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Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Gathering Your Materials and Getting Ready to Cast On!

May 7th, 2009

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Gathering materials for the Textured Circle Shrug

Hello and welcome to the Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along!  This is one of my favorite patterns from my newest book, Glam Knits, and I’m so happy to get to share it with you here.

Before we get started with the knitting, let’s take some time to gather up our materials and all of the information we’ll need.

First, you’ll need the pattern, which can be downloaded here.

Once you have printed out the pattern, start on page 1 (page 83 in Glam Knits,) and read through the information section.

The first thing you need to do is choose a size to knit. The pattern is sized for a range of bust measurements 32-34 (36-38, 40-42, 44-46, 48-50, 52-54).  You can simply choose the size that is closest to your actual bust measurement.  The shrug doesn’t actually cover the bust, so if you want to double-check that the size you choose is the right one for you, you can check out the schematic on the second page of the pattern.

Textured Circle Shrug Schematic

Take a look at the measurements given at the bottom edge of the drawing (for a larger schematic, click the drawing or refer to your pattern): 17.75 (19.5, 21.25, 23, 25, 26.75)” This is the cross-back measurement of the shrug.  (The measurement of the shrug across the back, lying flat.) You can measure across your own back, from under arm to under arm, and compare these numbers to your own measurement, then choose the size that you think will fit you the best.  Because this is a top-down knit, you will be able to adjust the size as you go.  (We’ll talk more about adjusting the size in a later post.)

Now that you have chosen your size, go on to the next section: YARN

You will need aproximately 882(1078, 1176, 1470, 1666, 1862) yards of worsted weight yarn.  I have chosen to knit the shrug in LB Collection Organic Wool in the Toffee color.  You can knit yours in any worsted weight yarn, and will get a great result, as long as your gauge is the same as given in the pattern.

Some alternative Lion Brand Yarns are:

Now that you’ve chosen your yarn, take a look at the next section in the pattern: NEEDLES

The needles that I recommend are given as a guide.  You’ll need to knit a swatch and make sure that the gauge that you come up with is the same that is given in the pattern (18 sts and 26 rows in 4″ of textured stripe pattern using the larger needle.) If you end up with more stitches per inch, you may need to choose a larger (US9) needle, and if you end up with fewer stitches per inch, you’ll choose a smaller (US7) needle.

The larger US 8 (5mm) needle is used to knit the body and sleeves of the shrug, and the smaller US 6 needle is used to knit the trim.  Do not worry too much if you can’t find the exact lengths given in the pattern.  Needles from 24″ to 40″ will work just fine.

Once you have located your needles, gather up your NOTIONS

  • Stitch markers (you will need 4 markers)
  • Scrap yarn (this is used to put the sleeve stitches “on hold” while we work the body of the garment…if that makes no sense to you now, STAY TUNED, we’ll talk more about it later!)
  • Darning needle (for putting the sleeve stitches onto the waste yarn, and later for weaving in ends.)

Now that you’ve got all of your stuff together, start on a GAUGE swatch.

The gauge is given in the pattern as 18 sts and 26 rows in 4″ (10cm) in textured stripe.  SO, when you knit your swatch, you’ll want to knit it in the stitch pattern as written on page 84.


  • Rows 1-5: work in Rev. St. st
  • Rows 6-13: work in St st.
  • Repeat rows 1 – 13.

I usually try to make a nice generous swatch, so I cast on 25 sts and work in stitch pattern until the piece looks approximately square.

Here’s my swatch hot off the needles (you can click on the images to enlarge):

gauge swatch before blockingAnd here it is after blocking, showing stitch gauge measurement:

stitch gauge measurement…and row gauge measurement.

row gauge measurementYou can see from the photos that I do get about 18 sts and 26 rows in 4″ square. (about 4.5 sts per inch and about 6 rows per inch.)

In the next blog post, we’ll cast on together for our shrugs and work through the yoke!

We’re also happy to annouce the two winners of our random drawing for a copy of Glam Knits, commenters #743 Zora and #1017 Mette. Congratulations and enjoy your book!

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  • Kitty J

    Mary O (no.49) Mary, Thank you so much for the help. I was thinking that was supposed to be what I did but wasn’t sure. Thank you again. It is nice to be able to get input from someone doing the same project.

  • http://none Jennifer Zhao

    I have a question: looking at the drawing, which measurement is the raglan? I am working on the mid size, on the Raglan inc rows, want to check the measurement.

    Thank you.

  • Anne

    I too was confused with the info for the swatch test but thanks to others dealing with the same problem and Zontee’s answers I think I’ve got it. I was able to find a wonderful charcoal from Vanna’s Choice for my sister – she’s looking forward to this one although she wants it a bit longer… I figure I can cross that bridge when we come to it.
    One quick question; where can I find 40″ no. 6 needles? I live in CT (Stonington) near the RI border (Westerly) and looked at one store in Waterford that sells Lion Brand, no luck. I have long straight no. 6 needles and wonder if I can use those if I can’t find circular. Any suggestions?
    Back to finishing the swatch and then on to the beginning. I’ve never done a KAL before and enjoy reading the comments and suggestions posted. It makes a big difference.

  • Ann B

    Yippee! My yarn was just delivered. I’ve chosen to use Cotton-Ease in Seaspray for a bright spring-colored shrug.

  • Candi

    I’m using Vanna’s choice in Olive. So pretty! I’m just starting to separate for the sleeves. I love this KAL, it’s so fun that everyone is working on the same thing!

  • Ruby

    I just made my guage swatch i had to go to a#7 needle. I am using vanna choise dusty green.I also have vanna choise dusty rose.

  • Sue H

    Ok, so I “Knit Ahead” instead of “Knit Along”. Finished up through the sleeves over the weekend and am at the stage where you are supposed to pick up the stitches (not my favorite thing to do anyway!) I read in an earlier post that you would explain this when we got to that point. Not to be too impatient, but any idea when that will be? I am not understanding about picking up along the sleeves……

  • Ann B

    I knit up my gauge swatch last night, and like Sarah (post #10 above), I matched the gauge on the US6 needle size. My biggest struggle right now is that I’m 1/4 done with the second sock of a pair, but I want to cast on to the shrug now! I don’t want to just leave that sock as a UFO and get back to it when the shrug is done… 😀

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  • Nancy

    I am very confused with the textured stripe pattern. It reads to rev st st for 5 rows, which to me means purl, knit, purl, knit, purl and then st st for rows 6-13. Do I start row 6 with a knit row? If I do, the next 8 rows will look purl on the right side, which is not correct.

  • Stefanie

    Nancy, please see the new post (May 14) for exact instructions on this step.

  • Stefanie Japel

    We will definitely discuss exactly where to pick up stitches for the ribbing. This is scheduled for the post after next…so two weeks away. STAY TUNED 😉

  • Mary Walton

    Would there be less confusion if the schematic were to show the whole sleeve cap? Folks seem to be having trouble placing the increases that don’t show up on the drawing…

  • DeAnne

    As a beginning knitter, I love the way you (Stefanie) explained the knitting directions in real language. I understand what it says now. I am ready to start the stripe pattern. I have never done a knit along before so I am looking forward to actually finishing something other than a scarf. Thanks

  • Ruth

    In the book the instructions for reverse stockinette is purl every row. That’s what I did. I understand now that I was to purl on the right side and knit on the wrong side. I would have never been able to figure this out by myself.

  • Mary Jo

    Is it too late to join this Knit along? I love Stefanie Japel, I have her Fitted Knits book and love those patterns. I was concerned about using wool yarn because I live in So.Calif., but when I read Cotton-Ease could be substituted I have become very enthusiastic. This will be my first Knit Along.