Friday, December 6, 2013

Thistle stole


[caption id="attachment_2480" align="alignnone" width="480"]thistle_stole_1 (Photos posted with kind permission of Mary Scott Huff)[/caption]

Like most knitters on Ravelry, I am constantly adding patterns to my queue. The problem is there's not enough time in the world to knit everything I would like to knit.

But now and then, a pattern comes along that stops me in my tracks, and I tell myself, "I must knit that NOW. If I get to my deathbed without having knit that, I will enter the afterlife with a very unhappy soul."

Thistle by Mary Scott Huff is one of those soul-stirring patterns for me.

Huff is one of my favorite knitting designers, so it's not really a surprise that I fell in love with this gorgeous stole. She specializes in colorwork, and her patterns are stunning. I'm pretty sure the pattern for Wedding Belle in her book The New Stranded Colorwork got me back into knitting.

What I love about the stole of all stoles: obviously the colors--the bright green edging, the multi-shades of purple. But that it has thistles, the national flower of Scotland, made it irresistible to my Anglophile sensibilities.

Huff writes in the pattern headnotes, "Legend has it that during the King Haakon's Viking invasion of Scotland, the Norsemen tried to surprise the sleeping Scottish Clansmen. In order to move more stealthily under the cover of darkness, the invaders removed their footwear. As they crept barefoot, they came across an area of ground covered in thistles and one of Haakon's men unfortunately stood on one. Shrieking out in pain, he alerted the Clansmen to the advancing enemy. The Scots then defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Largs, saving Scotland from invasion. The important role the thistle played was recognized, and it was chosen as Scotland's national emblem."

And while I'm not a huge fan of tassels, here they work. My stole shall have tassels, too.

I have to wait until January to begin this project as I have so much holiday knitting/sewing to plow through in December. I've sent my mother a picture of the pattern, and I'm sure I'll be getting a gift certificate for yarn in return. My mother is such an enabler; I, on the other hand, encourage her! ;-) Meanwhile, I continue knitting up my Christmas gift list of cowls, boot socks, and hot water bottle covers and dream of Thistle.


  1. I am miles behind in my blog reading/commenting because I was away for a few days. Congrats to your son on his success at school! And to you, for listening to your mothering instincts and knowing your son needed a change in schools.

    That scarf - oh my! It is amazing. I am almost afraid to click on the Ravelry link.

  2. Isn't it? I have the pattern up on my second screen and I keep sneaking looks at it.

    I am behind on my blog reading, too, so I shall be popping "north" later this afternoon. ;-)

  3. Do you have ancestors from Scotland?? If you do that would be another coincidence between us. I have ancestors from Scotland on my father's side of the family. Family names of Reid, Thompson, and Black that I am aware of. That is one gorgeous shawl. I just love it!

  4. Yes, I have a lot of Scottish blood on my father's side. My Scottish ancestors emigrated to Canada in the 1840s from Glasgow and the Highlands--family names are Forrest, Mackenzie, Ross, and Duff. I have a cousin Charles who has done an impressive amount of work researching our family tree and has a blog at . The handsome man in the photo is my great-grandfather John Prescott Forrest. I now know from whom I inherited the shape of my mouth. ;)

  5. Wow that took some time! Impressive work and really neat to know all that information about your ancestors.

  6. I know! Charles is a rock star, figuratively and literally. I'm pretty sure he plays guitar with a band. ;-)


I love comments!