Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm Back - And With Knitting!

Well, I'm back from NYC and ready to show you what I've been working on. Y'all must have thought that I fell off of the face of the earth. Well I didn't, just too much to do around the house/work/life in general, but I do have a treat to show you...

Retro Redux

The Retro Redux Shrug! It's been a month in the making, and has been finished for two weeks now, so I thought it was time for a proper debut. If you recall, I knit this for my trip to NYC. I knew we were going to try to catch a Broadway show, and I know just how cold theaters/restaurants/hotels can be, plus I've been eying this pattern up since I bought "Lace Style." It was a relatively quick knit, I worked on it when I could over about two weeks. Here are the details:

Pattern: Retro Redux Shrug by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark available in the book "Lace Style" by Ann Budd and Pam Allen. The pattern is quite cool, instead of complicated shaping, it employs the use of four different needle sizes, US8 to US10.5. This allows the sleeves to fit correctly and taper like if you had knit them with increases (if knitting from the cuff up). Basically you knit a rectangle, sew up the two ends to a certain length (to create the sleeves) then pick up stitches around the perimeter and knit short rows to shape the collar. The lace pattern is super simple, it is a brioche lace pattern and very easy to memorize.

Retro Redux - Lace Detail

Almost too easy... there were a few times when I got distracted and forgot a yarn over or something similar and messed up the stitch count. It was easily enough remedied, but if you look closely some of the lace looks a little funky. This was my first lace project, although I wouldn't consider it a "real" lace project, that features lots of thin strands of yarn and tiny needles, something that I will get to eventually. Overall, the pattern is really simple, and lots of fun I definitely would knit this again.

Yarn: I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes 100% worsted weight wool in "Cherry Blossom" a hot pink. I picked this yarn, well, because I had it in my stash (I still have about 12 skeins of the stuff, early in my knitting days I envisioned lots of felting). The good: It's wool so I was able to block it easily and it held the dimensions I blocked it to. The bad: It's July, and HOT. Maybe not the best yarn to use for a summer shrug, winter yes, summer no.

Mods: I did modify the size slightly to better fit me. For the sleeves I began knitting the largest version - 46" long, but once I hit the part with you knit with the largest needle size I shortened the length to 44" somewhere between the Large and Medium sizes.

Retro Redux - Back

Overall Thoughts: I really like this shrug. It's a cute addition to your wardrobe and can easily spice up boring outfits, plus it will keep you warm in the summer when you need to frequent over air-conditioned spaces. Things I would change, the yarn I used. I should have used a more season appropriate choice, perhaps a cotton blend. Also my collar came out a bit funky.

Retro Redux - Side

But I think that was more my fault than the patterns. I had a hard time blocking it correctly, and it could probably be fixed with another wet blocking. It was also a really fast knit. One could probably knit it in a weekend, I'm just a slow knitter and didn't have a lot of free time on my hands while knitting this shrug, so it took me two weeks.

Retro Redux Shrug