Swallow Shrug Knitting Pattern

swallow shrug free knitting pattern

An easy comfy knit shawl pattern – the Swallow knit shrug – is a free pattern here on the blog! Read about my inspiration, the unusual construction, and how I like to wear it or scroll on down for the free pattern and photo tutorial.

No time right now? Pin this knit shrug free pattern for later.

Knit Shawl Pattern free

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If you prefer to purchase the cheap ad-free PDF Pattern to get all the instructions and pictures in a nice PDF you can print and take notes on without relying on your phone or an internet connection, I’ve got you covered!

The Swallow Shrug is now available in my Etsy shop or on Ravelry. Grab your copy now before you forget.

Knit shrug free pattern

Unusual construction born out of convenience

I love triangular shawls. They’re so elegant and dress up any outfit in no time. I’m always cold, but I love wearing dresses and not hiding them behind a big cardigan.

Unfortunately, triangular shawls have the annoying tendency to slip off my shoulders and end up on the floor. A few weeks ago I had the idea of adding sleeves to my shawls to keep them in place. As soon as I had thought of this, I knew I had to try it in a new design. A week later the Swallow knit shrug pattern was born.

Ad free printable Swallow Shrug knitting pattern PDF

How to style the swallow knit shrug?

From the front it looks like a cropped cardi or bolero while looking at the back you’d think it’s a classic triangular shawl. This fun construction makes it great to keep you nice and warm while rocking a cute outfit.

The swallow shrug is perfect for colder summer evenings over a cute dress but it looks just as good over a pair of jeans and your favorite every day top.

More cozy knit patterns

Before you Start


  • 6 mm / US 10 knitting needles. I use my circular needles for convenience but you can use straight needles for this pattern. Confused about all these types of knitting needles? Here’s a complete overview that will answer all your questions.
  • Worsted weight wool yarn (100g): 5 skeins
  • Tapestry needle to weave in the ends. I love this set as it has different eye sizes for different yarn thicknesses and it comes in a small tube which is very convenient so I don’t lose them.
  • 4 stitch markers

Unfortunately, the local yarn I used is currently unavailable on Amazon and doesn’t give all specs so I have listed a few suggestions for substitutes here:


The shrug is a one size fit most type of design.

You can easily adjust the position of the sleeves to adjust the fit to your liking. I’ll tell you how in italics.

If you want to further adjust the size. To make it smaller, you can easily decrease the number of stitches you cast on (multiple of 2), but you will also decrease the length in the back proportionally. In the same way, to make your shrug bigger add a multiple of 2 stitches but you will increase the length in the back proportionally.

Poncho knitting pattern


The gauge is not critical for this pattern. For reference, my gauge for this pattern, in stockinette stitch, is 14 st by 20 rows for a 10 cm by 10 cm square (4” by 4”).

Abbreviations & Instructions

  • st = stitch
  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • k2tog = knit 2 stitches together = single right leaning decrease
  • ssk = slip slip knit = single left leaning decrease
free knitting and crochet cheatsheets

Repeat instructions between [] the indicated number of times or until the end of the round.

The final number of stitches is indicated at the end of the row between < >.

Swallow knit shrug pattern FREE

Special Stitches and Techniques

  • Garter stitch = knit on both sides of the project.
  • Stockinette stitch = knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side of the project.

The Actual Knit Shrug Free Pattern

With your 6 mm / US 10, cast on 176 st.

Row 1: K1, ssk, knit until last 3 st, k2tog, k1. <174 st>

Row 2: Knit across.

Row 3 – 8: Repeat Rows 1 and 2 three times. <168 st>

Row 9: K6, ssk, knit until last 8st, k2tog, k6. <166 st>

Row 10: K6, purl until last 6 st, k6.

Row 11 – 12: Repeat Rows 9 and 10. <164 st>

Knit shrug free pattern step 1

Row 13: K6, ssk, k2, purl until last 10st, k2, k2tog, k6. <162 st>

Row 14: K6, purl until last 6 st, k6.

Row 15: K9, p1, ssk, knit until last 12 st, k2tog, p1, k9. <160 st>

Row 16: K6, purl until last 6 st, k6.

Knit shrug free pattern step 2

Repeat Rows 15 and 16 until you have 22 st left.

Start shaping the tip of the triangle.

Knit shawl pattern free and easy step 3

Row 1: K6, ssk three times, k2tog twice, k6. <17 st>

Row 2: K6, p until last 6 st, k6.

Row 3: Ssk 4, k1, k2tog four times. <9 st>

Row 4: K3, p3, k3

Row 5: Ssk twice, k1, k2tog twice. <5 st>

Row 6: K5

Cast off and weave in the ends.

Knit shawl pattern free and easy step 4

Shrug Sleeves

Make 2. Cast on 60 st.

[K1, p1] across

Repeat until you reach 23 cm / 9”.

Knit shrug free pattern sleeves

Blocking and Sewing

Weave in all ends and carefully wet block the different parts before sewing.

Don’t skip this step as it can make a huge difference. Read my detailed tutorial on why block, how-to, and all my tips and tricks if you need help.

How to assemble the knit shrug pattern free

Start sewing the edge of the sleeve 20 cm /7.75” from the corner of the triangle where you started knitting. Attach the whole sleeve along the edge then sew the sleeve closed. Repeat on the other side. Refer to below schematic.

Schematic for the assembly of the knitting shrug pattern free

If you want you shrug to be a bit smaller, attach the sleeves further (increase the 20 cm / 7.75” dimension). In the same manner, if you want to make the shrug bigger, decrease this dimension.

If you enjoyed this free shrug knitting pattern, share it with your yarn loving friends.

Triangle shawl knitting pattern
free knitting and crochet cheatsheets

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  • Holly
    May 9, 2020 at 5:34 am

    Such a cute idea – thank you!

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