Adapted from an original idea for sleepwear, this has transformed itself into a glamorous stole.
Whether or not it sparkles obviously depends on the type of wool you choose. I used a fabulous Italian yarn, which was a bit brighter once knitted up, than I had imagined from the ball, but has made a lovely item. The original pattern (from the 1970s but probably revamped from a much earlier design) called for 4 ply wool - about 8 ounces - but my version is not only in much lighter weight man-made fibres with a consequent good yardage, but also designed to be shorter than the original.
I think you could feasibly wear this in the evening with a skimpy evening top or as a decorative addition over a plain black roll-neck sweater.
[Note: we noticed that this colourway works particularly well with dark brown].
Using No. 6 (5mm) needles cast on 72 stitches, and work 6 rows k1, p1 rib.
Increase row: K5, * m1 (make one st by picking up the loop between the stitches and knitting into the back of it), k4; repeat from * to the last 6sts, m1, k5. [88 sts].
Right side of work facing, change to No. 3 (6½mm) needles and commence pattern.
Next pattern row: *
K1, k1b; repeat from * to end.
Work 25 rows in the pattern.
Change to number 6 (5mm) needles and work 3 rows in stocking stitch,
starting with a purl row.
Increase row: K6, * m1, k4; repeat from * to the last 6sts, m1, k6. [108 sts].
Make a second pattern band by repeating from ** to **.
Increase row: K4, * m1, k4; repeat from * to the last 4sts, m1, k4. [134 sts].
Make a third pattern band by repeating from ** to **, but omit the final three st st rows, and, on this last segment, continue on the No. 3 needles and knit a further 5 pattern rows.
Cast off very loosely using a large gauge needle.
End panels - Using No. 7 (4½mm) needles, and wrong side of work facing, pick up and knit 56 sts purlwise.
Next row: (right side facing) K6,
*k2tog, repeat from *
to last 6 sts, k6. [34 sts].
Continue to decrease at the centre in this way until 6 sts remain.
Repeat for the other side.
Finishing - Press the stocking-stitch end pieces lighty on the
wrong side, using a warm iron and a damp cloth.
[Editor's notes: The original pattern had 5 segments. If you want to do that, work in the same way, with each pattern band at 25 rows and the following additional increase rows:
Increase row for fourth pattern band:
K5, * m1, k5; repeat from
* to the last 4sts, m1, k4. [160 sts].
..and for the side panels pick up and knit 80 sts instead of 56, and decrease to 50 sts in the first decrease row.]
Example shown is knitted in 2 x 50g balls of an S. Charles Collezione yarn "Ritratto" - shade 64
One pair each of numbers 3, 6 and 7 (UK size) needles.
Approx. 16st and 32rows to 4 inches (10cm) measured over pattern using
No 3 (6½mm) needles.
Width around lower edge: 60 inches
A word on the wool.
"Ritratto" is a man-made fibre with 28% mohair; knits 22sts to 10cm on No 6 (5mm) needles; 50g ball is 198 yards and I used about 1½ balls for the project.
I think this would work out well using Rowan Kidsilk Haze (or Night or Splash), or in Rowan Damask, which has a slightly shiny silk thread running through the yarn.