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Recently, a project on Ravelry caught our eye: an exquisite wedding dress knitted with our Metalico yarn by Amy (Raveler knitpurlspin). When we got in touch with her, she agreed to share some of the photos from her special day and the details on how she created this stunning garment.
I had always been that person who looked at women who made their wedding dresses as though they were a bit crazy, but when my husband and I got engaged, the prospect of shopping for a dress filled me with dread. Eventually, I remembered someone’s beautiful knit wedding dress and came to the conclusion that I should knit my own dress, too (especially since I’m not a particularly experienced seamstress).I’ve always been one to modify or make up patterns, so I spent a lot of time researching on Pinterest and Ravelry for inspiration and pattern ideas; in the end, I combined three patterns to create the dress.
Next, I had to find the perfect yarn: it had to be shiny because I didn’t want to look like I had knitted a giant, lacy sweater dress; and it had to be soft, since it was going to be close-fitting. It also had to be undyed, but not bleached white ( I look a bit silly in white), and my final requirement was that the yarn was thin enough to go through beads, because I intended to cover it in sparkles. I came across Blue Sky Alpacas’ Metalico yarn and fell in love with how soft it was and how the silk in it made it gleam. The natural color was perfect, so I bought a skein and took it to the bead store and found that Delica beads slid easily onto a loop of the yarn. I ended up using twenty skeins of Metalico and over 3500 beads and Swarovski crystals.
It took a lot of improvising to put the three patterns together; the skirt was worked from the top down using a provisional cast, allowing me to work the top part of the dress later. I learned that you can add beads as you go with a crochet hook instead of threading them on before knitting, which allowed me to add beads at whatever interval I wished. For the hem, I wanted an odd number of crystals with the largest dangling off of a center point, so I had to modify the pattern to accommodate this element. The holes in the crystals were small and fragile, so I bound off the hem with one strand of Metalico and one strand of silk beading cord to attach them securely. I picked up stitches at the waist and continued to add beads as I worked. I decided to replace the nups in the lace pattern with beads and bound of with beaded picots at the sleeves and the super stretchy bind off at the neck.
I’m quite proud of and happy with the end result. Although there is 1 kg (about 2.2 lbs) of yarn in the dress and more weight from beads, it felt light and airy to wear - and it never felt hot or itchy. My mother made me a midnight blue dress and a tulle skirt to wear under the knitted dress to make the lace pattern stand out. All of the beads and crystals made it sparkle when I moved, and the skirt fanned out really nicely when I spun during our first dance. If you’d like to know more of the nitty-gritty details of my process, or see more making-of pictures, please visit my Ravelry project page. I also post photos of my current projects and experiments on instagram @knitpurlspin. Photos by Stuart Axelbrooke and Wesley Bratt.