The Renard Silk Dress was knit in the summer of 2020, right after the Bridget Dress' first sample in fact. I found a few skeins of Fleece Artist Handmaiden Fine Yarn Sea Silk in my stash, this luxurious yarn was purchased a long time ago with gift certificates from my wonderful family. One of my favorite things about knitting is that feeling of receiving something incredibly special which I actually created for myself. As I often mention, knitting for me is a self love practice, and even finding these precious skeins in a drawer of yarn was a special moment that felt like a gift from my past.
The context of this moment in my life also had a lot to do with the creation of this pattern. While in lockdown in 2020 I had the opportunity to heal and tend to my own emotions. I took this opportunity and found that by my July birthday I felt more like myself than I had in a long time. The year 2019 had been very hard for me on a personal level, and I had been healing for a long time. While I don't fight these difficult emotional times, like all beings I'm affected by them. Knitting is what gets me through these times, as well as my yoga and meditation practice. Finally as I approached 34 I felt free of the weight of this difficult time. Of course the year 2020 posed so many challenges as well, yet I was able to keep my confidence through them. In short, I felt beautiful again, and I wanted to create something that would celebrate that.
I knew this was the perfect yarn to create something very special. Sea Silk is 70% silk and 30% sea cell, it positively glows and feels so soft against your skin. I had 3 skeins of this beautiful taupe color and I used almost every yard. I didn't do much planning for this design, I wasn't really intending to share the pattern with the world. However, the reception from folks has been really overwhelming, I think you can see the love and confidence I was feeling when I made this dress for myself.
Since so many people have asked about it, I am creating a pattern for this sweet dress. I'm going to be streamlining it as I really experimented with the design of this dress and some things ended up less than ideal (I had to cheat the back a little bit by sewing the straps together as I made the top too big!). During the winter I placed this pattern on hold, but with spring fast approaching she's been moved up on my priority list.
The Renard Dress will be released in March of 2021 to celebrate the Spring Equinox! I don't have an exact date chosen yet, as it really depends on tech editing, finding testers and getting a test knit completed. I still see myself as a very new designer and each pattern I've designed and released has taught me so much! What I know now is I still don't know much (haha) but I'm really loving learning as much as I can through this process.
So while I continue to enjoy my first imperfect version of this pattern, which I do wear when I want to feel extra elegant lounging around my studio apartment, I'm really looking forward to sharing the improved pattern with all of you soon!
If you'd love to make your own Renard Dress, sign up for my email list to stay notified as the release of this dress approaches. If you're interested in test knitting this pattern please reach out to me via elizabethmargaretdesigns [at] gmail.com.