This Sunday I will be attending my cousin Vivian's wedding reception in Chicago. Since nothing in my closet seemed to work (or look appealing at the moment...:D), two weeks ago I went out and bought a new dress. And to go with this dress, I decided to knit a shimmering shrug to glam it up a bit. This pattern is really simple, with only one easy lace pattern going throughout the whole garment. The difficulty lied with trying to knit slippery fingering-weight yarn with slippery chunky needles. I had such a hard time trying to do p2tog's and ssk's with the blunt tips of the regular Addi Turbo's. I basically had to break the p2tog's into a two step process similar to how you would do a ssk (i.e. slip the stitches over to the right needles so to loosen them up a bit, then insert the left needle into the stitches to do the p2tog.) It was so slow going, I almost regretted that I picked this yarn (or this project? Not sure...)
This yarn is also stretchy and hard to keep shape. I blocked the pieces before seaming, and it still looks like it hasn't been blocked. The bottom edge of the hem still rolls inward although I stretched it out during blocking. I thought about adding either a ruffle edge or crochet one or two rows of sc border, but decided not to do anything yet. Well, first, I may not have enough time to finish it before Sunday. Second, I may not have enough yarn and I know I will be quite busy in the next few days that I won't be able to make a stop at the yarn store. So, this is it, for now. Although I wish the border/hem is more prominent, I think it looks okay this way too.
I finally managed to finish this popular bolero. Huge thanks to Margaret for sharing the pattern!! I felt bad for the long delay in finishing this project. Margaret sent me the pattern a long time ago, and I have just now finished it. Sorry! I first tried to make it in white, and ran out of yarn. I searched all LYS's in the area, and couldn't find the extra ball of yarn I needed. I could have ordered it online, but I just don't feel like paying shipping for a $6.50 ball of yarn. Thus I decided to switch color. Fuchsia is usually not my top pick when it comes to colors. But several weeks ago when I was going through my closets, I realized that I have several sleeveless dresses in white or cream with pink/fuchsia/burgundy prints, that would look great with a fuchsia bolero. In the photos is one of the dresses, and I think the dress and the bolero look perfect as an outfit!
The pattern for this bolero is probably one of the most confusing I have seen. I started studying it as soon as I got it in the mail, and just wasn't sure how to start. At that time there were not yet any discussions in Margaret's blog about the starting instructions. I thought about it long and hard, and decided to just go ahead and do it the way I think it should be done (based on what I could decipher from the diagrams.) Hehe... what's the worst that could happen? Right?! If it was a mistake, then I'd just rip it out and start over. Maybe I would learn something new in the process. Actually my first attempt (the white UFO) was somewhat a mistake - it was too small! I used a 2.75mm hook to get gauge, but it was too narrow and tight at the shoulders (the original pattern was sized for young girls). The size was too big for a little girl, I think it would fit a teenage girl better. But I don't know any teenage girls. I may just have to rip it out and save the yarn for something else.
I guess I am not quite happy with this FO. The pattern was clear, I had no problems following it. The knitting went smoothly as well. But I came to realize when I was knitting the front piece, that the finished garment would be quite heavy. The yarn itself is heavy, each skein has only 77 yards and weighs 50g. The size small I made required 9 skeins. I just weighed the garment, the whole thing is 428g. It felt thick and heavy when I tried it on, for which I am quite disappointed. One of the reasons why I decided to knit this project is the potential versatility, a garment that you could possibly wear all year long. Now that it is so heavy, wearing it during the summer is out of the question. I may have to wait till late fall to actually wear it. Well, another lesson learned. This is something I could have foreseen when I chose the yarn. I just got too excited in the midst of a yarn sale, you understand.
I made modifications to the length of the garment. I felt the original length would be too much for me. The waist ribbing was reduced from 3 1/2" to 3". The lower body was reduced from 10" to 8 3/4". Everything else is pretty much per pattern.
With all that said, I still like the lace patterns and the color of the yarn. If I can start over, I think a lightweight cotton-blend yarn would have been a better choice. The pattern is not difficult, it's just the hot weather making me impatient. I spent only about 1 hour, sometimes 2, everyday on this project. Even the 64" I-cord belt, which is so easy yet so boring, took me one week to finish. To get myself to finish it, I decided not to publish another posting until I am done with this project... haha... it still took me more than a month. Although in the meantime, I finished another crochet bolero, just haven't had time to block it yet, it will be the next posting.