Today, we'll talk about shrugs and fingerless gloves. Both are created from a simple rectangle.
For the shrug I crocheted a rectangle 40" long. (Don't forget to always make a foundation chain for crochet and a "cast-on" row for knitting by using a larger hook/needle than the one you'll use to make the body of the item. The reason for this is that most times this beginning row of your work ends up being too tight and your garment looks squeezed and tight at the bottom. If you use a larger implement, this will not happen.
Therefore, a 40-42" first row.* Knit/crochet for 15-16". You should now have a rectangle that measures approximately 40" by 16". Fold this rectangle in half width-wise. Now you have a rectangle with measurements of 40" by 8". Sew each side of the open end of your rectangle together for 8" (for sleeves). In the middle of your rectangle you'll have a large opening. This is where you'll make a ruffled collar. When your rectangle is unfolded and opened up, you will see 2 sleeves on either side and the large opening for your head and shoulders and the bottom back, which I leave unadorned. Voila ♥ a beautiful shrug/bolero.
note: I used a double crochet stitch for this bolero - I made a chain 1 between each DC - I wanted it to have an "airy", mesh look.
Figure #1 is a representation of the rectangle you'll create for your shrug. Figure #2 is the same rectangle, folded in half with the stitches to create a tube sleeve on either open end of the folded rectangle. The open space in between the sleeves is for the neck and shoulders. On one side of this space, I made a ruffle of contrasting color. I left the other side of the open space plain to form the bottom back of the shrug.
Final item: a pair of those trendy fingerless gloves. Knit or crochet a 5" by 7" rectangle. Sew the 5" sides together, leaving an opening for the thumb. (I always use my own hand when doing this). First, I sew up the part below the thumb - the part closest to the fingers. Then I begin to sew from the wrist down to the thumb opening. This is when I use my own hand to determine how large that opening should be. On both sides of this opening, be sure to go over your seams to guarantee there's no gaps in the seam when your hand is inserted in the glove. You can crochet a ruffle around the wrist of the glove or crochet shells, making the edge look scalloped, or leave it plain.
The black gloves are longer than 5". You can make them any length you like.
I made these gloves using a single crochet stitch so that I would achieve a close knit to keep those winter chills out. Trimmed one pair with a ruffle in a contrasting yarn and left the other plain.
*check your yarn label to see how many stitches per inch with what size needle/hook. Do the math and you'll know how many stitches you'll need to get a certain length chain/row.