Welcome to Part 2 of the Shapeshifter Shrug. I am almost done I can almost feel how cozy this will be. I have completed both parts of the shrug, the left and the right. (In case you missed it, here is Part 1).
The next step is to connect these two halves with a knit stitch called the Kitchener stitch. There is no way to easily explain how this stitch is done, but I can tell you that the blog The Purl Bee does it with some great instructions. Basically, you are taking a blunt needle and the same yarn and weaving in the stitches that are on the needle and holder (those are called "live" stitches) to create a stitch that looks like the knit side of your work. This creates a seamless join.
I had to have the instructions up on the screen the entire time I did this and had the computer cursor on the step I was doing each time. This took concentration and a quiet house. (Sorry Vince, no TV and no talking!)
Here is the work-in-progress from last week. Once this was complete I weaved in the loose ends and took a break for about a week. Ha, the next step I wanted daylight and plenty of time so I waited until the following weekend (this weekend) to block.
Blocking is something that you do at the end of a project to make all the hard work you just put into knitting look fabulous. This means that all the stitches that puckered and all the curling get smoothed out for a professional look. I did this step when I knitted the Lace-Up Fingerless Gloves for Christmas last year.
I start out by laying out a towel on the floor. I measure and arrange (by stretching, if necessary) my shrug to the dimensions that look good to me. I chose 23" wide. I took safety pins and stuck them through the edge and into the rug.
I then used a spray bottle to generously mist the fabric. I used my fingertips to massage the mist into the fabric and to ensure it is evenly wetted.
I then stretched it to my measurements and pinned all the way around the shrug.
Next, I covered it with a second towel and placed books on top of the entire surface area of the shrug. I up-ended two TV snack trays and placed those on top of the books along with a box and a bin. I used whatever would evenly press down on the fabric. I will come back and check on this in a few days. It is ready when the fabric is fully dry.
Last week I went button shopping. I changed the pattern a bit and did not make it as long as the pattern was originally written. As a result, I did not need as many buttonholes as planned. Instead of 20 buttonholes, I only needed to make 18. That being said, I needed 18 buttons. I thought Joann's would have just what I needed, so I headed there and I discovered two things:
- That Joann's did not even have 18 of the same button (unless I bought two bags of the bag-o-buttons and those are plastic and are not going anywhere near the shrug that took me a month to knit). Yeah, I'm snubbing the bag-o buttons.
- That even if Joann's did have that many buttons in a button I liked, it would've cost me a fortune. That is even taking into account using coupons. Nice buttons were priced anywhere between $2.99 to $8.99. Some had only one to a card and some had up to four on a card.
So, I went looking on the internet and there are several online stores that had some great buttons that you could buy in bulk, but they were still too expensive. I then got a Eureka! moment and went to eBay.
I found a lot of 50 flower-shaped white mother-of-pearl shell buttons for a total of $7.05. That is with shipping. The only thing is, is that it's coming from Hong Kong and will take 4-6 weeks. Hey, I don't care, it is still in the 90's here in Florida, I can live a bit longer without the shrug.
I love eBay!