The Damsel shawl by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Damselfly

When the summer was at its height, the Otter quite suddenly and with no warning broke the delicate and insubstantial heart of the Damselfly and walked away from the loch and into the moor. The bereft Damselfly left her peaceful loch and familiar happy stones and followed him for many miles, but the Otter was a master of concealment and kept himself always out of reach. Exhausted, the Damselfly lay down in the heather and the moor claimed her body for its own...

The Damsel shawl by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Damsel shawl by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Damsel shawl by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie

One day the Otter took his ease by a loch, quite unaware that he was being observed — by another young Damselfly who had secretly watched from afar the doomed romance of the Otter and her older sister. The young Damselfly had found the cruelly-broken heart and watched while the moor claimed the body of her sister. The wings of this young Damselfly flashed sunlight as she wove her magic around the Otter, who was oblivious to its thistledown touch and went on his way unencumbered by doubt or worry.

The Damsel Fly costume by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Damsel Fly costume by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Damsel Fly costume by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
I designed the damselfly costume for a child in remembrance of far-off summer days. I sketched and planned this costume in detail before I began knitting as there were diverse aspects that I wanted to convey, such as how the creature changes from underwater swimmer to winged beauty and from a pale form to its final bright colours. Each species comes with its own defining colours and I chose my favourite, the Emerald Damselfly. The sides of the body and the sleeves reflect the pale form, and I worked these side-to-side with thin, vertical bands of colour. I then created an abstract pattern based on
the wing veins and worked this in the colours of the Emerald for the wing-shaped front panels. Using these same colours, I worked a central vertical panel on the back which echoes the long narrow shape of the segmented tail. I then created a lacy design for the detachable wings. Hidden hooks hold them on the shoulders and also under a patterned border along the centre of the sleeves. Finally, I made a larger matching wing to serve as a wrap for the heartbroken sister damsel, so that she could rest on the moor in comfort.
 
Alice Starmore