The Wedding Files: Viennese Shrug

wedding shrug

Pattern: Viennese Shrug by Lisa Daehlin, Interweave Knits, Summer 2005 [Ravelry]
Yarn: Fibre Company Road to China, Autumn Jasper, 4 skeins
Needles: US 4 circular

Notes: This is an interesting pattern: it's knitted in halves, from a provisional cast on that goes right up the spine. A graceful shape, an interesting lace pattern, overall, a pleasing piece to knit. And despite a couple of setbacks, described below, knitting the Viennese Shrug was a wedding preparation task I will remember as straightforward and rewarding in comparison to some other tasks!

wedding shrug back

But ooookay, so as it was pointed out to me early on by Ms. Subliminal Rabbit, this pattern is a "one-size-fits-all." Pattern designers: just because you've written a lovely lace pattern and you can't wrack your head about HOW on earth to create it in a different size, does NOT make a pattern "one-size-fits-all." (evidence!) It just makes it ONE SIZE. Here, that size = big. I do accept some responsibility for being a dwarf. And I don't mean to be hard on pattern designers. But it does make me sad, a little.

Anyway, at first I didn't listen, and cast on using a smaller gauge than called for, thinking that would make up the difference. I endured a substantial provisional cast on (yech! not tasty medicine!), and completed two pattern repeats before admitting my plan had not worked - it was going to be far too long - and frogged. Then suffered through yet ANOTHER provisional cast-on. This time, I made some modifications:

1. Shortening length down the back: I subtracted one of the repeats of the lace motif from the cast on to make the back shorter. Miraculously, this seemed to work out even though I suspected there would be some unintended consequences. Do note though that it results in substantially narrower sleeves. They are snug on me, though less so with blocking. If you have big guns, you may want to skip this modification.

2. Shortening width of piece across the back: This posed a trickier problem and seemed to be an issue for a lot of people who made this shrug. Because of the way the neck is shaped, it would have been difficult to just eliminate a whole pattern repeat. So I included all pattern repeats, but just ended up seaming the sides of the shrug's opening from the armpit join back up several inches. It makes the opening of the shrug a little narrower than it ought to be, and there are times when I need to pull it back up over my shoulders a bit, but this does seem to solve some of the width problem and results in more of a full-length sleeve rather than a 3/4-length.

Using these mods, I think the fit is decent. Not perfect but passable, and this is a garment that doesn't have to fit just so anyway.

wedding shrug side

So, you may have noticed that these photos are not from our wedding - they're from our mini-moon! If you can believe this, there were other things on my mind besides getting an FO shot for the blog ;-) I actually did wear the shrug at the wedding, but it was during some times when there were not a lot of photos being taken, so visual evidence is scarce. You can see it with the wedding dress (though I'm going to save a reveal of the whole dress for when our talented photographer, Jenny Jimenez, is finished working her magic and I can show you her photos). Jenny was nice enough to forward this rare shot of Shrug in Action, which is from an emergency curbside bustling session in front of my friend Sara's apartment. Note that it was mercilessly cropped by me, so as not to reveal too much just yet :) (so bring any beefs about composition here, not to JJ!)


(Yep! Sara!). This emergency bustling was necessary after a scene on the way out of the hotel lobby proved that klutzes and wedding gowns with trains do. not. mix!

You can see pretty well here how much of the underarm I seamed up.

So. There it is! Wedding shrug!

And one more thing: Road to China. Buy it. Fondle it. Use it. It's my new favorite yarn, and I have a pretty low tolerance for alpaca.

Posted by jess at September 24, 2009 9:17 PM | TrackBack

The shrug is very cute! I can't wait to see more wedding photos... so far it's only been glimpses.

Posted by: grumperina at September 24, 2009 10:17 PM

your adjustments turned out well, that's too bad it isn't offered in different sizes! It is gorgeous, though. Can't wait to see the wedding photos!

Posted by: Julie at September 24, 2009 11:38 PM

i loved it, it gives envy.
And congratulations for your wedding by the way :)

Posted by: potikare at September 25, 2009 8:02 AM

i loved it, it gives envy.
And congratulations for your wedding by the way :)

Posted by: potikare at September 25, 2009 8:03 AM

You certainly did a good job! The yarn looks indeed very soft and beautiful!

Posted by: Maryse at September 25, 2009 9:18 AM

lady, SO much better than mine! glad it worked out - and looking forward to the wedding photos!

Posted by: marri at September 25, 2009 11:07 AM

So pretty! I love the color you chose. Very feminine and it looks so pretty with your dress! That lace is lovely.

Posted by: Allyson at September 25, 2009 11:18 AM

Oh so lovely!

Posted by: Lollipopette at September 25, 2009 2:58 PM

'Twas indeed lovely. Be henceforth aware: if you ever accidentally make one in that huge size, I'd be happy to take it off your hands. Or, er, shoulders.

Posted by: Jolt at September 25, 2009 8:16 PM

I adore your choice of colors.

Posted by: Mildawg at September 27, 2009 1:52 PM

You look beautiful!! It's so pretty!

Posted by: tiennie at September 28, 2009 2:24 AM

It's beautiful - so many congratulations on your wedding

Posted by: Sarah at October 1, 2009 5:34 AM

It looks pretty darn perfect to me. You've totally improved the original! Looking forward to dress pictures!

Posted by: val at October 2, 2009 2:37 PM

Gorgeous shrug!
Congratulations on your wedding.
I am visiting from Ravelry where I saw your Best Friends doll and wanted to complement you on that. I especially like her hair.

Posted by: Jennifer at October 6, 2009 11:57 AM

Gorgeous for a perfect day. Hope it was wonderful.

Posted by: moirae at October 17, 2009 10:44 PM

That is honestly the most beautiful shrug that I have ever seen. Truly.

Posted by: Jodi Anderson at October 17, 2009 11:05 PM


It is a beautiful shrug.

Hope You had a wonderful day.

Thoughts from

Posted by: Kris at October 19, 2009 3:28 AM

I opine that to get the business loans from creditors you must present a great reason. But, once I have got a auto loan, just because I was willing to buy a house.

Posted by: HAHNLena23 at October 9, 2010 6:17 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Pretty please enter the code as seen in the image above to post your comment.