Sunday, October 21, 2007

EASY Fleece shrug (like a shawl, but with arms)

Ok, it's getting cold here in North Ga. The temp was 51 at 9:30pm. I'm not going to running the heater until I can't put it off any longer. We need to put on more clothes to keep warm. So what does that have to do with a shrug and what the heck is a "shrug" anyway?

A shrug is sort of like the sleeves of a shirt/sweater, without the body of it. It goes from one wrist, over the shoulders and down to the other wrist. It's meant to add some warmth to arms and shoulders without overheating the rest of you. Unlike a shawl, it won't slip off with movement. The "sleeves" stop that from happening.

While I'm up and moving, I HATE long sleeves. Normally, I go out in the snow without a jacket, sweater or coat. I overheat very easily and really prefer to be cooler than hotter. Unfortunately, as soon as the sun sets, especially when I sit at the computer or read, my body temp seems to drop and I get COLD. To the point of miserable, cold! My right hand will be icy in no time, my feet freeze (ok, perhaps I should put some shoes/slippers on once in a while. lol) and my arms are goosebumped.

I've knitted slippers for the feet and a fingerless glove for the hand. Tonight, I realized that even with shoes on, my arms were just cold but that the rest of me was fine.

I happened to look over at a pile of material that I've been going through making various napkins, feminine protection, wipes, hankies, etc and saw a piece of scrap fleece. I bought this remnant for about $2.00 at Walmart. It's a piece that's 21" long and 60" wide. All of a sudden I got a really bright idea.

I picked up that scrap, put it over my shoulders with the 60" side going from wrist to wrist. I used a pin to mark where the "sleeve" needed to stop so that I could get in and out of it. I did that for both arms. I then turned the material so that the wrong sides were together (the sides that want to "roll" inward is the "wrong side") and pinned near where I had marked the material for the "sleeve" to stop. I held the two "sleeves" together to make sure they were even. I then zig-zagged from the wrist end to where the pin was, making sure to backstitch both at the start and end of the stitching so that the stitching wouldn't come out. I stitched about 3/8" from the edge and sewed a seam 12" long - before I ended the stitching. I just used the same thread I had been using to sew some light-colored material. (This is a black background with bright dots on it.) I trimmed the threads and turned it right-side out and slipped it on. It's working GREAT! my arms aren't cold anymore. My torso isn't hot and I have freedom of movement. The wrist ends are rather baggy, not fitted at all. When it gets really cold, I may make the wrist end tighter, but I don't think I'm going to need to.

So the mental picture is a piece of material that is a rectangle and then it's sewn up on each side so that there is a sleeve, then an open, unsewn piece of material and then a second sleeve as one continuous piece of material and that's a shrug.

I'm very heavy, so the wider piece of material is needed to cover me. If you're thinner, you could probably get away with a piece of material that was only 16"-18" long and 60" wide. If you're a smaller person and the 60" makes the sleeves too long, trim the sleeves down a bit to fit.

It's taken me longer to type this up than it did to make the shrug. I don't think it took me 15 mins from the time I thought about doing it until I was wearing it. My kind of project!!


jennifer said...

Hi Darlene,
I found your blog through the blog ring and noticed that you have a mention on the top of your blog about a 72 hour kit. I used to live in Utah, are you LDS?

Well anyhow I home school too, and have a few blogs...feel free to swing by if you'd like. blog and I have a family friendly caption contest every Tuesday) (my home school blog and family happenings) savings and thrifty blog)

Jennifer in Sunny New Mexico!

Anonymous said...

Hi Darlene-It was so nice of you to pay me a visit! Anyway, the shawl that I make with my mom and daughters is called the "Truly Tasha's Shawl" and you can find a great photo of it on Then after you knit the shawl you might need a pretty shawl pin-go to love the cherry,walnut,mahogany,exoticwoods etc. They keep our shawls from getting caught in the baking and cleaning and gardening. They are $9.50 a piece plus shipping. We love our shawls. We always use wool and the directions are great if you go to the woolywest site. It looks like the same shawl Tasha Tudor wears! Blessings, Rose I will try to put up a photo of it on my blog. I just started blogging so I am very new at this.

Darlene said...

Hi, Jennifer. Yes I'm LDS, have been for a little over 32 years. I like your website!

Rose, thank you for the links. Your second links should read
It's missing the n in knitting and the -I wanted to come across as part of the address. I corrected it and found the site. Thanks. Now can someone tell me HOW to use the pins? Both in my hair - which is knee-length and braided; and on a shawl. I've never seen one in a shawl before.
I have a son that likes to craft thing. I may get him to whittle, smooth and oil one for me. It's will give him something to do besides leave pieces of wood on his bedroom floor. lol Gotta love 15 yr old boys.