Yesterday, I finished my first piece of crocheted clothing! I am ridiculously excited about it. I mean I was positively giddy this morning, trying to decide what to wear with my new shrug! That’s one of the things I love about it–this shrug goes with nearly everything, thanks to the wonderful colors in the Homespun yarn! I also love how soft and cuddly it is–the perfect thing for this cold, rainy day. And there’s something special about wearing a beautiful item that is handmade; when my friends complimented me on it, I loved saying, “Thanks. I made it myself.”
Such rich colors!
Aren’t the ruffles fun?
For my fellow crocheters reading this, here are the details of the project. The pattern for this V-Stitch Cocoon Shrug is free on http://www.lionbrand.com.* I used Lion Brand Homespun yarn in the color Nouveau. I used a P-15 (10 mm) hook, as the pattern recommended, however, my gauge was a little off; when I made a practice swatch, my stitches were exactly the right width, but the swatch was 2 inches shorter than the target height. I went ahead with that because I figured could always add extra rows to make up for the lack in height, but I didn’t know what to do if my stitches became too wide. (Anyone else had this experience, where your stitches matched the width but not the height or vice versa? What was your solution?) As it turned out, the shorter length actually looked better on me, so I didn’t add any extra rows to the shrug. The only way I deviated from the pattern was that I only did two rounds on the armbands, because (1) I didn’t want a really wide, heavy cuff, and (2) it drives me crazy to do single crochet with a heavily textured yarn like Homespun! The final measurements of my shrug were 30 inches wide (including the armbands) and 19 inches long without the ruffles, 23 inches long including the ruffles.
This pattern is definitely for a size medium (it fit me perfectly). One of the commenters on the Lion Brand site, Lori Larocca, said that increasing your starting chain in increments of 5 stitches adds about 2 inches to the width. Of course adding extra rows will increase the height. Both of these are easy adjustments to make with this patten if you are wanting a larger size. Although the pattern calls for two skeins of yarn, I bought three for this project since some of the commenters complained about running out of yarn, but I only used about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 skeins. I don’t know if this is because my shrug ended up being shorter than the pattern’s measurements or if the pattern is more accurate than some people thought.
Overall, I found this pattern to be easy. It was fun to do and went very quickly (not as quickly as the commenter who completed hers in 2.5 hours, but crocheting thirty minutes to an hour per day for less than two weeks was quick enough for me). Since the body of the shrug is made by repeating two different pattern rows, I alternated two different colored stitch markers at the end of each row to help keep track of which pattern row I was currently working. I am thrilled that it turned out so well, especially since this is my first sweater. Yes, I’ve been crocheting for years, but making flat squares is not the same as shaping a garment.
*You have to sign up for the weekly Lion Brand e-mail newsletter in order to view their free patterns, but it’s fairly painless.