Marjorie Mohair Stole

The Mohair Stole is finished!

I have named it after my Aunt Bette (Marjorie W.) because she will actually receive the stole as a Christmas present. I know I said it was going to give it to my MIL, but I changed my mind. I don’t know why I thought it would be a nice gift for my MIL. She never wears stoles – Never. It would sit in her closet until the moths found a way in.

So, it’s going to my #1 fan – my Aunt Bette. She is my pseudo-Mom. She is always telling people about me and my work. She’s more proud of my work than I am.

The pattern for the stole is already uploaded to my Etsy store. I have also submitted it to the Knitting Vault. Fingers are crossed that it is approved.

Mohair Stole Blocking

The mohair stole is downstairs in the basement on top of the ping pong table being blocked. Even though I’ve poked at it and prodded it and glared down at it, it’s still not dry. It’s making me wait. I hate waiting.

To make me feel like I’ve made progress on it, I took pictures. Thanks to the lack of natural sunlight, the pictures are dark and difficult to assess.

Well, I feel better. I won’t bother it for at least an hour.

Finished Knitting the Mohair Stole

Weeee! I just finished knitting the Mohair Stole and weaving in the rest of the ends!
As you may recall, this is an xmas present for my MIL. I’m 1.5 months early. I’ve never been so prepared and organized. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself on Christmas morning. It’s been tradition to get up at 3am to finish whatever project I have still on the needles. Maybe I’ll get up anyway and make waffles, eggs, and bacon.

Here are 2 pics before blocking. (Post blocking pics will have to come much later. I imagine the mohair is going to take a million years to dry).

If you are eyeing the lovely, golf-green rugs, please understand that they came with the house. The house was decorated back in the 1970’s and as far as I can tell – never altered again. Slowly but surely, we are moving the rugs to find gorgeous hardwood floors underneath. In the meantime, we’re going for a kitsch decor. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Bound Off last night only to Cast On again this morning

I thought I was done with my Mohair Stole. I even laid it out on the dining room table and took a “Before Blocking” picture.

While eating waffles this morning (how happy am I to have a waffle maker again!), I thought about how much I love the stole I made for myself several years ago.
So, I pulled it out and laid it next to the Mohair Stole. It was 15 inches longer! Only then did I try on the Mohair Stole … (I was too excited last night about finishing it to think about such practical issues).

It’s too short.
Mutter …

So, I ripped out the bind-off row this morning over a cup of strong tea and attached the final skein of yarn. I am still trying to find the courage to change the stole from a completed project back to a WIP in Ravelry.

As I’m still mad at it, I don’t plan to pick it back up until tonight’s World Series game.

Updates and Cooking

OK, I need your honest opinion. Does this Mohair Stole look splotchy to you?

I’m still following my cheater rule: swap skeins every 16 rows, rather than the traditional rule: swap skeins every 2 rows. I get bits of red here and there, but huge blobs of grey right smack dab in the middle of the stole. I think the yarn is doing it just to irritate me. It’s working!

Since I’m slightly frustrated with my tree skirt right now (it’s the tie point that is giving me trouble), I decided to go hog wild in the kitchen. Yesterday began my quest to find the perfect soup to serve with a Christmas Eve dinner. First up was Cream of Mushroom Soup. It tasted great (I’ll post a recipe of it later), but the texture was a bit off (a bit chewy/rubbery when biting into the mushroom chunks). And my reward from all that cooking, an hour of cleaning.

After Cleaning

Thanks to everybody who left me a comment on my Pumpkin adventure. I am reenergized and plan to tackle the other pumpkin this weekend. Although, this time around, I will be using Jane‘s advice and baking the pumpkin rather than steaming it. I’ve baked squash before and I must admit my “neck pumpkin” seemed more like a squash than a pumpkin. Although, it smelled like a pumpkin. And this time around I’ll be making the pumpkin up into a pie and a soup. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Borrowing my Husband’s Tie

My husband came home from work yesterday and gave me the funniest look. I don’t know why. Don’t all women wear their husbands ties in the house when they’re not home?

No? Well, they ought to. Ties are great for inspiration. The one I wore yesterday helped me design the schematics for the Christmas Tree skirt. Here’s the proof.

What else did I do when I was supposed to be watching the Phillies playoff games? I was knitting more of the mohair stole, because watching the Phillies play the way they are is depressing. We can’t pitch to save our lives and our hitters are lost in la-la-land. Ung. But enough about that, I was telling you about my mohair stole. It is 40% completed!

Well, I am off to make a pot of chili. It’s still hot as heck here in Pennsylvania, but I’m doing my part to encourage the weather to get cooler. Stew = cold weather. Truly, it feels like we have been living in San Francisco these past 3 days. Every morning, we get a foggy, misty drizzle (I wouldn’t even call it rain) followed by 80+ degree F day. I guess it is better than no rain at all and if the heat would just go away – I’d be happy as a lark or a Jake. =)

Fighting with my Mohair Stole

The rule of thumb when knitting (or crocheting) with hand painted yarns is to alternate between skeins every two rows so that the colors are spread out evenly in the garment. The unused skein is simply put the side of the garment for two rows and then gently, pulled into place. When knitting a sweater or a hat, this technique is easily hid on the wrong side. When knitting a reversible object, like a stole, it is best to cut the yarn and rejoin it in. Any loose ends will be woven into the object upon completion.

But, cutting the yarn every 2 rows and weaving in the loose ends is tedious and obnoxious. However, going to the other extreme and not altering the skeins causes splotches of color on the garment.

So, what’s a knitter to do? Bite the bullet and compromise.
I have opted to swap skeins at the end of every repeat (16 rows in my pattern). The stole is still a bit splotchy, but I’m going to thumb my nose and swear that I designed it to look like that.

Beginnings of a Mohair Stole

Here are the beginnings of my Mohair Stole that I am knitting along with the Holiday Kal-Cal. The elves in the HKC are my cheering squad when I start to moan about how much longer it is going to take me to finish the blasted thing.

First, I dug out my ball winder and swift to wind up the huge skein of brushed mohair into yarn cakes. The skein was too big for my swift. I managed to get about half of the mohair wrapped up before it started falling off the swift on every turn. Husband to the rescue! (Gosh, they can be nice to have around sometimes.) He held the remaining yarn so I could wind it up. Voila, pretty mohair cakes.

Onward to the swatching process I went. I was certain that I wanted a lace pattern to allow the mohair to breath. (It’s cold in Maine, but most people don’t stand outside when it falls below 20 degrees F). Yet, the pattern had to remain simple, since the fuzziness of the mohair would hide any intricate stitches.

Swatch #1 was a pattern from Barbara Walker’s 1st Treasury: Dewdrops (p. 149).

Swatch #2 was another pattern from Barbara Walker’s 1st Treasury: Herringbone Lace (p. 197). This pattern was altered by me to accommodate the mohair yarn (stitches were added, repeat was lengthened, and the decrease technique was made more pronounced).

Although I had planned to make 3 different swatches, I fell in love with one of the above swatches that I felt there was no reason to continue on.

Can you tell which one I cast on for?

Here I am at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire knitting the stole.

Stash Find for Holiday KAL-CAL

I have been waiting several years to get the inspiration to use the Mohair blend I purchased from Ellen’s 1/2 Pint Farm. Like usual, I was wooed by the color. Can you blame me?

I purchased it at the Stitches East market many years ago when the event was still hosted in King of Prussia. My intention at the time was to pair it with Reynold’s Candide (100% wool) until I realized how warm mohair was all on its own. So, it sat in my yarn stash and was buried by all my other yarn purchases. Yesterday, searching for something to make for the Holiday KAL-CAL, I found it. It told me straight away that it wanted to be a stole. Who am I to argue? Goodness knows, I haven’t thought of anything better these past several years.

So, a stole it will be. But, for who? The best MIL in the world, of course. Truly, she is the only one who would appreciate all the work that would go into it (she being a fellow knitter and crocheter) and the only one who needs a stole so warm (she lives in Maine). Plus, like most knitters/crocheters, I can’t remember the last time she made something for herself.

Onward to the swatching process! I have three different lace patterns that I want to demo out on the yarn.