I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with baited breath to find out how I did in the produce show. A quick recap. I entered three categories: A knitted item; A jar of curd (any variety); and A chocolate and Guinness cake.
First, the official failure. As I’ve mentioned before I cook on an Aga and it and I don’t always get on that well. So I practiced the chocolate and Guinness cake three times to get a feel for the recipe, much to my husband’s delight. When the time came to make the official show version I was also running around the house cleaning in preparation for visitors so I didn’t perhaps pay it quite as much attention as I should. The cake had a heavy, fudge-y centre that would not have been popular with the judges. I didn’t realize this until I went to pick my cake up afterwards (because it’s cut in half for the judging). It is, however, delicious and probably my favourite that I’ve ever made when it comes to eating it.
I won third prize in the curd category, but I feel I should mention that there were only four entries this year. But for the category I really cared about, the knitting, I won first again.
I hope I’m developing a reputation locally, and that it includes the word ‘upstart’ seeing as I’ve not yet lived in the village for five years. I’m trying to work out how to spend my £1.50 winnings.
I’ve had the wool I made it with hanging around in my stash for, ooooh, about fifteen years. In its previous incarnation it was a crocheted waistcoat but my crocheting isn’t very good and it was never a wearable shape. The shrug pattern is ‘I do’ from Knitty: I saw it a few years ago and resolved to knit it.
I’ve never knitted a big lace item before (socks excepted, and none that I’ve knitted really count since that was more knitting holes) and I did find it challenging. Not something that could be done with a small child around, partly because I needed to count rows and he took a liking to clicking the button on my row counter. I think it went reasonably well, apart from the increasing and decreasing. The repeats of the pattern start or finish with knit or purl three together, and I cannot work out how you keep this pattern going whilst also increasing or deceasing one stitch per row. Answers on a postcard, please. As a result, I have some fairly inelegant stretches of garter stitch as I built up enough stitches to knit in the pattern.
All in all, though, I’m pleased with the result. Since it’s a cotton shrug it’s already started stretching so I’m off to buy some bias binding to try to discourage this trend. I think the gaping at the back is a problem with many shrugs and I don’t like it – there must be a way around it when designing a pattern. And I have a ‘wide back’ too (according to the woman who I bought my wedding dress from); how do people with narrow backs cope?
Ravelry link here, if you’re part of the gang.