FO – Hope’s Jellyfish Shrug

Two Christmas gifts had to fly under the radar around here. While I’m not sure that my best friend Hope reads this blog, I do know she sees my Flickr photos, and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise.

I also finished this one with almost no time to spare before rushing it to the post office in an express envelope and crossing my fingers that it got to Boston on time (it did!).

Pattern: Jellyfish by Iris G in the July 2007 MagKnits
Size: Small
Yarn: Patons Brilliant 69% Acrylic 19% Nylon 12% Polyester, color 3008 Crystal Cream; I used a little less than 2 balls, each 1.75 oz/50 g and 166 yards, for approximately 332 yards total.
Needles: aluminum 9-inch size 10.5 (my mom’s) and Knit Picks Options size 9.
Modifications: Changed yarn and needle size, accidentally changed lacy rib pattern.

Started: December 7, 2007
Finished: December 22, 2007

Hope is a sparkly, fun girl, a musician who works in IT by day, a classically glamorous style mixed with a punk-rock sensibility. She’s recently lost a lot of weight and has many weddings to attend this year, so I thought a sparkly new shrug would complement all her pretty dresses in an exciting but relaxed way.

This project actually started with the yarn, a delicious cream color with gold metallic flecks running through it. It reminds me very much of champagne and shouted “I am for Hope!” from the shelf a year ago.

I consulted a Ravelry forum for suggestions, and everyone was taken with the Jellyfish in a solid color. I didn’t know if I’d have enough yarn, since I was subbing a stretchy DK for worsted weight mohair, but I ended up with plenty, even some leftover.

I loved the fabric it created – nice structural stitch definition but very delicate drape.

I have adored this pattern since it came out, and it was an absolute pleasure to knit. The vine lace stitch pattern is beautiful, easy and simply flies by. I memorized it within the first few rows, which really helped me keep knitting through the very stressful last two weeks of the semester. The shaping is elegant and entertaining without becoming cumbersome, which I think is a mark of a brilliant pattern. I knew exactly what to do on every single row, but it didn’t feel like I had my hand held – the instructions were clear and well-written and this project was a pleasure, through and through. I can’t say enough good things about it.

This was the shrug while blocking, an interesting shape. I was very pleased that the lace opened up at this point, as I’d worried about using a synthetic.

I had a few accidental modifications when I got to finishing. When I picked up stitches for the ribbing, I ended up with spaces. Because they were regular, I decided it’d be a little lacy detail, and I didn’t let it bother me.

I also misread the pattern while doing the lacy rib, so the order is a little off, but I kind of fudged it and think it came out alright. This project had such an all-over serendipitous quality that I really felt that anything I did was okay – it looked great no matter what!

I’m really happy with the outcome, and my friend absolutely loves it. She called me on Christmas Eve saying it fit perfectly and she would wear it to a New Year’s Eve wedding – woohoo! I will ask her permission to post photos of it modeled soon. This was a really fun knit, a great gift, and a remarkably pleasant experience.

More shrug pics (also, I’m home)

I am home at last from Italy, and I had an absolutely amazing time. I’ll be writing a lot and posting photos on my regular blog soon, though I am still adjusting to the time and getting back into my life here.

I will say, I got a lot of use out of my cropped raglan shrug in Italy (in the above photo, I was on the Lido in Venice). We had to cover our shoulders to go into churches, which we did quite frequently for classes. I also found my shrug to be perfect over dresses in the evenings, and because it washed so wonderfully, I wore it all the time.

These two were at the botanical garden in Padua, which I just loved.

I didn’t bring any knitting with me to Italy, nor did I find any yarn shops. I was honestly too busy painting and studying to get around to it. Since returning, I’ve knit on my Summertime Tunic a bit, but I had better get back to work on the baby set before the baby grows out of it!

I hope you all have had a lovely summer thus far, and I look forward to getting back in touch!

FO Cropped Raglan Shrug

With days to spare before I leave for Italy, I finished my cropped raglan shrug!

I just love it.

(click photos to enlarge)

Pattern: Lion Brand Cropped Raglan Sweater, free pattern #70111
Size: L, 41″ bust
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love 100% acrylic, 4-ply worsted, color 099, Antique White, dye lot 34787
Needles: Susan Bates size 7 straights, KnitPicks Options size 8 & size 7 24″ circular, KnitPicks size 7 DPNs
I picked up 120 stitches instead of the called-for 94 when knitting the front bands. I also knit the arm ribbing in the round on DPNs to diminish the amount of seaming.

Started: April 23, 2007*
Finished: May 31, 2007

* – Project was put on hold for quite some time in attempt to make the cursed baby sweater. Actual knitting time was much shorter.

I loved this pattern. It was easy, moved quickly, and was enjoyable to knit. I love the eyelet detail on the raglan increases. I thought it was exceptionally well proportioned and easy on the assembly.

The yarn was really nice in my hands and it feels wonderfully soft and comfortable to wear. The openness of the fabric makes it nice and breathable.

I am intensely happy with this shrug and think I will get a lot of use out of it abroad and upon my return. It just now occurred to me that this is officially my first wearable FO, and considering how easy and pleasant it was, I am inspired to start cranking out more!

Previous Entries on this Project: Indecisive Shrugs, Shrug On

Shrug On

After your suggestions and the lovely new patterns (thank you!), I have significantly lengthened my list of future shrug projects. In the meantime, however, I’ve gone with the Cropped Raglan Sweater from Lion Brand.

Pattern: Cropped Raglan Sweater, Lion Brand free pattern #70111, size Large
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love 100% acrylic, 4-ply worsted, color 099, Antique White, dye lot 34787
Needles: Susan Bates size 7 straights, KnitPicks Options size 8 circulars
Modifications: none planned
Started: April 23, 2007

I may try to make another before I leave (probably the Fiery Bolero), but in the meantime I think this pattern is the one I’m most likely to successfully complete, and it fits all of my requirements. It’s also simple enough that I can knit and read, which is essential in these final crazy busy weeks of the semester.

I’m a few inches in already, at 9 of the 28 initial raglan repeats, and I really like it. I think that it will be really versatile, as it will probably be large enough to wear pinned shut as well as open.

I’m using very soft off-white acrylic (I’ll explain why I usually use synthetics in a future post), and I absolutely love the way it feels against my skin.

It’s almost surprising how much I enjoy the eyelets on the raglan seams.

I am hopeful that this will turn out really nice, and I am excited thinking about wearing it in Italy!

Indecisive Shrugs

Yesterday I wore a rather uncomfortable and ill-fitting store-bought sweater over a sun dress and it became apparent that I could really use a nice shrug. I’m going to be spending this summer in Venice, and my professor has informed me that women are required to cover their shoulders when going into churches, which is where a lot of the art we’ll be seeing resides, so something really versatile would be great.

That said, I’m having a heck of a time finding just the right shrug. I think part of why I’m struggling is that I already know the yarn I want to use, and I’m trying to avoid buying new needles… but few shrug patterns tend to call for worsted weight or the needles I have.

One contender is this Cropped Raglan Sweater from Lion Brand, though it seems perhaps a bit less fitted than I’d like.

I was also looking at some of the shrugs in the Summer 2005 issue of Interweave Knits, particularly the Fiery Bolero, which is exactly what I want, though I’d have to adapt it for the yarn change.

I’m undecided on the Viennese Shrug, which is for worsted weight, but maybe not my favorite lace pattern ever. I really wish they had a photo of the back.

They also had a set of Staff Shrugs (opens PDF), but they don’t feel quite right for what I want.

I went through every single shrug or bolero pattern in the Knitting Pattern Central database (perhaps I haven’t mentioned – I can get obsessive sometimes), and nothing really called out to me.

This Silk Capelet Shrug is cute, but calls for tiny yarn and needles.

Lastly, I’m rather fond of this Wanda cropped sweater (especially because my grandmother’s name is Wanda), though here the needles are too large, and I wonder if so much detail would feel heavy.

Argh, I feel like I’m being so picky! I wish I knew enough to design my own shrug, but as it is I’m not even comfortable figuring out how to modify an existing one. Ironically, I had started knitting an Esprit Raglan Shrug last summer, but I got so sick of the fiddly tiny elastic yarn that I put it aside and never got back to it.

So I’ll have to think on this a little more…