Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Specs on the Veil:

Yarn: Merino Oro in Natural White 028, 1 1/4 skeins

Needles: Addi Lace size 1s, 24"

Pattern: Original, but derived from EZ's Pi Shawl in Knitter's Almanac, Victorian Lace Today and this Elann pattern.

Started: Swatching began at the very beginning of June. I started knitting the veil on June 17th.

Completed: August 12

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Something old, something new

The woman at Knit-A-Way tried to warn me. I went into her shop the second week in June and bought myself some Addi Lace needles (size 1). When she found out that I planned on knitting myself a veil for my wedding, she asked me, "When?"

I replied, "This August."

She asked, "A year from now?"

"No, two months from now -- almost to the day."

She looked at me in disbelief. "Why in the world are you just starting now?"

As I walked out, I thought about her answer. Yes, most people would have started earlier, but I tend to move through knitting projects quickly. Why in the world wouldn't I have enough time? School was out, which meant I would have a lot more time for knitting....

And I wisely chose a pattern that would start at the center and move quickly at first -- so quickly I decided to stop knitting and start over after a night. Good thing I did, because it was a mess. Then I realized, around the beginning of July, that the rows were getting REALLY long and it was taking me forever to finish.

On July 25, I thought I had finished. The radius of the veil was exactly the length from my wrist to my neck. It would surely be long enough, once I added a small edging. But wait! I looked at those clever Elizabeth Zimmermann increase rows -- and saw there was a slight break in the pattern, and the symmetry was off. The middle section of 12 repeats was mirrored on either side by 6 repeats, which didn't seem to give the shawl much balance. On I went with 3 more pattern repeats, so I now had a pattern of 6-12-9. The extra length drew the attention away from that center portion, which I felt was needed.

During the Cake Cutting

On August 1, I finished the ninth repeat, inserted a lifeline and got ready to begin the border. But what border to use?? I found two possibilities in Victorian Lace Today: the inner half of the border of the Large Rectangle in Spider Net (p. 25), and the outermost border of the Shoulder Shawl in Spider Pattern (p. 131). I worked some magic using Adobe Photoshop and my Microsoft Word skills to combine the two, but the border still wasn't quite what I was looking for. After adding in two more repeats of the inner border, I was ready to roll!

And (gasp -- I can't even believe I did this!) I didn't even try swatching my pattern. I just immediately began knitting the border on, and it worked out. I love it, the way it joins to the body, the proportion of the width, the lacy bits on the edge and the way the main motif is mirrored in the 3 swirls of the border. At first I worked methodically, but time kept on ticking. I was halfway through by Monday, August 6, with six days to go. Finally, on Thursday I finished and blocked the lace, just before I went off to meet the first guests to come into town.

Describing the Process

The lace was ready, and so was I. I opened up the comb with fake pearls that I had gotten at Michael's and was ready to attach the veil to the comb to wear during the ceremony. Some quick backstitching with sock yarn and a tapestry needle, a line of crochet chains just below the backstitching, and a row of double-crochet was all it took to hold the comb -- and it was all reversible! All I would have to do was pull the crochet out, and the veil would become a shawl.

I now pronounce you....

I have always enjoyed expressing my individuality. Often throughout the wedding planning stage, I struggled with the expected conventions that I felt didn't represent me. (No bouquet toss, please. And I'll pass on the garter dance, too!) I never liked the idea of a veil, but I knew I would need a shawl should the night get cold. It gave a simple, old-fashioned tone to a non-traditional day, to be wearing something so old in spirit but made just for the occasion.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


I'll make it. I'm almost halfway finished with the edging. I started the edging 2 1/2 days ago. I have 4 more days to go.

No time to take photos or upload them or do anything but continue!

(The cut I got yesterday on my left index finger doesn't help any, either....)
To break up the text:

When I was in North Carolina, I was taking pictures of some flowers in a greenhouse when this happened.