Thursday, July 29, 2010

I love ravelry shrug

I must confess that when I was a new knitter, nothing scared me.  In fact, I think I mentioned I knit some sweaters for my then toddlers right after having mastered dishcloths.  But why not?  sweaters are basically big rectangles and triangles.  While my results weren't perfect I learned some things that stick with me today.

And yet, lately I find myself afraid to take chances on things that I *really* want to make.  I'm finding I'm afraid. So that's the real reason I don't have a dollar and a half cardigan. It is also the reason that I don't yet have a shrug to go with my purple, green and black dress.  Ok, I have one that I whipped off, but I wanted a lacy purple one.

So, I picked out a pattern that I liked, which is more jacket than shrug from Ce Ce knits and hiked off to my yarn store, with the dress in hand to find DK weight yarn in this specific purple.

I love purple, but purples are hard to match.

The yarn store had two choices: Tahki Charles cotton classic and Debbie Bliss Baby cashmerino. There wasn't enough of either at the store, but she thought she had enough Debbie Bliss at the other store. I like cotton classic, I made a sweater in it once, and as cotton goes it is pretty good, but I didn't want to have to special order it (because of the weight! ha I bought this in MAY).  So the owner brought down the Debbie bliss from her other location, and 3 days later I had the yarn.

Now, Debbie Bliss Baby cashmerino is not DK weight.  But I thought... oh heck I do not know what I thought, I've seen too much Tim Gunn proclaiming Make it work! that I thought I could... well make it work.

After 3 swatches it was clear that either I'd need to do some major math, or find a new pattern.  And I tried the math and learned that "just making a bigger size" was only going to work if I made one size larger than the largest size listed on that pattern and that seemed to me just asking for trouble.

So off to Ravelry I went searching for a new pattern. And I found one.  Only is isn't a shrug, it is a whole sweater called Henley perfected.  It was in the Interweave knits magazine a while ago and I had the issue.  I guess I never thought of it as anything else until I saw all the variations people had done on it in ravelry.  I saw variants with all lace, no lace, short sleeves, all lace sleeves and then it hit me, I could do a short sleeve short sweater variant.  In other words, a lacy jacket like coverup that I'd call a shrug.

But of course there has to be adjustments made to pull this off. The first was that the directions for the hem were just whack. Basically it had you sew the hem in. Which is funny because Interweave knits online shows a better way. Then my hem rolled so I pulled out out and made it longer.

Actually that wasn't the first--First I had to figure out how many to cast on because the stitch count changes several times for shaping. Combine that with deciding how long to make it, and you see why I have only part of the back done.

Now I am busy doing the decreases for the sleeves into the back lace pattern--which by the way is not something I do well naturally. I am reasonably good at reading my knitting which is what you pretty much have to do at this point. But since I like to knit while I watch tv, I need to write it all out. So my knitting time today has been taken up by graphing out the lace repeats and blocking out the decreases. A tedious task, but it should make the lace come out right.

No pictures, but perhaps when I have a bit more to show.

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