Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Australian friends of a certain generation - do you remember the ABC's The Curiosity Show? I do - kyuuu-ri-O-si-tyyyyy.

Anyway, have been doing a bit of curiosity casting on recently - just patterns or yarns that have long been bugging me, that I wanted to quickly try my hand at. The Pimlico Shrug was always a stand-out project for me from Mel Clark and Tracey Ullman's Knit 2 Together: patterns and stories for serious knitting fun. It was also one that was a bit tricky in the sizing department as evidenced by a quick look at various projects on Ravelry (seems to
easily end up way too big). But I have long wanted to try it and the serendipitous availability of some Koigu Kersti (the yarn used in the book) was just what I needed to give it a go.

I actually didn't even end up casting on in the Kersti because when I got it home from knit night into the light of the next day I found that it was too murky a green for me. So, to find a yarn to knit in ... no appropriate 8ply/dk weight yarn in the stash so I actually went shopping for yarn. This is quite an unusual phenomenon because I almost always knit with recycled yarn or something that I already have. I was quite stumped. Usually I have a clear idea of the {pattern}x{colour}x{fibre} combination but this time I drew a complete blank. I wandered around Weaving Works and just felt overwhelmed (which is certainly an experience that I recommend).

I eventually came to my senses later at Stitches which has a limited (and thereby manageable!) range of Cascade Yarns and was able to make a choice, a mid-green heathered (shade 2100) hank of Cascade 220 which is a strange weight of yarn (or at least it confuses me). It is supposed to be a 10ply/aran weight yarn but behaves more like an 8ply/dk weight. Perfect though I think for the Pimlico Shrug which calls for an 8ply/dk weight yarn to be knit at a gauge of 19 stitches to 10 cm (kind of 10ply/aran weight).

I cast on for the smaller size (small/medium) and knit about ten rows which covered one row of eyelets. The eyelets were hard! There are some odd stitch instructions, particularly K1B, which I would usually interpret as knit 1 through the back of the stitch but in this instance involves knitting through the back of the stitch below (as in, from behind the work). I am happy with the eyelet pattern. Many people have substituted a different eyelet pattern, or even an entirely different stitch, but I find this one to be large and modern.

Which brings me to some more thoughts about this pattern. Like Eowyn, this is another one of those conceptual patterns that you could do so many different things with. It is basically a rectangle so you could do that any length and width you want, in any gauge yarn, in any stitch really. Making the rectangle into a garment is about folding the rectangle in half and sew up some of the side seam to create armholes. Then add ribbing.

So, the outcome - on 5mm needles I found my gauge to be too loose so I am going to frog and try again on 4.5mm needles. When I get around to trying it again.

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