Ja'ali Stole

When I was seven, my parents moved my brother and I from Deepest, Darkest Cleveland, OH to New Delhi, India. My dad had a Fullbright scholarship, so we spent a year in a far off and very different land. More then thirty years later, I went back for the first time, with my own seven year old (plus her younger sister). In some ways it had changed completely, but in others, it was just as I remembered it: the light was the same, the sounds of the birds in the early morning, the cows wandering through the city streets, and monkeys sitting on fences, waiting for the opportunity to snatch what ever they could right out of your hands.

We went and saw all sorts of sights in the Golden Triangle, and it was an incredible source of inspiration for my designing. The first design that came out of that trip was the Delhi Beanie, with a border inspired by a series of tombs in Delhi. The second one is in Issue 35 of Knit Now - the Ja'ali Stole.

Photo credit Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing

This pattern grew directly out of my trip to India: one of the almost ubiquitous features of the numerous palaces and tombs that we visited were pierced stone structures called ja'ali. These were basically the Moghul version of window curtains, and served to let in light and air while making it very difficult for anyone outside to see inside.

This picture makes it pretty clear where the stitch pattern came from! I swatched in a number of different yarns, but finally settled on a mohair blend, in two colors to emphasis the eyelets and the solid hexagons.

The perfect finishing touch? A beaded fringe.

The finished stole is a lovely, lightweight wrap that is perfect for summer evenings, or days when you need a bit of extra warmth.

This issue of Knit Now is on sale starting today, Thursday, 29th May, in craft stores, newsagents and supermarkets across the UK. Outside the UK, you can get a paper copy from http://www.moremags.com/knitting/knit-now, or a digital edition from http://www.moremags.com/digital-editions/all-devices/knit-now. You can also get it digitally via Apple Newsstand. 

As a little celebration of the publication of this pattern, I'm going to give away the yarn and beads needed to knit the stole - that includes 5 balls of Wendy Air (70% mohair/30% nylon) in two colors, and approximately 75 faceted glass beads for the fringe. Please leave a comment on this post between now and midnight BST, on Sunday, 8th June, telling me which pattern is your favorite from Knit Now Issue 35*. I'll use a random number generator to pick one lucky winner. Good luck!

* Note: saying that this is your favorite pattern does not increase your chances of winning ;-).