A shrug is a nice accessory to have in your closet, because it can change the look of an outfit with little effort. You can crochet a shrug in a short amount of time, depending on the pattern you choose. You can search online to find a variety of free crochet shrug patterns, or make one of your own using a simple pattern idea and a few finishing touches.
You can search the web to find instructions for a crochet shrug pattern. If you are a member of Ravelry.com, you can use its pattern search feature to find crocheted shrug patterns available for free, in print and on the web. Joining Ravelry is also free. You can also use the site to keep track of your yarn stash, crochet hooks and finished projects.
You can also use the free site CrochetPatternCentral.com to find patterns for a variety of crocheted shrugs on the web. All the patterns on this site are also free. They vary in difficulty and material requirements.
A crocheted shrug can be simple to make, because you can do it by crocheting a rectangle and sewing up the sleeves. To make your own crochet shrug, measure the size of your arm circumference about halfway between your shoulder and your elbow. This will be the width of your rectangle. Now, measure the length between that space on your left arm and the same spot on your right arm. This will be your length.
Crochet a rectangle in the length and width from your measurements. Use any yarn or stitch pattern you like. To determine how many stitches to use, check your gauge first. Get your yarn and hook together and start crocheting a square out of the stitch pattern you want to use for your shrug. Count to see how many stitches you made in 1 inch, both vertically and horizontally. Let's say you made five stitches per inch horizontally. Multiply 5 by the number of inches you measured from arm to arm. This tells you how many stitches you need to make in your rectangle. However many rows you made in 1 inch in your gauge swatch will tell you how many rows to crochet to reach your desired width from your measurements above.
Make a starting chain to fit your gauge estimates. Crochet in long rows until you have reached your desired number of rows. The great thing about this pattern is that you can test it by trying it on as you go. If your width does not reach from arm to arm in the length you want for your shrug, tear out your stitches and start over with a longer starting chain. Keep working until the rectangle wraps comfortably around your arm. Finish off your piece and fold it in half on the short side, so that you have a long, skinny rectangle now. Start at one short end and stitch inward the same length as it takes to get from the part of your arm that you measured to your armpit. Now cut your yarn and weave in that end and repeat on the other side. Your rectangle now has two sewn ends, making tubes on either side for the sleeves. Simply slip your arms into these sewn ends and let the open portion go across your shoulders and back. Your shrug is finished.