Holiday Shrug

Well, it’s that time of year – I’ve taken the easy way out the past few years but this year I did something I have always loved doing – Making my daughter’s Christmas dress.

My 10 year old daughter is getting much more opinionated about her fashion style.  With the insistence that it not be “poofy” we searched through the pattern books and realized that there are very few dressy dress patterns in her size.  We managed to find only one that, with the right fabric, would work for Christmas, but it’s sleeveless – not a good choice for December in New England.

It was fun watching Maya choose fabric for her dress.  She’s still learning how different fabrics behave,  but she has a good eye and chose a burgundy polyester shantung and a black sequined mesh for an overlay.  I had to talk her out of a gorgeous flocked taffeta because I knew it wouldn’t drape the way she wanted.  Even though I would have loved it, I wasn’t about to spend the time and money making a dress that she wouldn’t wear because it didn’t match the image in her head.

Because of the bare shoulders, I was also asked for some sort of knit shrug and she chose Vanna’s Glamour yarn in platinum. It doesn’t feel as soft knit up as it does in the skein, but it is still nice and has a lovely, subtle, twinkly sparkle; Perfect for a girl who loves anything glittery.

The shrug starts with a rectangle, is partially seamed at the sides to create armholes, and stitches are picked up for a ribbed sleeve cuff.

Tips for resizing

* The ribbing section must have a multiple of 4+2 stitches
* The knotted openwork must have a multiple of 3 stitches.
* When changing the number of stitches cast on or the gauge, the decrease/increase rows will not be the same as what I have here…decrease/increase as evenly across the row as possible.
* The edge of the knotted openwork section is what becomes the opening for the sleeve…work this section until it is the same measurement as the circumference of the upper arm.

Knotted Openwork Girl’s Shrug

yarn: Vanna’s Glamour – 400 yards (2 skeins…had enough to make the matching doll shrug with what was left over)
needles: US5, US9
gauge: 24 stitches/4 inches on smaller needles in stockinette,
17 sts/4 inches on larger needles in knotted openwork
size: 10/12, 18″ doll size instructions below

*new*-  notes on how to modify to girl’s size 6 (below size 10/12 instructions)

knotted openwork stitch pattern:
row 1 – k2, *yo, k3, with left needle lift and pass the 1st of the 3 stitches just knitted over the last 2, rep from * to last st, k1
row 2 – purl
row 3 – k1, *k3, with left needle lift and pass the 1st of the 3 stitches just knitted over the last 2, yo, rep from * to last 2 sts, k2
row 4 – purl

Size 10/12:

Cast on 146 sts (on size 5 needles)

Work 3 inches of 2×2 rib (beginning and ending right side rows with k2)

Decrease round: (RS)
Switch to size 9 needles
k1, *[k2tog, k1] 8 times, [k2tog, k2] 3 times, repeat from * to last stitch, k1 (102 sts)

Purl one row then work 9 inches in knotted openwork stitch

Increase round: (RS)
Switch to size 5 needles
k1, *[kfb, k1] 8 times, [kfb, k2] 3 times,  repeat from * to last stitch, k1 (146 sts)

Work 3 inches of 2×2 rib (beginning and ending right side rows with k2)

Bind off in pattern.

Fold the rectangle in half lining up the cast on edge and the bind off edge.

Seam up the sides of the ribbing.

Pick up and knit 56 stitches around armhole.  Work 2 inches of 2×2 ribbing in the round. Bind off in pattern.

Repeat with second sleeve.

*new  sizing info*  Someone asked me how to modify this for a girl’s size 6 and I thought I should post it here as well.   I would make the rectangle 20 inches wide instead of 24 inches (at the same gauge, I’d cast on 122 sts and decrease to 84 sts for the knotted openwork section. Work the knotted openwork until it measures the same as your daughter’s upper arm circumference (probably about 8”) and then increase back to 122 sts. Seam, and pick up 48 stitches for the sleeves)

I haven’t knit that size, but that’s what my math says 🙂  I’d love to hear how it works.

18″ doll size:

The basic construction/gauge is the same as the child size.

CO 42 sts

Work 10 rows of 2×2 ribbing, beginning and ending with k2

Switch to size 9 needles
k1, *k2tog, k1, k2tog, k2  repeat from * to last 6 stitches (k2tog, k1)twice (30 sts)

Work 4.5 inches of knotted openwork

Switch to size 4 needles
k1, *kfb, k1, kfb, k2 repeat from * to last 4 sts, (kfb, k1) twice (42 sts)

The next row is a WS row, (p2, k2) to end, last 2 sts are p2
work 8 more rows of 2×2 rib

Bind off in pattern.

Fold in half (lining up cast on and bind off edges) and seam up the sides of the ribbing.

Pick up and knit 24 stitches around armhole.  work 10 rounds of 2×2 ribbing. Bind off in pattern.  Repeat with other sleeve.

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2010. Tags: , , . Knitting, patterns.


  1. Shelly E replied:

    beautiful! I love the matching doll outfit!

  2. kimkrafty replied:

    It looks really cute on her. How sweet to have the coordinating piece for her doll!

  3. Christy replied:

    Thank you so much for posting this pattern! It is exactly what my daughter wanted!!

  4. Linda replied:

    I made the knitted openwork shrug for the 18″ doll. It came out great.

    Now I would like to make a matching one in a size 8. How do you size it for size 8

  5. Kathleen replied:

    How adorable! Thank you so much.
    I made both last week, and can’t wait to give them to the
    little friend.
    I had my granddaughter, age, 5, try the big one on,
    and she said she would like to have one. So, she and her dolly
    will get matching shrugs, also.
    Quick, fun, pretty.
    Many thanks.

  6. Pat replied:

    I’ve just started the shrug for my grand daughter and just want to be sure regarding the pattern. I am working the knotted open work pattern of three rows. Then repeat? What about a fourth row of purl? IS the fouth row a repeat of row 1? I think my grand daughter will love it if I can figure it out.
    Thanks so much,

    • lilliputianstitches replied:

      Oh, no…I can’t believe I left out that 4th row in the knotted openwork pattern…it is a purl row. I’ll fix that right now.

  7. Heidi Mae replied:

    Hi! I love this! I just completed this for my daughter’s father/daughter dance. She is a 6x so I did for the 6 and left off the sleeves because it was still a bit long. It still is perfect! Thank you! I posted a pic on fb!

  8. A Lacy Purple Shrug « HazelHope Creations replied:

    […] knit HazelHope Sissie a light purple lace shrug, using this pattern, Bernat Baby Sport, and size 6 needles. It was a very easy knit and it didn’t take me long – 4 […]

  9. Barbara replied:

    This is a really smart looking shrug for a dressy dress. I would love to have this pattern in a size 3 for my granddaughters. If I was an experienced knitter I could do it-is there anyone who could r would like to help me out with that.

  10. Karin replied:

    This is gorgeous, my nearly 6 year old daughter is asking for a shrug to go with her Christmas this year. Your pattern is the best I have found! That includes all the expensive designers. I just need to find a yarn available here in the UK that will work.
    By the way, how many balls of yarn did you need to make your daughters?

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