Despite all my dread, the mending of the shawl went really, really well.
Like I planned, I threaded a needle with the yarn, and then wove it in along the bath of the previous thread, starting a little ways back. When I got to the break, I looked back at the path the yarn had taken in the sections before and after, and tried to duplicate it – imagining that the knitting existed (where it didn’t) and wove the yarn in and around. When I got to the place where the yarn existed again, I kept going with the replacement, following alongside the existing yarn. It wasn’t perfect – not by a long shot, but I think that nobody but me would be able to find it, and frankly, sometimes I need to lighten up on knitting perfection when it’s like that. This shawl has thousands upon thousands of stitches that were executed perfectly, and three that were replaced imperfectly, and that’s a test score of about 99.99%, and any way you slice that grade, it’s pretty awesome. I’m not going to harsh on myself about it.
See? Pretty good, if I say so myself. When it was done, I thought about lashing the overlap with thread and sewing it in place, but it really didn’t seem to need it. I did some tugging- the sort of pressure that I thought it would take while being worn, and it looked absolutely secure. I trimmed the ends carefully, and then I blocked it again. This time, since it had already been washed prior to the first attempt, I just pinned things the way I wanted, and then steamed it a bit. I just used my iron, hovering over the knitting with the steam on high.
When it was absolutely dry, I unpinned, moved to the next section, and repeated until I had the whole thing done. That’s no small feat, since in the end, this shawl measured over 2.5 metres (that’s almost 9 feet, for my American friends.)
I took about a million pictures of it then – although I’m not going to show you anything but a few little pieces, because I can come clean now about what it’s for. My sister is getting married. Pretty soon actually, just about five weeks from now, and this shawl is for her to wear over her gown.
Now, generally speaking, I love surprising people with knitted gifts – and my sister’s no exception – but this gift is a little different. It’s for her wedding day, and brides have really clear ideas of what they want to look like that day, and my sister and I have tastes that have about as much in common as avocados and porcupines, and I didn’t want her to feel like she had to wear it, just because I made it and she felt obligated. I knew the whole time I was knitting it that this was a risk.
So last night, I wrapped the whole thing up, and took it to her house.
Yeah, it’s five weeks before the wedding, but here’s the rub. If she didn’t like it – if it wasn’t what she imagined herself wearing- if it wasn’t absolutely perfect, then, I told her…
I am prepared to make another one. One that’s perfect. Sure, this one is bison, and silk and over 1000 glass beads, but I still want it to be just what she dreamed. I knew the whole time that I was making it that there was a good chance that this wouldn’t be what she imagined, and I set myself a deadline so that if it wasn’t right I wouldn’t be angry, or put out, or really challenged to make another.
That didn’t stop me from hoping that this was the one though. Erin opened it, and she loved it. She thought it was beautiful (and it is) and elegant (and it is) and the right size (and it is) and that the beads were just perfect for the yarn (and they are) and….
She’s not sure it’s the right colour. It contrasts her dress, and while I think that’s perfect (and it is, no matter what she says – how else can you see the lace pattern?) that might not be what her fantasy wrap does. We were looking at it in the evening, in a darkened bedroom – and I think she might feel differently when she sees the combination in daylight, like it will be for the wedding. I am committed, however – to staying neutral on the decision. It’s her dress, it’s her wrap, it’s her day. (It is perfect though, and I hope she thinks so in the end.)
I’ve given her 48 hours to consult with my mother (who always knows what’s perfect) and then let me know. I’m standing by with different yarn, another 1500 beads and a good attitude. Cross your fingers. If she’s going to wear it, I’ll show you the whole banana after the wedding, and if it’s not right, I’ll show it to you sooner.
It is perfect – although maybe just for me.