In the summer of 2009 when things were pretty nutty, I pretty much quit knitting for a while. I quit going to my regular knitting groups. I quit blogging. I quit spinning. I quit really paying attention to anything related.
I knew not knitting was making me unhappy, but I couldn't quite get in the groove. I felt so behind and out of the loop. So I pushed myself to knit something. That something was Katie Grady's Snakes and Ladders Stole.
Katie (my sister, not the designer) had said a long time ago that she'd like me knit her stole. When I started in June of 2009, I was on track to finish by Christmas 2009. But Christmas came quickly and I didn't have time to finish the last couple of repeats and block the shawl. But I did finish it by her birthday in March of 2010. The picture above is of her on her birthday, just after opening the gift.
For a while, I would grill Katie off and on about the type of shawl she wanted, the color, etc. I think she got frustrated with all my questions so I eventually just made most of the decisions on my own. She wanted a rectangle, and she wanted something nice.
I decided I wanted some self-striping yarn, so I got Noro Silk Garden Sock in color S272 from Gauge. I also used US size 2 knitting needles.
The other knitters there that day helped me pick out the colorway. I remember I kept comparing what I thought were "different" colors, and then I'd realize that I had two skeins of the same colorway. That happened a few times. Noro's long color repeats can make the same colorways look very different depending on how the skein is wound.
I wasn't blogging around the time I finished, and I didn't get a chance to get a good pictures on Katie's birthday. Most of these pictures were taken on my $12 coffee table at my Clean Apartment Party in November, just before I moved. (Hence the cookies in the background of the picture above.) I figured it was better to blog late than never.
I had the yarn picked out long before I chose a pattern. I was looking for something interesting but not too involved. I didn't want the pattern to overpower the yarn or vice versa, and I wanted something that felt good to knit. The Snakes and Ladders pattern is an 18 row repeat. As you knit, your knitting becomes easier to read and the pattern easier to remember.
To make it wider, I think I cast on 92 stitches instead of the 72 suggested by the pattern. I can't quite remember, but it looks like nine pattern repeats per row from the pictures.
I kind of wonder about the blocking job I did. I've seen lots of pictures where it's stretched so the edges have very sharp points. But it looks like most of the shawls end up with a sort of wavy border like mine. Still, I wish my border was a little more consistent. I need blocking wires. (Remember the Strangling Vine debacle?)
Although it's a stole, Katie wears it like a scarf. And now that it's cold she really does wear it. And the last time she wore it on campus she got lots of compliments. I call this FO a success.
ETA - I just looked at the Ravelry page for this project and discovered that I did cast on 92 stitches. Apparently I had forgotten that I documented it.