Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Simple Shrug

I wanted my first non-scarf knitting project to be fairly simple and selected an easy pattern for a shrug from Mother-Daughter Knits: 30 Designs to Flatter & Fit by Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter.

The first step was to create a swatch so I could make sure that my gauge was correct. Thus far I’d only knitted scarves, and that doesn’t require this first step. The lazy person in me didn’t really want to make a swatch but it was important to do. The Two-Way Shrug directions suggested size 10 needles, which I tried but apparently I knit on the tighter side, so I created a second swatch using 10.5 sized needles and that ended up perfect for me.

With the correct sized needles in hand, I could start knitting my shrug. For my yarn I decided on using black and ivory because you can’t go wrong with a classic color combination. The pattern was easy enough that I could knit comfortably without too much stress; I would just look things up once I reached a point that required special knitting instructions. This was a good piece for me to practice doing increases and decreases on; I think the hardest part was picking up the stitches on the sides to knit the rest of the border [and I don’t think I quite got them all. (Pause.) Oh well.] The last steps were sewing the seams to form the shrug’s shape and adding buttons. 

I made some mistakes along the way but I think it turned out well overall (especially for my first shaped project). I think the simple shape of the shrug utilizes what it has to its advantage; I like the triangular points at the sleeves and how the natural curl of the stockinette stitch is used for the collar. It’s a perfect little shrug to put over a tank or a sleeveless dress.


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