Britomartis by Jeanne Long


August 2017
Lace ?
22 stitches and 29 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette
US 4 - 3.5 mm
875 yards (800 m)
22” x 62” (56 cm x 158 cm)
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Britomartis was worshiped as a deity in the ancient world. No one spoke her true name; Britomartis was a nickname that translates as sweet maiden, and she was so called to soften her hard heart and terrible temper. Her weapon of choice was the labrys, a double-headed ax, and she was further aided by large snakes and other wild animals. She was also known as the lady of the nets, which she invented and taught humans to make. In this way she gave us not only tools we needed for survival, but great beauty, because nets are the ancestors of knitting.

Design: Our Britomartis is a stole is knit end-to-end in one piece that showcases three aspects of this delightful pagan goddess. The outer border is a continuous coil that evokes Britomartis’ guardian snakes. The inner panel features motifs that represent her double-headed ax and the nets she invented. Worked in sumptuously dyed Merino lace, this stole is both subtle and rich, and it’s one any clever, fierce goddess would be proud to wear.

Instructions: The pattern includes charted instructions.

Yarn: 1 skein of Why Knot Fibers’ Savor, or approximately 875 yards of lace weight yarn. Britomartis looks best in solid or tonal colored yarns; too much contrast obscures the lace motifs.

Dimensions: 22” wide by 62” long (56 cm by 158 cm) after a fairly stiff blocking.

Techniques Used: Intermediate lace work. The increases and decreases occur only on the right side of the work. In some sections of the stole, more than one chart is used in a row (one for the border and one for the center panel).