The Epic Chuppah Cover
August 20, 2016
December 1, 2016

The Epic Chuppah Cover

Project info
Leaves of Grass by Jared Flood
Needles & yarn
US 4 - 3.5 mm
US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 7 - 4.5 mm
Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk
5.5 skeins = 9548.0 yards (8730.7 meters), 1243 grams
WEBS - America's Yarn Store in Northampton, Massachusetts

This is going to be my chuppah (wedding canopy) cover, so I need it to be much bigger than a regular shawl. The chuppah will be 8’x8’x8’, so I’m aiming for a knitted circle diameter of 11.5 feet. How did I come up with that number? My math is all explained in the photo with diagram.

In a Jewish wedding, the chuppah represents the new home that the couple is creating together. I think it is fitting that my new home be covered in knitting.

I purchased this kit for my chuppah.

Because of the size needed (and the limited time) I added twist to the yarn on my spinning wheel, and then plied two strands of the yarn together to make a heavy fingering weight yarn. I initially wanted to do this in the lace weight but my very SavvyMom told me in no uncertain terms that I was not allowed because it would take too long and would drive me insane. I think she was right.

20 Aug 2016
Cast on. Knit Chart A.

21 Aug 2016
Knit all reps for Chart B.

22 Aug 2016
Knit the first repeat of chart C (except the last row).

23 Aug 2016
Finished the second repeat of chart C.

24 Aug 2016
Finished repeats three and four of chart C.

25 Aug 2016
Finished repeats five and six of chart C. Worked one row plain, as instructed. Worked increase row.

25 Aug 2016

I want to keep chart ‘D’ as the outer design, since it’s a bigger pattern repeat and it strikes me as one that is better suited for as the last repeat before the edging.

So…time to improvise on what lace designs I want to incorporate. Since chart ‘C’ is a 9-stitch repeat, I wanted something at least a little bigger. I’ve decided to go with the lace pattern in To infinity and beyond. This is a 13-stitch pattern and I think it’s particularly pretty. I am going to call this: Chart E1 (as in, extra chart #1)

I figured out that after my stitch doubling, I will have 576 stitches. In order for the stitch number to be divisible by 13, I need to increase 9 stitches for a total of 585 stitches. I will work a second increase row as follows: (Knit 64, m1) rep 9 times around.

Chart ‘C’ was an 8 round pattern that was repeated six times (for a total of 48 rounds). I have to double the number of rows after doubling my number of stitches. I therefore need to work 96 rounds, or a total of 12 repeats of Chart E1’s 8-round pattern.

I’m also planning to start adding beads. I’m hoping to do something where the beads increase in density as I get closer to the edge. I know that it will take a lot of time to do this, but it will be so pretty!

28 Aug 2016

Knit 2 and a bit reps of the To infinity and beyond lace pattern. I’m adding two beads on every other lace pattern repeat, on the stitch before and the stitch after the purl stitch on the third (of three total) non-lace rows. I added the bead before knitting the stitch on that row. I beaded the first rep of the pattern, and I skipped beading the second pattern repeat. I’ll bead the third pattern repeat.

The chuppah cover is growing nicely, but it will grow in diameter at a slower and slower rate as the circumference grows. Must just keep knitting.

I have a few other wedding related things I would like to make. I need a little bolero or shrug for me (I considered a shawl, but my dress is fitted and I don’t want to hide my figure by draping myself in a large, shapeless piece of fabric). Then there are the two bridesmaids, my mom, the two groomsmaids and my future MIL who could use shawls or shrugs. Obviously I won’t be able to knit that many. My priority is the chuppah cover, then my shrug, then something for my mom and my MOH (my lovely sister!!). My other bridesmaid is a knitter and might be happy to make something for her herself. Knitted items for the three other women…that’s really just wishful thinking. Anything other than the chuppah might be wishful thinking.

6 Sept 2016

Things are moving slowly. I am 5.5 reps through my chart E1. I continue to plug away. The circle is nowhere near big enough, so I need to start thinking of what I would like my E2 chart to be.

8 Sept 2016

I’ve finished 7.5 reps of chart E1. Still plugging away!

13 Sept 2016

I finished chart E1 a couple of days ago. I’ve decided to work through chart D now, instead of doing an additional extra chart. The pattern only calls for 2 reps of chart D, but I can do 6 reps before I need to double my stitches again. I ‘m likely somewhere around a 5+ foot diameter right now, so I might need to increase again, but I’ll see once I work through the chart a number of times. I now have 1180 stitches on the needles, so each round is slow.

So far I’ve done my doubling round (which brought me up to 1170 sts) and an additional round of repeated k117, m1 so that I could increase by 10 sts and have a number divisible by 20 (the number of sts in chart D). Then I worked the transition rounds and I am now ready to start chart D.

I’m getting very worried about how long this will take me. I have made wonderful progress, but the rounds are slow now and I still need a lot of diameter growth. I am going to aim for four rounds per night of chart D. I have approx 170 days until the wedding and around 200 rounds of chart D to work before I would have to increase again. I might need fewer rounds to get the diameter that I need, but I don’t know. And then of course there is the edging. I think I need to plan a long time for that. And I would love to finish at least a month before the wedding. So…all this to say, I’m doing very well, but I also might be in a lot of trouble!

Oh, and I’ve been adding beads. Size 6, round, clear (sliver lined) seed beads. I already owned a bunch (I don’t know how many) but I ordered 3000 more. Hopefully that will be enough!

Also, I’m concerned I don’t have enough yarn. I think I am going to have to order more. I’ll keep an eye out on the Webs website for when it goes on sale next.

And I think I’ll go up a needle size (to a size seven) so it will grow just a little faster.

16 Sept 2017

I’m a little worried. Sure, the chuppah cover might be somewhere around 7 feet in diameter, but it is so slow going now with close to 1200 stitches on the needles. I am able to get somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 rounds done in an evening.

I was going to bead a lot on this chart, but I’ve decided to cut that in half in order to speed things up. I will still be beading enough so the beads are more dense than in the previous section.

I’m still partway through the first repeat of chart D.

19 Sept 2016

Still knitting. It takes a long time for each round, but I am doing relatively well. I should be finished the first repeat of Chart D by the end of this week.

Approx 22 weeks before the wedding.
I would like to finish one month before the wedding. That means I should have the knitting finished in 18 weeks. And the bindoff will take forever, so I should plan at least a month for that. That leaves 14 weeks for 5 (and a bit) reps of the chart. That means I have to finish one rep of chart D each 2.5 weeks. I may not do the full 6 reps, but I will keep working until it’s big enough, and I would prefer to be safe time-wise. 2.5 weeks per chart rep. That works out to be…2 rounds per day! I can do that (I hope).

22 Sept 2016

Doing well. I finished the first rep of the chart and I’m two rows into the next chart.

25 Sept 2016

Finished up to and including row 11 on my second rep of chart D.

27 Sept 2016

Finished up to and including row 19 on my second rep of chart D.

29 Sept 2016

Finished up to and including row 26 of the second rep of chart D. I’m definitely getting more than 2 reps done each night, but it takes many hours and I might not be able to keep up this pace each night.

1 Oct 2016

Finished second rep of cart D. I think I will end up working for or five reps of chat D before working the edging. I see how it grows. Based on my (likely inaccurate) measurements, my cuppah cover is somewhere around 8.8 feet in diameter. Not bad! I am still aiming for a total of 11.5 feet (or a little bigger). I estimate that the edging will add one foot in total (half a foot on each side), which means I have to keep knitting chart D until it is at least 10.5 feet. So…around 2 feet to go before I can start the edging. I’m putting in somewhere from two to five hours per night working on this. I don’t anticipate being able to keep this pace up that much longer, but I’ll keep trying.

9 Oct 2016
It’s been a slow week with Melanie in town, the holidays and work distractions. I’ve finished round 14 of the third rep of chart D. I managed to knit 5 rounds tonight during the presidential debate coverage.

Some good news - I recently checked my chuppah poles, and I saw that the chuppah will actually be 8 feet tall, but only 7.5’ wide/long. That means I should be very safe with an 11.5 foot diameter cover.

12 Oct 2016
Finished up to and including row 20 on my third rep of chart D.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to order more beads since I’m going to want to generously bead the border. I’ll likely need more yarn too.

13 Oct 2016
Finished up to and including round 23 of the third rep of chart D.

17 Oct 2016
Finished up to and including row 25 of the third rep of chart D. Slow progress, but it was Rhinebeck weekend, and, well, a girl’s got to have priorities.

18 Oct 2016
No knitting on this today, but I did wind off half a cone for my friend (and bridesmaid) who will be making herself a shawl for the wedding.

Also, the yarn went on sale again. The timing was perfect. I noticed yesterday that colour yarn I am using is backordered, and I thought that it would be safest if I ordered more right away (even though it wasn’t on sale at the time) so they would send it to me as soon as it gets in. So I went on the website this morning and found that it had JUST been reduced. I bought six more cones. I know that’s a lot, but I wanted to be safe.

Now I just need to wait for it to arrive.

19 Oct 2016

I finished an additional two rounds tonight. I also started working on another batch of your - first I add twist (I did almost two bobbins-worth tonight) and then I ply. I should be able to start plying tomorrow evening and also get a little knitting done.

22 Oct 2016

Finished the third rep of chart D and started the fourth rep. I also plied up another bunch of yarn. It should keep me going for a little while, at least.

24 Oct 2016

Finished up to and including round 8 of the forth rep of chart D. Am I driving you crazy with all my updates yet? It’s helping to motivate me. By recording my progress, I am able to feel a sense of accomplishment in this sea of knitting.

I made myself a guitar string beading tool yesterday. The beading is going faster. It’s great! More details and photos coming.

25 Oct 2016

Tonight was definitely a good knitting night. I finished an additional four rows, bringing me to 12 rounds completed of my fourth rep of chart D. I tried to (very unscientifically) measure the size of my project, and I think it might be around 10 and a half feet (in diameter) right now. I feel a little skeptical…it doesn’t look THAT big. I expected it to look even bigger than it seems right now. I have been thinking that I will complete either four or five reps of chart D. I think I could get away with only four reps, but I will be more comfortable with five, I think. Then again, I don’t want the fabric to be too big…I’ll have to discuss this with SavvyMom to get her opinion.

27 Oct 2016

Finished up to and including round 22 of the fourth rep of chart D. I’ve had a productive couple of days!

I don’t want to say that I’m getting bored of this…it’s just that I’m getting anxious to be done. I’m running a little low on yarn too. I’ll be okay for the rest of this chart rep, and for a good amount of the next chart rep. I definitely don’t have enough to finish the border. I’m also running low on beads. I have a new order on the way, so I should be okay on that one. It’s just the backordered yarn that worries me!

29 Oct 2016

I’ve had two very long knitting knitting days (7 rounds each day!) I finished the fourth rep of chart D. I also completed up to and including the fifth round of the fifth rep of chart D. Phew. Last rep!

4 Nov 2016
Done up to and including round 16 of the fifth rep of chart D. Running low on yarn. The yarn I need is still back ordered at Webs. I might be able to finish this rep of chart D with what I have, but I won’t make it much further than that. I’ll call them tomorrow and get an update on the shipment. Don’t they know I have a chuppah cover to knit!?!

16 Nov 2016
The yarn came in over the weekend while I was out of town. Three days ago, I spun up (added twist to) a bobbin of yarn and then plied it with other singles I had left over from the last cone. I have spent the last two nights knitting. I have now finished up to and including round 26. Only 6 rounds to go before I am done this chart and three more transition rounds. I am hoping to start the edging by Saturday. If I can get three or four rounds done for each of the next two nights, then I can do the final rounds on Saturday morning and then start the edging.

I realize that I have only 3.5 months to go, and a lot of knitting left. Would it be possible to finish the edging in 3 weeks? Maybe. I can hope. Then I can knit the capelet and the bouquet wraps. I have two and a half bouquet wraps done, and I need four total. Those are quick and easy knits. I will have to attach some buttons also. That might take a little more time than I expect. So much knitting to do. Not enough knitting time!

18 Nov 2016
Finished my last rep of chart D!! Now moving on to my three transition rounds.

---later in the evening---

I finished the first two of the transition rounds. On the first round, I added a bead every 5 sts.

Now to increase to get a number that is divisible by 8. I will increase to 1200 stitches. That means I need twenty extra stitches. I will therefore do: K59, m1.

20 Nov 2016

I knit one rep of chart E yesterday and found that I had been planning WAY too many beads. It was heavy and slow to knit, and I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t get much else done knit-wise since yesterday was also a day for a trip to Ikea (woohoo! I found exactly what I wanted, and managed to apply a coupon to get a nice discount), some other wedding crafting and a nap.

Today, I had an unsuccessful trip to the Dollar Tree (which was quite a schlep as it is a bit out of the way) and found their stock very low and their customer service significantly lacking. Let’s not discuss this. It just makes me mad.

Then I decided I was doing too much beading on the edge. I ripped out the single repeat and started again. This time, I decided that I would place a single bead on the last stitch of each WS row (I place the bead first, then purl the stitch). I managed 10 chart repeats this evening. I currently started with 1200 stitches on my needles, and now have only 1120 to go!

I am marking the beginning of each chart rep, and then keeping track of where I am in the pattern by counting the number of beads I have placed since starting the chart. It’s an easy way to know where I am without needing to mark or highlight the chart. That’s good, since highlighting is slow on this chart (since the rows are so short). I have a tendency to lose track easily on charts, so I normally have to highlight each row as I finish it.

Now, to figure out how quickly I can be finished. Let’s see. Counting today, I had 1200 stitches to work, which represents 150 repeats of chart E. I would like to be finished with the project by the end of December at the latest. I have 42 days (including today) until then. I anticipate not being able to work on this for at least, say, five of those days. That leaves me with 37 days to finish.

I’ve been thinking about blocking and trying to work out how I can build a PVC frame. First of all, I think I will need to build a half-frame, since a full circle might not fit in my apartment. I would want it to be bigger than the actual circle, so there is room for it to be stretched out. I will likely start but pin-blocking the middle charts so that I can get those nice and open without putting too much strain on the outside stitches. Once that is done, I will want to build my frame.

I could make a half-octagon using PVC pipes and 45 degree join pieces. If I want to plan to have a, say, 14 foot diameter frame, I would need each side to be 1.75 feet.

I was also looking for ideas of how to attach the fabric to the frame, and I came across the idea of using weed wacker cord as a sort of flexible blocking wire. I could feed the cord though the edge stitches and then attach it to the frame evenly.

It’s not a fully formed plan yet. I’m still working it through. I would like to do something that will be both effective and not too expensive.

21 Nov 2016

I finished 16 reps of chart E tonight. 16!! That means I worked a total of 128 edge stitches. That, plus my progress yesterday means that I have worked 208 edge stitches. Only 992 to go!

Must keep knitting.

22 Nov 2016

Guess who finished 20 reps of chart E tonight?


Guess who’s a chuppah knitting superstar?


832 edge stitches still to work.

26 Nov 2016

21 chart reps tonight. That’s 168 sts.

Remaining sts: 664

27 Nov 2016

25 reps of chart E. 464 edge stitches remain.
I’m almost afraid to say it, but the end is in sight!

1 Dec 2016

AAAAAAaaaand done!!

My only concern is that the grafted section doesn’t look perfect - you can tell that there is a bit of a break in the pattern at that spot. But I don’t think I could have done a better job, so I am leaving it. Ends sewn in.

Blocking to happen at a bit of a later date. I’m very happy.

6 March 2017

Blocking done. Wedding done. It was so beautiful, and I couldn’t be happier with it!

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August 20, 2016
December 1, 2016
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About this yarn
by Valley Yarns
80% Alpaca, 20% Silk
1736 yards / 226 grams

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  • Project created: August 22, 2016
  • Finished: December 1, 2016
  • Updated: March 7, 2017
  • Progress updates: 10 updates