Dream Shrug

By Suzie Blackman

Free online knitting pattern

Published 12 October 2008
Yarn weight:   Skill level:
Dream shrug. Photo: Alex

Dream shrug. Photo: Alex

A lacework shrug in mohair with elbow-length sleeves and deep ribbing.

I created the Dream shrug after finding some brightly-coloured vintage 80s mohair. I used a ripple lace pattern to show-off the beautiful colour changes. The yarn I used (Argyll Mohair) is sadly long discontinued, I have suggested modern alternatives.

The shrug is knitted sideways, in one piece, in the flat on straight needles, then the sleeves are seamed. The ribbing around the body is knitted on circular needles, using the pick-up and knit technique.

The shrug has no discernible top or bottom, the lace pattern has a lot of stretch and it will fit either way up. The finished garment is lightweight and surprisingly cosy thanks to the mohair’s amazing thermal properties.

Size information

Instructions are given for the smallest size, other sizes are shown in brackets. Larger needles are used for the lace pattern on the largest two sizes in order to increase the width – the stitch count is the same.

Chest measurement at underarm (above bust) inches 32 (34 36 38 40)
cm 81 (86 94 97 102)
Sleeve length inches 10 (10.5 10.5 11 11)
cm 25 (27 27 28 28)
Total length (cuff to cuff) inches 36 (39 41 45 47)
cm 91 (99 104 114 119)
Width (unfolded) inches 11 (11 11 12 12)
cm 28 (28 28 30 30)


Yarn & notions

  • 1 (1, 1, 2, 2) x 100 g hanks Colinette Mohair, or
  • 2 (2, 2, 3, 3) x 50 g balls Sirdar Blur, or
  • Approx. 400m any mohair blend yarn with recommended needle size of 4-5mm

Needles & equipment

  • 5.5 mm circular needle, 80cm or longer
  • 9 (9, 9, 10, 10) mm straight needles
  • 2 removable stitch markers


Tension is not critical – both the lace and the ribbing have a lot of stretch.

Photo: Alex



With smaller needles, CO 54 sts

Working flat, [k1 p1] to end

Repeat for a further 4 rows

Switch to larger needles

[K1 k2tog] to end (36 sts)
Purl one row

Sleeves and body

Ripple pattern. Photo: Alex

Ripple pattern. Photo: Alex

Ripple pattern

Worked over multiples of 18 sts

Row 1: [K2tog] x 3, [k1 yo] x 6, [k2tog] x 3. Repeat this pattern once more to end of row (36 sts)
Rows 2 & 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl

Continue in ripple pattern until work measures 35 (38, 40, 44, 46) inches, 89 (97, 102, 112, 117) cm from cast on edge


Switch to smaller needles

Next row: [Kfb K1] to end (54 sts)
Next 5 rows: [K1 p1] to end

Cast off in rib using larger needle.

Photo: Alex

Photo: Alex

Sleeve seams

With right side facing, fold work in half lengthways

Place a stitch marker 10 (10.5 10.5 11 11) inches, 25 (27, 27, 28, 28) cm from cast-on edge, measured along raw edge, catching both thicknesses and matching pattern. Repeat for the cast-off edge.

Join sleeve seam from cast-on edge to first marker, and from cast-off edge to second marker, using whip stitch.


Using smaller circular needle, starting at right-hand marker, pick-up and knit 66 (74, 82, 95, 103) sts along raw edge to second marker. Turn work. Pick-up and knit 66 (74, 82, 95, 103) sts along opposite raw edge to first marker.

Join to work in the round, knit 1 row

Next row: [K1, p1] to end

Continue in 1×1 rib until ribbing measures 5 inches

Cast off loosely in rib using the larger needle.


  1. sally says:

    This is gorgeous! Thank you for the pattern. I mean really beautiful. Congratulations!

  2. Cindy says:

    Lovely shrug, your design works so well with this particular yarn. I’m thrilled to have found it because I have some old mohair with a metallic thread in it and I think your pattern will be lovely for it.

  3. Shoshy says:

    I have downloaded your shrug pattern and am anxious to make it, the comments are great about it!
    I have one question before I start. On the pattern it gives two needle sizes to use, on your ravelry page of the same pattern you give 3 needle sizes to use. Which should I go with? also in your opinion is stashed karabella gossamer yarn ok to use with this pattern and needle sizes suggested? Thank you

    • Suzie says:


      I checked the Ravelry page and there are only two needle sizes listed. The pattern requires you to use a different sized needle for the lace pattern (either 9 or 10 mm) depending on the size you make. I’m not familiar with the yarn you’re using but the lace pattern has a lot of give so the yarn weight is particularly important. If your yarn weight is 4ply or thinner I would suggest going up a needle size to compensate though.

      Good luck with your project!


  4. shoshy says:

    Hi suzie,
    Thanks for the reply. This is the page I got the 3 needle info from. Just thought you might like to see it in case you want to change anything on it. I’ll use the 2 needles you memtioned.
    suziesparkle > notebook > projects > Technicolour Dream Shrug

  5. Suzie says:

    Thanks for posting. Those details are for the prototype, which I tried out different needles sizes for. The project page is mainly for my own reference, but the pattern page on Ravelry has the recommended needles sizes for the pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dream-shrug

  6. JIll Chacon says:

    I think this is a wonderful pattern– but I’m hoping to try it for a little girl’s size 6. Wish me luck?

    • Suzie says:

      Hi Jill,
      You should be able to make a smaller size quite successfully by using a smaller needle and reducing the length of the sleeves. You shouldn’t have to change anything else but it might require some experimentation to get the right size! Good luck with it.

  7. Cheryl Jensen says:

    I would like to ask Suzie Blackman’s permission to knit her ‘Dream Shrug’ to sell in my outdoor market booth. I am glad to make a donation and put her name on the work as designer>

    • Suzie says:

      Hi Cheryl,
      Currently I only offer a non-commercial licence on free patterns, which means that you cannot make garments based on them to sell for profit. I am very happy for people to make garments for charitable sale though, providing all proceeds are donated to charity.

  8. sandy says:

    Your shrug was a delight. Taught me new skills without making me crazy, and it worked up to be absolutely gorgeous. I dropped down two needle sizes, used bright pink and turquoise (for the ribbing). Makes a perfect little girl shrug.

    Thanks so much.

  9. Sharahzade says:

    I cannot find a link on this page to download the pattern. My printer is out of service so I would like to save this for when I get a new one.

    Thank you so much. It is a beautiful design.

    • Suzie says:

      Hi Sharahzade,
      I’m glad you like it!
      There is no download, it’s an online pattern. If you use free sortware like CutePDF you could print it to a PDF.

  10. Ali says:

    Suzie. Can I make the dream shrug with a sport weight #2 yarn?. Would needle size and amount of wool remain the same?

    • Suzie says:

      Hi Ali,

      There’s a risk it would come out very small. It works best with a mohair yarn equivalent to an aran weight. It’s very difficult to give a gauge because the lace pattern pulls in different directions in different parts of the garment. You could do a swatch in the lace pattern then work out if you need to add any pattern repeats to achieve the correct width.


  11. Mary Enck says:

    I have used this stitch pattern to make scarves. I don’t put on the ribbing at each end and I just knit it long enough to make a scarf. The first one I used wool baby yarn mixed with Rowan Kid Silk Haze. I used a size ten needle. The next one was with a linen, cotton blend, Berrocco Lindsey and Kid Silk Haze. The results are simply beautiful. The third one will be done in a different color but same mixture. Lindsay comes in a variagated colors and mixed with the white Kid Silk Haze it took on more of a look of mohair. I used the same size needles (10) I love this pattern. I’ve got it down now well enough to make the shrug. I thought I might try Noro Silk Garden because the colors are so wonderful.

    Thank you for this wonderful design.

  12. Karen says:

    hi there, Im trying to work out what Ive done wrong, I keep on gaining stitches, I obviously get more stitches in the yo, but should lose them in the k2tog. Somehow this is just not working for me. Any ideas?

  13. Althea Leonard says:

    I love your shrug and would like to make it with full-length sleeves. Any ideas on modifications?

    • Suzie says:

      Hi Althea, the easiest way would be to measure a garment that has the length of sleeves that you want and calculate from that. You should find it easy to modify the pattern for any length of sleeve.

  14. Phreddismum says:

    Just downloaded your wonderful pattern for the Dream Shrug, however have a question which does not seem to have been answered previously. If I make the 38″ size what sized straight needles would I use for the cuff and also for the body, as the pattern says ‘with smaller needles’ then ‘with larger needles’? The same applies to the circular needle for the ribbing, as you only mention the 5.5mm size. Looking forward to making it for our SWRI Federation Show next year.

  15. Barbara Cawley says:

    Hi Suzie – Your pattern looks gorgeous. My daughter is getting married on May 25th; was wondering if this could be done in a different yarn to accomodate warmer temps. Any thoughts? Barb

  16. bridget says:

    This shrug is amazing, im making one now! Im using yarn bees sequin diva. It’s a worsted weight so im making adjustments also going with a longer sleeve and ribbing. I hope you don’t mind that i’m tweaking your beautiful work. But its cold out side and I wanted something a bit warmer.

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