A mixed success, as you can see - it's great to have produced a garment which I like the look of. It's a shame it doesn't fit me by miles! I think what's happened here is overcompensation. I knew several of these shrugs had turned out too small, so I thought, right! Mine's not going to have that fault...
I will make another one of these - but I will knit the 10 diamonds that the pattern suggests and not 12. I think the rib section is only just big enough. I cast the usual proportion for ribbing - pick up 3 and skip one all along the edge, which gave slightly more stitches than the pattern suggested. I think it needs one stitch picking up for every stitch. Following a helpful suggestion from Ravelry, I knit the rib section in the round, which worked really well and eliminates a seam. I also changed needle size - pick up on one smaller, first few inches in the same size as the body (5.5mm) then a few inches in 6 mm, 6.5 mm and 7 mm. I had to stop there because I've no bigger circular needles. Then I cast off in rib. This tip came from a Lucy Neatby DVD - and the ribbing did look nice - it wanted to turn over and lie prettily. I might make it a few inches deeper as well.
It's so hard to measure knitting. Andy helped me with this one and it still came out wrong. He fits kitchens. He wallpapers. He cuts holes in £500 doors to fit the furniture. He can build a kitchen extension - and all his building stuff turns out perfectly. What is it about knitting? When I picked up my simple garter stitch jacket again at the weekend, there were 3 people in the room. I had pulled out the needles and forgotten to write down what I was using, so I knit up a tiny swatch along 10 stitches of the garment until I thought I had it right. Then I checked with the others, just to be on the safe side. Andy said: you need a bigger needle. Rick said: I think she needs a smaller needle. And Stewart said: I don't know.
The shrug saga doesn't end too badly though. When I knit a sweater for Andy's sister, she asked me to knit the sleeves 2" longer than usual because she has very long arms. Remembering this I took her the shrug. She wasn't too sure about the construction, never having owned or worn such a strange item - but it fitted her so I insisted that she take it. Hopefully she'll decide that she likes shrugs, I thought she looked smart in it, but then, I'm biased - it's my baby!