This is a capelet (I'm not actually sure that capelet is a word, but I've been using it a lot this week, so if it isn't it should be) that I knit up for the friend of a friend who is getting married this weekend. I've never met this friend of a friend (FoaF), or in fact know anything about her, but on Thursday last week my friend (the one I do know) mentioned that the FoaF had her wedding dress (a lovely strapless, non-meringue type dress) but was having trouble finding a scarf or something to wear if it gets chilly.
It occured to me that I had a squillion skeins of laceweight yarn and a love of knitting lacey things so I asked my friend if she thought FoaF would have any interest in something I made. A resounding yes was the answer - and so off to knit I went.
Being short of time (the wedding is this Saturday) I decided a full stole or shawl wouldn't work and so I hit on the capelet idea. I had some Kid Silk Haze in cream and some glass beads which I thought would work nicely with the ivory colour of the dress (although that's a bit iffy, I've seen a photo of the dress online, who knows what the colour is in real life). I decided on the feather and fan pattern as it meant I'd have a scalloped edge without having to knit on a border (time saving!) and 5mm needles because I thought big loose knitting would give an airy look (and would make the knitting faster!).
Basically, I crochet cast on about 70 stitches, knit 5 stitches on each end in garter stitch throughout, and divided the remaining stitches into 12 pattern repeats of feather and fan. I increased in each pattern repeat every second row for about 16 rows, then moved to increasing every forth row, then to increasing every 8th row until I had about 50 rows completed.
I knit a couple of plain rows, then added the full row of beading (that took a looooong time as there were about 450 stitches to be beaded!) on the right side, then a knit row on the wrong side. Cast off with a lace cast off to preserve the lovely scallops.
Then to finish it off I picked up the cast on stitches, beaded each of those on the right side, then a knit row on the wrong side. Finally I cast off that edge with a picot cast off.
I used a little less than 2 skeins of KSH, and about 520 small beads.
I gave the capelet a fairly lenient blocking -- I stretched the lace and just shaped the scallops by hand -- no pins!!!
I don't think these photos do it justice - I'm very pleased with the final result. The beads add a lovely bit of sparkle to the hem and neckline that the photos just don't pick up. If I were to make another one I would do fewer garter edge stitches (2 or 3) and probably add a picot to give a bit of interest to those edges. I'd also consider doing 2 rows of beading around the neckline.
The capelet is winging its way to the bride now. Of course I realise (as I have through this process) that it may not work with the dress or it might not be to FoaF's taste -- but I'm ok with that. I figure even if it doesn't feature in the big day she can pass it on to one of her friends in her own random act of kindness and EVENTUALLY it'll get its moment in the sun!!
Baby Surprise Jacket Collar
Emily asked in the comments how I did the collar on the BSJ. It was pretty straightforward really, after seaming the sleeves I picked up about 16 stitches along the left neck edge, a similar amount along the back neck edge, and then 16 stitches along the right neck edge. Don't worry about the exact number of stitches - 16ish is fine. Then I knit about 15 or 16 rows in garter stitch and cast off. Voila! A collar!
One of the things I love about keeping the blog is when someone new stumbles across it and comments on older posts. Some of you might recall the crisis of confidence I faced last year when it seemed IMPOSSIBLE to find a Wyoming-ite to read the blog. Well, Janet dropped by a couple of days ago and she is indeed from Wyoming! Way to go Wyoming! She filled me in on the Wyoming knitting scene and recommended a good little LYS if I'm ever in the neighbourhood. Thanks Janet!