This is my second Lady Grey shrug. It is a duplicate of my first one, which I lost. I know exactly where I lost it, it was in Gandolfi Fish a couple of years ago, when I went for dinner with my blog friend Doris and her husband. I was no doubt talking too much, not paying attention to my belongings. Good company has that effect on me. I can only blame myself for not getting the shrug back, by the time I retraced my steps on the day of losing it, I couldn't sum up the energy to go into town and retrieve it. I hope it is loved by someone else.
This shrug is quite ingenious. It is a combination of cardigan and shawl covering shoulders and arms but never sliding off as it has sleeves. I love it for cool summer nights but it also doubles as a perfect scarf in winter. If it wasn't such a faff to knit, I would have several versions in all colours of the rainbow.
Let me tell you about its construction. It is knitted from the middle out in one piece. The start is a fiddly magic cast on on double needles. Each needle forms the basis of one half. The first part is knitted flat, until it is wide enough to reach the shoulder blades. Then you join the work into a round and carry on until it is long enough for you, minus the width of the edging. The edging is knitted onto the stitches of the final round. For this, it is necessary to cast on just 17 stitches onto a crochet chain, knit in the flat and at the end of every second row, the last stitch is knitted together with one stitch of the sleeve. Once the entire sleeve stitches have been knitted up, it is necessary to remove the crochet chain, pick up the stitches and use a kitchener stitch to join the stitches. The second part is knitted exactly the same.
If this description sounds quite complicated, fear not! The instructions are detailed and where necessary stitch by stitch. I found it easiest just to follow these blindly. Overthinking the process leads to mistakes, I am proof for that. It is just like finding the toilet in the dark, one step at the time. The lace patterns are both written out and in chart form. I prefer the latter because I am a visual thinker. I even colour mine in so I can quickly find the row where I am at.
The Lady Grey shrug is a versatile pattern. Use delicate lace yarn for a ethereal almost non existing shrug or use solid sock wool for a durable more substantial version. Although gauge guidelines are given, it really doesn't matter that much as it is possible to check the size as you progress and you can add or remove pattern repeats if you are using a thicker yarn.
What have you been knitting lately? In my head, knitting is not really a summer activity but I might cast on another cardigan, just a quick open front number without buttons or anything. I never wear cardigans closed. At the very most, I might have one single button at the top, to stop it from flying of my shoulders when I cycle to work at speed (as if!).
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