Monday, January 22, 2007

The Shrug That Stole My Sanity…

…or how to make knitting-for-pleasure more annoying than your day job in 20 simple steps.

1. See pattern for shrug in Interweave Knits. Instantly fall in love with the idea of knitting a shrug because it will be “simple” and not require as much knitting and piecing as a sweater.

2. While visiting LYS in search of suitable substitute yarn for Interweave’s $800-a-ball used for shrug, fall in love with Cascade Pastanza no. 028 (teal). Be happy about this because of your extensive use of Cascade 220 and feel secure in the knowledge that this yarn will be a pleasure to knit up. Know at that moment that shrug MUST be knit in no. 028, no matter how difficult it may be to determine correct gauge.

3. Purchase all of the yarn that the shop has in 028 (3 balls.)

4. Sit yarn aside and go crazy making holiday gifts.

5. January! Make tea, pop in a Netflix, and sit back to start knitting shrug. Realize that Cascade Pastanza is not 220 yards of yarn (like Cascade…um…220) and convince boyfriend to join you on a rainy day excursion to LYS, praying that they have miraculously found three more balls of your yarn in the appropriate dye lot.

6. Search you LYS for more 028. Ask for help, pull other colors of yarn out of shelves hoping that some 028 fell down in the back.

7. Purchase 3 balls of Cascade Pastanza in 072. When boyfriend “helpfully” inquires about whether this will be enough yarn, stare fixedly at him and mutter “oh yes….it WILL be enough.”

8. Prepare to knit shrug. It is VERY important that at this point you do not check the web for shrug pattern errata.

9. Knit shrug with new 10.5 buddha needles that you have been dying to play with. When your cast on stitches barely fit on said needles, knit with them anyway because the buddhas are just so FUN. Continue knitting with short needles even after you have doubled stitch number after increasing for sleeves and now have to force stitches down on the right hand needle in order to complete each row.

10. Finish about ¾ of the back of shrug. Realize that you do not have enough teal yarn (even though you knit the ribbed hem in brown to save teal.) Really really really think that you’ve only used 2 of the 3 balls of teal yarn and rip house apart looking for the missing ball.

11. Decide to use brown yarn to add a stripe through the middle of the back, thus saving more teal. Measure carefully a number of times to determine how much of the back to frog, how big to make the stripe.

12. Frog. Knit stripe. Go back to knitting in straight teal…approaching the end of the back. Run out of teal yarn.

13. Measure back and realize that it is currently (in its unfinished state) 13 inches. Stare for a long while at pattern which says that back should be 10” finished. Consider just having a very big, baggy back to the shrug but realize that you don’t have enough teal yarn anyway.

14. Re-convince yourself that you are missing a ball of teal yarn and search house. Finally deduce that the shrug ATE the extra ball of teal yarn while you weren’t looking.

15. Reassess where you will need to put the stripe, frog 10” of knitting and start again. Finish knitting back and start on ribbed cuff. Misread pattern and convince yourself that you have screwed up the length at the very beginning of the shrug. Check web for listed errata.

16. Learn that what you had misread was actually correct (because you, um, misread it) but that there is a different part of the pattern that was incorrect. The mistake would have had you increasing stitches on BOTH sides of the sweater in the (what else) beginning of the shrug.

17. Freak out. Employ patient boyfriend to hold knitting in various positions so that you can decide if one side is actually longer than the other. Do not listen to his opinion that the shrug is, in fact, OK. He doesn’t even know what the hell a shrug is, anyway.

18. Accuse boyfriend of pulling one side of shrug too taut so that you can not get a correct measurement. Decide to sew seams together anyway because you are so flipping tired of knitting this shrug.

19. Realize that measurements were correct, you had luckily misread the misprinted portion of the pattern so all is fine. Prepare to finish piece by knitting sleeve cuffs.

20. Decide to forgo the girly lace cuffs for a slightly flared, ribbed design and settle in to make this final part of the shrug up because a slightly flared rib cuff will just be so much EASIER than a lace cuff…

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made. by k.d.