How to Knit a Shrug

Written by jean marie bauhaus Google
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How to Knit a Shrug
This cute shrug knit up in a few hours using only 1 skein of yarn. (Jean Bauhaus)

A shrug is just the thing to slip on over a sleeveless top or dress in the summer, whether to make it office-appropriate or simply to keep your shoulders warm when the A/C is blasting. It is also one of the easiest accessories to knit. There are more advanced versions out there, but this simple pattern doesn't require any shaping, takes only one skein of yarn and can be knit in a single weekend. If you can knit a scarf, you can knit this cute shrug that's as stylish as it is easy.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 pair U.S. size 10 knitting needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)
  • 1 to 2 skeins of worsted weight yarn
  • Gauge ruler
  • Row counter
  • Tapestry needle

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  1. 1

    Knit a gauge swatch by casting on 20 stitches and knitting 10 rows of stockinet stitch (knit the first row, purl the second, knit the third and so on). Using your gauge ruler, measure the swatch. There should be four horizontal stitches and five vertical rows in 1 square inch. If there are too many stitches, go up a needle size and try again with a new swatch. If there are too few, go down a needle size. Once you've determined the correct needle size, unravel the swatch and reuse that yarn to make the shrug.

  2. 2

    Cast on 120 stitches.

  3. 3

    Create a seed-stitch border. On the first row, knit one, purl one. Repeat this pattern all the way across the row. On the second row, purl one, knit one, and repeat across the row.

  4. 4

    Beginning with the third row: Knit one, purl one. Repeat this pattern seven more times, then knit 88 stitches. Knit one, purl one again for the last 16 stitches. On the next row, do the same thing, except purl the knits and knit the purls.

  5. 5

    Use the row counter to keep track of the rows. Repeat the last two rows until you've done 33 rows total. For rows 34 and 35, repeat rows 1 and 2 as described in Step 3.

  6. 6

    Bind off, leaving a 24-inch tail.

  7. 7

    Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise, with the right side facing out. On each end, use the yarn tail and the tapestry needle to mattress-stitch the first 4 inches together to create the sleeves.

  8. 8

    Weave in yarn ends, and wear your new shrug with pride!

    How to Knit a Shrug

Tips and warnings

  • The gauge on this shrug makes it an easy pattern to size. This pattern makes a shrug that is 26 inches long and 14 inches wide. To get your own fit, just measure the length from where you want the bottom of the sleeve to hit on one arm to the same spot on the other, and measure the width from your clavicle to your back shoulder blade. Multiply the first number by 4 to get the correct number of cast-on stitches, and multiply the second number by 5 to get the correct number of rows to knit.
  • Although this shrug was knit using only one skein of yarn, there are many variables that could affect how far one skein will go with your own knitting. It's a good idea to have a second skein on hand, just to be safe.

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