For our book Autumn Leaf, Therese Chynoweth designed a beautiful lacey shrug that is a versatile layering piece.
I asked Therese to tell us a little about how she came up with the idea for Cornucopia and to take us through her process.
Cornucopia – by Therese Chynoweth
Cornucopia is a shrug that I've wanted to design for a while. Knit in Fresco, this shrug is simple, elegant and ethereal. Although it took some time to work out the details, I'm definitely pleased with the result.
Most shrugs are worked in one piece, either from side-to-side, or from the bottom up. Others are worked flat like a large scarf, and then seamed at the underarms. Another construction method is worked from cuff-to-cuff.
Although the latter is my favorite shrug construction, something has always bothered me about it. While being easy to work and has minimal finishing (always a plus in my book), this method of construction never seems to fit quite right. Usually it’s too tight in the front at the shoulders and under the arms.
I started thinking about the best way to solve this fit problem. I decided to try working each sleeve separately to the armhole and put on holders. I then worked the back of the shrug. Then I joined the three pieces together and worked the balance of the piece, shaping it like a raglan sweater.
I kept the front edges of the sleeves straight to retain the look of a usual shrug but tapered the back slightly below the armholes to maintain a clean fit across the back and shoulders. There's no saggy bag at the lower back, either.
I wanted to use a lace stitch pattern that would be easy to work while at the same time would accommodate the decreases of the raglan shaping on the back. The Fern Lace was my first choice – it's pretty, feminine and easy to memorize. I added a narrow faggoting panel and twist stitch between halves of the lace for a little extra interest. The undulating bottom edge was one of the features that drew me to the pattern.
The sleeves are worked straight up from the cast-on, creating a loose, flowing look, in keeping with look of the side-to-side shrug. I designed Cornucopia with extra-long sleeves, but I think this shrug would also be adorable with ¾-length sleeves (just knit a few less repeats of the lace pattern).
I wanted the back of the shrug to have a simple feel to it, but didn’t want it to be completely plain. So I added one repeat of the Fern Lace pattern to tie the sections together. It also adds the undulating edge to the back.
I decided to do just a few rows of 1 x 1 rib with eyelets along the edges of Cornucopia to ensure the edges didn’t roll. I wanted to be careful not to overwhelm the piece with too much edging.
This lacey shrug is really an elegant piece with a feminine look. It is easily customizable by shortening the sleeves or changing colors and is simple to finish with no seams. It's a shrug that will look great on just about any body shape. Can't get much better than that!
|From left to right: Camellia, Great Bay and Fern|