Sunday, May 22, 2011

Glace Shrug - Part 1

My knitting has taken a backseat in the last month or two and now I am ready to pick-up my needles again.  Here is a UFO (Unfinished Object) that I had pulled out of my organization session back in Craftolution Update - Organize post in March.  Originally, it was to be a spaghetti strap tank top knitted out of Glace from Berroco.  It is a 100% rayon ribbon.  It is also discontinued, so I cannot purchase this yarn any longer.

Rescued UFO

I was knitting the green colored tank in the booklet you see in the picture above.  The pattern is called Daniela.  I loved it.  Now, the history behind this tank top, and why this post is called Shrug and not Tank, is that I attempted this pattern two times over the course of the years.  It is not that it is a difficult pattern, but just a myriad of mistakes I encountered along the way. 

My first attempt, I was fairly new to knitting and wanted to knit a "real" project that I would wear.  It started fine, I did my gauge swatch, and was almost done with the front half and I fumbled when I was shaping the arm and top.  I was supposed to be shaping the arms and dealing with the neck at the same time.  I read the pattern as if you do them at separate times.  So, I put it down until I could figure out how to undo what I did and get back on track.  Meanwhile, I really needed the size needles that where on this project for something else.  I ended up taking all the stitches off and just leaving them thinking that I will rip out and fix the top.  That never happened.  I just ripped it all out and started new.

My second attempt I started and knitted about 4" and put it down.  I was bored with it.  I then recently picked it up and thought about finishing it.  I took stock of the yarn I had and thought that I needed about 7 or 8 balls for this tank and I only had about 5 or 6.  Something was missing.  I did not want to continue with this pattern if I didn't have enough yarn.  That would be the ultimate worst feeling of getting towards the end and realizing that you don't have enough yarn, while the yarn has been discontinued.  So, I went searching for another project.

I chose a pattern from knit.1 magazine (which I think has been discontinued too, what's going on around here?) from Summer of 2007 called "Moss Stitch Bolero."

New project

I like how it ties in the front, rather than just having sleeves and open front.  The only thing is, is that I may not have enough yarn to do the sleeves.  So my hopes of a shrug may be a sleeveless shrug.  Can I still call it a shrug if it has no sleeves?  Well, I'm going to anyway!  The shrug/bolero has a crocheted edging, a nice touch.

For me to do this project, I have to unravel the tank top again.  As you may see in the first photo, the yarn balls look a bit tangled.  Well, they are very much tangled!!  I had just thrown them together in the bag.  Yikes, what a mess.

Takes 5 to Tangle

Only one ball is attached to the tank top, but yet 5 balls of yarn are tangled.  Here is a close-up of the rat's nest that I must untangle before I can start my shrug.

Maybe just a Mole Nest, not too bad

Once they were separate balls of yarn again, I now had to unravel the knitted part.  When it is unraveling, it stays kinky for some time.  There is no one way to get out the kinks.  Some natural fibers stay kinked until you wet it and wrap it in a ball until dry.  Since this is a rayon yarn, I did not know what to expect.

Kinky Kinky!

I did not wet it but tightly wound it back into a ball.  Since the others had been wound since my last attempt, I was going to let this ball sit and I will use the others to start with. 

The main stitch in this pattern is the moss stitch or seed stitch.  It is k1p1 across the row, then on the next row it is p1k1.  You repeat knitting the purl sts an purling the knit sts to make the pattern.  It is easy, but it is time consuming because you are pausing in between each st to reposition the yarn either to the front or to the back.  It creates this pebble look, where it is not all knit nor all purl.  It is a nice texture to look at.  Below is a close-up of the seed st.

Seeding along

My plan with this is to knit the back, then the two side front panels.  Then I will see how much I have left to do the sleeves.  I may just make this sleeveless and crochet the edging on the arm holes and have a sort of shrug-vest that ties in the front.  I could also make cap sleeves, so there is something there, but that would mean that I would have to make-up something as the sleeve.  I'm not good at that in the knitting world.  This would be going out of my comfort zone, but maybe that is what I need.

Current status

This is what I have worked up so far.  This is the back and I have started the arm hole shaping (the part at the top that tapers inward).  It is looking good and I'm proud that I'm actually rescuing a project from the dooms of the deep dark basket in the closet.  So far I have used only 2 balls of yarn, by my calculation, I may not have enough to do even cap sleeves.  I will crochet the edging along the neck and bottom and see what is left over.

Stay tuned for Part 2, which hopefully will be before I go on vacation in late June.  I would like to bring this with me. 

Does anyone out there recently completed a UFO??  If not, save yourself a few bucks and finish it.  It will keep your money in your pocket a little while longer than if you went out and bought materials for a new project.

Good luck (and wish me some too)!

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