Monday, April 14, 2014

Obsession at least results in beauty!

For the last week and a half I have been totally obsessed with the Layering Shrug. My dearest, most darling friend, Chelle, who has put up with me for about 14 years, heard my call for knitters block. She had a need for something to cover her shoulders and go with her strapless dress for an upcoming wedding. We spent a few days going through options, choosing one, and then the week wait for the gorgeous Bamboo Pop bamboo/cotton blend in cream. I figured I would have 2 weeks to get it done in order to mail it out on time. I sort of had another one of those moments where I didn't realize what I was getting into. Hubris is apparently my sin.

I am definitely learning quite a bit about realistic time management. I did use my wait time appropriately, learning how to do a provisional cast on and buying the needles, practicing the elastic cast off. I was feeling pretty confident. Then in comes the yarn, and out come the circs and promptly the first problem. The instructions did not state that I'd have to use the Magic Loop technique so I hadn't practiced it. This caused multiple froggings, having to recast on etc. It sucked. Even when I did sort out how to do it and how to work, the ladders were so ridiculous that I couldn't conceivably call it acceptable. Darn... I wish I'd taken pictures. Finally I tossed the circs and got out my trusty old DPN's and in quick order turned out the cuff

I've never been so happy for 2 inches in my life
Even though I misread the pattern and omitted the purl rows I was happy enough with it that I continued on! I had to rip back once or twice because I misread the patterns and did that stupid thing where I tell myself, oh its no big deal and I can fix it. I sort of mess up awesomely and have to back track. I did wise up and put in safety lines after having to pull back a little more than I preferred. Things eventually evened out and I worked at a fair clip with no more mistakes.

I am still totally in love with the pattern

I'm fairly certain that if I hadn't had so much issue with the first bit I wouldn't have had to bust butt so much later. I worked on it about 2-3 hours a day the first 4 days. After that I bumped it up to about 5 or more hours. I still took Butter Bean to the library 2 days a week but the days we didn't I was working on it when I wasn't cooking or doing mandatory cleaning etc. All but the necessities were put on the back burner. Little bit didn't seem to mind as that meant she got to sit and watch movies. It definitely wasn't quality time and talk about super parental guilt!

A few pattern repeats short of the second sleeve

I worked and worked and was not disappointed at all by what came of it. I was done with the body before I knew it, I was all "WOOHOO the border will go super quick" of course picking up 300 stitches and an additional 20 rows to do. I stayed up til 2 am, and spent another 5 hours the following morning knitting and knitting and knitting and finally, it was done! I got that thing out 2 days before I expected which meant it would def be in on time.

I was thrilled with how it turned out, it looked beautiful and fit like a glove. The pictures are unblocked and I knew my gf would prefer a little bit more give and it would open up the pattern more. It blocked beautifully but because it was a 50/50 blend the cotton didn't let it have as much give as it could have. I'd consider a different fiber blend or add another pattern repeat across the back for a more relaxed fit.

 I'll post pictures once I get them from her. But yeah, it consumed my every waking moment, exclusively for a week. It was worth it and this is the first clothing item I've made that was what I would consider intricate. It gave me a serious wake up call though on the difficulty level of making things that are a little more involved than a hat. When I decide to go all crazy and try intarsia and fair isle you can bet I'll do it on something small, like a cup cozy 0.o

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