This shrug pattern can be a welcome addition to any wardrobe. It can be worn as a dressy accessory, or look equally well with jeans. It is not a tight fitting shrug, but more loosely fitted with an elegant drape.
The pattern will fit a wide range of sizes, but you must take your arm span measurement first. Stand with your arms comfortably at your side, and measure from the top of your wrist (where you like the cuffs of your sweaters to fit) up your arm to the top of the shoulder, over the shoulder and to the middle of your back, to the nape of the neck. Write this measurement down as you will refer to it often.
The pattern is knit sideways from the left wrist to the right wrist. There is a garter stitch border at both the top and bottom. The top garter stitch border is gently increased to provide a fold back collar, and the centre panel is increased from the arms to cover the length of the back from the neck, to the lower middle of the back. The directions are given for the first half of the sweater, as the second half is knitted exactly the same as the first half, with decreases where increases were made.
The use of a row counter is highly recommended. Because you will knit from the left wrist to the middle of the back and then reverse the shaping for the right side. The row counter can be reversed from the middle to the right side, making it easy to back track through the pattern.
Once you read and understand the pattern, you will see that the size is infinitely configurable. Also, I selected the double moss pattern stitch, but you can use most any stitch for the centre panel as long as it is reversible.
Lion Brand Textures Mohair Blend, 2 skeins
Needles size 5 (short) and a 24 inch circular #9
2 stitch Markers
4.25 stitches per inch on large size needles in stocking stitch, about six rows to the inch
Double Moss, Pattern repeat of 4 stitches
Row 1: K2, P2 across the row
Row 2: K2, P2 across the row
Row 3: P2, K2 across the row
Row 4: P2, K2 across the row
Repeat rows 1-4 for pattern
A word about the cuffs. The cuffs should fit snugly on the wrist. This is an anchoring point for the fit of the sweater. Wrist size can vary on anyone, so I recommend doing a test swatch to make sure you have a snug, but not tight fit in the cuffs.
Begin at the left cuff, with size 5 needles. Cast on 35 stitches.
Work in K1, P1 ribbing for 3 inches
Increase row: K1, M1 across the row (M1 = Make one by a small backward loop placed on the needle) You should have 70 stitches
Next row: Purl across
Change to size 9 needles
Row 1 (Right side row): Knit across (start ROW COUNTER with this row)
Row 2: K3, P64, K3 (You will keep these border stitches in garter stitch)
Row 3: (RS) Begin the Double Moss pattern, and carry this pattern throughout. K3, (begin the double Moss pattern), K3.
Continue knitting in pattern.
Stop after completing row 10 (a wrong side row). You will begin the centre panel increases.
Row 11 will be the first increase row. (NOTE: ALL increases and decreases will be made on the RIGHT SIDE or odd numbered rows. ALL increases and decreases will be made at the junction between the double moss pattern, and the garter stitch band) We will increase by 2 stitches on increase rows by using a M1, placing a backward loop on the needle. The first M1 will be after you knit the three edge stitches, continue in Double Moss, and M1 before the last three edge stitches. The next row, a WS row, you will either knit or purl each M1 stitch as to be worked into the Double Moss Pattern. For now, keep that single stitch in the pattern for you will continue to increase and will add to it to get the full pattern.
Row 11: K3, M1, Double Moss on 64 stitches in pattern as established) to last three stitches, M1, K3
You will make this increase on every 10th row from now on until you have 78 stitches in the centre panel (a K3, Double Moss on 78 stitches, K3.
Increase rows will be on rows 21, 31, 41, 51, 61, and 71. Work 5 rows even and make another increase on row 77, making a total centre panel of 80 stitches in Double Moss.
On the RS, the first three selvage stitches that you knit are the bottom of the shoulderette, and the last three selvage stitches that you knit, are the top of the shoulderette. In the next stage, the bottom selvage stitches will be increased to a total of 5 selvage stitches, while the top selvage stitches will be increased to a total of 10 selvage stitches for a fold back collar. Make these increases as follows.
After the last centre panel increase on row 77, knit evenly until row 81
Row 81: (RS)-K3, M1, (place marker, this is the bottom edge of the shoulderette) Knit 80 centre panel stitches in pattern, place marker, M1, K3 (these are the top edge stitches that will form the fold down collar.)
Row 82: (WS)- Knit to marker, slip marker, Knit in pattern to marker, slip marker, knit to the end. (keep the selvage stitches in garter stitch)
Repeat these two rows until there are 5 stitches, in the bottom selvage, which should be row 83. Remove the marker on the bottom selvage. Knit in pattern row 84 which should be K5, Knit in pattern, K5 Stop increasing in the bottom selvage and increase ONLY in the top selvage as follows:
Row 85: K5, Knit it pattern to top selvage marker, slip marker, M1, K to end.
Row 86: Knit to marker, Knit in pattern to last 5 stitches, K5
Repeat rows 85 and 86 until there are 10 top selvage stitches (remove marker) which should be row 93.
Row 94: K10, Knit in pattern, K5
Row 95: K5 Knit in pattern, K10
Repeat these two rows until piece measures from your wrist, to the centre of your back.
Now, you can simply knit from the middle of the back to the right wrist, reversing the row counter each row. Be sure you keep the odd numbered rows as the right side, and the even numbered rows as the wrong side. On the garter stitch selvage rows where you increased with a M1, simply K2tog. In decreasing the middle or pattern section, each row where you increased with a M1, either K2tog, or P2tog, whichever keeps the Double Moss patterning consistent. After completing the right wrist ribbing, cast off in rib pattern.
Weave in all yarn tails. You will seam the arms for a length that is attractive for your shape, and the drape of the garment. The best way to do this is to first seam the right and left wrist. Put the shoulderette on, arrange it comfortably on your wrists and fold back the garter stitch collar. Now take some large safety pins and pin both sleeves up to where you like the drape and the fit for your shoulders best. Now you can finish seaming the shoulderette, and you are finished! If you are making it as a gift for someone else I have found that the seaming usually averages about 12 or 13 inches above the wrist ribbing.
This pattern and image are Copyright © Leef Bloomenstiel 1999, all rights reserved.