One of the advantages of breastfeeding is that, once you've got the positioning right, you get a few minutes to do some stitching. One of the disadvantages of breastfeeding is that you are so hormone addled that it is difficult to get all of your thoughts together to write something about it.
I wove the ends in on my Pimlico Snug this evening baby at the breast after seaming the last ten centimetres or so yesterday evening - hooray!!
The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Pimlico Shrug by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark from Knit 2 Together.
Size: I cast on for the smaller size but knit it even smaller length-wise than the pattern called for - more details below.
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in shade 9322 which I believe is otherwise known as Silver Spruce Heather. The pattern calls for Koigu Kersti which is a crepe yarn, Cascade 200 on the other hand is a plied yarn. I'm not sure how much difference this makes to the final product - it would be interesting to do a comparison swatch with another crepe yarn.
Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm
Start to finish: 8 November 2009 to 16 December 2009.
Comments: Wow, I have so much that I would like to say about this pattern but am not sure that I can get it all together in my head. Maybe I'll just keep posting further thoughts as they come to me.
To start - the architecture of the shrug is essentially an envelope, a square or rectangle folded in half, cast-on edge to cast-off edge. However 'long' you knit the square/rectangle becomes the length of the shrug from the back neck to the back hem. The number of stitches cast on and cast off forms the neckline/sides/bottom hem.
I looked at other people's projects on Ravelry and read the notes and it was clear that the pattern as written came out rather larger than I was looking for. Indeed, it says that it is a cross between a shawl and a cardigan and I was going more for the latter. So, instead of knitting the length to 34 inches, I knit only 17 inches and blocked it out to about 18 inches (hence mine is a snug rather than shrug).
Ah, and the stitch pattern - it's great but difficult to work out from the instructions. I'm not sure that I ever ended up doing it 'right' but was happy with the outcome. You could of course (and many people have) use any lacey pattern (or no pattern) that you please. If you ever need help with it, send me an email!
Then came time to pick up stitches around the cast-on and cast-off edge to knit the ribbing. As it happens you pick up precisely as many stitches you cast on and off so the moral is - do a provisional cast on and do not cast off! Then you can just knit the ribbing from the live stitches. Much better idea.
I also knit the ribbing back and forth, instead of in the round as the pattern suggests because I don't like that final cast-off stitch when you knit in the round.
The sleeves then presented me with a bit of a dilemma because a) I was running short on yarn, and b) changing the 'length' of the shrug affected where the armholes hit on my arm, namely mid-upper arm instead of mid-lower arm. I decided on short 2x2 rib sleeves (after some experimenting with flaring out the way the main ribbing does) - 62 stitches, 18 rows, sewn into a 12 inch armhole.
Verdict: This project was real curiosity casting on that just took on a life of its own. Although I am very happy with the finished product, I don't know that this shrug is really me. The stitch pattern is great, I'm very impressed with the value you get from a skein of Cascade 220 and the fan collar truly does fool you into thinking that you have a neck like Audrey Hepburn. I might have to wear it a few times and see.