Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Friday, 21 June 2013

Leggerissima Revealed

I am very excited to be able to share this project with you now!

This projects journey started back in March of this year when I cast on with the finest of yarns and teeniest of needles!

This pattern has been on my mind for several years now and I have had the yarn in my stash since 2009 at least, so I was delighted to actually sit down and use it :)

The pattern is called Leggerissima, the yarn is Heirloom Knitting's Cashsilk in White Shine and I used a 2mm circular needle (hiya hiya bamboo, gorgeous to work with, with slight flex and a good grip).

I knew that I wanted to make a veil, with my own daughter in mind, that could be used by a bride or by a little girl for her first holy communion.  I thought a lot about shape and what would look good, a veil would need to sit neatly on the head or at the back of the head without unattractive bunching or obscuring any of the detail.  The veil would need to be able to fan out over the shoulders so that the congregation would have a full visual.  

So I came to the conclusion that either a semi circle or some sort of crescent would work the best.  In the end, taking from the Shetland tradition, I decided on a 3/4 crescent based on 'feathers' with each feather bearing the same pattern, finished with a knit on border. 

If you enlarge the photo, you can see the beads!

As a touch of luxury I decided on adding seed beads to both the bottom edging and the edging around the side and top edges.  It also adds a little weight to the hem and lets it fall nicely around the face and shoulders.

As a wonderful bonus, if you use this veil as a wedding veil, you can remove it after the ceremony and drape it luxuriously around your shoulders (where it will stay put without pinning thanks to it's wonderful shape) and you can use it as a capelet or shawl for the reception!

 Once I had a pattern ready, I also had a deadline, as I wanted to enter this veil into the RDS National Crafts Competition and I needed to have something ready by April 30th.  

Luckily, the veil was a delicious knit and took 22 days of non stop knitting to complete.  I was so pleased with how it turned out.

The veil weighs 36g with beads/28g without beads (all 529 of them!) and used 904 yards of yarn.  It measures 85" x 19" and works wonderfully well as a veil.  

I decided to call the veil Leggerissima which is Italian for featherlight, as my daughter climbed with me to the very top of the Duomo in Florence (my most favourite place on the planet) a journey which was all the more special as I didn’t know she was there with me, though I was unusually hot and tired and emotional with a wicked sense of smell. The following week I discovered I was pregnant with her :D

So I entered into the competition and was then asked to forward my veil for judging by the 12th of June to the RDS.  We barely made it to Dublin on time on the Wednesday as every red light seemed to be against us and the kids needed to be collected from school at 2.10pm.  Luckily we were able to enlist help!

Then the waiting began!

In reality it was only 9 days, but time dragged and I was beginning to get butterflies every time my phone beeped.  I found out yesterday that I have gotten through to the exhibition!  Whoohoo!  Some pieces win prizes and then others are chosen to be exhibited, so I am delighted to be part of the privileged few.

Leggerissima will be exhibited at the RDS Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show from August 7-11, 2013 in the RDS Concert Hall, Merrion Road, Dublin 4 and it will be open to the public (free of charge) on Friday August 2nd from 10.00am to 5.00pm.

There will be a prize giving before that and I will fill you in on all the details in good time.

So please visit if you can :)

Happy knitting



  1. Congratulations !! What a beautiful veil, I hope I can get in to see it in real life! Best of luck with the exhibition!

  2. It is simply gorgeous. And 22 days? I bow for your speed.

  3. Wow! The veil is stunning and a great story to the name. Best of luck with the competition.

  4. Oh my! That is stunning! I loved reading the story too. I wish I could see the exhibition.

  5. It is absolutely gorgeous, good luck with the competition, I will keep my fingers crossed for you (although with your talent and that lovely veil luck is not needed). Thank you for telling us the story behind the name.

  6. Thank you all, it is one of my favourite pieces to date!

  7. Oh wow. Finally found a decent substitute for google reader and caught up on all your beautiful knitting and lovely photos! This is just fantastic. I'm delighted that so many people will be able to see and admire it in person at the show :)

    1. Thanks Julie, I can't wait to see it in person again!