Beginner Shrug Knitting Pattern, Free

Master the knit stitch with this Beginner Shrug Knitting Pattern. If you’re an absolute beginner knitter, this is the perfect first time garment pattern. By the time you’ve finished this pattern you’ll have mastered the knit stitch!

model wearing a chunky oversized shrug holding a coffee cupPin
Simple pattern, perfect drape & super cozy!

If you love this pattern and want to add it to your collection, it’s available to purchase {ad-free} on Etsy, Ravelry, LoveCrafts & my shop. Then you can view it on any & all of your devices where ever you are, anywhere in the world… enjoying your love of knitting!

OR you can view the full FREE pattern below!

What’s to Love?

A sweater shrug pattern that’s so easy, you’ll want to knit one for everyone and in every color! Chunky, cozy, quick & easy! Don’t tell anyone, but this shrug is a simple rectangle, with 2 seams for the sleeves. ;) Yeah, you got this!

About the Pattern

Pattern Format: Written Pattern, No Chart
Pattern Language: English
Skill Level: Beginner
PDF Format: Printer Friendly
Pattern Name: Meditation

Techniques & Skills You Need to Know

In this beginner shrug knitting pattern, you will need to know how to:
Knit flat back & forth using cable needles to accommodate the large number of stitches.
Knit stitches only


Yarn Weight: Super Bulky
Yardage: 500 – 700 yards {457 – 640 meters}
Suggested Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick

Yarn Substitutions

Cascade Lana Grande – a fluffy 100% wool super chunky yarn.
MillaMia Naturally Soft Super Chunky – Luxurious 100% Merino Wool
Rico Essentials Super Super Chunky – 50/50 acrylic wool blend
Rowan Big Wool – 100% Merino Wool

Needles & Notions

US 15 {10mm} Circular Needles with a 40” {100cm} Cable, or longer
Tapestry Needle


8.5 STS & 16 rows per 4” {10cm} square, knit in the pattern below

model wearing a chunky oversized shrugPin
The magic of cozy knitwear.


Height of Model: 5’9″ {175cm}
Weight of Model: 130lbs {59kg}
Bust of Model: 35″ {88cm}
Waist of Model: 25″ {63cm}
Finished measurements, no blocking: 45″ wide x 33″ {114cm x 84cm}


S: 39” {99cm} wide, CO 84 STS
M: 41” {104cm} wide, CO 88 STS
L: 43” {109cm} wide, CO 92 STS
XL: 45” {114cm} wide, CO 96 STS
XXL: 47” {119cm} wide, CO 100 STS
XXXL: 49” {125cm} wide, CO 104 STS

Choosing your size

Using a cloth tape measure, or cotton yarn, measure your arm length to determine the number of CO STS you’re going to need. With your arms at your side, measure from mid-forearm to mid-forearm going up and over your shoulders. Measure it from wherever you’d like it to fall when you wear it.

I’m 5’9” tall and made mine 45”, measuring from mid-forearm to mid-forearm. I made mine a couple of inches shorter, because of the weight of the super bulky yarn it’ll stretch a little bit over time.

What I did was tape one end of the yarn to where I wanted the shrug to fall about mid-forearm, taking the yarn up and over my shoulders and then taped the other end on my other arm. I took the yarn off my arms, leaving the tape on the yarn, so I could measure the length between the pieces of tape.

I found that whether my arms were at my side or straight out the measurement was about the same.

Go ahead and take your measurement so you can get started on your very own sweater shrug! :)


This shrug pattern is reversible.
It’s knit flat, top down.
Knit using the beloved garter stitch.
The CO edge is the width, across your shoulders.
Circular needles are used to accommodate the large number of CO stitches.
The number of cast-on stitches create the width {shoulder-to-shoulder} of your shrug.
The number of rows equals the length. {neck to bum}

This beginner shrug knitting pattern is super easy to alter. ;)

model wearing a chunky oversized shrug holding a coffee cupPin
The perfect cup of coffee paired with the perfect handknit chunky sweater shrug.

Shrug Knitting Pattern, Knit Flat {Row-by-Row}

CO the desired number of STS from the “Size” section above.

Knit every row {garter stitch} until you’re desired length.

For example: I’m 5’9” {175cm} and I made mine 33” {84cm}, because of the super bulky yarn it has some weight to it, so it stretches a little when wearing it, giving it the perfect “scoop”.

BO using all knit stitches, loosely.

To create the “sleeves”
Fold in half lengthwise. Sew up the short sides to create the arm holes for your shrug.
On the left side, sew about 6” {15cm} from the end up.
Repeat on the right side.

Weave in the ends.
No blocking necessary.

Knitting Abbreviations & Video Tutorials

*- * – repeat between *
BO – bind-off in pattern
CO – cast-on {long-tail cast-on method}

K – knit stitches {K1 means to knit 1 stitch}
P – purl stitches {P2 means to purl 2 stitches}
STS – stitches

Modification Options

Keep in mind that you can cast-on in any number of stitches.
If you’d like this to fall closer to your elbow, just CO fewer stitches to make it narrower.
OR if you want it to fall closer to your wrist, just CO more stitches to make it wider.
If a crop top is your style, just knit fewer rows. You can kinda try it on as you go to see if you like it. Seam a few stitches to see if you like the drape and then you know if you’re ready to bind-off, do all this before you bind-off to save yourself some time and heartache.

Expert Tips

Knit the stitches to a 60″ cable, so you can to try on as you go, or you can slide your stitches onto a scrap piece of yarn. I know it takes extra time to do this step, but in the long run it saves time {I have to remind myself of this too!}, that way you don’t have to bind-off and then frog it if it’s not the right size. Which is the lesser of 2 evils? Scrap yarn or frogging? Both & neither.

model wearing a chunky oversized shrugPin
Crisp sheets, piles of pillows, snuggled up in your favorite hand knits to ward off the cold while you cast-on another project (and blissfully ignore the pile of UFO’s in the corner).

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