I finished the project I was working on with the Baby Alpaca Brush – it was mostly finished before we took our trip to Colorado, but I didn’t think it would be very good to work on in the car, since I needed to keep trying it on to judge the length. It’s finished now, though, and I like it. It’s warm and soft and fuzzy. It reminds me of hedges, cool cloudy weather, and good literature – hence the name. (It makes sense to me, anyway.)
The shrug is worked from cuff to cuff in the round, so the only seaming involved is attaching the collar. Instead of just being a long straight tube, a little bit of shaping is used to get a better fit and to eliminate the bumpy, bulging back that you see so often with simple shrugs. I don’t feel like writing up a proper pattern for it, but I thought I’d share some guidelines that will allow you to make one of your own.
- 5 balls Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush, [80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Acrylic, 110 yds per 50g ball]
- J/6mm hook
- Yarn needle
- Safety pins or stitch markers
When you begin, be sure to take notes so that you can make the second sleeve match the first! Start by making a chain long enough that when you join it into a circle, if you push it up on your arm like a bracelet it fits up your arm and stops at your elbow. (My number was 35 ch.) To accommodate the pattern stitch, be sure you use an odd number of chains.
Join, ch 2, and hdc in every st around. Join rnd.
Ch 1, sc in next st, *ch 1, sk 1 st, sc in next st. Repeat from * around. When you reach the end of the round (the first and last stitches should both be sc), **ch1, skip next sc, sc in next chain space. Repeat from ** around in a continuous spiral until sleeve measures desired length from wrist to elbow. (It’s a good idea to measure and mark down the length of this section, even put in a stitch marker for later.)
At this point, increase until sleeve can continue comfortably up your arm. (I made 3 increases. Be sure to mark down how many increases you made so that you can mirror them on the other side with decreases.) Increase by making [sc, ch 1, sc] in a chain space. Stack your increases by increasing in the ch-space formed in the previous increase. Only make one increase per round to avoid creating strange bumps. Insert stitch marker.
Continue in pattern until your sleeve reaches the bicep. Increase as described previously until sleeve can go comfortably over bicep and shoulder. (I made 10 increases here: be sure to make a note of how many increases you did.)
Begin working back and forth, leaving a few stitches (I used 3) unworked to create some space between the edges. Work in pattern for about 1 1/2″; any time the pattern stitch would have you begin or end a row with a ch, substitute a sc. Choose one side to be the neck edge, and one side to be the back edge. Begin decreasing at back edge as follows: insert hook in ch-space, pull up loop. Insert hook in next ch-space, pull up loop. Yarn over, pull loop through all loops on hook. Make a decrease in this manner every row along ‘back’ edge until (when you try it on) the end of the row has come out from under your armpit to sit on your back. Make note of the number of decreases (I made 6), insert stitch marker.
Work even in pattern until reaching the place on the opposite shoulder that mirrors where you placed the last marker (be careful, it’s easy to make this part too long) and increase along ‘back’ edge as previousy explained to match your decreases. Work even about 1 1/2″, chain the same number of stitches you skipped before, and join your work. You should now have the same number of stitches as you did before you split your round.
Work 1 round in pattern, decrease as previously described to match the bicep increases on the other side. Work straight until you reach the place equivalent to the stitch marker on the other arm (just above the elbow), decrease to match elbow increases. You should now have the same number of stitches as you began with; work straight in pattern until second sleeve is about 1/4″ shorter than first sleeve. Join with a slip stitch, ch 2, hdc around, join rnd. Finish off.
Row 1: Ch 32, make 2 hdc in 3rd ch from hook. Hdc across, make another hdc in last ch. (32 sts) Turn.
Rows 2-5: Ch 2, hdc inc 2x. Hdc across until 2 sts remain, hdc inc 2x. Turn.
Row 6: Sl st 3, sc inc, hdc inc, hdc across until 5 sts remain. Hdc inc, sc inc, sl st. Turn, leaving remaining sts unworked.
Row 7: Do not ch, skip sl st, sl st 2. Sc inc, hdc 38, sc inc, sl st in next st. Turn.
Row 8: Skip sl st, sl st 3. Sc, hdc 32, sc, sl st. Finish off.
Center collar on neck edge, and sew flat side of collar to neck edge. Weave in all ends.
And that’s it! I hope someone finds this useful.