Thursday, May 25, 2006

Penelope's got nothing on me

I don't know where I got the idea to make my own wedding shawl. It was probably based in a mad delusion in which I am better at both knitting and time management. I was thinking romantic thoughts involving the words "heirloom" and "fond memories" and imagining a stunning shawl that would make people who know me only as the tomboy anti-domestic-arts girl say "You made this? You made this??" So I suppose it's all one big ego-stroking exercise, when you get down to it. But really, is that so wrong?

In the process of creating "fond memories" and an "heirloom," there have been many many incarnations of the wedding shawl.

First it was this knit pattern, then it wasn't.

The demise of the knit... it was taking too long. Plus, knitted lace? A big step up from where I stand now, which is in the kiddie pool of knitting.

Then it was this crochet pattern,

and then it wasn't.

I didn't like the solid look anymore. Because I am fickle and also a masochist?

And then it was going to be a crocheted wedding-ring edging (kind of like this edging, but less red and green) on a piece of store-bought fabric... and then it wasn't, because for the love of yarn, I've been crocheting for 3 years now and I have taught people how to crochet and I can DO THIS, darnit! I can make my own wedding shawl and it will be awesome!

I had checked out A Gathering of Lace from the library, and was drooling over the circular shawls in there (Feather & Fan Shawl is my life's ambition at the moment) and shazam! I saw before me a crocheted circular shawl. I picked up my hook and my yarn. I had no idea what I was doing--no pattern, just an idea. I've never designed before, but I started making a solid circle in double crochet stitch. It got pretty big and I got pretty excited.

(Do you know that kind of creative excitement? When you see the end result in your head and your breathing comes up a little short? I used to get it all the time when I wrote craptacular poetry in highschool, when an idea would hit me and I realized it was the perfect way to express my angst and inner turmoil about my wildly over-dramatic and truly awful relationship with an emotional troll named Brian)

Anyway... back to the shawl. This is what happened after a day of "I wonder what it would look like if I do this."

I had no pattern or plan, just a day off work and an unlimited supply of patience and yarn. It was only after I had completed the 5th round that I noticed the star/sunburst thing in the center has 13 points. Oh no! Unlucky! And on my wedding day! Gasp! I considered ripping it back, but decided that would ask more of my sanity than I'm willing to give, here at nearly 60 days to my wedding (good god!). Then I named it the You Make Your Own Luck shawl, or I will when it's finished.

It's not very big still, and I had the whacked-out idea of making it into a rectangle (don't ask), but I'm working on it and trying to get inspiration from knitted circle shawls and crocheted doilies. I think the next round will be some combination of shells and net, but we'll see. I'm completely making this up as I go, and I have no idea of the current stitch count on that last round.

But it's mine and I'm really really proud of it and have high hopes for making snooty relatives' jaws drop in 61 days.


Kiki (C'ville) said...

I think it is fabulous and the name of your shawl is just perfect! Congrats!!

Pica said...

But Penelope was weaving a funeral shroud!!!

All your projects look gorgeous. You will knock them all dead at the wedding.

SheCrochets said...

Amazing! And with no pattern... I am so in awe. Good job!

Valbee said...

I can't crochet at all, so I am most impressed with your efforts - and your determination!

I'm visiting today via Tara's Friend of a Friend Friday!

Brandy said...

Hi. I came across your blog from another. I live about an hour away from you. I think your shawl is looking beautiful. Nice job!!!

KathyMarie said...

Thanks, ladies, for your supernice comments. My confidence has been boosted!

Watch for updates (I hope).

(And Pica, I totally forgot that Penelope was weaving a shroud--I only remembered the unweaving. Silly me. Am putting The Odyssey on the nightstand right now for refresher. :))

Pica said...

Instead of reading that whole dense epic poem, I can recommend Margaret Atwood's new book, The Penelopiad.

Lisa said...

It's lovely!

Lace, even crocheted, can have a mind of its own. I think working without a pattern is awesome and probably the best way to go. I was making my mother a lace snowflake centerpiece for her table for Christmas. Two weeks of work and I noticed it just...wasn't...right...but I couldn't find the problem. One night, drunk on tequila, I found twelve mistakes in the pattern. I had to practically re-write the thing. It was finished, barely, in time, and it was done out of love, but there is a curse in every stitch for the pattern creator.