Easy Shrug Knitting Pattern

Free & easy shrug knitting pattern that anyone can knit! The simple texture lays flat, has a beautiful drape and it’s easily modified to fit your body shape and style.

Get the free shrug knitting pattern below or purchase the ad-free, downloadable & printable PDF on Etsy, Ravelry or LoveCrafts.

pic of a model wearing a chunky hand knit shrugPin
Easy to knit shrug with beautiful drape!

How to Knit a Rectangle Shrug

First of all, you will not believe how quick & easy this chunky shrug is! It’s knit flat, in a rectangle, like a blanket. No shaping, no increases & no decreases, just a rectangle, with 2 short seams. (This chunky knitting pattern makes for a quick knit too!)

You’re going to knit a rectangle. Yes, it’s that simple! In this pattern the cast-on edge is the length, measuring from shoulder to bum. Cast-on enough stitches to make sure it’s long enough to give you a little “scoop.” Expert tip: Seam one side before you’re finished knitting, so you can try it on as you go.

To keep it simple, this pattern does not include a border. It’s a simple 2-row repeat of knits & purls on the wrong side and all knit stitches on the right side. Making it easy to pick up and put down and know exactly where you left off (3 months later).

More Free Shrug Patterns You Might Like

Are you looking for something even easier to knit?! Check out this beginner friendly garter stitch easy shrug knitting pattern (free) or this simple shrug pattern (free) in stockinette stitch.

Browse all my shrug knitting patterns here.


  • Stress-free & simple 2-row repeat rectangle that’s knit flat
  • Beginner friendly & great 1st garment pattern
  • Perfect drape loosely knit with knit & purl stitches only

About the Pattern

Available Sizes: Six, S – 3XL
Pattern Format: Written Pattern, No Chart
Pattern Language: English
Skill Level: Beginner & Advanced Beginner
PDF Format: Printer Friendly

Techniques & Skills You Need to Know

In this easy shrug knitting pattern, you’ll need to know how to:

Knit flat, back & forth, row-by-row, using cable needles to accommodate the large number of stitches.
Easily recognize knit & purl stitches.
Create a clean edge, for the advanced version only.

For the beginner version of this knit shrug pattern, you need to be familiar with the difference between knit and purl stitches.

For the advanced beginner version, you need to be confident in the beginner version. Plus, know how to slip stitches & knit through the back loop.


Yarn Weight: Super Bulky
Yardage: 318 – 742 yards {291 – 678 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

Needle Size: US 15 {10mm} Circular Needles with a 32″ {80cm} Cable, or longer
Tapestry or Darning Needle


Gauge: 6 STS & 12 rows per 4” {10cm} square, knit in the pattern below

super bulky yarn gauge swatch
6 STS & 12 rows per 4” {10cm} square


Height of model: 5’9″ {175cm}
Weight of model: 130lbs {59kg}
Bust of model: 35″ {88cm}
Waist of model: 27″ {68cm}
Measurements, before blocking: 46″ wide x 30″ {117cm x 46cm}
Weight: 1lb 10oz {740g}


S: 24 x 40” {61-101cm}, CO 55 STS, 3-4 skeins
M: 26 x 42” {66-107cm}, CO 58 STS, 4-5 skeins
L: 28 x 44” {71-112cm}, CO 61 STS, 4-5 skeins
XL: 30 x 46” {76-117cm}, CO 64 STS, 5-6 skeins
2XL: 32 x 48” {81-123cm}, CO 67 STS, 5-6 skeins
3XL: 34 x 50” {86-127cm}, CO 70 STS, 6-7 skeins

How to Print the PDF, Downloadable Pattern

Do you love working from a piece of paper?! {Me too!} Then you’ll love to know that this pattern is available to buy on Etsy, Ravelry or LoveCrafts.

It’s in a printer friendly format, absolutely ad-free and affiliate-link-free.

The downloadable & printable PDF includes the complete pattern.

Download & access it from any device. If you’re using a cloud service, download it to your cloud so you can access it from any device that’s connected. Ah, technology! Gotta love it!

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 enjoy the FREE knitting pattern below!


Not reversible.
CO edge is the length.
Length is measured from shoulder to bum.
Width is measured from shoulder to shoulder.
Knit using a variation of the broken rib knit stitch.
Knit flat, back & forth, using circular needles.
A circular needle is used to accommodate the large number of CO stitches.

Expert Tips

You can knit this shrug in any size, just cast-on in increments of 3+4

Knit the stitches to a 60″ cable, so you can try it 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!}. So that 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.

hand knit shrug on a dress formPin
A simple knitted rectangle turned into a comfy shrug. {aka, the perfect pattern!}

Beginner Pattern, Knit Flat {Row-by-Row}

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

Row 1 {WS}: P1 *P2, K1* P3
Row 2 {RS}: *K* {knit the whole row}
Repeat rows 1-2 until it’s the width you’d like.

BO in the Row 1 pattern, creating a stretchier BO than if you used all knit STS.

Block before seaming sleeves, if desired.

How to Create the Sleeves for Your Shrug

Lay it flat, with the wrong side up.

On a short side, bring the CO and BO corners together.

Sew the CO & BO edges together starting from the outside corner working your way in to create the sleeves.

How far up you sew depends on the size you’re making. I sewed mine up about 6” {15cm}.

Repeat on the other side.

Weave in the ends.

Advanced Beginner Pattern, Knit Flat {Row-by-Row}

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

Row 1 {WS}: WYIF S1PW *P2, K1* P2, WYIF S1PW
Row 2 {RS}: K1TBL *K* K1TBL
Repeat rows 1-2 until it’s the size you’d like.

BO in the Row 1 pattern, creating a stretchier BO than if you used all knit STS.

Block before seaming sleeves, if desired.

See above for the “Size Modifications” & “How to Create the Sleeves” instructions.

knitted shrug on a modelPin
An easy pattern with the perfect texture, with the perfect drape & it’s super cozy!

Modification Options

For the “sleeve” length:
Knit fewer rows to make it narrower, so it falls closer to your elbow.
Knit more rows if you’d like to make it wider, so it falls closer to your wrist.

If a crop top is your style, cast-on fewer stitches to make it shorter.

Size Modifications:
CO in multiples of 3 +4 {the 3 stitches are inside the *-*, 4 stitches are outside}.

To make it larger or smaller: measure from your shoulder to the bottom of your bum, this is your CO length. If you want more “scoop” add a few inches to your CO length. CO enough stitches to get your desired length, knit until it’s your desired width, sew seams and then it’s ready to wear.

For the width, I knit mine from mid-forearm to mid-forearm.

To be as accurate as possible, it’s best to knit a swatch. That way you know your gauge and then you can do the math to figure out how many stitches you need to cast-on. Or, if you’re like me, you can wing it. :)

If you’d like more of an oversized scoop, cast-on more stitches.

Knitting Abbreviations

*– * – repeat between *
BO – bind-off in pattern
CO – cast-on {long-tail cast-on method}
K – knit stitches {K1 means to knit 1 stitch}
K1TBL – knit 1 stitch through the back loop
P – purl stitches {P2 means to purl 2 stitches}
RS – right side
S1PW – slip one stitch purl-wise
STS – stitches
WS – wrong side
WYIF – with yarn in front

Find it Here

I hope you loved this easy shrug knitting pattern!
Here are some other knitted shrug patterns you might like:

Get the free shrug knitting pattern above or purchase the ad-free, downloadable & printable PDF on Etsy, Ravelry or LoveCrafts.

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