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Am I insane?
mad cheshire

So I am pondering a possibly insane thing, and I would like some opinions.

The opening of the show I am working on is in two weeks, and I want to wear a dress I wore to a friend's wedding a few years ago - it's strapless, and is a gold/taupe color.  The difficulty is I have some impressive tan lines from my summer running in a sleeveless top(probably more noticable to me than anyone else).  I had thought about going into a tanning booth to try to even things out a bit but that seems excessive.  I think if I just get a cute little shrug/sweater it will be fine, and solve the tan lines issue as well as the it's chilly in January issue.

So I went to google and searched.  I found a few for sale but not many - I may not be searching good shopping sites.  But I found a site that was a collection of knitting patters for shrugs.  Now for the insanity...

Could I actually knit myself a wearable shrug in two weeks?  During tech and previews?  I am seriously tempted to go for it.

Poll #1324877 to knit or not

So what should I do for opening night?

Buy a shrug, you don't have time for anything else
Knit, you know you want to
eh, try the tanning booth - if you're orange the tan lines won't matter
Couldn't you wear a different dress?
Eh, wear your blacks to the lobby as a protest of the pain they've put you through.
I should be better at links than I am but here are the patterns I've found (so far).  Comments and opinions would be appreciated - or if you have a favorite please send it along.  I need to figure this out by the end of tomorrow, if I'm knitting I need to start on Monday.

Cute, vaguely retro short sleeve:  www.craftster.org/forum/index.php
Fuzzy short sleeve:  www.modadea.com/patterns/LM0215.htm
Short sleeve and easiest knit ever:  http://www.knitonecrochettoo.com/patterns/1498_TarteletteShrug.pdf
Slinky, long sleeved: www.modadea.com/patterns/LM0229.htm
Long sleeved, but possibly too casual to pair with dress (otherwise my favorite):  knitty.com/ISSUEspring05/PATTcleaves.html
Long sleeved and ribbed:  www.canadianliving.com/crafts/knitting/knit_a_ribbed_shrug.php
3/4 sleeve and super easy:  www.craftyarncouncil.com/mar06_openwork.html

 My vanity does require me to point out that this is me at the end of an 8hr day of rehearsal. .
heh.  Also the dress comes with a matchy belt that has a flower on it.  My plan was to knit / buy whatever it is in black - I'm in favor of the goes with everything.

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I really like the fuzzy short sleeve one.

It's got a nice fancy feel to it. I haven't looked to see how difficult anything is yet though, to see if two weeks seems feasible. That's the task for after rehearsal.

Oh, I need a knitting icon.

ETA: I added a photo of the dress if you're curious.

Edited at 2009-01-04 04:35 am (UTC)

I still vote for the fuzzy short sleeved one!

First and last are both awesome.

They're also both relatively simple to knit, I'd have to find great yarn though. I need to spend some time with the patterns tonight to figure out what is possible.

And try the dress on. It's been a while - this might all be moot.

ETA: dress has been tried on - and a photo has been added if you want to see.

Edited at 2009-01-04 04:36 am (UTC)

Now that I can see the dress (yay, pretty girl in pretty dress!) I think the last one would work better than the first. Just my two cents, I'm no fashion expert.

Yeah I'm leaning towards longer sleeves too, though it just adds to the time crunch.

When in doubt, my first option is always to knit. I like your options #1, #4, & #6. Can you post a picture of the dress, so we have some idea what this shrug is being paired with?

I made Shimmer from Knitty (with straight cuffs instead of bell cuffs on the sleeves) a couple years ago and it didn't take too long. The 3-Hour Shrug is sort of self-explanatory. And you've probably already tried this, but have you checked out a Ravelry search for shrug patterns?

Picture of dress (with me in it) posted.

I looked at Shimmer, but the two week timeline makes that one seem possibly a little too complex. I didn't do a Ravelry search - I need to use that site better.

Yeah, I'm going to stick with my vote for #6.

And it looks like the "Knit something..." is ahead of "Buy something..." so I won't have to log in as knittingordeath and rig the votes. ;)

The Rav is a powerful place. Hope it helps!

Edited at 2009-01-04 10:11 pm (UTC)

I've pretty much decided on #6 - it's just ribbing so it should be quick to knit, but the collar part makes it more interesting (and offers better tan line coverage). I found the same pattern on the Rav which gave me a few more hints too.

What I am trying to figure out right now is yarn. The pattern is designed to be done with thinner yarn doubled, which is a bit of a pain for knitting in the dark. I was thinking of switching to bulkier yarn so I could do it with one strand, but I'm afraid it'll make the whole thing look bulkier. I also thought if I did the two strand version I could do one flat black and one with some other color weaving through. Any opinions?

You can take the girl out of the yarnshop...

Opinions? About knitting? Gosh, I'm fresh out.


All righty...Looks like the gauge is ~12sts/4", which I think is technically chunky as opposed to bulky (for some reason this makes me think of "eggshell white as opposed to off-white"). There's some nice chunky alpaca yarn in the world. Pros: SUPER soft. Cons: Pills like a bitch, is a little more expensive than wools and wool blends.

If you aren't sensitive to wool and/or mohair, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky is very economical and not actually very bulky for a bulky yarn (Green Planet Yarn in Campbell carries every color they make, if I remember correctly).

If price is not a problem, both Manos del Uraguay and Malabrigo have beautiful hand-dyed colors and fall into the chunky yarn category. Yarndogs carries every color of Manos if you don't mind the drive and I believe Commuknity in San Jose and Purlescence in Sunnyvale have many colors of Malabrigo.

If price really, really isn't a problem, I have always had a place in my heart for RYC Cashsoft Chunky. Yum.

If you want to go super cheap and easy to care for, Caron Simply Soft (or Red Heart's equivalent with the very descriptive name, "Soft Yarn") are both worsted acrylics that fall into the softer side of the acrylic spectrum. Held doubled, of course.

I like your idea of having a secondary color woven through with your flat black. I'm a straight-up black girl, myself, so I lean towards that bias, but if you're interested in adding a little glimmer or something, you can always knit doubled with a strand of metallic thread.

Aren't you glad you asked? :)

Hope that helps a little!

(Edited to fix link so you wouldn't go to Ali Baba yarn instead of Cashsoft Chunky. Heh.)

Edited at 2009-01-06 04:59 am (UTC)

Re: You can take the girl out of the yarnshop...

I typed a reply yesterday - but apparently the computer ate it.

In any case - thanks for all of your input. I ended up going with less expensive yarn lion-brand wool-ease, and I stuck with a double worsted weight since all of the chunky yarn looked too chunky. I also stuck with flat black for the whole thing. Without spending a lot of time hunting I couldn't find the right metallic to weave, and really I wanted to start knitting ASAP, not spend time hunting for yarn. Also, the flat black will be more useful for re-wearability.

It's nearly 2' long already - and this tech looks to be slow and painful so I should have lots of time to knit. Yay?

i really like Shimmer. pretty pretty pattern.

You can definitely knit a shrug in two weeks - a motivated knit is a quickly finished knit.

My favorite of your links is the long-sleeved/ribbed, but I'd maybe shorten the sleeves to save yourself some time.

Cleaves is one of my favorite patterns, I need to make it one day.

Yeah I am starting to lean toward the long-sleeved/ribbed one too. The pattern is pretty simple and only involves two seams. Maybe if I 3/4 the sleeves I could make it.

I adore Cleaves - it's just not going to be right for this. But I will need to make it soon.

I'd vote for one of the last two. But it depends on how dressy you want to look. I think the last one may look super dressy like you are going to a wedding. The second to the last one if it were looser knit would look more like a shawl and you can leave it longer length. If it's as sweatery as it is in the picture, the black may overpower the gold. Unless it's a silky black... that yarn with the gold strands in it.

I think it would all depend on the yarn you picked. But I'm big on non 3/4 sleeves - those drive me crazy when it's cold.

Right now I'm leaning to the second to last one - partly because the pattern stitch is easier so I can sit in tech rehearsal and knit. It will make the dress a bit more casual, but for opening that's not such a big deal. The shawl is originally made with two strands of lighter weight yarn throughout, I was thinking of changing to one strand of a bulky yarn except it may bulk the whole thing up. Yarn shopping is next.

righto, so you know you want to knit it anyway. but i'd like to vote for buying it so you don't lose your mind...

My current plan is to get yarn and start, for the zen of knitting during tech if nothing else. Next Monday I'll figure out how much I have done, and then I can run to Macy's before opening if I need to.

good luck. i'm sure you'll finish it. i hope it helps you keep your zen.

Well if I lose my zen - it also means I have sharp pointy objects in my hands with which to attack.

sharp pointy objects might make you feel better, but remember that sticking them into actorly/directorly types might not be good for you in the long run. i vote for blunted tips, just in case -- they require more force behind them to do real damage...

if i were to be a good smartass, i would have replied, "yes, you are insane, but don't let that stop you."

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