There is a super easy, super quick shrug pattern:
Basically...measure how wide on your back you will want the shrug. Cast on the number of stitches required to be that wide.
Begin knitting at one wrist, end at the other (allow about 1/2" extra). Bind off. Seam the sleeves up to the underarm...single crochet around the opening and around the wrists.
Very simple, very easy, very quick...and you can use whatever stitch you like! (I made a lace one for my daughter).