completed Maeve & sport weight struggles

Let’s start with the happy!  I finally finished my Maeve shrug!

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

Looks kinda weird when it’s not on, so here it is actually on:

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

I made the size Small and used exactly 5 skeins (1085 yds) of Berroco Vintage (50% acrylic, 40% wool, 10% nylon) in the colorway 5195 Macaron.  I ordered 6 so I have a leftover skein, which I’m super happy about because I LOVE THIS YARN.  Not only is the colorway absolutely GORGEOUS (I wish you could see all the flecks of purples & oranges & pinks & reds in there but my camera can’t get that close up) but the yarn itself is great; I used Berroco Vintage Chunky for one of my ripple blankets back in 2011 and I’m so glad I did; it’s still SO soft and SO warm and I’m glad that I purposely felted it slightly in the wash so my dog’s claws can’t pull the yarn.  Now I’m not going to purposely felt this shrug, of course.  It’s just cool that you can if you want to, but you can machine wash it on cold and it’s fine.  I’m going to use some of my leftover Vintage & Vintage Chunky for potholders for Christmas gifts, I think.  Anyway…

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

It’s kind of hard to tell since I can’t take a good picture of my back but there is some sagging around the armpit area & under the back band where it connects to the garter stitch section.  This is something that many people who have made this shrug have run into, and perhaps if I block it I can at least fix the second part of the problem, I dunno.  And I don’t really mind the whole bat wing look, so the saggy armpit parts aren’t the end of the world.  Both of these issues occur, I believe, due to the fact that the shrug won’t stay completely up — the wide garter band that goes around is 12″ and that much fabric at your neck doesn’t really work — it just pushes the shrug down a bit.  That’s how the model’s wearing it in the pattern photos so I guess that’s just how it sits.

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

Even if it has a couple of small cosmetic issues, this shrug is SO COMFY.  I know I’ve used a lot of caps in this post and I don’t usually do that but that just shows you how much I mean it!  The shrug is very warm and cozy and no parts of it are too tight, and the front magically stays in front of my chest which is the best (because it helps keep the whole shrug in place & it keeps me more securely wrapped and warm)!  I like how it completely covers my neck — that’s one of my issues in winter with my sweaters that have larger necklines — my neck gets too cold!

So to sum it up, I like this shrug a lot.  It was easy to make (minus the math headache that I completely created for myself) and took a little over 2 months to knit, working on it pretty regularly but not obsessively.

Now on to my sport weight yarn struggles — I need your advice!  I have this LOVELY (again, I mean super duper lovely because the spin is great and it is SO SOFT) yarn in a fun bright color that I got on sale a long time ago from Purl Soho called Mulberry Merino (80% merino, 20% silk):

Purl Soho Mulberry Merino

I wanted to make a crochet shawl that has a large wingspan so that I can add buttons and wear it as a cardigan if I want to, like The Boho Crochet Wrap does.  However, when I purchased a pattern that I thought would be suitable for my sport weight yarn I had a huge gauge issue.

The pattern I purchased is called Picnic, and the pattern says that gauge isn’t really important.  However it does give measurements for a gauge swatch and I was so far off that I redid my swatch 4 times!  It says 15 sts & 7 rows of dc = 4″(10cm) with a size E hook (3.5mm), but I went all the way up to a size H hook and my gauge was still too small!  And by the looks of it even if I keep going up hook sizes to get the stitch gauge my row gauge will still be at least 1/2″ off, if not more.  That’s potentially a problem if I want a large wingspan and have a limited amount of yarn to work with (988 yds/903 m)!

I also like the Hotel of Bees shawl, and I could make it with this yarn (I think it would look fine in one color, and this bright yellow reminds me of bees), but it has the gauge listed on the Ravelry page & it looks like I’d have a similar issue (although maybe not so much with the row gauge… but I’d still have to go from the recommended E hook to at least an I)!

Now I haven’t done a gauge swatch for crochet in a while because I haven’t really needed to; am I crocheting extremely tight?  It doesn’t feel like it when I’m doing it, and I even tried the gauge swatch with my Clover Amour hooks and my Susan Bates hooks to see if the different kind of hook made a difference (it made only a tiny difference in row height).

What do I do?  I feel bad about paying for the pattern if I’m not gonna use it but I don’t want to spend all that time making the shawl if it’s not gonna be the size I want.

Maybe I could just try to make The Boho Crochet Wrap in this yarn instead of a DK weight yarn.  It calls for 980 yds of DK weight yarn though and I only have 988 yds of sport weight yarn — if I went up a few hook sizes do you think I could make it work out to be the same size?

Ugh, all this nice yarn poses such troubles because I want the pattern for it to be perfect!  Please let me know below what you’d do, or if you have any suggestions.

Thanks for reading this far, and thanks for stopping by!  See you soon!  🙂

Classic Cowl: begin!

Couldn’t resist the urge to start something new, and I’ve been eyeing Purl Soho’s Classic Cowl pattern for some time now.  There were already 4 skeins of the required yarn in my stash (Purl Soho Worsted Twist in Otter Brown), so I got started on Monday.

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I don’t know much about brioche knitting but the texture of this “fluffy brioche stitch” is awesome; I think it will be super warm and cushy!  The yarn is really soft, too, and enjoyable to use.  Here’s a closeup of the stitches (although it’s still hard to really see the texture as clearly as you can in real life):

IMG_5293

For some reason my ribbing is slightly slanted, but that should be fixed with a light blocking.  I might not use all 4 balls of yarn, though — it would be cool to save some for another project and I think even just 2 balls would make a very adequate cowl.

Well, that’s all for today, thanks for stopping by!

***Edit: and somebody asked to see the whole mandala ottoman cover from my last post, so here it is:

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