Monday, 10 August 2015

Sapphire Blue

Early summer I received another exciting custom request from one of my ‘gold clients’, a lovely lady from the States who has ordered and bought many items from my Etsy store over the past few years. It’s always so much fun brainstorming with her to find the best design solutions and materials for her custom requests. Many of her wishes have inspired me to test new things and think outside the box.

This time, she requested a set of hand-knitted lace shawl, lacy fingerless gloves, a shell clutch and a silk satin sash belt with flower embellishments and extra long ties. It was so much fun to work on the order, although none of the designs were new. It was the colour that intrigued me the most this time. At first, she hesitated, whether to go for lime green or royal or sapphire blue, so I suggested what most appealed to me at the time: sapphire. Mostly because I had been looking at these skeins of super soft feather-like kid silk mohair for some time in my local yarn store, but hadn’t yet found a right project to inspire me. It wasn’t too difficult to colour-match the rest of the materials: silk satin for the sash belt, materials for the clutch bag, beads for the fingerless gloves and Swarovski Elements crystal buttons). Some of these I already had in my stash anyway.

The central and most time-consuming item in the set was of course the lace shawl. This pattern, Branching Out by Susan Pierce Lawrence published in Knitty online magazine a few years ago has been my favourite for large ethereal lace shawls. Intricate and detailed, but very easy to remember and knit, with no hocus pocus, such as nupps. I have found the perfect way to combine three pattern panes into a wide lace shawl. The crochet lace edging is my own original design. I had some trouble finding the right density along the narrow sides of the shawl, but I got it right on the second go. 

Yarn: King Kid Silk by Classic Yarn
Needles: Size 5 circular bamboos; crochet hook size 3

I had my biggest a-ha! moment with the silk sash though. I had had similar sash belts with 3D textile flower embellishments in my selection before, but I had always limited the length with the width of the fabric pane (usually 1.5 m or so), which is not very long for a tie belt. As the client specifically requested a belt with extra long ties, I was a bit puzzled as to how to solve it, as I already had the textile in the perfect shade of blue, but - as always - only 1.5 meters long. What I really didn’t want was the look of the belt disrupted by a visible seam somewhere in the middle. So I came up with this: the one inevitable seam is discreetly hidden behind one of the flower embellishments. The result: a belt 2.56 meters long. It’s the perfect length for a tie belt, and I’ll be sure to use this solution from now on!

Wishing you guys a wonderful rest of the summer with warmest greetings from the paradise island!

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