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Knitting delicate lace in a summer stole with cotton yarn

by Charles Voth

This week, I’ve been swatching and knitting with Radiant Cotton by Fibra Natura. Its brightness and smooth touch make it ideal for summer lace and so I thought I’d explore designing with it, and I think I’ve come up with a perfect idea for a summer stole that you can wear well past twilight to fend off the evening chill in the prettiest possible way.

close up of two leaf motifs in knitted lace leaning towards a central double decrease

2 lacy leaves flank a column of double decreases in this swatch of knitted lace

Yesterday we looked at some free patterns provided by Universal Yarn and explored some other characteristics of this yarn, but today I want to show you why I like it so much.

One thing about Radiant Cotton that has quickly made it one of my favorite cottons is that it makes textured stitches pop! The sheen and the twist are very conducive to delicate lace, but also to twisted stitches and crossed stitches.

4 leaf motifs with crossed stitches on both sides of the lace panels

Crossed stitches frame pairs of leafy lace motifs in this summer stole.

In the picture above you can see that I’ve started to knit a lace motif that has two leaves that lean towards each other. Once I knit a couple repeats of the paired leaves, I wasn’t sure I really liked them paired evenly like that so instead, I thought I should stagger them a bit. This is what I ended up with.

Close-up of knitted stole with lace motifs that are staggered instead of parallel to each other.

Staggered leaf motifs bring balance to this cotton stole pattern.

To make the leaves slant towards the center, I use a double decrease up the middle stitches and increase on the outer sides of the leaves. When I first started, I used a yarn over on the RS of the work and purl in the back loop of the yarn overs on the WS rows to give a little twist to the increase. To keep the column of purl stitches set into the fabric, I wanted the flanking column of knit stitches to be twisted all the way up, but with the yarn over increases, this effort was interrupted, so I needed to figure something else out.

Twisted stitches and yarn over increases flank these crossed stitches. Boxes on the photo show where the increases cause irregular stitch textures at some points in the knitting.

Mistakes and problems inevitably surface when designing. Here are texture issues I needed to solve.

To frame the lace, I decided to have a nice corded look on either side, so I chose some crossed stitches set off by purl stitches on either side. It really makes the cord stand out — you can see what I mean about the sheen of Radiant Cotton making the textured stitches look great. I also decided to keep only the knit stitches that weren’t affected by the yarn over increases twisted, so in this picture it’s just the column to the left of the purl stitches that is twisted this way.

Close up of a "cord" of crossed stitches flanked by purl stitches.

Crossed stitches flanked by purl stitches that are then flanked by twisted stitches creates a brilliant opportunity for this cotton to shine.

So, after a few more little tweaks, I came up with the following pattern. You’ll need 5 balls of Radiant Cotton and size 4mm needles. The final stole will measure 20¾” [53cm] wide x 59¾” [152cm]

Here’s the legend for the chart symbols.

Stitch key or legend for chart symbols for wedding stole pattern

Stitch key or legend for chart symbols for wedding stole pattern

And here’s the chart.

Chart for wedding stole pattern

Chart for wedding stole pattern

To start the stole, you need a multiple of 28 stitches, plus 16. In this case, cast on 100 sts. You could do fewer for a scarf or more for a full-blown shawl.

Knit 4 rows first, then begin the chart. A printable PDF of this pattern with all the details is available below.

I hope you enjoy knitting this stole, and be sure to come back and share your pictures in the comments or email us, Tomorrow I’ll show you another experiment I tried with Radiant Cotton.

Click on the picture to download PDF

Click on the picture to download PDF

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Knitting summer tees with Radiant Cotton yarn


1 comment

Calvin F. March 8, 2017 - 12:57 pm

Requires lots of careful work, this is great! A good hobby.


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