Annis Shrug

Here’s the Brat with me, a few months after she was born.


Here’s the shrug the Brat wrangled out of me, by saying wistfully, “You never knitted me a tube top. ”


The Brat is particularly talented at sweet wistfulness.

The simplest shrugs are just rectangles sewn into a tube, with a patch left open in the middle to cover the back. But I dislike that kind of construction; I find the strip across the back looks ridiculously narrow, like a bandage. On the other hand, if you make the initial rectangle broad enough for the back, the arms become extremely large, plus there is a rather weird acute-angle opening at the underarms.

Thus my pattern changes. I started with the Annis lace pattern for the cuff, then increased to shape the arm till the underarm. There, I provisionally cast on an inch worth of stitches at each end, and knitted the back as a rectangle. Once the rectangle spanned the underarm-to-underarm width (about 16 inches since the Brat is tiny), I left the same number of stitches on scraps and reversed shaping for the second sleeve. Since the Annis pattern forms bottom-up, I then made the second cuff and grafted it to the end of the knitting.

After blocking, I used yarn tails left at the beginning of each Annis cuff to sew up the sleeves and graft together the live underarm increases.


This creates an intriguingly seamless shape, with no beginning or end to the torso! Finally, I cast on again for a large swathe of  Annis  lace in the round and sewed it around the opening for the collar.


This had used up almost every bit of yarn, so I omitted the nupps in the collar and, towards the end, skipped the alternate plain rows, working only the lace rows.


And here’s how to calculate how many stitches to cast on for an Annis edging (my numbers, as a worked example, are in red):

a) Cuffs: counting the live squares in the first and last row of the pattern, we see that Row 1 has 7 + 12x + 8 stitches, and Row 18 has 5 + 8x + 6.
So we need to end up with 5 + 8x + 6, which is basically 8x + 11.
Ie, we need a multiple of 8 plus 11, just before it transitions to stockinette.

Now, using stitch gauge, find out how many stitches are needed at the start of the stockinette section (52)
Add or subtract a few stitches to make it a multiple of 8 plus 11. (The closest I can get to 52 is 51 = 40 + 11)
And break the 11 up, to get 5 + 8x + 6 ( 51 = 5 + 40 + 6)
Which means, at the end of row 18, I have 5 + 8*5 + 6
So, my x = 5

But remember, to get 5 + 8x + 6 in Row 18, we have to start with 7 + 12x + 8 in Row 1.
So my CO number is 7 + 12*5 + 8 = 75

b) Body opening: this is much simpler since it’s knitted in the round and there are no partial edge repeats.
We need to end up with 8x, by starting with 12x.

Find the number of stitches needed at the end of Row 18, according to stitch gauge. ( 150)
Add or subtract a few stitches to make it a multiple of 8. (The closest to 150 is 144, which is 8*18)
Thus, my x = 18
So, I need to cast on 18 * 12, and work the pattern in the round.

Pattern: Annis from Knitty
Yarn: Lana Grossa Chiara; 70% rayon, 20% mohair, 10% nylon; 50g = 189m; 3 skeins. The yarn core looks fingering weight, but it should be knit at a looser gauge to allow the mohair halo to develop.
Needles: 3.5mm straight and circular
Mods: well, yes! Return to top of post, please.


7 thoughts on “Annis Shrug

  1. you are a knitting genius! and, I love the color of the shrug and totally love the picture of the lace being blocked in a circle.

  2. Ooh, I would love to knit this by following your notes. Let’s see if I’m as clever as you are! Beautiful work and I hope it’s worn with glee.

  3. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I was looking for a nice shrug pattern for hours!… I want to knit one for my wedding (to wear at night) And it will definitly fit with the annis shawl I knitted to wear during the day if it’s not so sunny.
    Were your skeins of 50 or 100g ?

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