After almost four months, the wedding shawl is done. Finished. Finito.
I want to thank you all for helping me to choose the right pattern. I started with such a long list of choices, including:
- Glasgow Rose, which I still fantasize about. It’s so romantic. And my middle name is “Rose.” I am going to knit this shawl some day, by hook or by crook.
- Farandole. This shawl got an enormous number of passionate votes. And I can see why. The peacock feather pattern is so elegant. And I imagine this would be a very versatile shawl, perfect to pair with all sorts of outfits, not just a wedding gown.
- Mariposa. I was very nearly persuaded to knit this shawl based on a comment from DanceTog of Dance Tog Blog:
First of all congratulations and I think you’re completely right to go with that gorgeous dress.. The two shawls that do it for me ar Fiore di Sole and Mariposa. I’m not a knitter but they both look modern to me and the designs seem to be friendly, celebrant and expansive. Mariposa is what I think bridal wear should be about – the design is sexy and sensual without being overt, the leaf aspects of the design are wholesome and the central spine is oh so cool. And subtly sensual (that word again). Fiore di Sole is angelic and floaty, but to my eye slightly more conventional. It’s really elegant and the repeating pattern without the spine design makes it slightly more demure. I’m looking forward to seeing what you decide!
You almost had me at “central spine.” *sexy shiver*
In the end, I chose Fiori Di Sole, which was my first love. It was the first shawl I ran across that just screamed, “Knit me.”
Well…this shawl is probably too elegant to do anything so crass as to scream. But it probably makes eyes at people and passes notes. And it probably doesn’t wait for a mutual acquaintance to introduce it to a stranger. Saucy little shawl
This section of little flowers along the border of the shawl gave me a lot of trouble. This is the section of the shawl I was compelled to rip out and re-knit five times. In the process, I learned quite a bit about reading lace patterns; in particular, the importance of counting the stitch requirements both before and after a row has been completed. This can tell you so much. What was confusing me was the ways in which a particular section might start out with 15 stitches, but the pattern in that section only required the use of 14 of them. This drove me nuts, until I realized that I was supposed to be using those extra stitches in subsequent sections in the shawl and that ALL OF MY MARKERS WOULD NEED TO BE SHIFTED ONE STITCH TO ACCOMMODATE. Moreover, I learned that THIS IS OK.
It doesn’t help, of course, if in addition to not understanding marker hop-scotch, you are also off in your stitch count in a particular section due to an error.
Oooh, that was annoying.
Once the last stitch of lace had been knit, my next challenge was to learn how to crochet the edging. This was me, learning how to crochet from square one.
I got fairly comfortable with crochet chains and such by the time I got to the end of the shawl. And all in all, I think I invested far too much angst into the process. Crochet isn’t so hard. Especially what I was doing. Youtube is my friend.
Then, when the shawl was on the blocking boards I discovered a mistake. An itty bitty mistake, with the potential to become a planet-swallowing black hole of a mistake. A couple of loose stitches that had started to ladder.
I pinned them ruthlessly into place. And then I did what I had not resorted to in all the trials of shawl knitting and ripping. I sent up the Bat Signal.
I bet you didn’t know Batman is a knitter.
Well anyway, Batman swooped over at 2 p.m. Wordlessly, I led him upstairs to the craft room to survey the devastation. He pulled a crochet hook and a bit of scrap yarn out of his bat belt (he keeps everything in there) and set to work. With surgical precision, he made repairs to the savaged yellow leaf, laid out so pitifully on the blocking boards. It took only seconds. When he was done, he stood and turned to me, beaded cape swinging.
“I think I can leave the sewing-up to you, ma’am.”
Then, between one heartbeat and the next, he was gone.