I do not particularly like chocolate. I do not have cravings for it; neither do I use it as a comfort food. Except with the autumn damp and cold weather and shortening daylight, I often find myself dreaming about the crackle of fire and a mug of something hot and sweet.
Theobroma cacao is the Latin name of the cocoa tree, native in South America. The word theobroma -- the beverage of gods -- refers to the long history of hot cocoa beverages, used not only in the normal everyday life of the Mesoamerican people, but also in ritual activities and offerings. Hot cocoa surely is a divine beverage; not only is it rich in antioxidants, it also contains mood-enhancing alkaloids, such as theobromine.
When designing the stole, I was trying to capture at least some of the characteristics associated with the cocoa tree and cocoa beverage: Warming, cozy, rich and intricate, mood enhancing. Using yarn with alpaca content makes the stole warm despite the laciness of the pattern, and using wooden beads bestows upon the design a bit of ethno charm.
MATERIALS Yarn Misti Alpaca Tonos Carnaval [50% Alpaca, 30% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Silk; 437 yd/400 m per 100g skein]; color: TF25 Truffle; 2 skeins Note: Pattern uses only a small part of the second skein. If you want to modify for a single skein project, work only 13 repeats of the Chart A on each side. If you are a loose knitter or just want to be on the safe side, work only 12 repeats of Chart A on each side.
Recommended needle size [always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique] 1 32-inch US #6/4mm circular needle 1 32-inch US #8/5mm circular needle US#6/4mm crochet hook for Provisional Cast On
Notions crochet hook (appropriate size for beads -- see Pattern Notes for guidance) 128 beads (I used 8mm wooden beads. I recommend beads from lightweight materials such as wood, plastic in bigger sizes -- 6-10mm -- and in a contrasting color for more dramatic effect) stitch markers yarn needle
20 sts/27 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch, after blocking 20 sts/20 rows = 4 inches in flowers pattern stitch, after blocking Note: gauges given are approximate; exact gauge is not critical for this project.
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
This project uses a provisional cast on. Use your preferred provisional cast on technique; directions for one technique may be found here.
CDD: slip two sts together as if to k2tg, knit 1, pass two slipped sts over st just worked
3-into-5 gathered: K3tog, leaving the st on the left needle, k into this stitch.
s2k3p stitch: slip two sts together as if to k2tog, [k1, yo, k1] in the next st, pass two slipped sts over sts just worked
Placing beads: The beads are placed on RS rows using crochet hook. (I used 2mm hook. The hook needs to be small enough to fit through the hole in the bead). To place a bead on a stitch, first insert the hook through the hole in the bead, and slide the bead onto the shaft of the hook. Slip the stitch off the needle and onto the hook; slide the bead down the hook and onto the stitch. Slip the stitch back to the left needle, and then knit it. Note: beads can be replaced with bobbles. A visual tutorial for placing beads can be found here.
MB: Make bobble -- (K1, ktbl, k1) into the next st, turn. P3, turn. Sk2p.
LT: slip one stitch to cable needle and hold to front of work, knit one, knit one from cable needle
RT: slip one stitches to cable needle and hold to back of work, knit one, knit one from cable needle
1/2LT: slip one stitch to cable needle and hold to front of work, knit two, knit one from cable needle
1/2RT: slip two stitches to cable needle and hold to back of work, knit one, knit two from cable needle
1/2LPT: slip one stitch to cable needle and hold to front of work, purl two, knit one from cable needle
1/2RPT: slip two stitches to cable needle and hold to back of work, knit one, purl two from cable needle
Charts The charts for this pattern are very large. Each fits on a letter-sized page. Click below and print each resulting page.