When I saw this shrug on Craftsy, I knew I was going to make it and purchased the pattern. I finally got around to doing it over the past couple of weeks, and here is the result, modeled by my daughter, Adrienne .
The first thing that struck me about this shrug is that it is crocheted vertically, as all shrugs are. I’ve always been drawn to vertically crocheted garments, ever since the publication of Judith Copeland’s Modular Crochet (aff) back in the late 70s. If you can find this out-of-print book reasonably priced (I’ve seen it for $200+), snap it up because it presents a way of constructing garments that is easy, versatile, and timeless. I hope to blog about this construction technique at some point in the future.
But I digress. The X-stitch pattern incorporated in Deanne’s shrug doubly emphasizes the long lines of the vertical crochet, and I figured even a short person like me would look good in it. But it looks so much better on my daughter that I decided to photograph her in it. Too bad it was such a cloudy day, but that’s typical for the rainy season in windward O’ahu (hence all of the mold on the brick wall in the background). Glad I got the photos when I did because it’s pouring now.
Because the pattern calls for 800 yards of worsted weight yarn and I am still on a budget, I decided to try an economical acrylic yarn and chose Caron Simply Soft. I’d never used it before, but because so many crocheters rave about, I figured I’d give it a try. The yarn is indeed soft, but I found that it doesn’t mimic animal fiber the way other acrylic yarns do. In fact, it felt like I was crocheting with a silky ribbon, and it took some getting used to.
The main problem I had with the yarn, though, was that I ran out as I was completing the edging on the shrug border. I’d purchased three 315-yard skeins, so I was sure there would be more than enough to complete the shrug. NOT! I really think Caron Simply Soft is a sport or DK-weight yarn and not worsted weight, which means I’d need more than 800 yards to complete the shrug.
Unfortunately, when I went back to Walmart, the only store on O’ahu that sells Simply Soft, to get another skein, they were out of black. So I used some black Red Heart sport weight yarn I had in my stash and re-did the sleeve and border edgings. But I left out two rows because the black colors don’t match very well. At some point, I will probably re-do the edgings when I can get some more Simply Soft in black.
Deanna used Vanna Choice’s worsted weight yarn which I HAVE tried and like very much. It’s just as soft and silky as the Caron yarn but looks and feels more like an animal fiber. So if I ever do this shrug again, that’s what I’ll use. I’ll have to order it online and pay shipping, but that’s the price I pay for living in Paradise.
Don’t let the X-stitch scare you away from this pattern; it’s really easy to execute. If you are a confident single and double crocheter, you shouldn’t have any problems. The instructions are clear, and there are illustrations that show you how to execute the X-stitch, as well as the reverse single crochet stitch used in the sleeve and border edgings. There’s also a schematic diagram that provides the dimensions of the shrug and shows you how to fold it in order to sew the side seams.
I enjoyed making the Crochet X-Stitch Shrug. It’s the kind of pattern that I was able to do while watching TV in the evening when I do most of my crocheting. You can find it for sale at Craftsy.com.