Lessons of a Lace Stole
I have a friend who makes the most fabulous lace scarves and wraps. I asked her once where she wore them, and she said, “Oh, Albertson’s. Sometimes Costco.” I cracked up! That’s the first lesson of the stole in this newsletter: wear your beautiful creations, no matter where you go!
I’m going to Riverdance this weekend at our town’s opera house, so I’m definitely going to wear one of my knitted wraps. So appropriate; I can’t wait. But I’ll also remember to throw on a pretty scarf next time I go grocery shopping.
The Rainbow Stole, at right is the creation of our technical guru, Joni Coniglio. It’s so beautiful! The lace pattern is pretty simple; the yarn is the standout here. It’s Jojoland Harmony, which is a 100% merino wool. It’s so soft, and the color changes are soft and subtle. It’s perfect for knit lace patterns.
That’s the second lesson of the stole: the yarn can make the project. There are many intricate lace stole projects that call for a single color yarn, to let the lace pattern really stand out. But what if you knit those in a cashmere cream yarn. You just upped the ante!
Joni is here to tell you about the third lesson of the stole , which applies to many lace stoles, grafting two halves together in the middle to complete the stole.
Invisibly Grafting the Rainbow Lace Stole
There are a few ways to join two sets of live stitches in knitted fabric, and the method you choose will depend on your desired results. For example, the stitches can be joined with the three-needle bind-off, but this will leave a bulky, visible seam that you may not want if the seam is in a prominent place, such as at the center of a lace stole.
Another option is to use Kitchener stitch, which is a type of grafted seam that recreates stockinette stitch. Kitchener stitch is largely considered to be the most invisible method for joining two sets of live stitches together, but this is only true if the stitch pattern contains at least two consecutive rows of stockinette stitch in which to “hide” the grafting. In order for the grafting to be invisible, it must recreate as closely as possible the stitch pattern of the pieces that are being grafted together.
A little-known fact about grafting is that it will result in two pattern rows when the grafting yarn is drawn through two sets of live stitches. Kitchener stitch will produce a knit row (as viewed from the right side of the work) on both the front and back needles, and because patterns such as garter stitch, ribbing, and many lace patterns don’t contain two consecutive rows of stockinette stitch, Kitchener stitch will interrupt these patterns and be visible.
Left: Figure 1—Swatch grafted with Kitchener stitch; Right: Figure 2—Lace stole swatch grafted in pattern
In the lace pattern shown in Figure 1, for example, I ended each half with a right-side row of the Body chart for the Rainbow Stole, and used Kitchener stitch to join them. The grafting line is visible because it essentially adds an extra plain row between the two patterned rows.
In Figure 2, instead of using Kitchener stitch, I incorporated the decreases and yarnovers of the Body chart pattern into the graft itself. Even with the slight jog in the pattern where the two halves meet head-to-head, the result is much less visible than the same pattern grafted using Kitchener stitch.
We’re offering the Rainbow Lace Stole from my eBook, How to Graft Your Knitting Invisibly: Taking Kitchener Stitch to the Next Level, as a kit, including two balls of Jojoland Harmony and a copy of the eBook (which includes instructions for the stole and step-by-step instructions for the grafting).
I hope you’ll grab one of these kits and knit the Rainbow Lace Stole.
—Joni Coniglio, How to Graft Your Knitting Invisibly
You’ll love knitting with Jojoland Harmony. When I worked at a yarn shop, we had several knit lace patterns knit with this yarn, and it always got rave review from customers who had knit with it. And all of the finished objects were soft on the skin.
Get a Rainbow Lace Stole kit for yourself and learn the lessons of the stole!
P.S. Where do you wear your fancy scarves and shawls? Leave a comment below and let me know!