Monday, 2 May 2011

Wedding wings

For three summers during undergrad I worked in heaven (or, as it was more commonly called, Maligne Lake). It is one of the most beautiful places on earth and I loved spending my summers there. I discovered a love of kayaking and re-discovered my love of camping. I dated a couple of coworkers (not at the same time, honest!) and spent many a Monday night drinking huge half-price margaritas with friends. When the margaritas weren't half-price we would make our own drinks - mixing milk and ice or ice cream with chocolate syrup and other flavourings - topping it all off with a liberal dash of Baileys or Kahlua or Creme de cacao or Frangelico or... well, you get the picture! I used to tease one particular friends that she liked me for my blender since she would often knock on my door to invite me and my blender for a drink.

Whatever her reasoning for befriending me, however, that particular friend became a very special person to me. She is amazingly friendly and kind, and VERY outgoing. An example was her regular bar wear - a revealing shirt and short skirt over BRIGHT red full body long underwear (we were, afterall in the mountains and evenings, even in mid-summer, could be co-old!) My favourite outfit of hers, however, was her butterfly wings - purple and turquoise and just as bright and sparkly as my friend. She would wear them while running errands around town, just because! And the sight of her in those wings always made me smile.

We stayed in touch through 3 summers in Jasper (especially the summer she worked at the chocolate store with a good staff discount... mmm!!) and through all the moves of the subsequent decade (yay for Facebook!). She even spent the night on the bus to show up at my dad's for Thanksgiving one year - invited but TOTALLY unexpected! When she announced her engagement I knew I wouldn't make it back for the wedding but wanted to do something. I remembered an afternoon we had spent in a fabric store looking at wedding dress patterns. Both of us were single at the time but that didn't stop us from picking out a pattern for my wedding dress, she had promised to make me my wedding dress afterall! Nowhere near the seamstress she is, I turned to what I know I can do, bought a half dozen balls of a gorgeous white yarn and began searching for the perfect shawl pattern. I got a couple dozen rows (top down!) into one before deciding it wasn't quite right and ripping out weeks worth of work. I did eventually find the perfect pattern but realized as soon as I read it that it wasn't a straightforward pattern. I blessed the wise friend who had steered me away from the laceweight mohair I had originally contemplated and cast on. Now that I'm long done I can easily say this particular shawl was the most difficult and most annoying thing I have ever knit. Luckily, however, the end product was gorgeous, although not anywhere near as gorgeous as my friend in her wedding dress.

(photographs shamelessly pilfered from the flicker stream of a talented photographer at my friend's wedding)

Looking through the wedding photos posted on Flicker I was thrilled to see her wearing the shawl in a few of them. Not being there on her big day was hard, but at least part of me was close at hand. I wish her much love and happiness in her marriage and, when things get rough all she needs to remember is that she knows how to make mayonaise from scratch! (the totally unrelated words of wisdom she once gave me after I had poured out all my troubles to her)


  1. That is so beautiful, and inspired by such a wonderful memory.

    A married woman in wings doing errands may land her in a hospital, but in shawl wings she'll have people talking.

    True friends are the only friends

  2. Beautiful wings! And a beautiful story of friendship (the greatest of external goods, according to Aristotle). love and hugs, Cath

  3. How lovely and unusual! I'm sure she'll treasure them forever :)