FO – Green Jellyfish Shrug

(Note: I actually wrote this post in September of 2008, but I didn’t publish it at the time because I didn’t take detail shots until uhh, last weekend.)

As far as shrugs go, this one is already very well traveled.

It was seen on the streets of Milan.

It made undocumented appearances in Venice and Volterra (among other cities).

It went to Rome where it visited many churches.

It even made it to the Vatican.

With each time I took it out of my suitcase and slid it over my shoulders, I think I fell a little more in love.

Pattern: Jellyfish (Ravelry link) by Iris G., free pattern previously available on MagKnits, now available for sale here
On Ravelry: Green Jellyfish
Size: Small
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted 10-ply worsted weight, Grass (dye lot 3740), 60% Pima cotton 40% Modal; I used 4.5 50-gram balls, totaling approximately 225 grams/7.92 oz or 337.5 yards/308.6 meters.
Needles: US size 10 (6.0 mm) straights and Knit Picks Options interchangeable circular needles, in US size 8 (5.0 mm)
Modifications: none

Started: July 10, 2008
Finished: July 14, 2008

This project literally flew off the needles. I’ve knit one Jellyfish previously and loved the experience then, so I knew it would be fun. By substituting worsted weight cotton yarn, I got a denser but still nicely draping fabric which made for a substantial yet cool shrug.

I took a bit of a risk working the size small, since I usually wear a large in store-bought tops, but I think if I had made this any larger it would fall off my shoulders and look sloppy.

The construction of this shrug is really satisfying: the sleeves and body are knit flat, seamed at the underarms, then stitches are picked up to do the neckline ribbing in the round. Because of the heavier yarn, the neck ribbing forms a sort of collar that cuts in sweetly around my clavicle. It’s a nice surprising detail that looks intentional, and I have to like that.

I used Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off (with instructions from this Knitty article) to maintain the stretchiness of the rib. Because I used a way longer yarn tail than necessary, I wasn’t completely in love with the technique, but I see how useful it is.

The way the vine lace came out just thrills me.

I have previously professed my deep love for this yarn, and it continues to rank among my favorites. I noticed that this color shed slightly more than the others I’ve used, which I hear is a fairly common complaint, but I didn’t find it bothersome. It holds up beautifully to washing and wearing and the color is exactly what I wanted for a summery shrug.

This almost instantly became my go-to garment to wear with sleeveless dresses and tops. I wore it regularly while I was in Italy (and got compliments every time), all over Brooklyn and New Jersey, and basically everywhere I go. It is by far my most frequently worn FO, and I adore it. People consistently comment on its color (which matches my favorite malachite earrings really nicely) as well as its unique style, all of which please me to no end.

I definitely recommend this pattern in a DK or worsted weight yarn, or whatever you could imagine. It was a fast, easy, and pleasant knit and I think it would makes a great gift too. All around, this is one of my favorite FOs, and I look forward to all the wear I’m sure I will continue to get out of it.

Previous Entries on this Project:
Keeping Busy

Whispering Along

As much as it feels like I haven’t been knitting, I’ve been making quiet progress on my Whisper Cardigan.

I’m about to finish the second sleeve, and I have to say, this is going much faster than I thought it would. I’m encouraged that one day soon it will simply slide off the needles finished like a sigh.

The fabric created is so lovely. Using a fingering weight yarn makes it feel substantial, but still airy and light. I think this is going to be really pleasant to wear.

I think this is true love.

Keeping Busy

I feel bad doing these drive-by posts where I slap up a few photos and scurry back to what I’ve been doing, but I am exceedingly busy with work, getting ready for my trip, sorting out a mess with my student loans, and figuring out where I’m going to live once this lease ends.

I guess the good thing is that the prevalence of anxiety and insomnia lately results in lots of knitting.

While I sort out what to do with my Eleanor socks (I am going to knit a third one to match the more open eyelets of the second sock, I think), I have continued working on my self-designed socks. Look – they’re actually looking like socks!

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I’ve decided to name these Springtide socks. In designing them, I was going for something that evoked the new life of spring growth, delicate chutes emerging from the soggy ground and vibrant leaf tips glowing in the sunlight. I hope to have these finished soon, as the deadline for their particular Sockdown contest is rapidly approaching.

I also cast on a really cool pattern for July, Scrolls Socks (Ravelry link) by Charlene Schurch from her book More Sensational Knitted Socks.

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I love the swooping movement in this pattern, which is deceptively easy to knit.

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It’s amazing to me how such different patterns can emerge from simple combinations of knit, purl, increases, decreases, and YOs. I am utterly charmed by these.

I’m planning to bring the Scrolls socks and a few other small projects with me to work on in Italy. I am also planning to bring my newly-finished Jellyfish shrug (which we will talk about in all kinds of depth soon).

For now, a peek…

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Yeah, I’m pretty happy about that.

FO – Cropped Raglan Sweater for Elise

I am very glad to have finished Elise’s cropped raglan sweater today.

I took photos before blocking, but I think you can see I’m pretty happy with it.

Pattern: Cropped Raglan Sweater (Ravelry link), free pattern from Lion Brand
Size: Large (41″)
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted 10-ply worsted weight, color #8067 Sea Spray (dye lot 3740), 60% Pima cotton 40% Modal; I used just under eight 50-gram balls, totaling approximately 400 grams/14.08 oz or 600 yards/552 meters.
Needles: Knit Picks Options interchangeable circular needles, in US size 7 (4.5 mm) and 8 (5.0 mm)
Recipient: my aunt Elise
Modifications: none

Started: February 1, 2008
Finished: June 27, 2008

The usual disclaimers apply, in that I started this months ago and put it down for a long time, then finished it this week.

My aunt lives in Hawaii and works in an air-conditioned hospital. She mentioned how her shoulders and upper arms often freeze at work, so I wanted to make her something light and appropriate to the tropics, but substantial enough to keep her warm. I also wanted a soft and easy-care yarn, and I knew she adored this cotton/modal blend when she was admiring my grandmother’s shawl.

One of the most interesting aspects of this project for me is that I’ve made this pattern before, a little more than a year ago, and in acrylic. I really enjoyed knitting it in cotton and seeing the way it was intended to drape. As much as I love my first version, I found the cotton to be swoon-worthy in wonderful ways.

There were several technical differences this time around as well. Apart from general speed and confidence, now that I know how to seam, I knit the sleeves flat rather than in the round on DPNs, which I found made them go a lot more quickly.

As I only just learned how to properly pick up and knit stitches last week, it was quite a different experience doing the front band ribbing. I picked up 2 stitches for every 3 rows, which gave me about 74 stitches when the pattern called for 94. I feel like if I had picked up more stitches (as I’d done in my acrylic version), the ribbing would sag in the heavy cotton.

I used a stretchier bind-off on the arm and waist ribbing to make for a more comfortable fit. I learned this bind-off from toe-up sock knitting and figured it would work as well for upper arms and to give the waist some stretch. I wanted this sweater to be easy to pull on and off, fitting with the easygoing drape of the cotton. I worried that this bind-off made it flare slightly, but I can happily say that all evened out with blocking.

I think this is a great pattern. Because it’s such a versatile design, I find I wear mine all the time, over girly dresses or casual tees. I chose this soft greenish blue color because I think it’s beautifully subtle. I hope it will function almost as a neutral with the rest of my aunt’s vibrant wardrobe, making it easy to coordinate and enjoyable to wear. I also thought it would look great against her lovely tan complexion and blue eyes.

I am completely thrilled with the yarn. It is so nice to use and makes for a decadent finished project. I got to see how well it held up with my grandmother’s shawl, so I know that my aunt’s sweater will look great for a long time too.

My only concern is that this sweater may be a touch too big for my aunt. I tried it on myself to compare it with last summer’s version, and it’s slightly looser and more drapey all over. I think it’ll be okay, if a bit more casual in feel than mine was. I really hope she likes it! I’ll try to get photos of her wearing it when I give it to her for her birthday this weekend.

(By the way, for any Cure fans out there, I can’t look at this project without thinking of “A Letter to Elise,” but yknow, a sweater for Elise. Heh.)

Previous Entries on this Project:
So close
WIP it Out
About those resolutions…