by Vashti Braha
Shrugs don’t get any easier than this: it’s a simple rectangle and there’s NO seamin’, NO sizin’, NO shapin’. It’s also probably the only 1-skein shrug out there, but if you want to use 2 skeins, you can add an edging or make the sleeves longer or make it plus-sized. It works because the yarn is so stretchy, so it does the shaping and sizing for you. There’s no seaming because you lace up the sleeves with ribbon. Remove the ribbon and it becomes a scarf/neckwarmer. As an added bonus, the stitch pattern is eye-catching, so this handy shrug will even turn heads. Now, if it would only balance your checkbook…
- Patons Katrina yarn (163yds/150m per 100g/3.5oz.), “Dusk,” 1 (2) skeins
- Pattern instructions will include tips for using alternate yarns. (Ed. note: I’m told by Patons that Katrina will be discontinued, but should still be available for purchase at press time.)
- Some stretchy substitutes to experiment with, of roughly similar weight, are:
- Classic Elite‘s Star, 2+ balls (cotton and lycra)
- Cascade Fixation, 2+ balls (cotton and elastic)
- Sock it to Me Collection’s Esprit, 2+ balls (seems similar to Cascade’s Fixation; available at www.elann.com)
- Schoeller Stahl’s Merino Stretch, 1 ball (44% Merino)
- Schachenmayr Only Stretch, 2 balls (40% superwash wool)
- Size US8-H / 5.0mm crochet hook
- 2 lengths of 1.5-inch-wide ribbon, each 1.5 yds long
- Yarn needle for weaving in ends
5″ X 33″, unstretched (6.5″ x 43″, approximately)
The goal is to end up with a rectangle that measures 5″ X 33″ unstretched (for small size) because that’s what I got out of 1 skein of Katrina. The width (# of stitches across) could be up to 5.5″ and still fit average upper arms the same; or 6″ to 6.5″ for plus-sized upper arms. The length (total # of rows) could go as low as about 30″ for comfortably short sleeves, up to maybe 60″ for long sleeves, depending on how long your arms are.
Gauge is not a big deal. Here’s the gauge I got: 4 pattern repeats, plus the stitches that begin and end each row = 5″. Four rows = 3.5″.
Just follow the pattern, because the shrug is like one long gauge swatch anyway. If you are experimenting with one of the cotton yarns listed above, you’ll probably need to go down a hook size and and do 5 pattern repeats instead of 4.
Ch(s) – chain
Sc – single crochet
Sl st – slip stitch
Picot – ch 4 then sl st in the 4th ch from hook
Instant Perfect-fit Shrug
Foundation: Ch 25. (Chain 29 if you’re going to do 5 pattern repeats instead of 4 — see Gauge.)
Row 1: Sl st in 4th ch from hook (1 picot made), ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hook, ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hook, skip next two foundation chs, sc in each of next 3 chs, *ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hook, ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hook, ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hook, skip next foundation ch, sc in each of next 3 chs*, rep from * to * across; at end of row, ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hook, turn.
Row 2: Ch 3, picot, *ch 3, picot, ch 2, sc in middle picot of 3-picot group on the previous row, ch 2. Get the sc just made out of your way by pushing it down toward you, sl st into 1st ch, of the last 4 chain stitches just made, to form picot, make picot, repeat from * across to end; turn.
Row 3: Make 2 picots. Pushing the picots on either side of the three chains from the previous row toward the back of work, sc in top 2 loops of each of the 3 chs. Work *3 picots, sc in top loops of next 3 chs, rep from * across, end with 1 picot, turn.
Repeat Rows 2 and 3 for pattern until you run out yarn, or until you achieve your preferred sleeve length. Fasten off and weave in ends.
To wear as a shrug, lace ribbon through last 12 rows (or best fit) at each end of long rectangle, as if you’re lacing up sneakers. Tie ends into a bow at cuff edge.
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