Nineteen days from now, I’ll be getting married (on July 16th… exactly four days between my birthday and my fiance’s birthday) and as of yesterday, I have the wedding shawl for it. After months of different dye trials and sample knitting in yarns from gossamer cashmere to camel, I settled on what I love best… less than half a skein of Merino Silk Lace dyed half and half in Orchid and Raspberry, knit into the ever classic Swallowtail Shawl, adorned only with small 4 mm fuschia Swarovski crystals.
I’ve never beaded any piece of knitting and decided a little late to add the crystals. So after the little leaves part of the pattern, I cut the yarn and then strung 270 crystal beads onto the working yarn using an extremely tiny needle. I think I would much prefer the whole crochet hook method of adding beads, but I didn’t have much choice with these crystal beads — the holes are so tiny! In any case, I have maybe 20 beads left unused. I do love the really subtle sparkle the beads lend to the shawl. The crystals are fuschia ABx2 colour, so they almost blend in with the shawl rather than popping out, saying “look at me! look at me!”. Tasteful bling.
You might be able to just barely see… each point of the shawl edge is also highlighted with a single crystal bead. I picked the shawl up off the blocking board this morning and absolutely love the crispness of the lace. I’ve knit the Swallowtail before, actually in Raspberry, for my Olympic knitting project last year and ended up passing it onto Urban Yarns for them to use as a store sample. I loved it so much, I decided to knit it again here. This time with slightly larger needles: 3.75 mm. I do love how open the lacework becomes with some blocking.
It’s been a long process, trying to get to what seems like such a simple conclusion. Our wedding colours are raspberry/fuschia and burnt orange/mandarin and so I tried dyeing these colours in everything from 100% silk lace yarn to cashmere/silk gossamer yarn. I knit a big wad of samples for what I thought was going to be an Aeolian shawl. I started, re-started, bought new needles, changed needles again… and finally I am done.
I knit this shawl on the road to Whistler, all through the Stanley Cup playoffs, and even on our tiny mini-trip to Vegas that was a wedding gift from one of our groomsmen. I’ve made a few other crafty things for our wedding and hope to share those with you soon too. I might not get a chance to write again until after the wedding and honeymoon, but hopefully if you are going to Sock Summit, come say hello to me! I’ll be taking class with Amy Singer and Sandi Rosner, and then I’ll be spending the rest of the time with my yarn at the Dublin Bay booth!
P.S. In order to make all this wedding/honeymoon/Sock Summit stuff happen, I’m going to be out of the studio from July 13 to August 2… just in case you were looking to come visit the studio. Order placed during that time will ship in August. See you in a few!
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