Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Gift for a Beautiful Bride

Two people very dear to me were married this weekend. The happiness in their eyes was a gift to each other and to all of us who love them.

And so, now I can tell you about that little white item I'd been so mysterious about before. I was concerned, with the stunning off-the-shoulder style of today's wedding dresses and the planned October date, about the possibility of a chilly day.

It seemed like the sort of thing a knitter ought to be able to do something about. I considered various possibilities, like a knitted lace shawl. I wasn't sure my lace-knitting skills were up to a rush job on something really intricate and beautiful, and more importantly, I wasn't sure if a shawl would be to the bride's liking. And, unless requested, it seemed presumptuous to give her some showpiece she might feel obliged to wear.

I found my solution here. Something small, just a bit of a thing she could pull on later in the cool of the evening if she needed a bit of warmth. And something that, if so, would cover just her shoulders and as little as possible of her lovely gown. I thought, in the right yarn, the Eyelet Shruglet from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders might be just what I had been looking for.

I got to work. At a local yarn shop, I found Alpaca with a Twist Fino, a gorgeous alpaca and silk laceweight blend. I held a thread of that with a thread of soft fingering weight merino wool. I used a large US size 10 needle to get an open texture and match the pattern's gauge. Then I went looking for the prettiest button I could find.

The pattern itself has some problems. The publisher provides errata for the pattern, correcting the stitch pattern for the simple eyelet used in the body of the shruglet. The corrections don't go far enough, though. There are small errors in stitch counts that require some judgment to notice and correct. But mostly, I think, the problems in this design come from the abbreviated format used in a book that squeezes in so many patterns. With more space, more details could be specified to clear up areas of confusion. Charting this design would make a world of difference. While I have plenty of experience to work out these kinds of kinks, I wonder if a novice knitter would.

But I was determined, and, intermittently, patient, and I wasn't going to be stopped by a little thing like that. I backed up when necessary, I worked out missing details and placements, and before long I had a pretty little shruglet made. Once it was blocked, it became incredibly soft and, with the drape of the alpaca and silk added to the merino wool, it hangs beautifully.

The shruglet is small and stretchy. I made the body a couple of inches longer than in the original pattern. As written, it ends high up under the arms, and since this was for warmth, if needed, I wanted it to give a bit more coverage.

When worn, even buttoned, it spreads open gracefully across the bodice. It's a pretty little thing, worth persevering through the hiccups.

As it turned out, the day of the wedding was cool but not cold. The sunshine and the emotion provided enough warmth. But I was happy knowing that, just in case it should be needed, if the crisp weather brought on the shivers, there was a little wisp of a wrap laid by.


Robin said...

Very sweet! Love the stitch patterning.

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

This is a beautiful creation.

Bess said...

Oh my. that is simply beautiful. A wise choice to add that little drape from the alpaca and silk. What a gorgeous gift - how thoughtful about not overwhelming someone you love with too much gift. It's the exact right balance of special and useful. She is a lucky lucky girl to have such a friend.