It is done! My Simurgh Stole is complete. The specs:
Yarn: Hana from ArtFibers in San Francisco. 100% silk yarn
Needles: Knitpicks options, sizes 4 and 5
Cast on: January 25th, 2009
Finished blocking: April 16th, 2009
Notes: Made the petite version.
This yarn is beautiful, although it appears to be discontinued. I bought it while in San Francisco at a conference. Definitely a splurge yarn. It is extremely, extremely soft. The color is a silver grey with darker and lighter areas. It looks like steel in the shade (above), but like silver in the sun (below).
I liked the pattern, although there were some things I did not enjoy. There's a lot of yarn overing into a purl stitch, mirrored by yos into knits, so it was annoying to try and balance the two. I ended up taking the advice of another lace knitter to just pull the yarn forward over the needle and not do a wrap and a half, like I usually do. Pulling the yarn forward means that you have to untwist the stitch on the next row, but it makes the yos more even. For some reason, I HATED doing the edging on the first half, but it completely flew by on the second half. Using interchangeable needles was handy for the edging.
Since this stole is knit from the center out, you do a provisional cast on to begin with and then pick up from the provisional cast on to do the second half. I find that very challenging. I may have moaned about it earlier on this blog. But I think, in the end, it looks pretty good. Not a perfect center, but not horrible.
Even though I knit the smaller size of the stole, it's still pretty big. At least six feet. I'm about 5'6", for reference.
I think that, because this is 100% silk and a bit heavier yarn, the blocking isn't going to hold very well. I can see it beginning to stretch out of shape already. Blocking wires were a blessing for this piece, by the way; I can't imagine pining out all those many tiny points of the edging. Well, I suppose I could, but I don't want to.
All in all, I'm pretty pleased with this piece. I can wear it as a large scarf or as a stole, and I think I even have enough yarn left over for a cowl or something. Which is fantastic, because this yarn is so soft I want to have it next to my skin as much as possible.