I’ve been wanting to post this exciting news, but I exercised great restraint until everything was certain. Not an easy thing for me—restraint… Here’s the backstory:
On September 30th I received a message from one of my granddaughters with the “hint” that she’d like a knitted wedding dress. I ticked through the possible downsides of doing this:
My caution: The dress definitely wouldn’t resemble the wedding dresses worn by brides today.
Her response: I’m an “old-fashioned” girl and would LOVE a knitted wedding dress.
My caution: It would take a long time to knit a dress like that.
Her response: It will be at least two years before I get married.
My caution: But what if you don’t like it once I’ve knit the dress.
Her response: Not going to happen, Grandma.
So I pulled up Ravelry online and went pattern shopping. I had her look at dozens of pattern photos I thought she might like. She did like some features of some of the dresses but nothing was “just right.”
She said, “You’ve designed sweaters. Couldn’t you design a wedding dress?”
I told her I’d think about it, and I did. After a couple of sleepless nights I decided that if I could find a lace pattern we liked for the skirt, it would be doable. She wanted a sweetheart neckline, and I’d already designed a sweater with a sweetheart neckline that could be adapted for the top of the dress. And maybe … if I could design the sleeves with the lace motif running from the shoulder to the 3/4 length she wanted… Maybe it was doable.
I started sketching and went back on Ravelry to find the yardage for a project like this. Once I had the approximate yardage, I started searching for “just the right yarn.” I must have viewed at least a hundred different white yarns: cotton—too heavy and stretchy; wool and nylon—the sample I looked at just didn’t feel right; and on and on. I finally decided on a sport weight alpaca and silk.
It was a bit spendy, but how often does a grandma get to knit a wedding dress for a beautiful granddaughter? Nuff’ said!
I finally settled on Amano Ayni, 5000 Salt White yarn—80 percent alpaca and 20 percent silk—and went searching for an online store that might have 20 skeins available. As I expected, no one had that much of the same dye lot in stock, but one contact—Laura Lamers, owner of NorthCoast Knittery in Eureka, California,—said she could order that yarn from the manufacturer and have it to me in two weeks.
I was ecstatic! I made the order on November 25th. While waiting for the yarn to arrive I met with my granddaughter and took copious measurements. Twice, just to make sure all were correct.
The good news, I just received word the order is shipping today and I’ll have it first of next week: as close to two weeks as anyone could possibly come. Not only that—they have wound the skeins into balls. Talk about service!
As a footnote, I’ve also purchased enough elastic thread I might use to knit along with the yarn to keep the fabric stable and not stretch out of shape. We’ll see how that works when I knit the swatches.
I’ll post updates as the work progresses, hopefully I’ll have a good schematic sketch of the dress in the next week or so.