A shrug and a smile

Ahah!  Bet you thought I haven’t been knitting, since I’ve been blogging about everything but that.  You would be wrong.  When writing days are the longest, I need my knitting the most.

I’m shrugging – no, not doing the bobbing thing with the shoulders, but knitting a shrug.  Remember, I mentioned it in my blog on instant gratification?  I even posted a picture there of the yarn I was going to use.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to that goal.  The pattern called for knitting the shrug in one piece from cuff-to-cuff, so I did one skein worth of a sleeve – and didn’t like the way it looked or felt.  This is the problem I have with knitting wearables.  In a store, I try on five sweaters before finding one with the right look and feel.  With knitting, you have to do the all work before you can see whether you like it or not.

In this case, it wasn’t a big problem.  I returned the unused skeins, purchased a different fiber (a blend of mohair and silk that has a tiny silver sparkle in it), and chose a slightly different pattern.  Click on the picture below for a more detailed look.  You can’t quite see the sparkles, but, trust me, they’re there.

This time, I love the way it looks and feels.  I’ve already finished the shrug itself and now just have to sew the sleeve seams, then pick up stitches for the cuffs and a ribbed border up the lapels and around the neck.  Cuffs and border are done two-stranded – using one strand of the same yarn as the body and one of alpaca to give the ribbing stability.  I can’t wait to see how the shrug looks when these edges are done.  More, I can’t wait to wear it.  Gray is such a neutral, wear-with-anything color, and this shade of light gray for spring and summer?  Perfect.

Since the shrug is too big now to tote around as a travel project,  I’m also knitting a pair of Monkeys.  It’s another Cookie A. sock pattern, this time from her book knit.sock.love.  Take a look.

And then there’s my Les Miserables scarf.  Hey, I can’t only work on two projects at once, can I?  This one’s pretty cool.  It’s an alpaca-silk blend that you knit up on big needles, almost like lace, then felt.  The pattern calls for you to drop stitches (and unravel – scary!) every tenth row or so, which means that when you felt it, you get long rectangular holes that create a chic ragged effect – as in, a street person from Les Miserables.  Get it?  One of the women in my knitting group made this, and it’s spectacular.  I’ll try to add a photo here of mine in progress.  Meanwhile, though, it’s a free Ravelry download, so if you’re a Ravelry person, search “Les Miserables” and take a look.

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  1. Julia on May 5, 2012 at 5:26 am

    It’s so good idea with knitting 🙂

  2. Pat on May 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Please post a photo of the finished shrug….

    • Kathryn in Montreal on May 8, 2012 at 10:53 am

      Yes, please do post a shrug photo… preferably with you in it!

  3. Pat on May 9, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Yes, please, with you wearing it!

  4. PHYLLIS on May 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Barbara, just finished “Escape”. I have read most of your books, but this surpasses them all. Maybe you should write more by yourself. I am a caregiver and your books are my escape! Keep them coming.

  5. Pat on June 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Last year when I was driving back and forth to visit my husband in the hospital, I found myself talking out loud to myself. I asked my sister if she ever did that and she said not only did she talk to herself, but she has two sided conversations! And I thought I was strange…..

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