I’ve been intimidated by clothing patterns for a long time. I’m better at smaller projects, like scarves, hats, or purses. But I’ve always wanted to try making my own sweater. Snuggling into a warm piece of clothing you made yourself sounds divine.
Searching through Pinterest, I managed to find several shrug type sweaters for crocheters that were made for beginners and those who wanted to work something up quickly over a weekend. I tried one of them with a chunky yarn and fell in love. It took me probably seven or eight hours in total, worked up fast, and though I had to modify to fit me (I have a small, wide frame), the yarn I used and the simple stitches made the sweater a stunner.
If you’re interested in starting a shrug sweater of your own, there are a few patterns I’d recommend starting with:
For free patterns, you can’t do better than the Make & Do Crew — they have two easy crochet patterns for shrugs that I loved, the Lightweight, Easy Crochet Shrug and the Dwell Chunky Crochet Shrug Sweater. The first one uses a worsted weight yarn, simple stitches, and minimum shaping to create a beautiful, casual, cozy shrug with sleeves that you’ll want to wear year round. You can do so with its mesh construction paired with a tank top, tee, or long-sleeve shirt.
The Dwell Chunky Crochet is even easier, constructed as a rectangle. No shaping, simple stitches, and works up extremely quickly with the chunky yarn. The pattern suggests using Lion Brand, which is my favorite brand to work with as it comes in an array of colors, is inexpensive, and has a soft feel to it. This big cozy sweater shrug will keep you warm on the coldest nights and is perfect for wearing to a campfire gathering or taking on a weekend camping trip.
I used Yarn Hook Needles’ Chunky Crochet Shrug pattern for my project because it didn’t have sleeves and I wanted to keep costs low on this first one. I used Lion Brand Hometown USA in Madison Mustard, Fargo Fields, Fort Lauderdale Coral, and Miami Seafoam to create a bold, beautiful shrug. I used 7 skeins (most shrugs will use around 8). The entire project cost me a little over $20, and I spent a few lovely evenings listening to an Agatha Christie novel on audiobook while I crocheted.
If you’re looking for a more sophisticated pattern and don’t mind spending a little money, I’d highly recommend the gorgeous Cocoon Cardigan from Crochet Dreamz. It uses two colors, some fancy stitches, and takes around 7 hours to make. It also fastens with a button and loop, and can be worn with jeans and a collared shirt for a casual look.
As with any clothing project, measure as you go so that you don’t end up with something much too large or too small. Check your gauge using the pattern’s recommendations prior to beginning the project and you shouldn’t have any trouble modifying as you go, if needed.
To use the free patterns I mentioned above, you can find both the Lightweight Easy Crochet Shrug and the Easy Chunky Crochet Sweater at the Make & Do Crew website. The one I made is available as a free pattern on Yarn Hook Needles. The Cocoon Shrug pattern is for sale on Crochet Dreamz.