Monday, November 14, 2011

Shawl Angst

A while back I was pretty excited about starting my wedding shawl. When I got engaged I thought I'd use this opportunity to knit something kind of epic that I'd never think of wearing for some other occasion. This is my perfect chance to dive into some ridiculously complicated lace, I thought - I can do it! I have the time, and the skills or at least the cocky stupidity! I have a whole queue of gorgeous lace shawls to choose from, and a skein of exciting yarn to knit with. I'd narrowed it down to rectangular stoles or semi-circular shawls.

Let me confess that I haven't yet started my shawl. I haven't even chosen a pattern. While I've managed to be fairly low key about most of the wedding planning so far, bride madness has struck on the subject of my wedding shawl. I find myself scrolling through all the beautiful patterns on ravelry thinking, "ooh I like this... but is it special enough to be my wedding shawl?" This has got to stop. Who knows, it might be warm enough on the day that I won't even want to wear it - though this seems extremely unlikely for an outdoor ceremony in April in Scotland.

Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace, with my pearls (please excuse re-used photo)

I know it's not worth my stressing about it. I want to make a beautiful object, and I will... but I seem to be waiting to have a "shawl moment" - you know how some brides try on a dress and have some kind of spiritual experience and just know that is THE DRESS? Well, I didn't have one of those moments for my dress, and never expected to. And yet, I appear to be waiting for such a moment while scrolling through shawl patterns.

Talking with a knitter friend about my madness recently, she asked me what I want to get out of this shawl business. Obviously I'm building it up a bit too much. I thought about it and concluded that I want my shawl to be impressive. Impressive to me. I want to be impressed with myself for knitting this object, although I know that non-knitters won't truly understand the effort/time/skill/madness that has gone into it. Many of the shawl patterns in my queue fit this criteria for me, so it shouldn't be a problem. And yet I'm still indecisive.

Here are the other criteria:
-Lace-weight or easily subbed for lace-weight yarn
-Will use up to one skein of Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace (1000 m)
-Rectangular or semi-circular
-Lots of open lace, preferably with more than one lace pattern involved

(Though you'll note that some of the patterns I love in my "maybe wedding" queue don't follow those criteria at aaaaalll.)

What think you, knitters? Can you talk me down from my madness and convince me to just get on with it? Do you have a pattern recommendation?


  1. OK, it doesn't quite fit the criteria but I'll suggest it anyway:

    Swallowtail like this

  2. I wish I'd got off my backside and finished my shawl pattern now, cos I think it would be perfect, especially since I designed it using Scruptious Lace. Ah well, such is life.

  3. I don't really have a suggestion I just wanted to wish you luck on your search as well as express upon you my absolute envy for your Scotland wedding.
    Although, looking through your maybe wedding queue, I am struck by the Vernal Equinox Surprise Shawl. Is there any way you can add notes to your queue as to why each one is being rejected?

  4. I don't have a good suggestion.. but I just love the pearls with the yarn. So pretty.

  5. No real suggestion other than to say just pick a pattern and STOP LOOKING AT ANYTHING ELSE. You'll drive yourself crazy with the what-ifs if you don't... and then it will never get done.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished shawl once it's off the needles! :D


  6. Well, I'm with Lina - make a decision, and then go for it.

    However, I checked out your maybe queue, and you seem to really like Kieran Foley designs (he's one of my favorites too). Why not look at the queue (quickly!) and only pay attention to what really speaks to you. I think you know what pattern that will be.

    Then that's the one. And then get cracking! I'll look forward to seeing it - I'm certain it will be fabulous.

  7. I'm with grandmastatus, I love the Vernal Equinox shawl, it's really beautiful. I don't know why, but it look weddingy to me =P

  8. I was going to suggest Muir but I see it on your list already. It's a lovely pattern but isn't too complicated to look at either. Good luck with choosing, I'm having a hard enough time just choosing a shawl for my mum to knit me for Xmas let alone for my wedding!