Design Discussion: Charlotte

Charlotte This stole was knit out of 2/8 Organic Fingering Weight from Black Water Abbey. The name of the pattern is Charlotte. The stitch patterns are traditional Shetland Lace patterns, and it is worked on a garter stitch ground with a garter stitch border.

The impetus for this design was to introduce knitters who have not done a lot of lace to more traditional types of lace. There is a scarf and a stole in this pattern, and one can start with the scarf and become familiar with working in pattern on both odd and even rows in a more simple version of the stole, and then move on to the stole.

When designing this stole, one of the traditional stitch patterns used had the word spider in the title. So I of course thought of Charlotte’s Web, a delightful children’s book. There have been many analogies between knitting lace and spider webs, so it seemed fitting to name it Charlotte.

This design to me pushes the boundaries as far as what is expected. What is expected is an edging, rather than a simple garter stitch border. In this situation I did not want an edging as I wanted to keep it simple. You, however, may add one if you wish. Sometimes less is more, to me. And I have said before, that form follows function. This is knit out of a weight of yarn that would have been a hap shawl (an everyday shawl). I would perhaps put an edging on it if I was knitting it out of a fine lace weight. But the fingering weight works well with the simple clean lines the garter stitch border gives it. I simply don’t think it needs an edging.

There is a point in any piece of art, where the design has achieved what is called organic unity. It is at that point that nothing can be taken away, design wise, without adversely affecting the composition. It is also at the point where anything that is added is superfluous. This is the point of balance that I strive for.

When making these choices for yourself, only you can decide whether what you are knitting needs “more”. Don’t be afraid to add simple edgings to pieces like this, if you want one. They are simple to learn.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene


8 Responses to “Design Discussion: Charlotte”

  1. Anna in Sweden Says:

    Jolene, Charlotte is one of my favorite designs. I have knitted two Charlottes so far – one with a fingering Shetland yarn and one with Garnstudios Silke Tweed. The Silke Tweed stole is pure luxury and I intend to knit yet another one in Silke Tweed.

    I am an advanced knitter, and I found Charlotte a very interesting project.

  2. jolenetreace Says:

    Dear Anna, I am so glad you enjoy them. Silke Tweed, eh? I bet that IS nice. Send a photo some time I would love to see it!

  3. Loretta Says:

    Your Fox Island vest looked stunning hanging prominently in Black Water Abbey’s booth at Stitches this weekend. Of course I had to pick up the pattern!! They sold out of the yarn required by the time I got there, so I guess I’ll have to place an order soon. Or maybe I can use up some solid-colored Koigu stash. Hmmm…..

  4. jolenetreace Says:

    Thanks, Loretta! Marilyn is very good to me. I wrote an article about her in my newsletter and credited here with much of my getting started as a designer.I love working with her yarns and with her.

    That said, I always encourage people to choose something they love.

    VBG. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Dawn Says:

    Hello, This is beautiful – where can I get the pattern?

  6. JoLene Treace Says:

    Thank you, Dawn – I have vendors at the right under the Blogroll towards the bottom. It will say My Vendor and then the name of the business. The ones that have shopping carts are the ones I have listed here, although my website has a vendor page also which lists them all. is the url for the vendors page which also has their contact information. They are fairly well spread across the US, so you should not have trouble finding in the same region as yourself. If you are from Canada, my patterns are also distributed by InfiKnit, which sells to Canadian stores (I do not know if they also sell to American yarn stores or not). Black Water Abbey, Kirtlands Yarn Barn, Nestucca Bay Yarns, and Knitters Treat (on my vendor page, but they do not have online shopping cart) are ones I tend to point people to first. All of my vendors are great, but these folks tend to carry everything and keep them all in stock.

    Merry Christmas, and thank you for your interest!

  7. Dawn Says:

    Thank you JoLene – have ordered the pattern – thankfully they deliver to the UK. Merry Christmas!

  8. JoLene Treace Says:

    You are quite welcome, glad I could help. I’ll have to note Nestucca Bay in my link so that people know they ship to the UK.

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