Alert Reader Namari asked an excellent question:
If the Thistle stole is worked in the round, how can it be a rectangle? Here's How!
Stranded colorwork needs to be knitted in the round because otherwise we would have to purl back on the wrong side of the work in (reverse) pattern. Un. Fun.
Making the knitted fabric in a cylinder keeps the knitter on the right side of the work at all times. But some pieces of knitting need to end up flat. Solution? Cut the cylinder open with shears! That's Steeking, and it's the sexiest party trick in all of knitting.
Thanks for asking, Namari!