The story behind designing Fleur de Lis Lace Cape

Ta! Da! And now you can see what the blue yarn in the salad spinner became.

It’s my newest design Fleur de Lis Lace Cape.Having now lived in Louisiana for over 40 years, the French fleur de lis has become one of my favorite symbols.¬†For a long time, I’ve been wanting to to create some kind of shawl with fleur de lis medallions.

Beaded Fleur de Lis Lace medallion

I originally had in mind that I would design a scarf or stole. That idea never came together as something that really wowed me. So I kept setting aside the idea awaiting the moment for design inspiration to knock. I wanted something elegant with an ¬†interesting construction, yet easy for others to knit (since my intention was to publish the knitting pattern). Finally, during a light bulb moment last month, I quickly sketched the design for “a cape worthy of royalty”.

I thought that was my last stumbling block to finally getting a move on turning the idea into something tangible. But then I kept tripping over what color to use for the sample model. The fact that we were smack dab in the middle of Mardi Gras probably was why I could not get past the thought of purple and gold. So I enlisted the help of my daughter-in-law Meredith Young, expert and collector extraordinaire of all things Fleur de Lis.

I asked her –

As the expert of all things Fleur de Lis, what color do you usually think of?

And she answered –

I generally think of gold or royal blue, as I believe those are the colors of the Bourbon monarch’s flag, and the wonderful cape worn by Louis XIV in that famous painting.

Thanks to Meredith, I felt I was finally ready to get underway! I immediately remembered the 3 skeins of “Majestic Blue” Kraemer Sterling silk & silver I’d previously gotten on hand to make some kind of new shawl design. The yarn must have known what it wanted to become, because I certainly didn’t at the time. Yarn has a way of talking to me when it gets ready to want to come out and play. Rather than metallic gold beads (which I felt would be too garish in the context of the look and feel I envisioned for this design), I considered some other more subtle options. I settled on Light Caramel Ceylon beads by Miyuki.

Fleur de Lis Lace Cape - front view

I worked the cape top-down, starting with a half hexagon neckline of 3 beaded fleur de lis lace panels. As you can see from the pictures, the panels continue down the front edges and center back. There are triangular increasing sections between the fleur de lis panels; this creates a distinctive half decagon shape with 5 edges along the lower border.

Fleur de Lis Lace Cape - back view

The shape is easier to see in this quick snapshot I took while the cape was still drying on the blocking boards (I just finger blocked the shawl to shape without pins or extra tension).

Blocking the Fleur de Lis Lace Cape

Interested in knitting a Fleur de Lis Lace Cape for yourself? The pattern is available now at Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy.

Cover page of Fleur de Lis Lace cape knitting pattern


Written by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer - Visit Website

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