While this free crochet shrug pattern resembles the look of tapestry crochet, its Navajo-blanket-inspired design is actually made by switching colors mid-row using basic crochet techniques! Get the free crochet pattern below or purchase the ad-free, printable PDF with line-by-line graph instructions here.
THIS FREE CROCHET SHRUG PATTERN IS PART OF AN ONGOING COLLABORATION WITH MY FRIENDS AT LION BRAND. THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS.
Despite my complete white girl appearance, I had a serious creative infatuation with all things Native American when I was a kid growing up in the Colorado foothills. I wanted a REAL teepee, REAL arrowheads and a seed bead collection that could last seven lifetimes. (And of course, I’ve explained my extreme yearning for some REAL leather moccasins in when I crocheted moccasins with flip flop soles.)
I supposed it was probably my eight-year-old self then that knew the second I laid eyes on this Jeans yarn from Lion Brand that I was going to need to make some kind of southwestern crochet project. It’s no secret that I love boho crochet style and crocheting from graphs, so I decided to try combine the two ideas to sort of “paint” my vision with yarn.
For this free crochet shrug pattern, I was inspired by a very common design that can be found on many southwestern blankets. I’m sure a legit historian would tear me apart for saying this, but to my layman eyes, it looks a little Navajo, slightly tribal, a bit Aztec and a lot like something I want to wear about eight days a week.
When I shared a work in progress photo of this free crochet shrug pattern on Instagram, many of you asked it it was tapestry crochet. It’s not! (I don’t even know how to tapestry crochet 🙂 ) This four-season sweater is made entirely with regular old half double crochet stitches.
While working on developing this pattern, one thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to have 8,000 ends to weave in when I was finished. I’m always too excited to start my next project to bother with anything tedious like that. I’m guessing you might be able to relate?
So, in the process of working on this, I learned a lot of lessons about how to change colors without actually cutting your yarn. I created a video tutorial on five quick tips for working the graph section of this pattern and minimizing your ends to weave in–because, you know, fewer ends to weave in means more crochet time. You can find the video below (right above the free pattern).
In the printable pattern PDF for this pattern, I’ve included line-by-line written instructions for how many stitches to work in each color. This may be helpful if you aren’t inexperienced in reading a graph, just prefer to have written instructions or like to double check your work because you get lost in Netflix while you crochet. (Me too!) You can purchase the PDF here.
(You can download the printable graph without the line-by-line instructions for free here.)
And while you’re getting excited for crochet sweater making, you might enjoy these free sweater patterns as well:
Lion Brand has turned the Navajo Blanket Shrug into a kit that includes all the yarn you need, plus a black and white printed copy of the pattern! You can pick up your kit here.
Please do not publish or share this pattern as your own. You may make items to sell with this pattern. In exchange, please link back to this post. Do NOT use my photos as your own sales photos. You can read my policies here. Now let’s make something awesome!
Free Crochet Shrug Pattern
Purchase the printable PDF with optional line-by-line written graph instructions here.
Add this pattern to your Ravelry favorites here.
Pin this pattern for later here.
This southwestern-inspired shrug uses very simple stitches to achieve a unique end result. While this design resembles the look of tapestry crochet, it’s actually made by switching colors mid-row using basic crochet techniques. The result is quite a showstopper and looks far from DIY-ed. Paired with jeans, leggings or cutoffs, it’ll become your favorite comfy statement piece. If you’re looking for a mindless project with a bit of magic tossed in the middle, this crochet shrug pattern is for you!
Purchase a kit with all the yarn you need, plus a printed copy of the pattern here!
• Lion Brand Jeans (Weight: 4/medium – 246 yds, 3.5 oz)
– Color F: Faded (4 skeins)
– Color C: Classic (1 skein
– Color T: Topstitch (1 skein)
– Color S: Stonewash (1 skein) (This color is used in the sample, but it is optional. You may replace it with Color F if desired.)
• Tapestry needle
• Size I (5.5 mm) crochet hook
• Stitch markers or safety pins
• Printout of the Navajo design graph
• Optional: The printable pattern PDF includes line by line written instructions for how many stitches to work in each color for the graph portion. This may be helpful if you aren’t inexperienced in reading a graph, just prefer to have written instructions or like to double check your work.
This crochet shrug pattern is written in one size that will accommodate a wide range of body types. To adjust the pattern sizing, see notes below.
Length when worn: approx. 36”
13.5 hdc = 4”
11 rows hdc = 4”
Abbreviations and Glossary (US Terms):
ch – chain
hdc – half double crochet
tch – turning chain
sl st – slip stitch
RS – right side
WS – wrong side
rep – repeat
Overall Pattern Notes:
• This shrug is constructed from one large rectangle worked from the bottom up. The pattern is divided into three sections: the solid section of “Faded” color before the Navajo design, the Navajo design and the solid section of “Faded” after the Navajo design.
• To create a shorter shrug, work fewer rows before and after the design section. Similarly, to create longer shrug, work additional rows before and after the design section.
• To create a wider shrug, add additional stitches by increasing the number of chains in the foundation chain. Use an odd number of chains. Take your number of chains and subtract 115. Divide that number by 2. The resulting number is how many extra stitches you should work using Color F before beginning each row of the chart (or written pattern) in the “Navajo Design Section.” This will ensure the Navajo design is perfectly centered width-wise on your shrug.
BELOW DESIGN SECTION
• There will be no difference between the RS and WS in this section of the pattern.
Foundation Row: Using Color F, ch 114. (If you prefer to do a foundation hdc stitch instead of a ch, create 113 stitches.)
Row 1: Sk 2 ch, hdc in each ch to end of row; turn. (113 hdc)
Row 2: Ch 2, hdc in each hdc to end of row; turn. (113 hdc)
Using Color F, rep Row 2 until piece measures 14” (about 40 rows).
NAVAJO DESIGN SECTION
• Row 1 of this section is now considered a RS row. Row 2 is a WS row, etc. Keep yarn that isn’t being used to the back (WS) of the work as you crochet in order to keep the RS of the design looking as clean as possible.
• I’ll be sharing a video tutorial this week that offers all my tips for how to switch colors mid-row without cutting your yarn (which means fewer ends to weave in!) Stay tuned!
Work Navajo design graph in it’s entirety using hdc. As described on the graph, be sure to add the necessary 32 stitches in “Faded” yarn (Color F) before you work each line of the graph.
The printable pattern PDF includes line by line written instructions for how many stitches to work in each color. This may be helpful if you aren’t inexperienced in reading a graph, just prefer to have written instructions or like to double check your work. You can purchase the PDF for $2.75 here.
ABOVE DESIGN SECTION
Row 1: Using Color F, ch 2, hdc in each hdc to end of row; turn. (113 hdc)
Using Color F, rep Row 1 until the section above the design measures 6.5” (about 19 rows). The total length of the piece should measure approx. 34” at this point.
With RS facing out, fold rectangle so that the original foundation chain is touching the last row you worked. Pin each side of the rectangle together with safety pins or stitch markers. With a tapestry needle and a doubled-over length of Color F yarn, seam 10” along the side seam, leaving an 8” armhole. (Begin at the corners and work toward what will be the armhole.) Repeat for second side.
Attach Color C in middle of top of shrug, near the neck.
Round 1: Ch 2, hdc in same hdc yarn attached in, hdc in each hdc around shrug, sl st to first hdc of round to join. Do not turn.
Fasten off Color C. Attach Color F in near back of neck.
Using Color T, rep Round 1.
Weave in any remaining ends.
Hey you, Picasso, you just painted your own southwestern masterpiece entirely with yarn! This probably deserves a night on the town and a new pair of moccasins!
Now that you’ve finished this free crochet shrug pattern, you might like to check out these other free boho-inspired crochet patterns from Make & Do Crew:
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