Help Me Choose a Wedding Shawl to Knit

Yep, it’s me this time. I’m getting married! And I need to pick a shawl to get married in.

This is going to be my substitute wedding dress. We’re not planning on big white wedding with poufy gowns, mountains of roses, swimming in debt. We’re going to keep it small and simple. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want something special and symbolic for the big day.

So I need to choose a shawl to knit…

I’m drowning in pattern options. Spoiled for choice. I need your help and advice. Help me choose. Otherwise, I think I’ll end up:

  • Knitting no shawl at all



Ginormous, body-covering triangle shawls

Normally, I don’t gravitate toward shawls of this size. It seems a little too much like walking around wearing a blanket. But for a wedding, this is a little more like wearing a dress, which is a point in its favor.

Option #1 in alpaca lace weight yarn. Probably warmer than it looks. So elegant and feminine. Most of this looks really doable. The bottom edging looks a bit scary, though. I’ve never knitted anything quite like that before so I don’t have any instincts about the techniques required to produce it. I’d have to buy the pattern and study it to determine whether or not I should attempt this.

Fiori di Sole by Rosemary (Romi) Hill, as seen on Raverly

Coy Shoulder Toppers

If full-body lace shrouds seem a little too demanding, I could certainly see myself in a cute shoulder topper, like this one. I’m confident that I would get use out of this shawl in everyday life, and not just for the wedding. Definite bonus.

I’ve read nothing but good comments about this pattern from the thousands of other knitters who have tackled it.  There are nearly 12,000 projects on Ravelry right now. Must be a sign of a good thing. Right?

On the other hand, do I want to knit a shawl that SO MANY other people have knitted? Am I suffering from another-woman-in-my-prom-dress syndrome?

Would I be happy with something this simple? Gosh, I dunno.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been looking for an excuse to knit this shawl for ages. But is it special enough for my wedding?

Ishbel by Ysolda Teague, as seen on Ravelry

The Practical but Heart Stopping Stole

The shawl shape I tend to get the most use out in real life of is stoles. They’re long enough to stay on my shoulders. They can be styled in dozens of ways. I don’t sit on them by accident or catch them in car doors.  Maybe this is the direction I should go with my wedding shawl as well?

I love the romance of this pattern. It also looks like I won’t tear my hair out knitting it.

Is it weird that I’m a little disappointed by that last bit? I sort of want to tear my hair out. I want to sweat over this thing. I want it to be a knitted thing of supreme specialness.

On the other hand, I also want to have fun knitting it. I’m not sure where I should draw the line.

Glasgow Rose stole by Lucy Hague, as seen on Ravelry

I can’t do this by myself. Help me choose. These three are definitely in the running, but I’ll gladly take nominations. Send me links to your favorite romantically awesome patterns.

I promise, no matter which shawl I choose, I’ll document the knitting and the day of wearing.

“Hey,” I can hear my fiance saying, “isn’t this day supposed to be about us, not about your knitting?”

Yes, dear. 


  1. Congratulations! I like the first one. I’m not a shawl knitting expert but you could always stop knitting before you got to the scary border. OK, now I think I’ve proved I’m not a shawl expert. It looks like it could be pretty without the border though.

    • I suppose I could. Bit I really like that border. I’ll have to try visualizing the shawl without the border and see if I like the idea. Either way I should really look at the pattern before I let myself get too freaked out.

  2. Congratulations!!!
    Weddings are everywhere at the moment.

    I like the first one. I think you gave the most reasons for knitting it (mostly when you were writing the cons against the other two).

    But the one you should knit is the one which after everyone gives their opinions, and you’re thinking “but I really wanted to knit that one!!!”

    That’s the one for you!

  3. Congratulations!

    The border/edging on the first one is, I think, a crochet chain/loop border, which is easier to execute than you might think.

    As for shawls, I love Ysolda’s Orchid Thief shawl. Also “Across the Beach,” “Bayfield” (from Twist Collective), and Veera’s “3/4 Hap Shawl,” which is big, though not complex, and would look lovely in shades of white.

  4. Fiori di Sole is exquisite! But Glasgow Rose stole is stunning as well. As I am a beginner knitter, I can’t imagine knitting any of the three! Good luck with your choice, and your upcoming nuptials. You will be a beautiful bride. 😀

  5. Woohoo, congrats! I’ve eyed up the Fiori myself, and it is gorgeous, but it sounds like the Glasgow Rose would suit you the best. You’ll have plenty of things to sweat over in the coming months (wedding or otherwise); your knitting doesn’t have to be one!

    • This is where the I want to knit all the things urge comes in big time. I want both those shawls. But I can’t realistically wear two shawls at the same time. Of only I were a two or three headed hydra. Seriously, I just wished that.

      • I don’t think we’ll be doing a formal reception as such, but there might be a party at some point. Hmmm. Could this be an excuse for a wedding shawl and an after party shawl? Like celebrities who go to the Oscars. Hah!

        I’m tempted.

  6. Congratulations!!!
    I would choose the first option, it’s very elegant with a touch of simplicity. You could ask the designer to tell what techniques are required to execute the pattern, maybe she’s willing to tell. It’s worth to try. If there’s anything new in the pattern, I’m sure you can handle it. It seems to me, that it’s one of those easily resizable shawls, you could do fewer repeats of those small motives to get a size that you are more comfortable with.

  7. Congrats on the nuptials. I have to say that my preference is the Glasgow Rose. However, Fiori would definitely be a statement maker. Best of luck, whatever you choose.

  8. Congratulations! YAY for weddings and all that married people stuff, too!

    Most important question- how long do you have to knit said wedding shawl? Cuz that would be a big factor in the decision process. My gut says go for Two or Three because you’d have more practical use of them afterwards. Unlike the standard wedding dress you wear for a few hours then dry clean and shove in a box in the closet forever more, you have the opportunity to create something you’ll be able to use for years to come, even if it’s only to pull out for anniversaries or special date nights. If you’re going to spend your time and yarn money on it, I say knit something fabulous you can use more than once…

  9. Congratulations! If it was me I’d go with the first one because I’d want it to be something really stunning and different from what I wear every day. It’s a special day, it deserves special clothing. It does depend a lot on how long you have to knit though and I think they’d all look lovely.

  10. The first or the third- although, I think the stole would suit the occassion the best. It seems much more managable and elegant, whereas the first one is a little over the top (says the girl who has been designing her wedding dress for months).

  11. Congrats! All three are great choices. I knit a wedding shawl for my wedding as well (Whit’s Knits from Purl Soho’s ‘wedding shawl’) in a shockingly bright cerulean blue to use as my something blue.

    The first one is very obviously a lovely something special for such a momentous occasion that could be passed down to future generations. I went with something simple because then I could keep wearing it after the wedding. And every time I wear it I am reminded of my wedding day and all the love that went into knitting it… which is a nice perk.

    No matter which shawl you decide on it will be beautiful and a great touch to your outfit. It will also serve as a fun reminder of the upcoming nuptials as you knit.

  12. The Fiori di Sole for sure – it sounds like your only concern about that one is that it might be too challenging, and that it’s not what you’d normally wear. But something that you wouldn’t normally wear is perfect for your wedding! As for the challenge, just use loads of stich markers, and lifelines (with interchangable needles it’s so easy: I was never a fan of triangular shawls or laceweight knitting until I knitted the Echo Flower Shawl (free on Ravelry) for my mum (also in Alpaca by the way!). Now I am a total convert and knitting another for myself, because they turn out so wonderfully stunning. It’s so exciting to finish one, because they look so different before and after blocking!

    • My only real concern about the Fiori (not having read the pattern yet) is the floral motif border on the bottom. I have learned that much is possible with well drawn lace charts. But without looking at a chart I’m not sure how those things are made. If it’s done with crochet I may be sunk. I know how to make a chain but that’s it.

  13. I love the first one! I only wish I’d been a more advanced knitter when I got married, because I’d have loved to have a wedding shawl to look back on. As it is, we had a really simple low-key wedding (fewer than 20 guests) and I wore a not-actually-made-for-a-wedding dress and shoes, but I like having them, not as something I can wear often, but something I can pull out and remember that one, most special, time I got to wear it, and I think the first shawl would be something like that.

  14. Congratulations !
    All three of those shawls look good indeed… but as mentioned afore here; how much time can you spend on the knitting ? O, and what will your partner wear ? If he’s keeping it really simple, I’d go for number 2 or 3. Personally I also like this one : though that might not do the occasion justice…
    Anyway I would go for something you’d also wear on other occasions. And you could also make it very special by using an outragously lush yarn of course, like out of your normal ‘knitting budget’… Good lcuk with choosing !

    • We don’t have a date set yet, but probably a minimum of 4-5 mo because I don’t want to get married in the winter in MN. Hey, look at me, I just figured that out. I AM capable of making decisions about the date. Not much longer than that though, I don’t think. 6-8 mo at the very outside.

  15. Glasgow rose is doable and a great pattern! I’m knitting the triangle. Good luck. I’d stay away from the blanket sized ones unless you knit with cobweb yarn and 0000s. That shrinks them down to “non-shroud”size! Ursula

  16. Congrats! All of those shawls are beautiful, but I really like the second one. As for a nomination, I’m going to suggest Nashira ( by KnittedBliss. She knit hers in a lightweight silk yarn from Tanis Fiber Arts and the piece can be worn as a shawl (for wedding day) or a neck scarf (for future use). I plan on knitting myself a couple of these next year, one of which might end up being a future wedding shawl. 🙂 Ultimately, it all depends on which pattern really speaks to you and becomes the piece that you just can’t live without. Good luck with your decision… all 3 choices are stunning.

  17. My vote is for Fiori di Sole….so pretty. I will say that Ishbel is easier to knit than perhaps it looks (I made the smaller version).

    Congrats on the upcoming nuptials….and congrats on not falling victim to the commericialization of weddings (so overdone). Can’t wait to see what you actually make!!!

  18. Well first of all, congratulations. 🙂 I will cast my vote for the Glasgow stole. It looks so romantic. But all three of them are beautiful.

  19. Oh this is such great news, congratulations. I do not agree with your soon to be husband completely. This day will be Your Day, of course and it will be about both of you, however the knitting is a part of yourself, it’s something you cannot life without as it seems, and knitting a shawl for your own wedding is such a wonderful thing to do especially if you want everything else to be kept simple as possible. You deserve a special item to treasure over the years to come. I deeply love the fiori one it’s so lovely. With TB we’ve got a simple wedding too, just family, a drink in the parents’ garden, a good dinner in a small restaurant, but i cannot resist to a dress, I found the cheapest one I could find and I’m glad I did it. No decoration no commercial silliness. But we put a lot of yourself in ceremonies (city council and church) and it was the most wonderful part of the day. After all marriage is what will make your everyday life for the years to come. not this only and single day. We just decided to make it enough special to cherish it as a loving memory.
    Congratulations again

  20. Well in my humble opinion, the first one just screams WEDDING !!!
    Congratulations and good luck with witch ever one you choose!!

  21. First of all, a huge congratulations!! So exciting! I really love the last one, but I will say I’m not partial to the triangle. The design is very elegant and I think you would get more use out of it (if you do white, you could always overdye in the future…). I do also have to say that I love my Ishbel, and I did wear it as a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding. (It was quite an easy pattern.) I really don’t think you can go wrong with any of them!

  22. Congratulations! Your wedding will be special for you and your husband-to-be, no matter what other people think or say of it. I vote for the Glasgow Rose stole because it looks very lovely (well they all do) and in my opinion stoles are classy and practical to wear on a day-to-day basis. And that’s my few cents worth, hope it helps =)

  23. What are you going to wear underneath the “substitute dress”? A sheath dress? A pant suit? A summer dress? Wouldn’t that have an impact on your choice of a scarf? To be honest, I don’t like your first option all that much (too much of a spiderweb for me …) but I love N°2. that ould go with almost any outfit. You could make it a knit along with your brides maids 🙂
    Good luck and congratulations to both of you!

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