This past weekend I was a knitting fiend. I mean it – I was literally knitting during every possible moment, something made much easier by the rainy weather which kept the kids from being able to play outside a whole lot, and the fact that my review blog is down so much right now that I’ve given up even trying to update it until it’s migrated over to the new hosting service that this one’s now housed on. That should happen in the next day or two. The other reason that I spent so much time with the knitting needles was that I’ve been working on a rather ambitious project (for me), and am running out of time to get them done.
“Them” means the two knitted shrugs that I am working one – for Abby and Hannah. A shrug, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is basically like a simple sweater that covers just the arms and shoulders – usually worn over a sleeveless top or dress when worn in cooler weather. As you may remember, the older girls are going to be in their aunt’s wedding on Abby’s birthday on April 3rd, and I was a bit concerned about their wearing sleeveless dresses all day in what could very likely still be very cold weather. Here in Michigan it’s hit or miss – we’ve had everything from snow on Abby’s previous birthdays to 60-degree weather.
Here’s the shrug pattern that I’m using – it’s in the Junior Knits book from Debbie Bliss. I love this book and can’t wait to try some of the other projects in it. It was hard to find anything that included sizes for older kids, but this book is perfect since it covers ages 3 to 10. This pattern is called “Molly”:
I pretty much figure that if I provide something warm for the girls to wear, the weather will turn out be exceptionally hot that day – because that’s usually my luck. But then again if I just hope for the best, we’ll get stuck with something cold and miserable. So yes, if it’s warm, I’ll be sad that the girls won’t need to wear these shrugs that I’ve worked so hard on – but then again they can wear them on other occasions instead, and odds are I’m providing Ron’s sister with an almost guaranteed beautiful day for her wedding. LOL
I want to learn how to knit sweaters and such and this is a good opportunity to try out a simple pattern and learn some of the techniques that I’ll need to know anyway. I’ve already discovered what ‘work even’ means (no increases or decreases), and how to increase by casting on. Over the weekend I taught myself how to knit ‘short rows’ by turning and wrapping – in order to shape the fabric around the back of the neck.
On a side note – I don’t know how anyone ever learned how to knit before the Internet was around. Between Google searches, YouTube videos and the ‘How-To’ forums on KnittingHelp.com, I’ve learned a ton. I’ve asked a question or two in person at a local yarn shop as well, but the Internet is open 24/7 – and when I’m stuck on a pattern question at 8pm on a Saturday, that’s the difference between having to wait a few minutes for an answer versus a few days…
For the first shrug, I decided to knit the size that I expected would fit Abby – figuring that if it turned out small (I knit fairly tightly), then Hannah could have it. I was actually worried for a while that it would be too big – apparently the pattern tends to run big, but when I tried it on both girls yesterday it turns out that Shrug #1 will pretty much fit Hannah perfectly. She and Abby are close in size enough that the shoulders and torso portion would fit either of them, but the
sleeves are much too short for Abby. So I will go up in size for the next one, and now that I know how the pattern goes together, I can hopefully make sure that the sleeves will be long enough before I get too far into it. We’ll see. I’m just hoping that I won’t have to add stitches – and that I can figure out how to do so if I need to.
I’m expecting to finish Hannah’s shrug today – all I have left is to finish knitting the ribbing for the second sleeve cuff and to stitch up that side and sleeve seam. Stitching the seams is something I know I’m not doing right but at this point, it’ll work for now. I’m running out of time with a whole other shrug to make yet.
I’ll share the final photos after both shrugs are done – but here’s a sneak peek, taken with my phone a couple of days ago… I’m using white yarn that has a sparkly strand through it – should look really nice over the flower girl dresses.
So if I’m a bit – absent – from online over the next few weeks, rest assured that I’m likely just knitting away and will be around more after the wedding/birthday weekend. Then I’ll probably be looking for a fun pattern to make something for Becca since she’s getting a bit gypped out on the whole shrug thing. At least I won’t have a time constraint on that one. Phew!