Someday when I’m feeling particularly masochistic, I’m going to tally up just how much of my knitting and crochet has been done specifically to keep me warm at work. While blankets and throws are fine for many of my coworkers, I have to get up and walk around a lot, so I don’t get much use out of them. Instead, I’m amassing a fine collection of sweaters and shawls, to which I have now added my first shrug.
Last year, I bought 5 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun to make a lap blanket. (For work, of course—just because blankets don’t do me much good doesn’t mean I don’t try them). As it turned out, I couldn’t get the right gauge with it. Sensible people would have returned the yarn to the store, but I’d wanted to make something with this colorway (Waterfall) for years and I’d gotten it on sale, so I convinced myself that sooner or later I’d use it. And even though it took a year, I did finally find a good project for it.
This is Lion Brand’s Simple Crochet Shrug, designed to consume 4 skeins of Homespun (the fifth one really is going back to the store). “Simple” is an accurate descriptor. You crochet a rectangle that’s very close to being a square, fold it in half, and sew the edges up, leaving about 7″ open at the fold end of the edges for armholes. Putting it on involves a slightly undignified search for the armholes, followed by pulling up a lot of excess fabric from the middle and folding it over to create a cozy shawl collar.
Despite that simplicity, I did have the occasional problem. I’ve crocheted since I was a kid but I still omit stitches if I’m not paying attention, a problem exacerbated by this yarn in which it’s almost impossible to see the stitches. The intended measurements for the rectangle before folding is 38″ x 42″, but it has such a loose gauge that simply by laying it out, I could get 45″ x 37″ instead. (To preserve my sanity, I made the executive decision that my gauge was in the “close enough” category).
I’ve given it a bit of a test run. It’s warm. It slides down a bit over time, mostly due to that loose gauge and all that excess fabric, but it’s easy enough to hitch it up again. So far it’s done what I wanted it to do, and it goes off to work tomorrow to be added to my stunning at-work wardrobe. And there’ll probably be another one in another colorway in my future.