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Glittery Shrug Crochet-Along: Selecting a Size and Working the Lower Half

May 31st, 2012

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Glittery Shrug Crochet-AlongHello everyone! If you’ve been following along with these blog posts in real time, then today is the day that we start our Glittery Shrug! For those of you who are just now joining us, it’s not too late to work up a gauge swatch and jump in! You can also look back at these posts later and follow along at your own pace.

Selecting a Size

When you read through the pattern before you start the garment, you’ll notice that the shrug is made in two pieces, a top half and a bottom half. Since the whole base of the garment is just two pieces, it’s easy to customize. The finished bust measurement is a bit flexible since this isn’t a traditional cardigan. Also, some people will want to wear the shrug closed across the bust, and some will want to wear it open, in which case it can afford to be a little smaller. The first set of numbers in the measurement section is the Finished Circumference for the front opening. This measurement is the edge that comes around your neck, down the front, around your back and back up again. This finished circumference is made up the top (collar) edge on the upper half, and the bottom edge of the lower half.

To find this finished circumference measurement on yourself, take a tape measure and measure around your neck, down the front, around your back and back up again. Pull the two sides of the tape measure together on your front. This will simulate the finished measurement of the shrug when closed with a button. Here’s what that measurement looks like.

Measuring circumference

This circumference (54″ around for the smallest size) happened to work for me, since I intend on wearing the garment closed. If you would rather have the two front edges of the shrug stay open when you wear it, closer to your arms, then find this finished circumference measurement, and apply the difference when you are getting the length for the top edge (collar) of the upper half, and the bottom edge of the lower half. For example, if you would rather have the finished circumference to be 4 inches smaller, then take off 2 inches from both of those edge measurements when you are making the garment.

UPDATED Editor’s Note: If you’re having trouble with measuring in the way described above (your measurements vary a lot from those in the pattern), we recommend that you take a look at this standard women’s sizing chart (from the industry group, the Craft Yarn Council) and select the size you will make based on your bust measurements. 

I am a very small person, so I will be making some changes to customize this garment for my size. I am about 5’4″ and have about a 32″ bust measurement. If you are a similar size to me, you can make exactly the same changes that I do for your own garment if you wish! If you are new to garments, don’t feel like you have to make any changes at all! The easiest thing to do is to follow the pattern as written for the size that you need.

Another change I will be making to this is to eliminate the slope of the underarms on both pieces, and making everything straight. This will eliminate the extra fabric under the arms and give the garment a closer fit. Eliminating those slopes also makes changes the measurements much easier since everything will be straight. You’ll notice on the schematics the the sleeve lengths are different for both halves. The sleeve is 5 inches on the upper half and 6 inches on the bottom half. While these measurements are different, it’s the differing slopes on the underarms the make the sides pieces fit each other when sewn together. What I am going to do is to skip the increasing when I start my sleeve and simply make each sleeve straight, and then chain enough stitches to reach the maximum amount for the piece (for me it’s 84 inches). I have decided to make my sleeves both 5 inches since I am a little shorter. When figuring out how long you want the sleeves, don’t forget that you will be adding cuffs at the edges of the sleeves, which will add extra length.

Working the Lower Half

Even though the pattern calls for starting with the upper half, I’m going to start with the lower half, as it is all single crochet and will take much longer. I like to get this part out of the way first, but if you’ve already started or want to work the upper half first, look for next week’s blog post on the topic. If you don’t like the idea of making the entire bottom in single crochet, making the pieces with all straight edges like I am doing will allow you to substitute other stitches. As long as the pieces equals the measurements that you need, everything will work out. You can even make both the upper and lower halves using the same double crochet mesh stitch or substitute just straight double crochet or half double crochet for the bottom. Remember to do another gauge swatch for whatever substitute stitch you are using if it is not part of the pattern to make sure that you are chaining the correct number of chains to get the correct measurements.

I started my left sleeve for the lower half by chaining the number of stitches it calls for and then worked in single crochet for 5 inches without increasing. After this it is time to start the body portion. I got the opportunity to try this shrug on, and it is very long on me! Look at the finished length measurement for this garment and compare this to yourself. I knew I wanted to take off about 4 inches total from the length, which will be 2 inches on each half. According to the gauge, this means eliminating 10 stitches from the lower half of the body. At the end of a wrong side of the sleeve, I chained enough stitches to reach 74 in total (10 fewer than the total number of stitches for the smallest size), plus 1 extra chain for the turning chain. Then I will work the body straight for the number of inches called for. You can refer to the picture to see how the sleeve looks going into the body without the slope.

Sleeve

When you reach the desired width, it’s very easy to start the right hand sleeve. Using my project as an example, on a right hand side of the piece I would only stitch the first 26 stitches (enough for a sleeve for my garment) then turn and go back without working the remainder of the row. After this I will only go back and forth across those 26 stitches until my right sleeve reaches 5 inches in length.

Next week I will be starting the upper half of the project. Good luck starting your garment, and if you have any questions feel free to post a comment below!

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  • Gypsy1951

    Thanks!  This post, especially about the measuremen is really helpful.

  • Bethany

    Oh, drat, I started already, but your suggestion about doing the hard part first makes sense. I don’t know if I want to put the top half aside and start the bottom, or just keep going so I can see some progress. I’m to the dc-mesh part, so I’ll likely work that for awhile. 

  • Jean Michael

    I like the accomplishment of getting so much done. I can see after doing the sleeve part of the top that the bottom will take a long time. I may just set aside the top and start on the bottom.

  • http://www.cheapsheds.com.au/aviaries/ bird cage

    Cool! Very easy to follow post indeed. Thanks!

  • Carolee

    Oh my goodness, I started with the bottom and decided to stick with sc I am now to the point were your done with the left sleeve and starting the body sc accross each st until piece measures for my size 28 in.  It takes six sc rows for one inch so now I have to sc 168 rows !!! HELP  I may have to start the top as well and switch out from time to time to keep me doing this.

    • Carolee

      Whoa Is it 28 inches from the sleeve edge or were the last marker was placed ? Please say its the sleeve edge !

      • Jess Hicks

        Hi, Carolee. The pattern reads, “Rep last row until piece measures 26 (27, 28, 30, 32) in. (66 (68.5, 71, 76, 81.5) cm) from marker, end with a WS row,” so you’ll want to measure from the marker.

        • Carolee

          Hi Jess, thanks for being the voice of reason. I guess when I saw how many rows I would have to do my brain melted. then started desperatley grasping at straws trying to figure out how to make 168 rows not right. I just need to power through. I’ll be checking back to see how everyones doing and get some encouagement.     

    • Bethany

      I like the way you think! Even the top is going to take me awhile, so I’ll probably do the same (switching) to keep it interesting. I may need to have several craft nights with girlfriends to distract me while I work!

      • K Tran79

        Craft nights sound good? The problem is I do not know of any one with same knit interest close by. I started the upper half, only a few rows though, I might stop and start the lower half or switching like you said.

  • tmeadows56

    I wish you were also showing one that hasn’t been modified.  I am working on the upper half and am just crossing my fingers that it is right.  The edge curls so bad that it is hard to work with.  Just started the dc-mesh row and again, just hoping all works out in the end.  I have never had much luck with clothing and stuff.

    • Jean Michael

      I posted some pictures in the Ravelry group of mine. There are several people there including me who are also talking about the curling. I think you are on the right track.

  • Patty

    Is anyone struggling with what size to make?  My center back measurement is 26″ and using the guidelines in this post my  front opening is 66″.  I’m a size 10, medium, so none of this makes sense.  Do I just follow the pattern for size medium & keep my fingers crossed?   I do like Vanessa’s suggestion of making the sleeves less bulk and working the bottom first. 

    • SuLu

      I’m having the same problem!!! I am making the shrug for my daughter who is a size 10.  She also measured 66″ for the front opening!  Help!  I was planning on making a medium…XL can’t be right for my girl!  Help!

      • Patty

        Hi SuLu, I did not get an answer to my question, so I began to make a medium.  I am stuck now, not knowing how to proceed.  I will watch the posts on the blog to see if I can figure out my next steps.  I am attempting to make the shrug with the modifications to the sleeve to omit the slope and I am swapping out the single crochet for half-double.  Good Luck with your daughter’s shrug!

      • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Zontee

        Hi SuLu, if you’re having trouble with the measurements, I’d recommend taking a look at the standard sizes from the Craft Yarn Council (the industry group whose standards Lion Brand uses for sizing) and selecting the size based on your daughter’s bust size: 
        http://craftyarncouncil.com/womansize.html 

        Since the garment is stretchy and not super-fitted, there is leeway that it will naturally have in sizing. Hope that helps!

  • Aebaron

    I started making the shrug before you decided to make it a project.  I picked the white yarn with the silver thread.  I am making a medium.  My gauge never matched up with your suggestions. I used an F for the the single crochet and an H for the mesh, this gave me the proper gauge.  I have the shrug assembled and I am ready to do the second cuff.  I do not like like the way the sleeve seams go together, the decreases are different on each side of the sleeve and it is not easy to put together.  This is not my first crocheted sweater.  I will probably finish the sweater in the next few days when I have time.  I will post photo when it is done.  I must say this is the most unusual sweater/shrug I have ever made. I have follow the pattern instructions word for word and have not made any changes.

  • Aebaron

    I hated the way it looked when it was finished.  I am going to rip it out and make something else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=40300860 Meghan Lewis

    I am getting caught up on the lower half  Next Row: Ch. 1, turn, sc in each st across. Rep last 2 rows 5 mor times – 84 sts when all reps completed… does this mean row 7 and 8?

    • Patty

      that is how I read it.

    • http://twitter.com/DivasYarnCrafts Diva Hadley

      No you are repeating the two rows after row 8. “Next Row (RS): Ch 7, turn, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 5 ch, sc in
      each st across – 54 (56, 58, 60, 62) sts at the end of this row.

      Next Row: Ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across.” If you repeat row 7 and 8 you won’t have the right number of stitches. 

  • Patty

    Hi All, Anyone else making the shrug with Vanessa’s modifications on the sleeve? Being a lady of a certain age, I liked the idea of the sleeves being less bulky (no need to add anymore bulk to what I already have). If I understand her blog post I would chain to the number of stitches I need for the body, then work the body, not increase everyother row as the pattern calls for. BTW I substituted the sc for hdc for the bottom, one more change for a person who doesn’t stray from the pattern, I am making quite a few.

    edit: I did chain as directed but when I checked the diagram (again) I think I am too long. From edge of sleeve to end of chain I am 19” & I think I should be 16.25” aaaaahhhhhhhhhh

    • Vanessa

      Hi Patty,

      Sometimes just measuring the chain isn’t necessarily an accurate representation of the actual measurement.  Wait until you get a couple rows through and then measure again.  Also if you are doing hdc, you’ll need to recheck your gauge, since an hdc st won’t be the same measurement as a sc st.  But you are correct in your interpretation of the post – work the sleeve straight and then chain sts on to get the total number for the body. Hope this helps!

      Vanessa
      Lion Brand Yarn Studio

      • Patty

        Thanks Vanessa.
        I got 20 sts to 4″ in hdc.  I will have to take out what I crocheted (about 6 rows),  and recalculate the chains I need (eewww math). Thanks again for your help.

  • Loni

    I am working on the bottom section, on this part…

    Next Row (RS): Ch 7, turn, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 5 ch,
    sc in each st across – 54 (56, 58, 60, 62) sts at the end of this row.
    Next Row: Ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across.
    Rep last 2 rows 5 more times – 84 (86, 88, 90, 92) sts when all reps completed.

    After each set of the 2 rows, I am getting a little bit of a step. Just wondering if this was normal? If not how can I fix it?

    • Caroliso

       I came online to post the very same thing…  I am getting stepa as well, rather than a gradual sloped increase as is shown in the picture.  Have I done something wrong?

    • Ldymarthanne

      Hi guys,  I found that if I turned BEFORE I chained 7, my “steps” looked more like a “slope”.  I had to rip it out a few times and experiment to find this out.

    • Caroliso

       I’d really like to hear back from Vanessa or another Lion’s Brand person on the step issue.  I’m a few rows into the single crochet piece past the steps, and I’d hate to have to go back and rip it all out, but I guess if I’m going to, now is the time to do it.  So, (1) is the step normal, and not a problem when I go to join? Or (2) is it a problem that I should go back to fix?  Thanks.

      • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Zontee

        Yes, steps are normal in crochet shaping. (You’ll find it happens in many patterns.) Once the pieces are sewn together, they won’t be visible. Hope that helps!

        • Caroliso

           Yippee!  Thanks, Zontee, so glad I won’t have to rip out rows and re-do.  Thanks very much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=40300860 Meghan Lewis

    Should it be looking like this…or am I wrong somewhere?

    • http://twitter.com/DivasYarnCrafts Diva Hadley

      I don’t think that’s quite right. Did you mark the right side of the garment after the first row. I find that made a big difference and helped me. I think most of them are looking like mine with the steps and the curling. Sorry it’s not a great picture but I hope that helps. The Ch 7 extends off the end of the slope.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=40300860 Meghan Lewis

        Thank you, I knew it couldn’t be right, and now I know how to fix it, and help my mom when she actually starts. :)

  • Tjcoll

    Hi Vanessa, I too am doing the sleeve modification.  I am making the large size and am working on the left sleeve for the lower half. I chained 31 sts for the lower half and  I worked 5″ in sc w/o increasing.  I adjusted the finish length of the garment to 31″ by adding  4″.  2″ on left and 2″for the right.  I did this by adding 10 sts to 88+1 extra for the  turning chain. So I chained  68 sts making a total of 99 sts across.. How wide do I make the body portion and do I continue across the 31 sts?

  • Mary Ann Mijanovich

    My piece looks just like Diva Hadley’s.  I’m finding the crocheted material to be a very stiff fabric.  The picture in the pattern looks like it has more drape to it.  I am concerned since I am now doing the 28 inches.  I have only done 2 inches so far.  I could still start over if it is supposed to be less stiff.  I am using an F to get the pattern gauge.  I noticed on the yarn wrapper that the gauge for the yarn is using a G hook: 4×4 is 19sc and 23 rows.  So the pattern doesn’t match the yarn wrapper for gauge.  Our pattern calls for 21 sc and 26 rows which I got with the F hook but the drape isn’t there.  Should I start over with the G and not match the pattern gauge??

    • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Zontee

      Hi Mary Ann, both the hook sizes given in patterns and on yarn wrappers simply serve as a jumping off point based on what either the designer or yarn company guesses an “average” crocheter might use (therefore, they don’t always match). However, it’s always important to match the gauge of the pattern in order to use the pattern as-written and get the finished sizes that the pattern states. 

      If you’re finding your fabric stiff, I’d recommend that you try washing or steaming your gauge swatch to see if that affects the texture–very often, the fabric will soften up significantly after the washing/blocking process. If it does, you’ll know that your finished garment will do the same once washed/blocked. Hope that helps!

  • Mistrysam11

    meher

  • Katsoprano

    I am starting today – again.  I am using sock yarn and am going to adjust the sleeves as I don’t like extra bulk, either.  I’ve crocheted for 40 years (but am still what I’d call intermediate), and the idea of modification seems fine to me — in fact, since I am short waisted I almost always shorten sleeves and bodies.  It seems to me that doing the lower half is pretty much like doing a simple crocheted T-shirt in some respects.  Is anyone else using the sock yarn?

    • Carolee

      Hi Katsoprano, Yes I am using sock yarn was well. Not making any modifications to the pattern as I am opposit from you long waisted with monkey arms. I am on row 155 of 168 across for the 28 inch lower part. Its draping lovely, so soft and yummy very happy with my choice.   

      • Katsoprano

        I am using Debra Norville’s Serenity sock yarn in  Obsidian and the larger the piece becomes, the more I know I am going to wear this to DEATH.  It is so soft and the vertical striping is so cool.  I have to laugh at the people talking about how long the sc takes to get the large piece of fabric — sc is so easy to do while you’re watching television . . . . you’re done before you know it.  I didn’t have any trouble setting the dimensions for me — should be finished with the lower half by the end of the weekend.

      • Katsoprano

        Here’s a picture of how the striping is going.

  • Sherry

    Just now seeing this kal and the pattern, where can I find the pattern?

    • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Zontee

      Hi Sherry, the pattern is free on LionBrand.com: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90555.html

      Enjoy!

  • Jean Michael

    I am working on the bottom section, on this part…
    Repeat last 2 rows 10 more times – 48(50,52,54,56,58) sts when all reps completed.
    Next Row (RS): Ch 7, turn, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 5 ch, sc in each st across – 54 (56, 58, 60, 62) sts at the end of this row. Next Row: Ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across. Rep last 2 rows 5 more times – 84 (86, 88, 90, 92) sts when all reps completed.

    I am having trouble with the math….
    If you chain 7 and only sc in the next 5 ch. Doesn’t that add 5 stitches to the row? So 48 + 5 = 53 not 54… Help!

    • Sew Crochet

      Hey Jean, no, the math is right.  The pattern is telling you to chain 7, sc in the second ch from hook, then sc in the next 5 sts, giving you 6 added sc to each row like this.  I found it’s written just like any other pattern using sc, where you skip the first ch by the hook then sc in all the rest of the ch sts.  Hope this helps!  You will get the 54 (88) sts you need!

  • Cara343

    I am still struggling to figure out which size to follow.  I have swatched so many times I can’t think of doing another, but i’ll have to.  I am down to a size d hook, and still too large in my guage swatch.  I typically wear a medium, and other garments i’ve croched have been rather large in a size medium.  And measuring the inches around the neck and back of body, I would have to adjust the pattern to a size 4X or 5X.  My measurement isn’t even given in the directions.  HELP!!!

  • Cara343

    I am using Vanna’s Glamour.

  • Cara343

    I am using Vanna’s Glamour.

  • Pbird100

    I missed last week and started on the top as directed. I am going to start the bottom even tho I haven’t finished the top because I think I want to do the straight sleeves so I will be ripping the top out. I have about 14″ of mesh done but I would rather have it straight. I frequently rip things out because I’m self taught and it sometimes takes me a while to get new ideas through my thick skull. In the end I’m almost always happy with my results and frequently crochet gifts for family and friends at their request. I do tend to get bored with stitches so working both halves at the same time makes a lot of sense to me.

  • nkblackbelt12

    Thanks everyone for the posts and the pictures! Wasn’t sure if I was doing it right now I know! :)

  • Patty

    I am really stuck on the math….I am making the shrug like Vanessa (without sloping sleeve) and instead of sc using hdc.  I am still on the left sleeve & haven’t touched it in 2 weeks  I’m not ure when to place the marker.  My swatch in hdc is 16 rows & 18 sts per 4″.  I am sorely tempted to ‘frog’ the whole thing & start over using the pattern as written.  The remarks under the pattern were to follow the pattern as written & all will go well.  Should I do not make this shrug, I have a cone of a super fine wool, LB 1878 and will need to find another crochet project for it.

  • Bett

    I am following the printed directions. I appreciate the fact that you arethe teacher so to speak, However, I really disagree with the idea of you changing the pattern as you go along.  Seems to me, if you are going to change the pattern.  Then CHANGE the pattern.

    • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Zontee

      Hi Bett, as with all of our crochet-alongs and knit-alongs, the host shows ways to customize the pattern to better suit individual needs. Vanessa is not the designer of the pattern; she is hosting the crochet-along as a way to open up a dialogue and help people make changes if they wish and/or learn new skills. 

      Like you, many people are following the pattern as written, since there’s nothing wrong with the pattern. However, we believe that since you are making the item, you should be able to make it suit your needs. In fact, the vast majority of designers and teachers we’ve worked with over the years encourage people to adjust patterns if they so desire. If you’d like to learn more about some of the recommended areas to customize a pattern, consider listening to our online talk-radio show, YarnCraft, and its latest episode: http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com/2012/06/19/yarncraft-episode-119-5-ways-to-add-shaping-to-your-knitcrochet-garment-plus-an-interview-with-ysolda-teague/

      Hope that helps clarify!

  • Drshannon

    Is anyone still working on this?  I need help figuring out how long I should make it.  I am short and feel like this is going to be too long.  I am making a medium size and see that the finished lenght is supposed to be 26.5 inches.  How is that measurment taken? 

  • Janie

    I am still working on this and I am really behind. I do plan to finish! I have to agree with Bett’s comment. I know it is great to change a pattern if that is what you want to do.  However, when you are trying to learn how to crochet a garment and just get it right and have it fit for once, it is very confusing to have all the customized changes in the directions.  Maybe seperate directions could be done for those of us doing it as written and then directions for how to make changes. Doing seperate directions would have helped me on this shrug.

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