Friday, January 20, 2006

Oh Shrug!

Is it me or has the shrug become a really popular piece of apparel? I noticed Alyssa Milano on Charmed donning one and have noticed stores are carrying them as the latest trend. The only thing is they don't look good with any old top. Traditionally ballet/dance personnel wear them and they look great with a form fitting under garment, leotard, something spandexy. But I'm seeing them worn with looser blouses and T-shirts and it loses it's elegance, unless the shrug itself is very loose and to me it then becomes a shawl with sleeves. Maybe that's what shrug means, I don't know. Anyway, I decided to give it a shot. I had some mohair, a popular material shrug of choice I noticed surfing around the web, and discovered that a shrug is a "shaped rectangle" as one sight put it. Okay, now, I don't like to sew pieces together so I, of course went circular. Mohair can be itchy at times so I didn't want fitted sleeves and wanted my shrug a bit drapier than a dancer's traditional shrug. I decided that the back should be 20" from neck to mid back and I like my cuff to be 10" around. Did my gauge, cast on for the cuff which was just to hold the 3/4 sleeve in place so I only made it 1/2"using a very small needle. I switched to my gauge needle and increase 1 in every stitch so now it equals 20" around. 19" was long enough for the sleeve. I just started knitting back and forth to create the back and at 17" I rejoined the ends and am 1/3 of the way on the opposite sleeve. I did a trial fitting and impressed myself. Shocking! It's coming out exactly as envisioned in my head. Now my brain is just spinning thinking of variations with style and material...but how many shrugs does one need? And what kind of finished edge if any at all. It rolls across the back top and bottom, but I'm not convinced it's a bad thing. We'll see.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Long Weekend Accomplishments

During the New Year's weekend I managed to get 4 fun fur scarves done, (with size 11 needles it's not that hard) so my 4 year old niece will have "boas" for dress up. I also found a mitten from my toddler years that I was able to recreate and improve upon. It had been ages since I had done Shaker stitch and this little mitten worked out very well. I also managed to get the remaining Christmas decorations down and the place cleaned, rang in the New Year and attended a lovely brunch that lasted until 4 in the afternoon.--a very successful weekend. I will try to get a pic of the mittens and include a before and after for comparison. I have no idea if the original was store bought or handmade, I want to say handmade as there were no tags or remanents of one being cut out. Checked with Mom and she says store bought. She should know.