measures 10" long ... is that about right?

March 17, 2006

Help! Lost in yo-yo's

On the 32-stitch border, Rows 77 through 91: chart indicates we're to knit double yarn-overs on the RS rows. On the even numbered rows, it looks like we're supposed to knit into each yarn-over. Fine for the first one, but I feel like I'm knitting into air on that second yarn-over. I feel like I should knit into the back of the second, but the directions don't say that. Since this is my first Shetland, am I missing something that I should know about?

March 15, 2006

A Tale of Two Laces

Hello knitters,
I'm usually all take and no give on knitalongs, but I thought this time I'd be a bit more sociable. I'm Ailsa in Australia. My first lace project was the 2005 mystery shawlalong, I did the second one and have been unable to stop knitting lace ever since.

I've started this project twice. Once on South West Trading Companies' infinity soysilk - it was going so well. Then I noticed a glitch in the line of decreases about ten rows down. Trying to fudge it without pulling the whole repeat section back to that row didn't work, so I sort of had a little tantrum and frogged it all back to the cone. And that was the end of that.

In the meantime, while I was deciding whether to frog or fudge (or what I should have done - fix), I started again on some zephyr I had laying around. For a short moment I thought I might knit two of them at the same time, but then I woke up.

So, there's the tale of two laces. I tried to upload a picture but am unfamiliar with this format and got a 'your file is too large' message. Any advice on this would be good, but until I sort this out they're on the blog.

I'm enjoying this knit, I like the rhythm the 99 stitch row has, a change from the ever increasing rows on shawls. Everone's progress pics are very motivating too; more please!

I've sort of stalled

I haven't knit on my stole since Sunday! I was going gangbusters, and now I'm distracted by a pair of socks I'm knitting for my dad. Hope everyone else is still cruising along. Post pictures if there's significant progress!

March 12, 2006

Patience is a virtue -- or so I've been told

Here's my not-so-swift progress so far.


I, too, have been doing some ripping out, Becky (and I hadn't even gotten as far as you had). I'm still not sure how I managed it, but I think I pulled too hard at one moment because all of a sudden I had a ladder of dropped stitches -- three stitches ahead of where I was! Ah, well. Five rows ripped out, and then all was well again. I kept telling myself that I was improving my knitting repair technique.


Happily, I did get a little work done last night, so I'm now well past the point of the problem. Onwards.

March 11, 2006


Yikes...after loudly proclaiming that I was going to spend the entire weekend on the stole, I've ended up so far ripping back more rows than I've knit. After having knit a measly two and a half repeats of the central panel, I decided to pick up and start the second border on the other side so I could see exactly how long it was going to be.
Melissa (knitting at the speed of light) had such great success, I thought it would be a breeze.
My mistake? I enlarged the chart, and did 't realize it had cut off one of the two selvage stitches, so that no matter how carefully I knit, I ended up one stitch short! At least I finally figured out what was going on. Boy, do I feel stupid.
How it it that Eunny and Melissa breeze through so gracefully???

My stole, and how little I've done (edit)


I've done about 4-6 more rows than it shows... if I'm lucky that's how many rows I do a night, 4-6. I usually only work on it later at night, so I don't want to push my luck and make a huge mistake. But, it is coming along, nicely, if slowly.

And I realized my decreasing issues were all caused by YOs that would "attach" themselves to the stitches next to them, thereby becoming invisible. So, I've been very careful about spreading out stitches before knitting.

I love the progress photos that show more done, I am looking forward to mine being more finished... gnomes? help?

Oh, and yes, that is a safety line... after the repeated row 6, I just didn't want to chance things.

I was asked if the stole is dark green... camera doesn't seem to like color... it is black, actually... its the yarn I had, lol

March 10, 2006

knitting projects 279 (Small).jpg

I took Becky's advice, and picked up my original cast-on edge, and am working the "second" border first, so if I decide I need more length in the center panel, I can just add it on without a problem. I've done 26 rows of the border, and I am in love with it! That 14-stitch repeat on the center panel was making me catatonic. I am totally enjoying the 32-stitch repeat on the borders, because I have to pay attention, it's not boring, and every row is totally different from the one below. It's a joy! How's everyone else doing? Post your pictures! I want to see how everyone else is coming along.

To starch or not to starch?

Just wondering....

How is everyone planning to finish this stole? I'm still in the center panel, but have been thinking a lot lately about the dressing directions. Are you guys going to starch as directed?

March 09, 2006

I'm in!

Hi everybody,

I'm starting a bit late, but so it goes. I began on the 3rd, and I've just begun the second repeat of the main pattern. Thanks to all of you for posting and thus warning me of the decrease issues -- you made my life a bit easier.

I'm working on a huge skein of Skacel merino lace (anyone ever used this?), in a handsome teal. The yarn band claims that the skein has 1375 yards, so it should be enough for the stole. There's no recommended needle size, but like Eunny I tend to prefer smaller needles, so I'm working on US1s (2.25mm).

Back to it....

March 08, 2006

knitting projects 277 (Small).jpg

This is 4.5 repeats of the center panel. I'm going to stop there, because this is already 28 inches long, and I don't want the stole to be too, too long. Plus, my forearms can't handle much more of this knitting! I think I must have a death grip on the needles to do all those k2togs, because my arms get achy after a few rows on this stole. So the sooner I finish it, the better for me and my forearms. After looking at my boring cream color, and everyone's lively, bright colors, I'm slightly regretting the decision to opt for cream. Don't get me wrong, I really like it, but the colors just pop! Love everyone's colors. Oh, and that's Mia, my Maltese with her broken paw, in the picture because she wouldn't get out of the way!

March 07, 2006


So, I've been acheing to start this stole since Eunny came up with the KAL idea. I knew exactly what yarn I wanted to use. I set aside the proper needles... I go to the one website (read: ONLY ONE) that sells it, and their shipping center is closed until March 20th. That seems so far away..... But I've met the woman who runs the company before, and she was sweet and helpful and overall I really like ordering from them. So, I'm sticking to my convictions...
The yarn isn't particularily soft against the skin, I think that's probably part of it's appeal to me, starchiness before any starching. My stubborness on using this yarn probably comes from the fact that I live in Montreal, and the yarn stores here are limited, and ordering from the states causes an unwarranted panic about whether I'm going to have to pay duty on my order (technically anything valued over 20 dollars, if they catch it). Sigh...
So look out for me after the twentieth, 'cause goodness knows, watching y'all is making me more anxious to dive in!

March 06, 2006


Okay, I love this.

I'll limit the "Wheee! Look at my pinned-out progress!" photos from now on, since the pattern isn't going to change any time soon :) It's definitely true, though, that the more I work on it the more I like it.

March 05, 2006

I think I'm in trouble

Sampler Stole in DK
Well I gave the linen yarn a try, but two things stopped me; one, the yarn was so brittle that the lumpiness of those troublesome K2tog's wasn't about give and stretch into submission. Second, Eunny mentioned, the garter stitch lace was looking just plain ugly, so there was very little "Keep on knitting me, the rewards are great" happening. So I gave up on the linen, and was just about to start on my 3700 yard stash of red cobweb weight Cashwool when a stash of recently frogged Silkywool insisted on auditioning for the job. I tried to resist, but to no avail, so picked up my #6 circs and cast on. Fortunately, I got past the dreaded Row 6, past the Sl1-k2tog-psso's only forgetting to yo a few times, and got to the end of the first repeat. The piece looked like a felted ball of chenille at that point - until the magic of blocking, where a hint of what could be has emerged.
However...the unblocked 14" x 5 3/8" piece has stretched to a whopping 21" x 8 1/2". Obviously I'm going to have to adjust the repeats and maybe even the edging. My big worry is if my ten skeins of Silkywool (1900 yards) will be enough. Eva's chart tells me I'm 7% done, but it feels like I used up an awful lot of yarn. I'll keep you posted. It feels wonderful, but the way. Love the way Silkywool drapes.

March 04, 2006

Slow but steady

I'm not a speed knitter even with the easiest projects, and this is what three night's work has produced:


20 rows.

To be fair, I haven't been knitting this exclusively - I've finished a pair of socks, knitted a baby hat for a gift, put time in on a commissioned sweater, and done some spinning. The slow pace isn't bothering me though, I'm enjoying the concentration it takes to not miss any yo's. It probably helps that I'm enjoying the audiobook cued at the moment too (Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian.)

I've knit lace without markers before, but they're essential to me this time. I'm using small hair-bands because I like their flexibility. I'll probably run a lifeline through what I've got done in the next few rows.

Decreases continued

A thought for anyone who's having trouble with all those k2togs (they're a giant pain for me, grabbing that unstable YO loop) - there's no reason why you can't work every decrease as a ssk or skpo instead.

Why am I an idiot????

So, I frogged yet again, and will be doing my decreases all as k2tog like Eunny suggests. But where did I get caught again? Row 6! What am I not getting about this? Feeling like a total idiot, and generally, I know I'm not. But for whatever reason, I can't get the Sl-k2tog-pssos to line up in the right spots. And I'm doing the k2tog for the first repeat. Hmmm... maybe I'll just go into the bedroom (my usual nighttime knitting locale) and not turn on the TV. I've never had this much trouble with lace before.

Just re-read an entry below and thank goodness that the person seems smarter than I am... and I even wrote her a comment, lol... Ok, here's to hoping that I can get through Row 6 like a non-moron this time.

Um, apparently, I am even more of an idiot than I thought... I was right about what I thought I had to do, but the two times I did it before I just wasn't careful enough to separate some of the stitches and got off on the count... guess third time is the charm.

A bit of love???

Okay, I ripped it again tonight, wrapped the Zephyr in a baggie and put it in the lace weight bin. Next I took my Feather & Fan circular shawl that I wasn't loving off the needles (too repetitive) and ripped it. I recycled the yarn... KnitPicks shadow in that yummy dark blue color (can't remember the name right now).
I managed to get up to row 6. I am doing the mirrorred (hmmm that word looks weirdo-ish) decreases, but as Eunny just showed us with her post that might be counter productive... but if I have to do nothing but them k2tog's I'll be crying in frustration soon. I'm longing for a row of plain knitting LOL..

Cheers y'all, Eva

March 03, 2006

The Great Decrease Debate

Here's my progress as of last night:

This is actually my first time working lace on a garter stitch ground. It's awfully ugly until it's stretched out, isn't it? I'm working mine on 2.00mms (the same ones I used for my Frost Flowers), so it's terribly scrunchy and crumply on the needle.

I've changed my mind about those decreases - I think they should be worked as a k2tog on both even and odd-numbered rows. Here are closeups of the fan and bead motifs, worked with k2togs on both sides:

They look fine done this way, which is all the proof I need, but I've also thought a little bit about why this should be. I'd wondered, just looking at the chart, why the motifs don't use mirrored decreases within single rows - the motifs have a vertical line of symmetry, and you'd think that a k2tog on the right-hand side would be mirrored with a ssk on the left-hand side. Instead, all the decreases are k2togs, or right-leaning decreases. Working them as k2togs on the wrong side as well means that decreases in any given row will slant in opposition to the ones in the row below it, in effect canceling out any "shape" or "lean" and creating an almost-neutral decrease. It might make sense to reverse the wrong-side shaping in a motif with mirrored decreasing, but here, it would actually be counterproductive.

Does that make sense? Am I just thinking wayyyyyy to deep into this? It's my understanding that this fan pattern is a very old Shetland lace motif - anyone with a reference book with this pattern might be able to look it up and see how it's usually worked, but I think this might be the answer. Then, too, rows 6 and 28 specifically call for k2togs on the wrong side, so that supports the theory as well.

**by the way, is anyone here on dial-up and frustrated by my big pictures? email me if that's so, and i'll start using smaller files.

Needle size

Well, I was lazy and didn't really swatch to test the needle size. I went straight into using 2.75mm with Alpaca Cloud (thicker than cobweb) and cast on for the stole. Now I am at row 15 of first repeat ... no much to show you. But I am a little bit concerned that I am using a needle size too small ... the YOs don't show too clearly even when I stretch the little piece out. I'll try to take a picture of it this afternoon. If I have to start again, I prefer to do it earlier than later. So, I would like to know what needle size you are using. Thanks.

Am I the first to frog and start over?

Like another person said, I should know better than to knit this at night while watching Law and Order: SVU. I dropped a few stitches and said, screw it, I'm only on the 6th row anyway, lol.

Another blog I read was discussing reversing the decreases on the wrong side, and I had not been doing that. The blog mentioned that k2tog on the wrong side in garter with the cobweb probably wouldn't make a difference, but I did decide that with this second go, I would k2tog tbl on the wrong side.

The other change I made was to put the markers in. I didn't start out using the markers, but while the lace is easy to understand (at least as far as I got), it is way easier to keep track of things (especially since I watch TV while doing this) with the markers.

No pictures yet, since I'm only done with row 2, again.

Laurel -- I should probably work on this during the day

Getting Started and a Cast-on Question

Hi, I'm Devri, and I've been dying to knit some more lace for awhile now. I've never been able to decide which pattern in A Gathering of Lace I wanted to knit, and I'm glad this knit-along made up my mind for me. The yarn I ordered for my stole got here today, so tonight I'm getting started!

I have a question about the cast-on. When I knit socks from the toe up, I've used a provisiona' cast on where you join the working yarn and waste yarn with a knot, and then work a long-tail cast on with the waste yarn at the bottom. When you're done with the toe and are ready to pick up the cast-on stitches to continue working, you pick up the 'bumps' of working yarn and remove the waste yarn and continue knitting on the now-live working stitches. It's a quick and easy cast-on - but will it work for this stole? I don't see why not, but perhaps I've not thought it through properly.

I'm using Inox 2.75mm needles and Merino Oro yarn. Thanks for setting this up Eunny!


Edit: Ok, I just spend an embarassingly long time frustrated over row 6. The instructions for the little blue triangle that's the first symbol in the row says 'sl1-k2tog-psso; on first repeat, k2tog' - and I just now realized that 'first repeat' in this context means the last repeat as you knit across, because you're knitting the 'wrong side' on row 6. (Using just a k2tog in the first repeat you knit leaves you with an extra stitch at the end of the repeat, of course) Grrrr! Anyway, I'll put this out there in case someone else doesn't get it right off. Hey, at least I figured it out eventually :/

Waiting for book and yarn

Hi everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself. I can't start this stole yet because I don't have the book or the yarn (book was ordered last week through my LYS and yarn was ordered from Woodland Woolworks last night). I expect to be able to start next week. I had planned on using Jamieson & Smith Cobwebweight in peach (on sale for $5.00 a ball!!!), but I got an email from Woodland Woolworks telling me the balls have sold out but the cones are available. I have to call them tomorrow and figure this out. If I don't use J&S, I'll go with Jaggerspun Zephyr.

Anyway, hello to all and anxious to get going! Good luck to everyone!

All k2togs!

knitting projects 265 (Small).jpg

Since there's so much speculation as to the "correct" way to make this stole, here's a picture of mine so far, using k2tog on right side and wrong side rows. And before anyone thinks I'm some sort of speed knitter...I cheated and started early!

March 02, 2006

potential stupidity...but i'd rather catch it now!

restarted yesterday and got thru row 12 with no problems (i really should know better than to start fine lace late at night!)...but now i've got a horrible sinking feeling--i'd forgotten that one usually reverses the shaping/decreases on the "wrong" side rows (the even rows in this case) :-|

there doesn't appear to be any allowance or explanation for this in the chart for the center panel--it just says k2tog for the symbol...is it assumed that the knitter should be doing p2tog (even though it's garter st lace) on the even rows? or am i just thinking too much? lol

*feeling a bit foolish regardless of the answer*

Getting Started

Sampler Stole Start - sm.jpg Here is my rather meager progress as of yesterday afternoon. At that point I had only done about 4 rows. Last night I had a few moments to get to row 8. Woo hoo! I'm using a yarn from Henry's Attic that I believe is called 'Mariah'. I left it white partially because I didn't have the time to dye it before I got started. I'm using size 2 (2.75mm) Inox needles and them seem to working alright. It's addicting to watch the pattern emerge and I am looking forward to being able to spend some more time working on this. Should be fun!

Still not feeling the love :(

Okay... I am now working in garter stitch. It sure does make it easier to do those decreases, but I'm not feeling the love of the pattern. I've done the first 4 rows of the beginning chart (I think it is the middle of the shawl) and it took me close to 1.5 hours to do them!!! That is NOT very fast. I'm going to give it another couple of rows and if I still don't like it, I might trying changing the yarn. If that doesn't help then I'm outta here LOL. Actually, I'd probably still lurk and comment.
Maybe I'll get some of that yarn that Eunny used for her Fire Flowers and Leaves... looks like magical yarn :)

Cheers y'all, Eva - who's just heard on the radio that close to 7 inches of snow fell during the night... I'm fed up with this white fluffy stuff


Welcome to the official kickoff of the Sampler Stole Knitalong! We have a healthy number of participants already - you can check out your fellow along-ers on the left. The right sidebar's got some changes as well - I've added a button, as well as a link to download Eva's marvelous progress spreadsheet.

I'm so glad to see that people have gotten started with posting and knitting already. Me? I'm going to cast on tonight with Merino Oro in a dusty rose.


How about you?

March 01, 2006

Started it

Well, I cast-on and worked the first row. I know, not much progress, but I was tired.
I am using a black merino cobweb... sorry I can't remember the brand, I've had it around and have another project started in it, as well.
Good luck everyone!

and now for something completely different...

hi everyone...i'm laurie, and i'm lace-addicted ;-)

olympic knitting is finally done, and it's definitely time for lace again...i've been going thru withdrawal! got my book, my yarn and my needles, so as soon as i finish posting (and updating my own blog lol) i think i'll get started (what? it's march first isn't it? ;-) and yes...i'm a night owl)

i do have a question though, before i begin...has anyone had any luck dyeing a lace piece AFTER knitting it? for the sampler i'll be using Lacey Lamb, a cobweb-weight lambswool yarn out of my stash. i'm not sure, though, that i really want to leave it gray (i believe it's the light gray heather shown on the linked site, but i don't have it to hand at the moment, so i'm not certain). i'd thought (briefly) about trying to dye it before i knit the sampler, but i've used this yarn before, and, while i love how it knits up, it snarls worse than baby hair, and is much harder to de-tangle...i really didn't want to think about the potential disaster that could occur in the dyeing process lol. so my only option (unless i leave it gray, which i might do, depending on my mood and how it looks when finished) seems to be dyeing after the fact...any input? oops...one other factor--the manufacturer claims this is machine washable (which i find hard to believe)...would that alter the dyeing possibilities? (is it obvious i'm a newbie when it comes to dyeing? lol)

thanks in advance...'scuse me, i'm off to make lace ;-)

Just to say hello

Hi everybody, after reading Chris's post about this KAL ... the idea of joining kept ringing in my mind ... couldn't shake it off! I absolutely love A Gathering of Lace and have made the gloves from it. I would certainly make the socks too. But this is the first stole/shawl pattern I am going to make from that book. I have been working on Mystery Shawl 2 but somehow didn't bond very well with that pattern. Time is precious ... I think I shouldn't waste too much time on one pattern that I didn't grow to love. So, it's time to say goodbye ...
I don't have cobweb yarns and would like to knit from stash. Therefore, I am using the Alpaca Cloud I planned for the MS2 ... hope this would work out. Most probably I'd swatch with it tonight.
Really excited about this KAL ... and happy to meet all of you ... and of course many thanks to Eunny the hostess!