I'm about 12 rounds away from finishing the knitting on the Pimlico shrug. Granted, those rounds contain 480 sts each, so it's not an inconsiderable amount of knitting, but I haven't been making the kind of progress I really should be. Then I just have to sew the goofy little sleeves in and I'll be able to cross her off the list of projects under construction.
I finished the back last week and blocked it. The stitch pattern is kind of interesting, with almost a smocked appearance pre-blocking. You can see what look like diagonal lines of texture here.
Those vanished after blocking:
I had to block it on a towel on the floor, since the timing worked out that it needed to dry overnight. Usually I block on my bed and pin directly into the mattress, but couldn't do that on the floor, which is why random items that were within reach — votive holders! my piggy bank! a wood box I got in Morocco in 1996 that has swollen and warped to the point where the lid no longer comes off! — are holding the edges down to prevent curling.
It's an odd garment, construction-wise. You knit that gigantic rectangle, then fold it in half lengthwise and seam the sides, leaving room at the fold to sew the sleeves in. Initially, when I was planning this project, I was going to pick up and knit the sleeves down. But for yarn conservation reasons, I wanted to make sure the sleeves were done before I used up all the yarn, save what I had set aside for the ribbing, for the body. Since this is my handspun, there was a fair bit of variation among the skeins. It wasn't too bad, but there were a couple of skeins that fell closer to sportweight than the rest of the batch, which was securely in the worsted-weight camp. The difference between the two was pretty clear; I accidentally started the second sleeve with the finer-gauge stuff and they even looked different.
(Clear as mud? And about as interesting?)
Here's how it looks when I'm working on it:
But this should give a better idea of how this nutty creature is actually shaped:
(I think that's a 60" needle the ribbing is on.)
Obviously, even at 480 stitches, 12 rounds shouldn't take me THAT long. And the reason I haven't been working on it even so though I'm so! close! to! being! done! is that I've been seduced by a new love, an exotic and slightly intimidating one:
It's crochet, for god's sake. I barely crochet. My crochet knowledge is roughly equivalent to Sarah Palin's grasp of geography. (Strike that — I know that I don't know anything.) And it's going to be many, many colors, which is not my particular poison — texture over color! is my rallying cry. AND it's a blanket, which is Not Something I Make, being an adherent to the if-I-can't-wear-it-I-don't-want-to-know-about-it school of making stuff. But here we are. And I love my embryonic ripple blanket with a fierce and unyielding passion.