The Fictional Hockey League

Critiquing hockey romance novels, of which there are many. Overthinking it is the point.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Knock Me for a Loop: Post 3

Row 2: Knit Your Own Wedding Gown

(Posts for the foreseeable future may be a bit brief and slapdash. Proofreading? Revision? What are those!? Sincere apologies—it’s been a heck of a few months and the Commissioner is digging her way out of them.)

When I finished this chapter – excuse me, this row—I didn’t have much to say. But writing this post still took a while because the chapter (row) induced me to google “hand knit wedding gown” and that was an a rabbit hole… You’ll understand shortly.

This chapter is the wedding of the couple from a previous book—not the reporter mentioned last chapter but the niece of the Alpaca-Breeder/Magic Spinning Wheel Owner. Specifically, it’s her second wedding to the same guy, so it’s at the courthouse and not particularly fancy, although it is Christmas themed.

This time around, they just wanted to make things legal again and get down to the business of starting a family (30).

I know I’m a non-traditionalist, but they do know they don’t actually have to be married for children to be a possibility, right?

This leads to Grace fantasizing about all that might have been for her perfect wedding. Apparently it would have been lavish, in no small part thanks to the fact that her television show’s sponsors were throwing products at her to use in the hopes of them getting thanked on air, everything from makeup to limousines and guest-gifts.

This seems unlikely to me… all we know about the show is that it’s called Amazing Grace, so she’s not part of a team, and she’s on the local cable network. Granted, the local cable network is in Cleveland, so at least there are a number of people (as opposed to my new town’s tv station—at least we have one!—which reaches considerably fewer people.) But even so, I have a difficult time believing that her personal show on cable access is so popular that she’s a celebrity and offered all these freebies.

But the only reason that she was thinking about that was to lead to the fact that she wasn’t going to wear a “ten- or twenty-thousand dollar designer dress” (30). Oh no indeed. Grace had started to hand knit her own wedding gown.

This is not unheard of, to be fair. If you google “hand knit wedding gown,” you will, in fact, find people who have done this. Now, if you know anything about knitting, you’ll also see that MANY of the images that come up are either machine knit, crochet-lace, or dresses that have nothing at all to do with knitting but someone was using them as inspiration for a knit and they got labelled as “knit” through Google’s imperfect image magic.

And some are just … well, not what I picture for Grace’s lavish, stylish wedding…


How long do you think she had to hold this pose and smile?
This one is technically machine-knit, but I included it because it was pretty much exactly what came to mind when someone said “knit wedding gown.” Also, the model looks so happy in her weird and probably itchy nightgown.

Yes, wedding gowns often have ruffles, but these are just … sad. (Also, this dress is from a company that specializes in handknit, made to order wedding gowns, in case you’re looking for one but don’t have time to pull out your knitting needles…)

This one isn’t awful, I guess, although it doesn’t scream “wedding” to me. And since it’s very clearly a knit piece over a fabric piece, I’m not sure I’d count it as a knit wedding gown, personally.

EVERY cable stitch EVER
The more I look at this one, the more it grows on me, but not as a wedding gown. And I hate knitted bobble things. Basically, this one is a giant Irish jumper (except that it’s knit by an artist in the Ukraine.) It looks comfortable, though.

This one seems to have been attacked by knit bobbly flower things on the way to the altar.

I’m fairly certain I had a knit dress for my barbies that looked like this. In that case, though, the giant stitches were because it was yarn that, to scale, would have been the size of a bridge cable for them. This dress doesn’t have that excuse and also what is with that choker?

"Til the laaaaaandsliiiiiide brought me doooowwwwn"
If Stevie Nicks knit herself a gown, I think.

And lastly, and I’ll just leave this one here sans comment…

Human-sized knit condom cozy?
(That's a lot of pictures. I hope we get back to Chris Higgins's abs soon...)

Okay. So, wedding gowns aside, what else is happening on Charlotte’s niece’s special day take 2? Well, for starters, Charlotte is late and they almost start without her. And when she does show up, Grace internally monologues about how hideous she looks, as she had “never met anyone with worse taste in clothes. And hair. And makeup”  (34).

Readers, that’s our heroine.

They would try, ever so gently, to explain that carrot orange hair wasn’t necessarily an appropriate hair color. Nor was Hubba Bubba pink for lipstick. And never, ever under any circumstances did lime green and grape purple—the color of Charlotte’s god-awful fuzzy Ugg knockoff boots—go together (35).

I grant you that none of those are things I would wear or choose, but seriously Grace, let the woman alone. (To her credit, she does decide that since Charlotte has such a big heart, it would be a shame to try to make her look different in case it would also change her in some internal way. I’m not sure I follow the logic.)

The scene switches to Zack’s perspective as the wedding progresses and he’s all hot and bothered by proximity to Grace, who is, naturally, more stunning than anyone there and more stunning than anyone else could ever be, anywhere, ever. He reflects on how poorly he’s been playing lately, due to his breakup. (And the text does specify that that he might be destroying the Rockets’ chance for “the Cup” so we are dealing with the NHL then.)

After the ceremony is over, he goes to Grace to tell her, for the first time since she has refused to see him or answer his calls, that he did nothing wrong, didn’t know the woman, etc. Grace’s response is to ask if he’s done. Zack says yes, walks away, and feels that he has gained closure.

Well, that was a short novel! I mean, if the hero has gained closure, then surely the heroine will do so in the next chapter and it’s all over, right?

Oh, wait, no, we still have 200 pages…


  1. It was way too early in the morning for that knitted human dildo.

    I'm starting to visualize this book as some knitted world where everyone is made of wool and dressed in hand-knit clothing. Even the mountains and sea are garter stitch.

    While we are on the subject of knitting, I wanted to tell you that one of the things I used to knit was mats for the bottom of metal cat cages at the shelter. (Remember, I can only do flat squarish things.) It was fun and they would put it in the cage right away, so you got to see how utterly unimpressed the cat was. "Don't give me a crummy doily, let me out of the damn cage."

    Anyway, I digress. I think I need to write a review soon, since my comments are getting epic. Grace is a horrible person. I don't understand why authors write these unsympathetic characters in romances. Do they not like women in general? Or is nuanced beyond their skill set? Is there no editor to suggest that no reader will cheer for a car-wrecking, judge-y, intolerant bitch in a knitted wedding gown?

    1. I'm fairly certain it's *always* too early for that knitted human dildo.

      Awwwww, kitties! That's an excellent use of knitting skillz, despite the very feline response. I used to make knit cat toys to take to the shelters in AZ. Some Grade-A catnip inside knit mice and you got quite the party.

      I appreciate your epic comments. That said, I also appreciate your reviews, so I know I at least would be delighted were you to write another one soon.

      But as for your question re: heroines? I'm pretty sure there's no editor. And the authors think they're being "edgy".

      The chapter I read in order to write a post for tomorrow pushed me over the edge as far as my opinion on Grace is concerned. Grrrrrr.