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Pediatric nurse by training, stay-at-home-mum by design... now "nursing" a knitting obsession : ) Twitter & Rav ID: nursenikkiknits

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday #54 - From the Heart

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Last week, my Nan had knee replacement surgery. We knew she needed the surgery but didn't know when it would happen. Nan lives in Wales. She done really well post-op and is already home. It's killing me that I can't be there to help.

First, I sent flowers. I desperately want her to know that we are thinking of her but don't want to disturb her rest (she gets a bit stressed out when we call "all the way from Canada").

The flowers just didn't do it for me. I wanted to do something else but couldn't think of what. I'm 7000 kilometres away, it's not like I can bring over a pie (also, I have no idea how to make pie).

So, I did the only thing I could. I threw all my current projects aside and cast on for a Milk Run Shawl. I had two skeins of gorgeous Bendigo Woollen Mills Cameo in my stash. The yarn is a mix of wool and angora and is heaven to touch.

I can't be there to hug her, so hopefully she will appreciate this warm simple shawl around her shoulders as the next best thing. Nan's birthday is at the end of March so I'm hoping to have it to her by then.

Now for the problem... I have knit the first 200g (the whole thing should take about 400g). According to the pattern, I am already near the end of the body before the ruffle! The final blocked length is supposed to be 30" and at this rate mine with be 21" unblocked! Of course, I didn't bother to check my gauge and maybe the stress has me knitting tight but I am getting 9 stitches and 36 rows to 4" (instead of the 8 and 32 I'm supposed to be getting).

What would you do?

A. Follow the pattern and then block the crap out of it

B. Keep knitting until the shawl matches the pattern's suggested dimensions or I run out of yarn

C. Rip back and use a bigger needle (please don't pick this one!)

D. Something else - I am open to suggestions!

I am loving this shawl. It feels warm and squishy but maybe is a little dense? I thinks that ok though because I wanted it to be kind of blanket-like. I imagine her wearing it while resting on the couch in her sitting room. I doubt my almost 83 year old Nan will be showing it off down the high street ; )

Thanks for your help!

Cheers, Nikki

Tami's Blog


  1. What a thoughtful thing to do for your Grandma? I'm sure she'll appreciate the gesture.

  2. Shame, all that effort, I would choose option D! :-D

    Hope it goes well, sure it will be perfect!


  3. Option B would be exactly what I would do. It's a really pretty pattern, and a lovely thing to do for your Grandma

  4. So lovely and a wonderful gift. I would go with Option B myself, I hate hate hate to rip anything out.

  5. Blocking seems to be a good idea anyway. And if you still have yarn, knit until you run out of it. So B & A combined would be my suggestion. Btw: the shawl looks lovely and exactly like a hug.

  6. The shawl is lovely! I say go with option B and maybe give it a good blocking if necessary. I'm sure your grandmother will love it.

  7. Can you knit a little swatch, block it and see how far it grows? That might be the best predictor for the finished size you can reasonably expect. It looks lovely soft and warm - I'm sure Nan will appreciate the wooly hugs from across the pond!

  8. What a lovely gift for your Nan. The yarn looks so soft. I would do a combination of A and B. Angora tends to grow when wet so you have that in your favor.

  9. Aww, what a sweet gesture! I'm sure she'll love it. I'm in the A + B = shawl camp, and I think it'll turn out better than you expect. Also, I could totally teach you how to make a pie if you weren't so far away. It's not hard. :)

  10. Do you have to do the ruffle? The ruffle will take up lots of yarn, eliminating it will free it up to make it larger. Hope you are able to get it done in time.

  11. A + B... knit a small swatch, do the math, and come up with a compromise. Don't rip-- if you like how it feels than she will too, and that's the important part!

  12. I'd trust the pattern, and block the hell out of it. If you want to try your luck making it bigger, put in a lifeline when you start winging it!

    I love that pattern, and I am sure your Nan will really appreciate the gift.

  13. What a sweet, sweet shawl. Love it.
    I am the queen of frogging so naturally I would start again, BUT as long as you still have quite some year left why not carry on until you have the measurements you need?
    BTW, I never remember to check the gauge...

  14. that shawl is going to be gorgeous! I think that considering your gauge is so much smaller, either get your hands on another skein and continue on longer than the pattern calls for; or maybe add in some contrasting stripes or a different colour trim? Then you can work with the yarn you have, and use another colour to make up some of the yardage difference.


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