Back in 2015, Alia (The Little Bee) released the pattern of her Monsoon Stole. It’s a beautiful pattern, so I decided to make it. The hunt for the perfect yarn started. The stole has a large middle section or base and then different sections using various stitches follow. For the base, I wanted to use a variegated yarn and I chose Lang Yarns Novena Color, a blend of merino, alpaca and some nylon. This colour repeats are lovely and not too short. I picked a few matching solid colours for the other sections of the stole. Some of them are Drops Merino Extra Fine (100% wool) and some are Scheepjes Merino Soft (a blend of merino wool, microfibre and acrylic). I’ll give you full details on the colour numbers at the end of this post!
So I gathered all that I needed… Actually, one solid colour too many: there are six and I needed only five… I wasn’t completely sure about the colour selection. And because it is sometimes easier to judge colour combinations on screen I decided to take a picture of each of the combinations and compare them next to each other.
Eventually, I chose to use the colour combination pictured in the middle.
One more close-up of the beautiful yarn…
I literally had a flying start with this project, since I took it with me on our holiday to Tenerife. A few hours of hooky on the plane!
Okay, here are a few holiday pics as well! Our hotel was about halfway on the road that leads to the volcano (El Teide), so we spent a lot of time in the area. It’s a beautiful area for hiking and the great thing is that you will almost always have sunny weather up there since you are above the clouds. We did spend about two hours at the beach, but that’s not really what we like most.
Back to the Monsoon Stole… I made some progress during our holiday and I finished the base section.
On to the following sections… the alternating stitches make this pattern a lovely one to work on. Some of the sections are a little longer, but most of them are short and you will hop from one part to the next.
That also means that you have to make some decisions regarding the colour order. And sometimes they don’t work out how you imagined it…
I decided that bright grey (pictured on the right) worked better for the multi-coloured section.
During a little getaway over New Year’s Eve, I was happily hooking in front of the fire at our holiday home.
It was a bit of back and forth with this pattern actually! I was a bit enthusiastic and decided to double the stole in size. Like I mentioned earlier, the original pattern is made up of a base section followed by alternating stitch sections. It was a little bit too short for me at that stage to be worn as a shawl. That is why I decided to add the alternating sections (all of them!) on the other side of the base as well… and that is where the enthusiasm took over… It got too long. WAY. TOO. LONG.
So this was the status somewhere in January 2016 (to keep you updated on the timeline). I guess I lost my motivation to solve it at that point. Besides, we were slowly moving away from Winter and I wouldn’t be needing a warm, woollen shawl in the Summer. That is how my Monsoon Stole ended up in a corner, perfectly blocked, ready to wear if not much too long.
About a year later I found my motivation again! Yay! This is where I left:
I decided to completely remove on side of the alternating sections. With all the ends woven in it just was not an option to remove only part of it.
The majority of the yarn was suitable to use again. But of course, after a year ‘in the shawl’, it was fairly curly, to say the least. My trick is to wrap it around a small plastic chopping board and steam it over a boiling kettle of water. Make sure you use something to hold the board since steam is really hot! I’ve put the board on the heating afterwards to let the yarn dry and then it is perfectly straight again and ready to use.
I made a new colour plan for just a selection of the sections.
And I was ready to start again (well, not all the way from the beginning of course!) This time it took me just a little time to finish it. I blocked the newly made rows and I am totally happy with the length now! I have a wearable shawl!
Here it is! It only took me a year and a half or so to finally finish it!
Thank you, Alia, for your lovely and very well written (and illustrated) pattern!
Monsoon Stole by The Little Bee (here on Ravelry)
For the base:
Lang Yarns Novena Color in 930.0024 (two balls)
Drops Merino Extra Fine in 028 (one ball)
Scheepjes Merino Soft in 603, 604, 605 and 612 (one ball of each)
Size 5,0 mm