As some of you are aware, my son Beta got married in August. I had 15 months' notice of the wedding, so there was ample time to knit a fabulous shawl for the bride, Kay. Kay chose the pattern, Evenstar by Susan Pandorf. As the wedding was to take place in either Maryland (the bride's homestate) or North Carolina (where my son and now the newlyweds live) in August, it needed to not be too heavy or warm.
I cast on in July 2013 using a cobweb merino/cashmere/silk blend. Intermittently, I would bring out the project and work on it, knowing I had two weeks' of vacation in January in which I planned to do most of the knitting. At the end of week 1 of vacation, I had approximately 50% of the shawl completed, and discovered this:
I was distraught. I stared at it for perhaps 30 minutes searching to see whether I would be able to fix it. I decided to sleep on it overnight. The next morning, I examined it again, and decided no fix would be perfect enough to suit me for the wedding. And so, I frogged the shawl. And cast on again. At the end of week 2 of vacation knitting, I was almost to the exact same point in the knitting. Cobweb yarn is frustrating for me to knit - it simply doesn't have enough weight to it to hang down well, making digging into those tiny little stitches easier. So, I began using a large skein of contrasting yarn as a tensioning device inside the project (being a circular shawl, it made a "bucket" inside the needle).
About this time, I went to a LYS, Heavenly Socks Yarns, Belfast, Maine to find yarn for a shawlette I designed for the bridesmaid and one I designed for the mother of the bride. The wonderful Helen showed me a shawl given to her by a very prolific and excellent lace knitter that was knit from a bamboo laceweight yarn, Xie (Southwest Trading Co.). She had be try the shawl on to feel and see the wonderful drape of the bamboo in lace. I'm looking down on my arm, admiring the lace and felt I recognized the shawl pattern. I asked what it was, only to discover that the shawl was the very same one I was knitting for the wedding! And I like it far better in the bamboo than in the cobweb weight yarn I was using.
To make a long story short, I had Helen order the yarn for me, and went home to put the project on a lifeline for indefinite, if not permament, storage. And so, I cast on the shawl for the third time. In June, I took another week of vacation and stayed at a wonderful inn Inn on the Harbor for a week. The windjammers could be seen from the picture window in my room, there was a great deck right on the water for knitting, endless pots of tea, and great restaurants within walking distance. My vehicle never moved all week!
And in the inn, I knit. And knit. And knit. And then I started beading the border. And the wedding shawl was finally born for Kay & Dan's wedding. The shawl was draped around both of them at one point in the ceremony, then just around Kay.
They were married August 16 on my son's aunt's horse farm, complete with horse drawn wedding carriage, traditional Philippino food and pineapple fiber wedding dress and barongs on the wedding party. The food was prepared by the bride's family and a farm boar who escaped his pen during the wedding ceremony to trot around the guest and be herded back to his pen using a Gator (think ATV utility vehicle) and a GSD...