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shrug details

shrug front closeup.jpgShrug specs:

Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Brilla, a cotton-viscose blend with a really terrific sheen, and a slightly crinkly texture.  We just stocked it at the store, and it looks so beautiful on the shelves, I can't stop staring at it.  We have it underneath a skylight, and it almost glows... it has 120 yards per ball, and this shrug took 4 balls. 

Needles:  Size 9 (Addi Turbos, always).  I went up about 3 needle sizes- if I remember correctly- from what the yarn calls for.  Loose and drapey, that's what we want.

Embellishments:  Trendsetter Chips.  These look like Ruffles potato chips, but much smaller and even more crinkly.  They are basically textured paillettes with holes big enough to thread yarn through (using a Chibi, no less!).  We have these at the store as well, and the colors are really pretty.  And I am not normally a paillette person, per se... but these look really cute on the shrug.   I also think it would be adorable to sew buttons around the cuffs after the shrug is finished... but then again, I have button pants, button earrings, and a button necklace... so use your own discretion with the buttons.  I think the Chips would also be cute across the bottom of a back of shrug closeup.jpgscarf instead of fringe, or even hung on fringe with a knot to keep them in place.

Pattern specs:  Well, I had a gauge of 4 stitches to the inch, strung 8 Chips on the first ball of yarn, cast on 64 stitches and worked in garter stitch for 4 rows (evenly distributing 8 chips along the cuff, in the first row) and then worked in stockinette stitch until I was almost finished with the 4th ball of yarn.  That was about 45 inches along.  I finished with another 4 rows of garter (and another 8 Chips), bound off, and sewed 15 inch seams for each sleeve. 

Making your own simple pattern:  Essentially, it is a wide, short scarf with seams.  Certainly easy enough to figure out a pattern on your own- here's how I did it.  I checked my gauge (oh- a little sidenote here... last night, during class- a really fun group, by the way- I mentioned, while the class was knitting their gauge swatches- that, at the store, I had been referred to as the Gauge Nazi.  Which, to my knowledge, had only happened once, while Jenny and I were alone in the store and JOKING, for crying out loud.  But two students promptly replied, "Yeah, I've heard that," at which point my jaw dropped and Cindy started laughing across the table.  I didn't know that it was an actual, behind-the-back nickname.  Great.  I just want your projects to fit, people!).  OK.  Back to how I figured out the pattern.  I carefully checked my gauge then started playing with the tape measure around my arm.  Not to measure my arm, but circling different lengths around it to see how wide I wanted the shrug to be.  I was not going for tightness- you want a nice, easy fit here.  I thought 16 inches looked good (and my arm is 10 1/2 inches around, so that gives you an idea of the looseness we are going for).  I multiplied my stitches per inch by 16 (the number of inches I wanted to get to) and cast on.  Then I remembered that I had to string the Chips on first, took out my cast-on row, strung the Chips, and cast on again... but that's another story.  I knit a little border (I did garter- but ribbing or seed stitch would be pretty, too) and then just worked in stockinette stitch until it looked like the right length.  How did I decide it looked like the right length?  By draping it over myself, the mannequin it was made for, and several other people who were in the store that day.  When it looked cute on everyone, I did a border at the other end and bound off.  I pinned it on the mannequin to figure out how long to make the sleeve seams, seamed 'em, wove in my ends, and there you go.  That, my friends, is as fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants as it gets, right?  If you have never made your own pattern before, this would be a really (REALLY!) easy place to start- so go ahead and try it!  And variations would be easy- a pretty stitch pattern (wouldn't it look nice in lace?  Just make your gauge swatch in the pattern you intend to use).  You could also cast on a little wider and decrease in the first few inches for bell sleeves, increasing again at the end.  Or, if a tapered sleeve is more your thing, cast on narrower, increase in the first few inches, and decrease again at the end.  And of course, you could knit it to whatever length you want. 

If you want to knit a really slim, short sleeved shruggy item, though, check out the One-Skein Wonder from Stefanie Japel...  I think the extra tailoring of her pattern is adorable and chic.


Reader Comments (4)

Great post! You have such a "you can do it" attitude, that I really think "I can do it". I love, love, love the shrug! 'Specially the danglies! How fun!!
June 22, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
The shrug is great! You have to give me the skinny on the Brilla. I have a ton of the stuff and have to decide what to do with it. Some will inevitably be let go in a stash sale - I have to pare down! - but some will be kept for future projects, so let me know what you think of it and what you'd use it for.
June 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
Ooh, I have a bit of brilla around, but I'm thinking of using it for a nice dressy camisole or something. The shrug looks great, though and I have some yarn in mind that I think would be perfect for such a simple and useful accessory. Yay. Thanks for posting all this.
June 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMarnie
that is so cute; love how you're wearing it... and totally agree about the sheen/glow of the brilla
June 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
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