Sunday, 2 December 2007

Ribbed Shrug Rant

Okay, so I knit in public on the train everyday and I asked a passerby to take a photo of me with my phone?

What? You've never done anything weird?!

Well, I felt like a I'd reached a milestone point - I thought that this was the last train journey I'd make with this UFO in tow.

It was a UFO busting moment - I was about to cast off. So proud. It was exciting!

It was certainly (in my mind, at that time) the last time I planned to touch circular needles for a VERY LONG TIME.


Frustrating, wrist hurting, yarn dropping, all fingers and thumbs making, horrid no tension stitches or the reverse, too tight tension stitches, nasty, awful, clumsy, yuck, awful. Off, off off!

It's one of the reasons why this shrug has sat unfinished since October - I was dreading the sewing up and the circular needle part.

So delighted - I finished, cast off with massive relief and the next morning, I jumped out of the shower, got dressed and checked myself out in my mirror.

Bah humbug, I did not like what I saw at all.

It does not look good on me and lives up to the 'puffy' comments made by others who have made the same project. The problems are as follows:
  • rib is knitted to correct length but happens to be too tall to sit upright around my neck without being deeply irritating, yet is too mean to work as a collar when turned over.

    Solution: I have more yarn - undo cast off and continue knitting to see if this gives a more generous collar and perhaps helps to balance the overall look of the shrug at the back?
    [Yes, if you listen, you can hear me wailing. It means that I need to pick up those blooming circulars again]

  • my cast off tension, and possibly the entire rib, is too tight, causing the rib to pull in overly around my body and causing the sleeve section to puff out, resembling a 1980s repro 'bomber' jacket.

    Solution: undo cast off and try casting off more loosely. If that doesn't work, undo cast off again plus the ribbing, go up a needle size and work the ribbing again.
    [Yes, if you listen, you can hear me wailing louder and gnashing my teeth too. That folks, is 4 round commutes worth of ribbing, yup - over 4 hours work with circulars.]

  • while I picked up every stitch I could find around the opening of the shrug (correct size aperture), I could not find 162 stitches to pick up. I ended up about 20 stitches short. After 2-3 hours of trying, I decided to assume that this was because I had substituted yarn (garment is knitted to gauge). So I carried on, hoping that it would work itself out. Has this contributed to the rib pulling in problem? I suspect so.

    Solution: unpick rib and try picking up all stitches again. See if I can find (or invent), the missing 20 stitches. At the same time, try to decide whether I should up the needle size and then knit the whole rib again.
    [Yes, if you listen, you can hear me wailing, gnashing my teeth and banging my forehead against the wall in despair in contemplation of having to redo about 7 hours or so of slow, clumsy work...on circulars.]

You know, I could simply sew in the ends and push this this eagerly anticipated knit angrily to the back of my cupboard? Bother, I don't want to do that.

I was just so certain that this would be the first knit that I made for myself, that I loved to death and wore to bits. So, I present snaps of the saggy back, bomber jacker version of Erika Knight's Glamour Knits Ribbed Shrug:

Good grief.

By the way, the cordinating coloured towel is an accident.

Although strangely, it sort of goes with the overall shrug styling mess.

About that back view, I can say nothing. Nothing at all.

I might, just simply emit a small sigh.


Okay Gabrielle, look on the bright side, the front view of you in this shrug makes your chest look absolutely huge.


Oh what? You wanted this as a simple, cosy shrug to wear in cold meeting rooms ot the office?

So the big chest look was not really what you were after?



A pity.


B. said...

The shrug is truly a nice thing. The colour, the detail on the sleeves, and proportions are exquisite. The overall garment suites you very well. From one of the photgraphs, it seems that it does not sit quite right on your back, which creates the look at the front. Is there a chance it will 'relax' a little if you wear it a bit? I don't know how to tell you this, but the shrug has a lot of potential and from my point of view is a great success.

Robynn said...

Sweetie, it doesn't make your chest look huge so much as make your waist look TINY. Come on. That's never a bad thing.

Undo cast-off, add a bit of ribbing, do a stretchy cast-off - don't just "cast off lightly", actually use a stretchy technique, such as one of those recommended for toe-up socks. And the whole thing will look faaaaabulous.

Missmalice said...

Hey G, I agree with Robynn. If you undo the castoff, and go up a needle size for the rest of the ribbing, AND do a stretchy cast off you'll have more coziness to the front (and it does really makes your waist look wee!!)

Alice x

Kelli said...

I think your chest looks fab. lol Also agree with robynn and missmalice. It's too fantastic a yarn and makes your waist look too wee not to reknit. btw, geeking on the use of the word "wee." :)

Dotty said...

The shrug looks lovely but I agree with everyone that it would look spectacular if you redid the cast off. I don't think you need to add more ribbing stitches. Instead of a knitted cast off, you could try Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off. I use it a lot and it's nice and stretchy without making the edge waffle when the garment is relaxed.

About your circ problem... Have you tried long dpns? I have some that are 14" long. You might have to look for them in second hand shops (or eBay) but you can find them.

emmms said...

Never begrudge the gift of enormous boobs. Never. Aside from that, dude, I dig your turban. Very becoming.

Gabrielle said...

Okay, I am calmer and I really appreciate your input. I have a ball and a half of yarn left so I think that I should try a combination of the ideas above:

1) Unpick Cast Off

2) Swap to larger needles (as the rib will start to move out across hips to waist)

3) Try the stretchy and/or the sewn cast/bind off.

If that doesn't work, I can strip the rib back to something shorter and apply the stretchy/sewn cast off again. I confess, I am not really liking how the rib sits on my waist - it looks a bit dumpy.

So okay sock knitters: stretchy/sewn cast off assistance alert - shall I start yelping in the manner of the siren used on submarines to denote 'Dive, dive dive'?!

'Help, help, help!'

I'll be at I-Knit on Wednesday evening and then at 1 Aldwych for cocktails and knitting next Saturday afternoon!

Ps, Emms. Sometimes dharlink', only a towelling turban will do...'s just how we like to live out in the wilds of West London, don'cha know?!

(Back me up here Mel!)

JudyMac said...

Chest and waist look great, but the back view is a little baggy...

Dotty said...

Before you try the sewn bind off on the real thing, you should practice first. Do you have the tension/gauge swatch for the shrug handy? You could rip out the cast off and practice on the swatch. Keep in mind that you will need a lot of yarn for the bind off on your shrug because the circumference is pretty big.

Good luck!

Mel said...

Robynn is right is does make your waist look tiny.
All back up on other posts as required.
I am looking forward to seeing the finished item - it really is the loveliest, snuggliest shrug I have ever had the good fortune to fondle.