While I was traveling by train in the Netherlands and Germany, I knit this bolero/shrug for my friend Liza who dubbed it “The Shrug of Destiny”.

In the haberdashery section of John Lewis, we were both seduced by a Noro silk garden colorway I’d never seen before. Liza described the style of shrug she wanted– something that would cross over the bust and have bell sleeves, similar to a sweater I knit for myself out of Colinette.

Liza wearing the shrug

Here is a picture of Liza wearing the shrug– we were at Kew Gardens where all the flowers seemed to match some color in the wool.

shrug being blocked

I knit it using the top-down raglan formula, knitting extra width in the front to allow the cross-over shape which would be generous enough to accommodate the leaf shawl fastener. I decreased to make the front a bit curved.

shrug, blocked, close up

Here you can see a close up of the fashioning on the front and the leaf fastening.

When she first tried it on, it was too large beneath the bust. I hadn’t added any shaping, thinking that cinching the front would bring it in enough, but I was mistaken. So I ripped back about 20 rows and added mirrored decreases in the center back. I probably could have added a few decreases in the middle front of the closure “flaps”. If I knit this style again, I would definitely do that– or if the sweather doesn’t wear well (I’ve found silk garden sometimes loosens up with wear, like cotton) I will rip it back and add these additional decreases.

I think she was very happy with it! It’s satisfying to make something and know the person is actually going to wear it. I think it suits her very well.


Noro stash, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.

Today I went to Peter Jones with my friend Liza and we picked out some Noro for shrugs. The dark colorway is Silk Garden for Liza– I’m going to make a surplice shrug with bell sleeves for her.

I picked the other colorway because it reminded me of the countryside in Cumbria– I’m going to make a basic, sleeves-only type shrug. I’ve never worked with Kureyon– I’m looking forward to it.