The hands know what to do

Thank you ALL so much for your warm compliments on my wrap sweater! I had to check the calendar twice, because, believe it or not, the wrap made its debut on August 14th! And, no, I haven’t moved to Australia. Rather, I met up with some friends at what must be the coldest café in the whole wide world, and felt very comfy in my new sweater, even in the middle of summer.

No entry can be as exciting as an FO entry, but I’ve got something new up my sleeve, literally!

Surprises around every corner! You were probably expecting beginnings of the Filati tunic, or Forbes Forest progress, or perhaps an explanation of what I plan to do with 43 skeins of Cora yarn, and burning the Adrienne Vittadini sweater would probably be welcome by all (I’m sick of it, and I bet you are, too). Not to worry, all those things are to come, but there’s a new interest in the Grumperina household at this very moment.

When I saw Karen’s shrug, I knew that it was the one which could potentially overcome my shrug shyness.

Karen wrote the pattern herself, and kindly allowed me to be a test knitter. This is a position that’s near and dear to my heart since I depended on my test knitters to make the Tivoli possible.

On Saturday (in the worst heat imaginable), I picked up some KFI Cashmereno at Windsor Button for this project. This is a very nice DK weight yarn that I previously used for a pair of socks for my grandmother. I typically wouldn’t be drawn to this oatmeal color (being oatmeal-colored myself), except KFI Cash is now hard to find since it’s discontinued, so all the colors are worth a look, and it was sitting pretty in the sale bin ;). Oatmeal came home with me, but not before she got some friends to liven things up – sort of mauve-ish beads from Beadworks.


As I was starting my shrug, I brainstormed what kind of edging I’d like to put on the sleeves. Karen gave me directions for the edging she used on hers, but as I recently explained to Michelle, the crochet hook is the tool of the devil. Seriously, charted crochet is not bad, but written out crochet makes me totally cranky.

I remembered that Purly Whites used a cute little edging on her self-designed shrug, and thought, okay, let me check out Knitting on the Edge as she did, perhaps I’ll also be inspired.

I swatched and swatched until the cows came home. And let me tell you, swatching with beads becomes very tedious the 10th time you have to rip things out and shuffle the beads on the yarn. Nothing worked, it just wasn’t what I wanted.

And then it became clear to me – in my head, I knew what I wanted, I had a vision, an idea, so I just had to… knit it. It is an amazing process to let your hands work, let them do what they do best, because, I kid you not, in 5 minutes I had the right thing. Sometimes I just need to give the books a rest.


14 thoughts on “The hands know what to do

  1. Kim

    This might be a crazy thought.. but couldn’t you technically dye that yarn a color that doesn’t match your skin?

    The beads are a nice touch though : )

  2. Karen B

    From the bottom to the top! I really like the sense of movement with the twisting sleeve and bead design.

    I’m also pleased that you’ve taken the basic pattern and added your own touches. Can’t wait to see the fait accompli!

  3. stephanie

    While I’m commenting, I have to compliment you on all the lovely items you’ve knit lately. I saw this shrug on the designer at Stitches and it looked marvelous. I’m sure you’ll be pleased.

  4. Stephanie

    Very nicely done, once again. I do like the edging you created – it’s hard to choose one isn’t it? I believe you’ll be pleased with your shrug and the fit. Can’t wait to see more.

  5. natasha fialkov

    first, let me say that i am a labor intensive fan myself. and when the process is better than the product to you…you are an artist. that not thinking and just doing, you have broke through! yay!

  6. CatBookMom

    Love the design you created for the cuffs! That shrug is one of the nicest I’ve seen, and there are a LOT of shrugs out there! The stitch pattern is terrific, and seems to me that it would be useful in other tops, too.

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