It's like a sweater without a front, but has also been described as an
elephant trunk warmer. :)
I used recycled yarn, so the amounts are guesstimated. I purchased a hand
knitted sweater at a thrift store and ravelled it out. I thought the
main colour was a nice shade of brown. I usually don't care for brown, so
I asked myself why I liked this colour. I finally realized -- because it
was the colour of chocolate ice cream! :)
I didn't try to decrinkle the yarn (is that a word?). I liked the bit of
texture and body it added to the swatch. So onward I went with it as is.
- approx 400g / 600m chunky yarn (I think I was using Paton's Shetland
- needles 4.5mm and 5.5mm
- gauge approx 13.5 sts / 4" and 19 rows / 4" on 5.5mm needles
- With smaller needles, loosely cast on 30 stitches.
- Work 14 rows of k1 p1 ribbing.
- To increase for next round, change to larger needles. K1, *m1, k2*,
repeat between *s across, ending with m1, k1 - total 45 stitches
- Work even in stocking stitch for 3 rows.
- 4th row k1, m1, knit to last stitch, m1, k1.
- Repeat these 4 rows til 71 sts are on your needle. Knit 3 more rows
plain. Place a contrasting thread on first and last stitch of this third
row. Your piece should be about 13.5" long.
- Work even for 36 rows. This section will be about 8" long.
- Now, chose a fairly stable, non rolling stitch pattern, such as seed
stitch, moss stitch or garter stitch. You'll work this pattern for the
first and last few stitches of each round. I used garter stitch on the
first and last 5 stitches.
- Work even for approximately 20". I worked 49 garter stitch ridges
- Now, stop working those edge stitches differently!
- Continue with plain stocking stitch all the way across for the next
36 rows (about 8", to match section on other side of the edged section).
- Place contrasting thread on the first and last stitch of your next knit
row, then purl 1 row and knit 1 row.
- Now you're ready to start decreasing to match the increases on the other
sleeve. K1, k2tog, knit to within last 3 sts, ssk (or k2tog tbl), k1.
- Work next 3 rows even.
- Repeat these 4 rows til 45 sts remain on needle.
- Switch to smaller needles again. K2tog, p1 across the row.
- Knit 13 more rows of k1 p1 ribbing and cast off very loosely.
- Sew sleeve seams from cuff to contrasting thread marker or thereabouts,
wherever fits you best.
- For the average person, the finished length of the shrug from cuff to
cuff should be just short of your height. Too long and it'll fall off your
shoulders, too short and you'll find it a struggle to have your arms
outstretched in front of you. Each sleeve and body make up about a third
of the length. Adjust this ratio to suit if you have a particularly wide
back, longer arms, etc.
- You can use a stitch other than stocking stitch for the body of the
shrug, but nothing with a large repeat or you may run into trouble with
the increases and decreases. It should also work well with the edge
stitches you chose.
- Initially, I thought of doing a symmetrical striped pattern, but with
unknown yarn requirements, I would have had to make the two pieces
separately, then graft together the 71 stitches on each half down the
centre back. I figured I get frustrated enough grafting sock toes, I
don't need this kind of self imposed torture. :)
- I also considered working the sleeves in the round rather than sewing
up the seams later, but I wanted to be able to try on the completed garment
before deciding exactly how far up to sew the sleeve seams. You'll see
what I mean...
- I purposely included measurements in inches in case you decide you
want to use a different yarn weight and will have a different gauge. If
you do, you'll probably need to change how often you increase on the
first sleeve (and decrease on the second).
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