Pattern of
the Month

On the Needles
(...and Off the Needles)



Vintage Patterns

About the
Idle Hands

Archive entry for December 2007

« November 2007 | Main | January 2008 »

December 2007

Sparkling Stole


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].

Work 3 rows in stocking stitch, (one row plain, one row purl), starting with a purl row.

Right side of work facing, change to No. 3 (6½mm) needles and commence pattern.

Next pattern row: * K1, k1b; repeat from * to end.
[k1b = knit 1 below: insert needle through the centre of the stitch below the next stitch to be knitted, and knit off both stitches at the same time.]

Work 25 rows in the pattern.
[Editor's note: The pattern consists of this one row repeated on both sides of the work - for 25 rows. On an even number of stitches this produces a fisherman rib like stitch, which looks the same on both sides of the work.]

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].
Next row: K2, purl to the last 2 sts, k2.
Next row: K15, k2tog tbl, k2tog, K15 [32 sts].
Next row: K2, purl to the last 2 sts, k2.
Next row: K14, k2tog tbl, k2tog, K14 [30 sts].
Next row: K2, purl to the last 2 sts, k2.
Next row: K14, k2tog tbl, k2tog, K14 [28 sts].

Continue to decrease at the centre in this way until 6 sts remain.
Cast off tightly.

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.
Sew in ends, and sew on fastener.
Swan around looking glamorous.

[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].
Increase row for fifth pattern band: K3, * m1, k4; repeat from * to the last 2sts, m1, k2. [192 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.

Fancy clasp available on the web from TextileGarden, or Purlescence, or Nordic Fiber Arts.


Approx. 16st and 32rows to 4 inches (10cm) measured over pattern using No 3 (6½mm) needles.

Size matters

Width around lower edge: 60 inches
Depth: 15 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.
Original pattern called for a 4 ply wool weight.


In transposing any patterns it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.



© Christina Coutts 2007

Helpful Stuff

Pattern Archive


Yarn Links

Fabric etc

Stuff to do

  • Little rabbits
  • V&A 1940s Patterns
  • Monkey Socks
  • Necktie Bag
  • Posh Gloves
  • Criss-cross coasters