Yarn: KnitPicks Merino Lace in Bare, about 1/4 hank
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace #5s
Began: July 9, 2009 ; Completed: August 31, 2009
Notes: When I got married in May, my old friend Lauren was an enormous help. She yelled at the innkeeper when he was wildly inappropriate, kept the “older women” in check when assembling/hanging decorations, and kept me in Pinot Grigio while getting ready for the ceremony. Now that she’s getting married next weekend, I knew I didn’t want to get her something off of her registry for her shower. Hers is an outdoor ceremony, and I thought a shawl or shrug would be perfect in case of rain or chill (something I learned on my rainy, chilly wedding day).
Lauren is quite petite and so wanted a shrug, something that would cling to rather than drown her, and I happily compiled a sampling of lacy, pretty shrugs appropriate for a wedding. Her response was one I hadn’t anticipated, however: she liked the Feather and Fan Shrug’s lace pattern, but the shaping and fit of the Posh Wedding Shrug. Could I design something to combine them?
Wait. She wanted me to design something? I, whose sole designing experience spans the odd generic hat/sock and one lone camera case? I was terrified: this is for her wedding! If I screw up, she’ll hate me.
But I dug in, got her measurements, and swatched away. She wanted ivory, and the laceweight KnitPicks Bare was the perfect color and the perfect weight; I also wanted merino or something equally springy so the shrug would hug her in the right places. I then knitted what was essentially a rectangle in Feather and Fan that was the length of her arms outstretched and across her back, from elbow to elbow, and the height of the base of her neck to the top of her dress in the back, with a 6 stitch garter edging on the sides. I used a provisional cast-on, and then did a 3 needled bind-off on each end as long as her arms from armpit to elbow. I then picked up the live stitches around the circumference of the neck/back and knitted 3 garter rows and finished it with a picot bind-off. Then, I picked up and knit stitches around the garter edging of each sleeve, increased evenly across the row to get a multiple of 18 (for the F and F stitch), knitted two repeats, did 3 rows of garter, and bound off loosely. A nice wet blocking and some pinning out of the picots later and I had a lovely, custom-designed shrug.
I’m quite pleased with the way this turned out: it’s my first design of a garment, and my first shrug. I took some of my blue laceweight handpsun and embroidered a little flower at the bottom center of the shrug for her “something blue,” and I really love that little touch. Lauren received the shrug and gave it her stamp of approval, too, and I can’t wait to see her in it next weekend Congratulations again, my friend!