When you’re smiling, the whole shrug smiles with you!

It sure does smile! This is a repeat of the blue one I made last week, with a few adjustments. I started it in a panic on Saturday. A panic? My parents got me a ticket to go with them to a dinner dance for the Sligo Mental Health Association on Sunday night. I brought home some of my concert gear, a black skirt and a wine ruffled corset (much prettier than ‘ruffled’ conveys!). The top, however, is strapless and I’m not comfortable standing around feeling bare. I figured the best thing to do would be to knit a black shrug to wear over it.

Alb came up on Saturday and we went out for the day. We just happened to pass by The Crafter’s Basket ๐Ÿ˜‰ … and I picked up some of Sirdar’s new Sublime merino/cashmere/silk aran mix in black. After a very pleasant afternoon having tea and walking on a practically deserted Mullaghmore beach, I cast on and knit like the wind. It soon became apparent that, even though I finished one sleeve in an evening, I would not be finished by Sunday night. I dug something else out to wear, and finished this baby off tonight at my leisure ๐Ÿ™‚

I have nothing else to show – because I caught a cold, yet again, and am only feeling better today – so I will show some details of the shrug instead. I found the ribbing on the first blue one a little tight. I figured the best way to rectify it was to work an inch of ribbing after picking up stitches, and then increasing around. The ribbing I did was 3×3. When I increased around, I knit 2, made 1, knit 1, then purled the next 3, then knit 2, made 1, knit 1 etc. all the way around. I found this made a very gradual increase and slightly flared the ribbing. I was afraid that it still wouldn’t be enough. I worked another inch, then another set of increases as before. Directly after working the round of increases, I cast off using a needle a size bigger. This gave the ribbing a really flexible edge and is great for around the neck and under the arms. Here’s some detail of the increases.

The shrug is constructed by working two sleeves right up to the centre back and then grafting the two together. The pattern originally called for a three-needle bind off. Originally I opted to graft it because it would give a better finish. Now, I think that unless you know you’re not going to be interrupted, do the three-needle bind off. I got a phonecall in the middle of grafting this and ended up having to re-do it three times to get the pattern to match. There is still a visible line but I don’t care as the pattern matches up nicely.

And because I’m just a big show off, really… and because only knitters truly appreciate getting the ribbing under my arms to line up with the sleeve..!

In other news, I’m not going to be able to make it to the Knitting and Stitching Show on in the RDS from Thursday until Sunday. I’d whine about it, but I’m going to New York instead ๐Ÿ˜€ You may recall my sister is married over there. She has very kindly invited me over for the week and has even taken days off work to haul me around wool shops in her area! I have a plan and a shopping list that I have been mulling over for a long time. It consists mostly of books, six matching shades of wool for a fair isle sweater, and a ball winder. A ball winder? Fair Isle?? Surely Aran should take precedence over Fair Isle??? It’s all part of the same problem. I have an enormous bag of unwound wool I bought on Inis Mรณr which I want to knit an aran jumper out of (I estimate 1km of yarn… it sounds a lot but it’s only from here to the bus stop! I always thought an unravelled aran would take me at least into town), even though I’ve always maintained that aran jumpers are excessively warm for Ireland. I need a ball winder to wind it up, but – let me get out my Dodgy Maths here – factoring in how long it will take me to wind the yarn, knit the jumper and our rate of climate change, by the time I get the bloody thing knitted it will probably be cold enough to wear it.

Not being one to wait around for climate change, I want to give Fair Isle a go ๐Ÿ˜€ I think the Bias Fair Isle pattern from Loop-d-Loop is right up my street. It is a regular F.I. but some of the patterned bands are knitted on the bias using short rows. And I’m sure the steeks will be interesting (you know what else F.I. stands for? F***ing Insane! I’m going to spend my holiday hunting down the perfect wool just to cut a big stonking hole in it!). Either way, you’ll either see it here, or next time you’re over at my house, see what’s keeping my sweeping brush warm.

6 thoughts on “When you’re smiling, the whole shrug smiles with you!

  1. Aren’t aran jumpers supposed to keep you warm after you’ve fallen into the Atlantic, rather than just running for the bus? Anyway, really sorry to be missing you this weekend, but so jealous of US yarn stores! Go you!

  2. Great meeting you last SnB. Pity you cant make the K&S show, but I’m sure you will definately be doing a lot of yarn perusing in NY!have a great time!

  3. I was asking Lisa/Jacqui at This Is Knit stand if you were aroung the RDS today. Good crowds. And even though this isn’t the US, I could still find things to spend my money on! Hmmmm…..never seems to be a problem….have a great time. Are you buying the Loop-d-Loop book to do your Bias FI?

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