Beginner looking for pattern modification assistance

I am pretty much a total beginner and would like to knit this Simple Shrug.


Can someone help me do the math for the following two modifications:

I am using needles #4 instead of #5 as pattern indicates. Also I am a size 14 (Large). I assume the model is a size small since this is a vintage pattern and they tend to be 30-32 chest.

It does not have to be perfect since it is open in the front, but I just want to make sure it fits properly. BTW, the pattern does not give a gauge, it just says to cast on 358 sts. with needles #5 (work in ribbing K2, P2)

Any ideas? I truly appreciate any suggestions or comments you may have.

Thank you.


It’s not as simple as you might imagine to make these modifications to the pattern. Essentially, you would have to rewrite the pattern and that takes a bit of experience.
My best recommendation is to join a site like Ravelry and do an advanced pattern search for a similar shrug that doesn’t need changes. In the advanced search window you can specify the type of sweater as well as the yarn weight and needle size you would like to use.

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Thank you for your answer. The reason I thought I might be able to tackle this is because it is really just a rectangle folded in half. There isn’t much to the pattern at all.
Cast on 348 sts. Work in ribbing for 4 inches. Next row k2 tog across row.
Work ribbing for another 2 inches. Cast on 18 sts at beg. of each row for sleeves. Etc.

If someone can tell me what the cast on # of stitches should be, I think I can figure out the rest.

It is the Simple Shrug pattern by American Thread Company.

Alternatively, If someone can suggest a pattern with a similar silhouette with cables or interesting pattern, I am all ears.

Thanks again.

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Going up in yarn weight will help make it larger.
Start with a swatch in rib pattern with your yarn and needles. Once you know what your gauge is you can have an idea of how many sts to cast on for the size you want. It may take some ripping out to get it right but you can certainly give it a try. The fact that the pattern is ribbing means there will be a bit or stretch which will help too.
Here are some helpful notes on gauge:

That is the crux of my question. What is the math for customizing to a smaller size needle (therefore casting on more sts) and how many more additional sts for a size 14.

The pattern says to cast on 348, use size 5 needle with high bulk fingering yarn.

I showed the pattern to the lady at the yarn shop and she told me which yarn to choose. When I got home, I found my gauge with a size 5 needle was too loose for my liking, so I am using size 4 for a gauge of 22 sts = 2 "
16 rows = 2 "
with capital luxury sport yarn from neighborhood Company.

Lastly, the cast on sts are for starting at the collar so I am confused how to incorporate my personal measurements.

Thanks again.

Read through the pattern and see if the sts increase or decrease for the body of the sweater. It looks from this project as though the collar is the widest part.
Knowing your stitch gauge and the width you’d like at the bust, you can calculate the number of sts you need there. Then you can back track through any inc or dec to the cast on. Say you want the shrug to be 40" at the bust, multiply 40" x 22sts and divide by 2" for the number of sts at the bust (440sts).

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