Crochet X-Stitch Shrug by the Yarn Yogi
The Crochet X-Stitch Shrug is by Deanna Young and I found it on her Etsy site called The Yarn Yogi. It is one of the first garments I created as a beginner crocheter and it’s a great one to start for a few reasons: you don’t have to create sleeves, the stitches used are basic, there is very little construction and it’s one size fits all so there isn’t any tailoring required.
The PDF pattern is downloadable for $5.58, a fair price for a well-outlined project with clear instructions. The shrug is constructed by crocheting a large rectangle that is then folded and stitched up the sides, leaving a space that will form the sleeves. When I was following these instructions I wasn’t really sure if I was reading them correctly because I couldn’t envision the shrug taking shape this way but I kept following along with the pattern and it came together!
I used Vanna’s Choice Lion Brand yarn in Grey Marble for this project. I like the flecks of black and brown in the yarn that gives the shrug a nice cozy look. It’s a soft yarn that maintains a good structure which I think is important for a garment. It’s also fairly inexpensive which helps for a project that requires a lot of material.
I’m happy with the end product. I particularly like the look of the alternating cross-stitched and double crocheted rows; it looks quite intricate for such basic stitches. Also, it works up very quickly. I completed the shrug from start to finish over one weekend, a few hours each day. The end product is a really warm, thick shrug that is functional for different seasons.
Although one size fits all is great for not having to worry about measurements and tailoring, there is a downside. I found that I ended up with quite a lot of material at the back of the shrug that bunched up. I am fairly petite and since I was unfamiliar with how the shrug was going to form from a big rectangle, I didn’t feel make any adjustments to the starting chain to alter the size. I was able to make a couple of adjustments after completing the pattern that helped.
To improve the way the shrug hangs, I folded a neckline and used a yarn needle and some of the same coloured yarn to create a collar. I continued down the front of the shrug to create a defined lapel. This removed some of the length at the back so there was less bunched material. I also found that the with the lapel stitched loosely at the front, the bottom of the back of the shrug flipped under which also helped with the way the shrug hangs.
One adjustment I’d recommend for anyone attempting this project is to add a few extra rows of single crochets around the arm holes to create a more well-defined sleeve than what is called for in the pattern. I think adding these rows makes the arm spaces look more polished. Also, I found these spaces to be too wide so adding these extra crocheted rows helped as I decreased the stitches in each row, narrowing the space slightly.
This is a project worth trying, perhaps with a few creative adjustments to suit you!