Tag Archives: shrug

It’s fall! Bring on the hooded shrug!

Me in Hooded Shrug

Mmm, cozy.

Please consider the picture to the left to be an example of why I do not usually pose for photos.  I can hold still, but I always seem to bring the bitchface.

My bitchface (and photobomb by the goose) aside, I’m happy with the project. The shrug is you was made from Red Heart Light and Lofty.  I made it with my Q-hook, and winged the pattern.

Winging a shrug pattern is pretty easy once you realize that shrugs are rectangles you sew together.  Once I sewed the rectangle, I added the sleeves, hood, and cuffs.  The red cuffs came to be because I ran out of green yarn.  I like making shrugs from bulkier yarns because, a) they work up fast, and b) it’s easy to do shaping.  With bulkier yarns, you’re usually working about three stitches per inch, so shaping by the inch can be done in a single row or round without getting the slightly triangular shape you get if you decrease too quickly with lighter yarn weights.

And now, a shot of the back:

Back of Hooded Shrug

From the back!

With the contrast from the flash, you can see the joining seam at the curve of my shoulder.  You can also see the open stitch work that comes from working with a bulky yarn and a big hook.  The open stitching makes the shrug easier to wear in chilly-but-not-too-chilly weather.  It’s super comfy and has already been made useful in our new digs in Oregon.  Turns out, it rains here at the drop of a hat and doesn’t get terribly cold when it does.  (I’ve been informed that that will change. Oh , goody.)

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Action Shots of the Shrug-Like Thing

In my last post I posted a vid about a shrug I’d made.  I found the time and incentive to take a few action shots, and the restuls were…variable.  Out of about 15 shots, I picked a few that I really liked, and I think the pictures do a good job showing how the shrug fits and falls.

The shrug hits right at my natural waist [Yes, I’m very high-waisted.].  I still think I need a third button to finish the look.  Or possibly different buttons. I found some cute ones at Joann’s last week that I think will funk up the shrug just a touch.

A slightly closer-up shot of the shrug.  I’m especially proud of the small panels on the sides of my chest that help shape the bottom half of the shrug.

I like this shot of the back because it really shows where the shrug started [the teal] and where it ended [the purple].  It also showcases the general fit on the arms, back, and waist.

And I just discovered that I’ve got a lone skein of the Jewel Box yarn [the purple] that I had misplaced.  Part of me is tempted to add one last bit of flare to the shrug, but I think I can make a tiny purse, instead, and use it as an accessory.

Trying Something a Little Different

I made a shrug that went above and beyond requirements, and I found I had a hard time writing up the explanation without feeling like I was just confusing myself.  I decided to try for a video instead.  It’s not a perfect, professional video, but I decided to stick with try number five as long as I didn’t curse or nearly knock over my computer [both issues with previous versions].  The results are as follows:

Easy Projects I’ve Finally Attempted.

The front, with a great face cover-up, no?

I’ve been crocheting since I was six. My grandmother taught me with an H-hook I still have, a skein of white Red Heart yarn, and no small amount of patience. I crocheted very casually for years, and then, when I moved out of my parents’ house for good at 21, I picked it up again. Yarn is cheaper than booze [most of the time] and doesn’t make you feel like a weirdo when you use it alone.

So, I’ve been crocheting steadily for a little over four years now. I’ve made skirts, tops, blankets, hats, scarves, a few more hats, and even some potholders. But I’ve never done more than vaguely attempt a shrug.

What’s a shrug, you ask? A shrug is somewhere between a shawl and a sweater. It has sleeves, the beginnings of a back, and no front. If you finished up high school in the aughts, you probably saw them paired with tube tops to get around dress code violations. Shrugs are an almost essential crochet project in this wave of the craft. They’re a great first project because they are simply rectangles that are then turned into tubes through simple seaming. You have to try pretty hard to mess up a shrug, and even if you manage it, the mistakes are easy to fix.

The back, pardon the slant.

So why have I never made one? The simple answer is a lack of giving a crap. They’ve just never interested me in any big way. I worked in semi-professional dress offices for years, and all the shrug patterns I found were too casual, too loose, and too “I made it last night, can you tell?” looking to pass inspection. But something bit me yesterday, perhaps the knowledge that for the foreseeable future, I won’t have an office job dress code to answer to, and I decided to sit down and join the ranks of the crocheters with a shrug to their name.

I used a P-hook and Red Heart Light and Lofty. I measured the length of my arm from just below the elbow to the top of the curve on my shoulder, multiplied by two, then added the width of my back from shoulder-to-shoulder. I have always disliked shrugs that show an obvious lack of measurement for fit, and I wanted to make my first shrug right.

I think it looks pretty good, and I think a big part of that has to do with the fact that I did take two minutes to measure. I find that’s something crocheters lack; they don’t stop and think about their garment as a garment. Everything that goes on your body has to coincide with a measurement if you want it to look right. There are a few people who take that into consideration [Josi Hannon Madera of artofcrochet.com comes to mind], but by and large, crocheters take to their garment-making without bothering to consider how garments are made.

The front, with both arms down

The front, with both arms down

Check out some of the shrug patterns at crochetpatterncentral.com, and I think you’ll see my point.