two old shale smoke rings

and a partridge in a pear tree.

my free pattern

old shale - artsy

and the new one on the front page of knitty.

feather and fan
it is a smoke ring

yarn – weight, make up etc. – needle size, cast on number etc.
picot bind off (very pretty)

and you can see the differences. mine is the super utilitarian cousin – made at a particular time in a particular place for a particular person with a particular yarn. mostly, it’s beautiful because feather and fan is lovely and because of the yarn. yarn and stitch dependent you might say.

the one on knitty is much much more glamorous, light, airy, almost for a 1940s movie star – artsy and beautiful. the beads and the picot edge are perfect little details to make it even more classy.

the ‘ice queen’ is also blocked to flare at the top and the bottom, where as i think that would have looked very silly with mine because of the heaviness of the fabric. (i also intentionally made mine wider so that the person wearing it would look less like a worm – and to note, i don’t think that the knitty one makes people look like worms either. guess it depends how you wear it though, cause on ravelry? there are worms.)

now, let us talk about utility. the ‘ice queen’ – not so good for my mother-in-law in alaska, but perhaps perfect for california where the designer is from. and not so bad for pittsburgh where i am now – it’s a downpour and 53 degrees – not really super warm wool hat weather. different patterns, different spaces.

this exploration has been brought to you by the feather and fan stitch (aka the old shale stitch). go try it out today. if you’re not inspired by smoke rings – and you very well may not be – (confession – i’m mostly not inspired by smoke rings… shhh) the misty garden scarf from scarf style and this the luxe neckwarmer* from knit 2 together use the same pattern (ravelry links). but truth be told, just cast on with something from the above tutorial. easy peasy lace and so pleasurable. here are some of the things that i’ve done with old shale:

feather and fan

and if you’re on ravelry, you can check out the gallery of both smoke rings here:
ice queen
old shale smoke ring
if you’re noting that there are way more ice queens than old shales, mine didn’t get nearly the press :)

*and yes, i’ve made many feather and fan neck warmers and no, i didn’t steal the pattern from this one :)

5 thoughts on “two old shale smoke rings

  1. I think it’s getting harder to make something unique. I can’t explain why certain knitting patterns are so pupular, and others are not. Would like to know that myself. I like the feather and fan stitch pattern too. I’ve used it on socks. You made real pretty neck warmers and scarfes with it.

  2. It’s funny you’ve mentioned this, because I thought of your smoke ring right away when I saw the new knitty.

    I credit you with introducing me to the wonders of old shale. To this day, the scarf I made with it is one of my favorite knitted objects I’ve produced. I would never have known about it if I hadn’t gotten your recommendation.

    Have a Merry Christmas, Cosy!

  3. the Kaibashirasocks from magknits (i think three issues ago) are a variation on old shale made to fit an 11 stitch motif. Also the placement of the right side purl rows are slightly different, but the effect is very similar. A good multipurpose easy lace stitch.

  4. Not understanding your pattern (due to ME not you), I cast on Old Shale with Karabella Lace Mohair (for some reason, I saw this done in a fluffy yarn) and got about 6 inches into it when I began to suspect that something was a little bit OFF, but like the moron I am, I soldiered on. The circumference I’m getting is about 22 inches, but at 12 inches long is a bit shorter than I wanted.

    I saw Knitty today and said “HEY!!” Anyway, your old shale is very nice in the mohair-y yarn. I’ll finish it up and get it on Ravelry in a couple weeks.

    Meanwhile, thank you for a great pattern! I could not have come up with this myself.

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