Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Shrugs, Shrugs and more Shrugs....

My daughters friend asked me to knit her a shrug for a wedding she was going to. I gave myself a few self inflicted headaches making it but I think she was happy with the result. This is Antonia wearing the shrug whilst standing with Emma the bride.

Here's another picture of Antonia wearing the shrug. Far left.

I am hoping to write this pattern up and add it to the blog for anyone out there who wishes to make a shrug in 4ply(fingering weight to anybody reading this in the US).

I had to design it myself in the end for a few reasons. We had a trawl through my books, patterns and the web but couldn't find anything spot on. Thre were a few that Antonia liked aspects of, the shape from one or the arm length she liked in another so we narrowed it down to a couple that I could improvise but then.....The only yarn Antonia could find in the colour she needed was 4ply. All the patterns we had bee looking at were DK or aran. Not many free shrug patterns out there in 4ply. I found a couple that were either childrens or big batwing numbers. Antonia wanted a very neat minimal style. In the end I gave her a stitch library book and she settled on a moss stitch cuff/bands with stocking stitch main body. I wasn't sure whether to give a huge sigh of relief or be a little disappointed at how plain it was. I should point out at this stage Antonia designed and made her dress herself, she is a very talented part time designer and so not only did I want to make it as well as possible for her but also for me because I kept imagining all eyes would be on her outfit as much as the brides so I didn't want to let her down in that respect. Another problem is that Antonia doesn't live local to me and so there would be no fittings as such and although I had some measurements to go on and my daughter Leigh-Ann as a stand in model I was more than a little nervous at the fit.

I had also never knitted a shrug before and I know now they are very very simple when I first looked at them I couldn't picture in my head how they fitted. I ended up doing a quick trial one first which Leigh-Ann has ended up with. This was a very rushed first attempt wasn't meant really to be worn by anyone hence the disgusting colour but I forgot that Leigh-Ann loves all forms of yellow and so has adopted it. This was knocked out in a weekend although I have to confess the finish is a little bit ropey. I have sneaked it back out of her room in order to sew it up a little better.

So then after knitting my prototype it was back to Antonias shrug which I tried to knit the sleeves very cleverly in the round but the shortest circular needle I could find in the time frame was 40cm long and it was stretching the stitches too much. I 'm not a fan of dpn's either, I'm not practised enough and I can't get get my movements to flow so I feel I end up with tension issues and it looking baggy. I think I restarted it 3 times in all completely and still frogged it several times before I was happy with it. I think Antonia was a little worried in the end as she finally received it finished two days before the wedding despite giving me 6 weeks notice. I owe her a big hug for not panicking or nagging me, or Leigh-Ann for not telling me that she was panicking or nagging and so taking the flack on my behalf.

You would have thought that I would be fed up to the back teeth of shrugs at this point and I was ... but did I also mention that I'm a glutton for punishment!!!

I ended up knitting a shrug for myself . It was an ultra quick chunky affair knocked up in less than 36 hours not going flat out either. I call it my mermaid shrug because it shimmers like a mermaids scales in the blue sea.

I haven't got a finished picture with me wearing as yet, but I will post one as soon as possible.
And then.... now you would think I really was heartily sick to death of doing shrugs by now.. well yes but I did another one anyway.
My mermaid shrug only took two of the balls pictured above and it was my friends daughter 5th birthday, my 5 year old son was going to the party and so needed to take a present, after a mammoth mammoth week for family birthdays (4 in total, including mine, Leigh-Ann and my dad) cash is in severe shortage. Knowing my friend would appreciate the effort put in to it I knitted another one for Annie-May. A mini mermaid shrug. Doh I forgot to take a photo as I had only just finished stitching it when it went into the gift bag but again I will obtain a piccie and permission to use it from her mum.