Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Cast Off | Chocolate Shrug

On Wednesday last week I cast off my Chocolate Shrug. And it was such a good feeling! Whilst the shrug is of course not entirely perfect, I'm really happy with the finished result. It fits perfectly and the sleeves turned out the same length - I've heard many stories of lopsided sleeves so I was a tiny bit nervous that I might end up with a similar story of my own.
It took me just under a month to complete it. I really enjoyed knitting it, and can recommend the pattern to a knitter with intermediate to advanced knitting skills. I'm really looking forward to wearing it when autumn arrives soon. It's comfortable and warm and is going to be just perfect for the autumnal weather we get here. I might even knit another one in a different colour!

There were a lot of firsts in this knit, given the techniques the pattern required which I hadn't worked with before.

The first first was the provisional cast on. I'd heard of them but never worked one before, and although I'm never completely comfortable handling a crochet hook, thanks to the video tutorial from Purl Soho I found it very easy. And when it came to picking up the stitches along the cast on edge I thought it was pretty clever how neat it turned out due to the provisional cast on.

I was also faced with knitting in-the-round, which I have to say I have quite overcome. I dreaded it throughout the knit but when it came to it, I actually enjoyed it. Even when I swapped to DPNs.
I did discover that my tension is looser when working in-the-round, although I can't understand why. I've put more details about the different needles I used down the bottom of the post, for those of you who would like them.
Conquering and actually enjoying knitting in-the-round has removed restrictions from the patterns I search for on Ravelry. Although I think I will always favour knitting flat, just because it is classic knitting to me, I'm looking forward to trying some socks this winter that are worked with this technique. (I'm thinking of these ones).

Another first was doing a three-needle bind off. I was fairly certain I knew what to do, but I checked with this tutorial anyway. I can see how this technique ensures shoulder seams that match and have been constructed together, as opposed to sewing them by hand.

Overall I really loved doing this knit and am so glad that I got over my fear of trying new techniques and cast on. I feel like completing this project with a good result has made me a more confident knitter and I'm excited to try some more complicated patterns this coming winter. The fact that I changed a few finishes along the way boosted my confidence too, because it worked.

But first, I'll probably be knitting a baa-able hat, because colourwork is my absolute favourite thing to knit and why wouldn't I want adorable knitted sheep on a beanie whilst I'm tending to my actual sheep?

I'm joining for Yarn Along again today, and whilst I forgot to photograph it, I am about to start reading Sense & Sensibility. It's the last book to read in my Jane Austen collection, and is has the prettiest cover. I absolutely loved Persuasion, I think it'll be the first to be re-read.

I'd love to know what you're knitting or reading at the moment,

Sarah x

Needle Details:
I worked the body on a pair of straight 3.25mm needles
Both sleeves I started with a 3.25mm circular needle (40cm length) and then swapped to a set of 4 DPNs in 3mm. I'd have used the same size but I didn't have any, and since the DPNs were mostly used for the sleeve edging it didn't really matter. I chose DPNs over the Magic Loop Method as I felt more comfortable with them.
For the edging around the entire shrug I used 3mm circular needles (80cm length).
The circulars I used were KnitPro and I was very happy with them.

More details on Ravelry here, including yarn used, pattern and notes on the changes I made.

Photos thanks to the lovely Megan from Sew Style Love

Also joining Frontier Dreams

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  1. There you are nice to see you! In the pretty light of course. Very clever knitting, coming from someone who wouldn't know one end of a knitting needle from another!? x

  2. Your knitting is gorgeous. I don't think I'll ever get to that level. I've been knitting dishcloths for the past couple of weeks, while I recoup from bronchitis. They're easy and satisfies my creative juices even if I didn't feel well.

    1. Thank-you Laurie! I never thought I'd get to this level either...and here I am. I'm sure you'll get there too. I love knitting dishcloths - they are such a quick project to complete and so useful! Hope you're feeling better x

  3. The shrug looks beautiful Sarah, and so do you! A rather practical wardrobe item for those cooler days ahead too.

  4. So pretty! I absolutely love Sense and Sensibility - hope you enjoy it!

    1. Thanks so much Jill. I'm sure I'll love Sense & Sensibility as much as the others x

  5. I think it looks perfect! I want to make one now! I love to knit in the round and also using DPN's. I recently learned the provisional cast on too. I had a bit of a time with it though at the end when your supposed to take the waste yarn off. Hope next time is smoother!

    1. Thanks so much Jeanette! I still prefer a regular cast on but am glad I have tried provisional anyway. It's good to step outside our comfort zones sometimes isn't it? x

  6. It looks lovely! I wouldn't have been able to say it is your first shrug ever made! And by the way, your hair is very pretty, too!! :)

    1. Thank-you so very much for your lovely comment x


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