Simple Knitted Shrug

Me and my knitted shrug.

Me and my shrug 🙂

The inspiration for this pattern came from the need for a shoulder shrug to wear before Barre class. Not that I take Barre classes, but I know someone who does and she suggested a simple something to be worn before you get warm in class. This would even be good for a yoga class. For those of us who get chillier than others in a big room before the workout begins. So that was the inspiration, but the truth is I wear this shrug with a t-shirt and jeans and I love it!

Feeling up to this project? Go for it! You can choose to do 3/4 length sleeves as I did or longer.


If you don’t have the Adobe Reader to view PDF files you can download it free here. It’s safe and reliable!



  • Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Yarn in Seaspray Mist
    I bought 6 skeins and knit double stranded. When I was finished I had the better part of 2 skeins left over.
  • The second shrug I made, I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Yarn in Brick, I only used 4 skeins, with some left over.
    I noticed on the labels there are different measurements for each worth noting here:
    Solids: 3.5 oz (100 g), 170 yards (156 m)
    Prints, Tweeds, & Heathers: 3 ozs (85 g) , 145 yards (133 meters)
    Twists: 2.5 oz (70 g), 121 yards (111 meters)
  • Knitting needles size US 13 (9mm)
  • Safety pins, place markers, or contrast color yarn to mark back opening
  • Optional crochet border using a J hook and single crochet

More photos:

Assembly tip:

Here is a video by Drops Design that demonstrates how to sew side seams for an “invisible” seam.

One knitter adds a good size border to her shrug.

110 Responses

  1. Marta says:

    How many skeins is needed for the shrug, please

    • marni says:

      I bought 6 skeins and used all of first 4 and some of the 5th and 6th. You can never have too much yarn left over 🙂

  2. Debbie says:

    Love this pattern. How much yarn does it take?

  3. Linda Haas says:

    how do you get this pattern

    • marni says:

      Hi Linda, thank you for your comment! The pattern as it exists now is just on my blog. But since it’s been getting more exposure thanks to Lion Brand — I am goint to create a pdf that’s easy for you to download. I hope to have it available within the next few days. Please subscribe to my blog to get notified or just check back when you can. ~ Marni

  4. Starrlynn Martin says:

    i would like the PDF for this shrug. Thank you

  5. PDF: I would love pdf for this shrug. Thank you

    • marni says:

      Thank you for loving my simple shrug! I’m working on a more “formal” pattern now and will let you know when it’s available.

  6. I love this! At first I thought this was a “one size fits most” type pattern. Then I noticed that there are three sizes in the instructions, but nothing is said about those different sizes elsewhere. Do you have a size chart/explanation/measurement for those? Thank you for sharing this cute little shrug pattern!

    • marni says:

      Hi there, Thanks for your comment. I had no idea that Lion Brand was going to share my pattern so I’m a little overwhelmed by the great response! I am in the process now of refining the pattern so that it provides all of the information people need to make their own, including multiple sizes. What’s so great about the pattern is that you can measure it against your body as you knit along so you can tell where to end the increases / decreases etc and how wide you want the back to be. But I understand the value of having more details in the pattern so I’m working on it. Please subscribe to my blog or like my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram / Tumblr and you’ll get notified when the pdf is available. I would really appreciate your feedback!

  7. Melane Wager says:

    Hi are the sizes Small, Medium and Large as I am not a knitter with a lot of confidence and I do not want to knit the wrong size and I can not see the sizes. I love the pattern and am looking forward to knitting it.

    • marni says:

      Hi there, I am currently working on a more accurate pattern that you can download, to include three sizes – Small, Medium and Large. I consider myself small, so I cast on 20 stitches to start. Please be patient, I’m working on the pdf and should have it completed soon. I think you will find this pattern very easy and fun to make. The double strands make it go fast and it’s a great piece to wear 🙂 I get a lot of compliments on it!

  8. Angela says:

    Can’t wait for the PDF pattern! Really looking forward to seeing the sizing info! Thank you.

  9. I just want to say thank you, Marni! I love this pattern and am excited to make it now that I have the “official” pattern! I sure hope mine comes out as beautifully as yours did!

  10. Bronwyn says:

    Thank you for the PDF! Yay!

  11. Angela says:

    Can’t wait to download this! Just one question. What weight yarn is the one you recommend? I don’t have a store that sells the yarn you used. Thanks so much.

    • marni says:

      I used double strands of worsted weight yarn…. just make a swatch before you start and see how you gauge measures up to mine, which is in the pdf. Let me know how it goes!

  12. I finally have mine in progress-got about 1/3 of it done last night, not counting the crocheted edge, which I do intend to do. If I like it on me, I think I’ll make one for my daughter. I plan to just tell her I want to make something for her to wear and ask her to choose an approximate color… Marni, is there any way to share photos with you here or elsewhere when we finish this project?

  13. Andrea says:

    Hi Marni

    I love this shrug and I can’t wait to make it! I am confused about needle size, your pattern says size 13 needles, and on Ravelry it says size 9. Which one? thank you!!

    • marni says:

      Oh gosh thank you for pointing that out! I have made corrections in Ravelry. So the needles are Size 13 US (9mm)
      and the gauge is 8 sts x 12 rows for a 4×4″ square. I apologize for any confusion!

  14. Andrea says:

    Thanks!!! I’m starting this today!

  15. Kate says:

    I loved this pattern when I saw the photo and am actually most of the way through it – though I may frog it to follow your pdf instructions. Thanks for resolving the needle size confusion and creating the pdf.

    • marni says:

      Please let me know how it works out for you and if there is anything in the pattern you would change. I’d be grateful for your feedback and photos!

  16. laura sequeira says:

    I downloaded your pattern which seems very easy to do. Thank you. I have one question..after the first sleeve, when you start working on the back you say ‘continue in for…’ Do you mean continue in pattern? Does that include increasing or just knit/purl?

    • marni says:

      Thank you for downloading the pattern!

      Where the pattern states:
      (WS)Continue in for 54 (57, 60) rows. Place marker for sleeve 2 beginning.

      I meant to just continue in the stockinette stitch (no increasing or decreasing).
      I’ll update the pattern to reflect this note. Please let me know how it turns out!

  17. Di says:

    Thank you for sharing your talents and this wonderful pattern! I am a cyclist and often after rides our group gathers for an outdoor meal and drinks. As an enthusiastic knitter, I am excited to be able to make this shrug use it as my “arm warner” for those after ride get-togethers! It’s perfect!!!

    • marni says:

      Awesome! I would love to see your finished work. My sister is a barre enthusiast and she’s the one who inspired me to make a shrug to keep her warm before class 🙂

  18. betty khan says:

    i have tried to find out how to get this pattern bout with out any result . can you help me to get the pattern . i really love it. thanks betty

  19. I would love to make your shrug on u tube. Seaspray banns white. But I can not to seem to download instructions….tried everything. What could I be doing wrong. I am new to getting on line. And knitting? Please help thanks candace

  20. Michele says:

    Cast on last night but I’m confused by the directions.

    I’m knitting the size L so I cast on 24. I repeated rows 1-6 10 times for a total of 60 rows. I now have 44 stitches on my needles. The directions now say to knit 6 more rows without increasing, though I think you mean repeat rows 1-6 without increasing (as opposed to knitting each row).

    My real confusion comes from page 2 of the instructions which show a table with stitch counts that don’t match up to what I have on my needles. I’m hoping you can shed some light on what I’m doing wrong.

    • marni says:

      Hi Michele – sounds like you are doing everything right – after you finishing increasing you knit 6 rows (knit one row purl one row 3 times) then place a marker where the back begins. Place another marker when you finish the back – then knit another 6 rows (knit one row purl one row 6 times) then start the decrease for the second sleeve. I’m sorry if my directions are confusing. Just think of mirroring what you do on one side for the other. If you have any corrections to my graph please send them! I appreciate your comments. I only made the small and tried to calculate the larger sizes.

    • marni says:

      Hi Michele,
      Hi Michele! Ok, so if you follow the chart you would have had 42 stitches at the end of the 54th row, and then do another 6 rows without increasing (so yes, knit 1 row, purl 1 row 3 times). So at row 60 you still have 42 stitches. Then I placed a marked and knit another 60 rows for the back. Then I placed another marker and knit 6 rows, then I started the decrease. I hope this helps! Sorry for any confusion 🙂
      Basically the shrug is 60 rows for each sleeve and 60 rows for the back. If you want longer sleeves you would add as many rows past the 60 as you want to before the marker is placed and you start the back piece.

  21. Michele says:

    Thanks for your quick response, Marni.

    The pattern says to repeat these 6 rows 8 (9,10) times, so if you made the small you would have ended your 8th repeat at row 48 before repeating the 6 rows one more time without increasing, thus ending up with 54 rows (medium ending at 54 plus one more repeat of 6 rows = 60, large ending at row 60 plus one more repeat of 6 rows = 66).

    The table reflects 9 repeats for all sizes.

    If I need 60 rows for each piece, I will have only repeated the repeat 9 times, resulting in a size medium.

    Sorry to be so confused but I’m debating whether to tink or continue on as directed with 66 rows for each sleeve.

    • AnnB says:

      What you said is correct. There will be 9 repeats of the original rows. If you need only 60 rows (to fit you) then only do 60.
      We will all tink or tweek this pattern to our personal body measurements and desired sleeve length and body ease.

  22. harriet says:


  23. linda says:

    I have tried everything and still cannot download this. Help. This is too cute to miss.

    It prints the pictures only….Disappointed to say the least.

    • marni says:

      oh no! I will email it to do directly and see what the problem could be. Is anyone else out there having issues downloading the pdf?
      Thanks for your feedback Linda 🙂

  24. Nathalie says:

    Loving the pattern and want to get going on it, but the gauge isn’t working. I looked up the yarn you are using and it’s comparable to the worsted weight yarn I want to use. But there’s no way I’m getting 8 stitches = 4″ I tried (double yarn; 13US needles). And, when I use larger needles (15US) I could only get close to but not at gauge when I block. I realize that you mention that I can measure as I go, but I would like to get as close as possible to correct size, and if I go by gauge I’m thinking I won’t get there. As a new knitter, not sure I can do adjustments of increase/decrease as I go.

    • marni says:

      What is the gauge you are getting? Best to make a swatch. See how many stitches and how many rows you in a 4 inch square. Then I can help you get started.

      • Nathalie says:

        It’s not specified, so can I assume gauge was before blocking? I’m thinking I may be closer than I think, and want to redo my swatch with 13US needles. Need to know if gauge is measured before or after blocking.

        • marni says:

          Yes before blocking

          • Nathalie says:

            OK. So if I’m using my newly “mastered” Boye’s count 10 plus gauge reader correctly, I’m getting 14 sts = 4″/18 rows =4″ (3.5sts/inch & 4.5rows/inch) using 13US needles. And when I move up to 15US needles, there’s not that much difference: 12st/16rows=4×4.

            So, now I modify the pattern, or go up even higher in needle size? Help, please!

        • AnnB says:

          Measure your wrist if you want sleeves to the wrist. Or the part of your arm you want 3/4 sleeves to end. Knit to fit around your arm area choice and to slip over your hand. That’s how wide (the amount of stitches you make to fit you. Then follow the pattern of increases for the arm to the length that fits you from wrist/3/4 arm to shoulder. Takes notes along the way. Then do the body. Then reverse for the other arm using your notes.

  25. Jeannie says:

    Soooo apparently the ONLY way to get this pattern is on PDF??? So sad 🙁

  26. AnnB says:

    Not the same yarn, but similar in style. Neither in PDF
    OR just You’ll wonder how you lived without it.

    • marni says:

      To each his own!

      • AnnB says:

        For anyone hesitant to download Adobe Reader, I’ve had it for years now. It is the safest free program you can download. You get automatic updates (with your permission to proceed) and no worries to ever having a problem getting PDF files uploaded free or paid for. Great stuff.
        Marni, Thank you for the pattern. The first shrug I’ve ever made was completed about a week ago stitched in double crochet lengthwise (from one wrist to the other, back and forth) with two skeins brand Purl Essence Rainbow Boucle yarn (black/pink/gray) with two strands held together. Once I stitched the arms, I added to the center with single and double crochet to create a higher neck and lower back for more coverage. It’s heavy, but perfect at work with a ceiling central air vent blowing icy air on my back/arms.
        I measured this to my arm circumference as I stitched to make it correct size to fit. The same can be done with your pattern, especially when using circular needles (my go to needles).
        I want to do your pattern in a deep purple with bulky or two strands. Then I want to try my hand using your pattern in the Purl Essence Rainbow Boucle (greens) for my daughter-in-law. With knit (vs crochet), it should be a bit lighter weight.

        • marni says:

          This is so awesome! Thank you for taking the time to share your work. I agree a PDF is the safest way to preserve a document, and since I needed something “official” that’s the one I chose. I hope to see pictures of your shrugs. My sister wants another one, in a cotton blend, so I’ll be doing the same–starting with a swatch and then estimating the wrist and increasing steadily until I get to the back. I love your idea of the higher collar by the way. And then once I get to the second arm try to duplicate in reverse what I did for the first. That’s pretty much it! I enjoy creating pieces and I try not to get too caught up in “perfection”. After all it’s made with love and that makes it perfect. 🙂

  27. Lynn says:

    This is exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you for the pattern. I have MS and do need to cover my back and chest, the heat makes me weak, but my arms are always cold. Perfect!

  28. Lynn says:

    Thanks, ANNB.

  29. Deb says:

    Marni, this pattern is exactly what I need to make my niece a shrug for Christmas! Thanks so much for sharing it.

    I have one question. Could I knit this shrug in garter stitch, or would that throw off the whole pattern?

    • marni says:

      Hi Deb, So glad you are going to make a shrug for your niece! I think using a garter stitch will work fine. What kind of yarn are you going to use? Just curious! Happy knitting 🙂

      • Deb says:

        Hmm, I don’t know which yarn I’ll use, but I suppose just a worsted weight of some kind. Can you tell me if this must be worked with two strands of yarn? If I only used one would it simply be a less heavy version, or would it somehow mess everything up?

        I do want to make one like you’ve posted here, and one in garter stitch. If I manage either I’ll let you know how I did. Thanks for all your help, and Happy Thanksgiving!

        • Lizzy says:

          Could a heavier chunky yarn replace knitting double successfully do you think? I am a new knitter so not sure. This is a great pattern and looks lovely, I feel inspired to knit one

          • marni says:

            Hi Lizzy, Yes quite possibly that would be fine. I’ve been thinking of doing that as well. As always you should knit a swatch just to make sure and then adjust as needed 🙂

  30. Astor says:

    Hi Marni, I want to make this shrug too. May I ask if there is any technique to sew it at the end?

    • marni says:

      Ah that’s a great question and I have a shrug waiting to be sewn now, so I hope add that video to my Youtube channel soon. In the meantime you can watch the Drops Design tutorial on how to sew invisible side seams, which I have just posted to the Simple Knitted Shrug post here.

  31. Mary Vatsaloo says:

    Can this pattern be knitted in single rather than double strand?

    • marni says:

      Of course! You’ll just have to make a swatch to check your gauge and adjust needle size as needed. Or pick a really chunky yarn –

  32. Teresa says:

    I love this shrug and would love to make it on the knitting loom since knitting is difficult for me because of tendinitis. Can you give the instructions using the knitting loom?

    • marni says:

      Hi Teresa, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I don’t know how to use a knitting loom so I can’t transcribe the pattern for you on one, but I can point you to a woman who makes knitting belts, specifically for people with mobility issues. You’ll find her Etsy shop and more information here:

      Knitting belts allow people with arthritis, tendinitis, repetitive thumb injuries and other disabilities to knit more easily, because gripping a knitting needle can be painful.

      Check it out!


  33. Charlene says:

    Thank you, Marni for this free pattern. I live in San Francisco and have lots of sleeveless dresses. This shrug is just what I need as I am petite and can customize the sleeves. I will also make one for my niece who lives in NYC and is theater. What a nice surprise for her!! Thanks again for your generosity.

    • marni says:

      You are so sweet! I would love to see your finished shrug. My sister lives in Berkeley and she was the inspiration for this pattern 🙂

      • charlene says:

        Will take photo. But I need to finish my teddy bear for We knit or crochet teddy bears for orphans in Africa. Check out their website. I use scrap yarn or yarn given to me by friends. Lots of fun and can go crazy with imagination. Take Care.

  34. Elaine Dorsey says:

    Marni I having a problem with the large size on the instructions. It comes out to 62 rows not 60? Is this correct?

    • marni says:

      Hi Elaine,
      It’s been a while since I wrote the pattern so off the top of my head I’m not sure. I think as long as it’s the right size for you 62 rows should be fine. 🙂 Thanks for pointing it out to me!

  35. Melissa says:


    I hope you get this and can respond to me as soon as possible. I want to make this shrug for my baby girl of 11 months. I am needing this exact shrug for a dress she will be wearing for her birthday. Can you help me modify this to fit her? The yarn I will be using is a very thin yarn measuring “1 super fine” and requires using a 3 to 5 mm knitting needle or 2 to 4mm crochet hook. It is considered fingering or sock yarn. Can you help me modify it? I will be receiving the yarn on Monday and need to make this by Thursday. Hoping to have it for pictures if not definitely for Saturday the day of her party. Please help me!

    • marni says:

      What a great idea! What is the exact name of the yarn and the gauge they give with what needle size? Also what is the measurement of your baby girl from shoulder to shoulder? And wrist to shoulder. If you can answer these questions I can work out the numbers and give you my best shot as a guide to making a mini simple shrug. Cute!

      • Melissa says:

        Hi Marni thanks so much for the quick reply! The yarn I was only able to find a seller through etsy but they take 2-3 weeks to arrive here in NYC since it’s coming from overseas. Luckily the lady I ordered the dress from is sending me a ball of yarn so I can try and make the shrug myself. Anyhow, the yarn is called “Alize diva stretch yarn” and it calls for knitting needle size “3,5-5mm” that’s what I got off the etsy page. I don’t see a gauge though when I googled the yarn and by looking at the image there does seem to be a gauge but I’m not sure how to send you that information. It seems like 10×10 and then it says 30×40. I’m sorry I’m still a rookie so I’m not sure how to translate the image into words for you. Maybe you can google it and get a better idea. It’s called “Alize diva stretch yarn”. Also her stats shoulder to shoulder are approx 8in and shoulder to wrist (above her wrist since I want it to be like 3/4 length sleeves) are 6.5 inches. I tried my best to measure her. She was moving a lot and isn’t feel as she has a cold. Thanks so much for helping!!! This means so much me.

  36. Melissa says:

    Hi Marni

    Did you get a chance to see what I could do to make my little girl a shrug in this pattern? I got the yarn today. It’s a different one than what the seller of the dress originally told me. This one is called Nako comfort stretch yarn, the yarn calls for size 3-3 1/2 knitting needles and the gauge is 10×10, 35×27. I’m not sure what that means since I’ve never knitted a gauge swatch. Please help!!! I haven’t heard from you.

    • marni says:

      I did work on a pattern using some yarn I had that I thought was comparable, but you really do need to make a swatch yourself. That’s the best way to measure how many stitches you’ll need to cast on to make the baby shrug. I found a chart with baby measurements that I will use once you create a swatch. Start with knitting 35 stitches and knit 27 rows. Then let me know how many stitches per inch you get, and how many rows per inch. We’ll go from there.

      • Melissa says:

        Ok thank you! I’ve never knitted or crocheted a swatch before. I’ll do one right now and get right back to you. Thanks so much!

  37. Melissa says:

    Hi Marni. It has taken me all day to make this swatch but I finally completed it. I had to stop several times because of the kids and having to cook and clean. Anyhow, using a size 3 needle and the yarn, I knitted 35 stitches and 27 rows and it measures 10.5cm by 7cm. The gauge should’ve been 10 by 10 correct? Idk why mine was smaller on one side and longer on the other. Then again I am not seasoned at knitting. I hope you can help! I will be awaiting your response! Thank you once again

    • marni says:

      Hi Melissa! I have done the math and added a new post to test this new pattern using the gauge you came up with. Check it out here: I will be knitting right along with you and tweaking the pattern as needed. Hope it works! 🙂

  38. Kim says:

    Knitting this one for night feedings: my arms above the blankets.. Need some warmth! in the pdf it says you need circular needles, but it’s all flat I think? Started the sleeve in the round now but that will be OK when I pick up the back in flat again I guess.. Won’t have to do a seam then 😉 Thanks, Kim (Netherlands)

  39. Kathy says:

    I posted a question earlier today and I don’t see it anymore but I want to share with others who had a similar question. I was confused as to where u cast on the sts for the back thinking I would be knitting the top down. Then I went to Marni’s website and I looked at the pattern ” simple baby pattern” she has photos for this pattern and as soon as I saw it a light bulb went off in my head! We are knitting not top down but sideways from the wrist over. If I’m not making sence and your having this issue just look on her website

  40. Kathy says:

    Simple baby shrug pattern

  41. Sandy says:

    Marni I have a question when you start to decrease on the last arm I understand that you knit 2 together , knit to last 2 stitches , ask ,but how are you decreasing on the purl side???
    I want to do it right since there are so many ways it can be done and I want it to blend.
    Thanks for your help!

    • marni says:

      Hi Sandy,
      Thanks for your question! If you follow the table in the pattern you’ll see that the decreases are all on even numbered rows. Even numbered rows should be the KNIT side and not the purl side so you decrease on the knit rows only. Hope this helps!

  42. andrea moore says:

    i’m wondering how much yarn and what needle size would i need if i were to make this one ply of DK yarn instead. i would most likely be making the 54″ size with some alterations on the length of the arms as i have rather short arms.
    thank you for any suggestions you may have.

    • marni says:

      I would start by making a swatch using the needles and yarn you want to use. Once you know your gauge, how many stitches and rows per inch we can start to do the math and figure out a strategy 🙂

  43. Deb Rhodes says:

    Can you tell me if there is a way to make this shrug longer in the back (without resorting to adding on ribbing, etc?) I would like it to look just like this but be a bit longer.

  44. Jeannie says:

    I really like the pic, but…….. went to get the pattern – and it’s a video. PDF is bad enough trying to copy and save, but a video? SOOO, apparently most of the people posting patterns nowdays expect one to sit in front of the comp to knit. Just amazing. I much prefer sitting on the couch, watching TV or listening to music to knit, but that’s not possible, for me, at least, trying to watch a video or SEE a tiny PDF pattern. I guess I won’t be doing this one, and that makes me sad.

    • marni says:

      SOOOO most people click the link in red above and below the video that says in caps VIEW/DOWNLOAD FREE PATTERN PDF 🙂

  45. Savi says:

    Hi Marni,
    I am from Canada. I just want to know ‘knitting with double strands’ means you use two skeins at the same time and Cast On the stitches using strands from each skein? If it is so, would the shrug be very bulky I mean thick in texture? I love this shrug and want to make. Please help me. I would appreciate.
    Thank you.

    • marni says:

      Hi Savi,
      So you are correct – I use two skeins of worsted weight yarn at the same time and the shrug is bulky.

  46. Karin says:

    Thank you for this pattern

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