Mystery Stole 3: A Quick Question

I haven’t written about Mystery Stole 3 in a bit. That’s because I’ve gone into teacher mode, which can seriously compromise my ability to work complex patterns. When I get home from work after 6:00 or so, all I’m interested in is dishrags, dishrags, dishrags. Quick, bright, varied, easy-to-try-something-new-on dishrags. Or maybe a washcloth for a change of pace.

I have nonetheless been faithfully downloading the patterns for MS3 and trying to track a few of the overwhelming thousands of posts about it. The design is coming out asymmetrical, with one end pointed and the other finishing in a graceful curve. To achieve this, the pattern switches from back-and-forth knitting to knitting on the diagonal, picking up stitches as one progresses.

To be frank—I’m intimidated. I have no trouble picking up stitches to add a button band or to “piece” a knit along one edge for a patchwork effect (my results are sometimes lovely, sometimes not so lovely, but I’m not intimidated). But the knitting one piece onto another as I go, picking up one stitch per row, that frightens me for some reason.

Based on the pictures I’ve seen by folks who are further along in the pattern than I am (here‘s an example at Tangled String) I’m thinking about opting to knit the first several clues twice and then grafting the identical halves. The wing design is gorgeous, but I really do like the lace pattern of the pointed end better and… no one-stitch-at-a-time pick-up.

So here’s my question. If I decide to go for the double-pointed option (which I really do find prettier, not just less intimidating) am I copping out; is this one of those projects that has something important to teach me and upon which I should refuse to compromise or is it OK to follow my own tastes and inclinations, even if this means skipping part of the challenge? (That’s a long sentence I know, but I was trying to really keep it one question.) I would love to hear from other folks, those who are further along on this pattern than I am and also those who just find themselves with an opinion on this topic, whether or not they’re part of the MS3 undertaking.

5 Replies to “Mystery Stole 3: A Quick Question”

  1. Hey, Sarah-Hope!
    I haven’t ACTUALLY gotten to Clue 5 yet, because I’m reknitting and lengthening my stole (you and I talked about that, but I think now with the design the way it is, 11 inches shorter would have ended up too short; with a symmetric stole, it might be different though). But I understand the principle of the short rows knitted on, as I’ve done that before. If you like the symmetry better (and I do love the stole so far and think the double-pointed version would be awesome!) then by all means do that and skip the ‘wing’! But if you choose to do the ‘wing’, be assured the technique is not as hard as it seems. If you want to do an easier project that uses the same technique first, look at this multidirectional scarf:
    Really cool, and so easy once you do it. Especially great results with variegated or color-changing yarn.

    By the way, you’re very welcome for the Mystical Creations silk/wool yarn! 🙂 Too bad it’s not quite enough to do the pattern above, unless you made a skinny scarf or alternated it with another yarn (which could look really cool).

    So anyway, go with your gut, which sounds like it’s telling you to be symmetric, and maybe try this technique on a less involved project like the Multidirectional Scarf. Just my opinion! Cathy

  2. I say, wait until the last clue and pics of the final product come out before you decide. You might find out once it’s done that you like it more and then you’ll be kicking yourself.

    I think I tend to agree with you, but I’m holding out to see other people’s finished pieces first.

  3. If you’re feeling nervous about the knitted-on wing, you might want to try a lace scarf pattern that tells you to knit edging onto the cast-on and bound-off ends of the scarf. It wouldn’t require too much edging but would give you a feel for what adding on the wing would be like.

  4. Oh, and knitted-on edgings seem pretty mind-boggling and conceptually don’t make much sense at first, but once you’ve tried them, it’s much easier. It’s one of those things where the instructions can be confusing if read all at once, but make much more sense when taken in small pieces. Just remember to read the edging instructions through once to make sure you avoid the dreaded “at the same time,” but after that just focus on one thing at a time. You can do it!

  5. I’m with you on the copping-out question because I’ve been changing my mind regarding wing or no wing for awhile. I was all set to do the wing, then decided I liked the look of a symmetrical stole better. But I don’t like the idea of repeating the first few clues; I’ve already done those and want to do something different. So I wondered if you could knit backwards from the center and get to the end that way. The answer from Melanie and others was no, it won’t work. So now I’m back thinking I’ll do the wing and it’s mainly for the experience of making something completely different than anything I’ve tried before. The fact that I might mess it up royally (or not really like it) is part of the challenge to myself and if I like the way it comes out, it will be part of the reward. That’s my opinion. Good luck with your decision!

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