Tuesday, 8 July 2014

a summery shrug for the holidays

I always struggle to find something that covers my shoulders on a mild but not warm summers night. I mean those nights when a cardigan is just a little too much but a sleeveless top is too little. I am not a big fan of shawls because these tend to slip of my shoulders, leaving me with the same problem as the sleeveless dress or top. I was thrilled to find a pattern on Ravelry for something that fitted the description just perfectly, the Lady Grey Lace Shrug.


I had the pattern sitting in my library for months before I decided to buy yarn and get started. After I had bought the yarn it took another full year before I got started. What put me off was the cast-on for this pattern. The shrug is knitted from the centre back in two directions, requiring a double cast-on. You would think that with a link to a tutorial in the pattern and YouTube this would be a breeze but I just couldn't get my act together. Alas, I didn't fancy spending yet another summer shivering uncontrollably and finally got started this Spring. The double cast on was of course super easy.



But then I couldn't memorise the lace pattern and kept making mistakes and the shrug got folded up neatly and placed in a bag until a time when my brain would be able to function enough to memorise the pattern. The bag in the corner kept beckoning me and I got started once more. With super human effort I did finish this shrug in time for the summer holidays. There were other hickups of course. The back is knitted flat but for the sleeves, the work needed to be joined in the round. Easy.



Except that I misread the instructions and the number of stitches didn't work with the pattern in the round. My mistake of course. It took 4 attempts before I got it right. Then I worried about the joining in the round for the second sleeve.... I also spent another week procrastinating over the cuffs, which are knitted onto the sleeves. Eventually I just followed the pattern word by word, which I should have done from the outset, for the entire shrug.
 
I asked Annie to take some pictures of me wearing the shrug but it just didn't work out. I ended up twisting and turning myself and my camera in front of the only big mirror we own. I had to clean it first because it is just outside James' and Alistair's bedroom, and for some reason they like to make handprints on it.
 
 

 


I chose a light grey because it is an inoffensive colour that goes with many tops and dresses. I don't wear much grey but maybe I should, I quite like it actually.

The shrug is now blocked and waiting to be packed for our trip to Cornwall. It tested its usefulness on Friday when it was not quite T-shirt weather but not cold enough to wear a coat and it is going to be perfect.

18 comments:

  1. After all that hard work, success. It looks wonderful and I really do love the colour, like you say it will go with almost anything.

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  2. It is indeed perfect. That is a a great knit. Well Done on choosing such a versatile colour. Jo x

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  3. It is absolutely gorgeous - and I love your necklace!

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  4. Very well done on getting the shrug finished. I'm sure it will be very useful especially while you are away on holiday. The colour is reallyy versatile. I don't wear much grey either but I'm warming to it - depends on the shade. Yours is lovely and really suits you.

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  5. It's beautiful Christina , I love a soft grey, especially in wool. It's a very pretty colour .

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  6. It is beautiful!! Definitely worth all the hard work and perseverance that it took. I hope that you love wearing it lots. xx

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  7. Double cast on what now? Honestly it means nothing to me! It looks gorgeous. I love a bit of grey. It goes very well with summer and winter colours. You crafty people are dead tenacious ;)
    Leanne xx

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  8. It is a beautiful pattern and indeed sounds complicated. Though I have also found that putting things off tends to make them grow more difficult in your mind. Sometimes we should just do it! When you did, it looks great!

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  9. I often get a mental block when working on something, and feel immobilised with helplessness until the day when I finally tackle it, and usually it turns out to be less terrifying than I had been imagining all these weeks/months...sometimes years. Grey is a super-versatile colour, and goes with brights, and with pastels and muted colours too, I'm sure this will become a much loved item in your wardrobe. It looks gorgeous in the photo's! X

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  10. It's absolutely lovely, clever, clever you. Exactly the sort of thing I wish I could make, but oh, the pattern, it would defeat me. I love things to drape around the shoulders, so versatile and pretty. It will be perfect for Cornwall. CJ xx

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  11. You did a fantastic job despite the issues you had. I agree with you about needing something light weight but not wearing a shawl, they do slip around yet I am obsessed with making them, why is that?
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  12. Christina, it's beautiful! I love everything about it. I'm glad it all worked out in the end because it really is stunning, well done.

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  13. Beautiful piece of knitting, well worth the perseverance. And lol at the small boys and the hand prints, I could imagine myself enjoying something similar at their age...

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  14. Wow! That looks impressive - I suspect you'll get lots of compliments when you wear it. Grey's one of my favourite colours :)
    Sarah x

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  15. You knit like my husband builds a flatpack cupboard, he doesn't follow the instructions either. Looks lovely what you have made and warm xx

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  16. Wow that's beautiful! You are so talented but you can knit socks so you've mastered alchemy right? have a super holiday!

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  17. I love your shrug, the lace detail is so pretty and well done on completing what sounds like quite a complicated project! The grey is beautiful. It's a very versatile neutral, I always think.

    (Is your t-shirt from Boden? I think I have the same one in coral. I wear it loads.) x

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  18. Wow, this is beautiful Christina, well done! The colour is perfect and I love the pattern. It looks very lightweight and perfect for chilly summer evenings. :)

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx