Palate Cleanser

I decided to take a break from the Great Baby Blanket Project. I needed a palate cleanser. The purpose was to keep me from burning out on the blankets. I mean, there are only so many blankets in a row I can do before going just a little crazy. Plus, the fact that I was doing two projects at once so I could finish the last blanket was a major indicator that a palate cleanser was in order. I decided to do the shrug I’ve been lusting over for the past few weeks.

The pattern came from the Debbie Bliss Magazine Summer 2011 issue, the first issue to feature completely new patterns. I saw the magazine a little while ago and fell in love with this pattern as I was flipping through it. It seemed like a bad idea to buy the magazine since it would have been an impulse buy and those are usually bad ideas. So, I thought about it for a week or so trying to decide if spending nearly $9 on a magazine was a good idea. This is what I came up with: it’s a quarterly publication and it’s the second issue I’ve purchased in three years. Conclusion: get it.

It’s supposed to be made from Debbie Bliss’ new yarn Angel which is a mohair/silk blend. Instead, I used Zara by Filatura di Crosa which is a merino wool superwash. A bit warmer, yes, but still in my stash and that’s the point, right? It seems a bit foolish to be knitting something out of wool at the beginning of summer but I’m not too concerned. Wool is a fabulous fiber that retains heat and releases it as necessary–a heat regulator. Naturally, I wouldn’t be using this shrug when it’s 110º outside but it would make a nice movie theater garment since the theaters in this area are refrigerators in the summer time.

I had to make a few adjustments to the pattern: I changed the smaller needle size to 4 from 3 because I was using a thicker yarn; I reduced the inner edging from nine repeats to seven; I had to do some augmenting to the increases/decreases on the garment at the very end. Now, the edging change from nine repeats to seven was simply because I was running out of yarn and I didn’t want to start a new yarn for literally one or two rows so I cut it short. It’s not that big of a deal since the arm edging is done in seven repeats and this way they match. The bit with the increases and decreases is where I have the issue. I’m not sure if it’s an oversight of the editor or my misunderstanding but my stitches and those written down did not match. According to my calculations, I didn’t need to add any stitches. According to the pattern, I did. I think that might be because the editor missed the last bit where I repeat only one row from the lace pattern which would leave me with the correct number of stitches required. In any case, I managed to figure it all out over the course of one very trying day.

Here’s the shrug:
This is the lace detailing that goes along the sleeve edges and around the interior edges:
This is the raglan seam lace detail:
It’s not blocked yet in these pictures but the general idea of the shrug is achieved. I still can’t believe I made a shrug. If you asked me 10 years ago if I’d ever wear a shrug (let alone make one) I would have said, “Absolutely not.” There was a time when shrugs were all the rage and they just made me mad. They were everywhere without apology and their ubiquity drove me up a wall. Admittedly, I wore shrugs under my shirts when I went to college but they looked like thin sweater sleeves opposed to an actual shrug. I didn’t have enough long shirts to sustain me through the fall in Boston so I supplemented with leg warmers on my arms and shrugs under my shirts. Clearly, I was a fashion product of my generation. But now here I am genuinely excited to have made a shrug and wear it. My, how things change.

3 thoughts on “Palate Cleanser

  1. I can't believe you made this!!! I mean, not to doubt your skills or anything, I know you're a talented knitter, but this is artistry, my friend… you couldn't knit me a frock coat, could you…? If not, I'll take one of these. P.S. What does it look like from the front? Does it button or anything? Or is it just like a shoulder holster design?


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