I think this shrug wins the contest for the pattern that has been in my queue for the longest amount of time, since I knew I wanted to knit it right away when I saw it in the Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Knits. Ravelry project link
The pattern is called the Streakers Shrug, after the name of the yarn that was used in the magazine. I remember thinking when I first saw this pattern, that it looked like a fun but complicated project. Of course, that was almost 4 years ago, not long after I started knitting. Now, I look at the pattern and think, "Hey, that looks like an easy project!".
I kept putting off actually knitting this shrug for the longest time, because I could never find exactly the right yarn to work with the simple pattern. It needed something luxurious but reasonably durable, with something interesting in terms of color but not busy. I eventually found the right yarn at Stitches East last fall, a 50/50 silk & merino wool blend from Tess' Designer Yarns. There's no way to do this yarn justice in a photo, it has such depth of color & texture in real life. I'm not thrilled with the dyeing, because it turned out despite looking like identical skeins, the third skein of yarn was actually much darker than the first two. Of course, it's the kind of thing that only the person who knit the project would notice. You might be able to see it a bit on this photo of the back of the shrug, the bottom section is the darker yarn:
It's been raining for the past 2 weeks here in Nashville, so we took a few minutes between rain showers to get some photos. Here I am, pondering if we need to dash inside to avoid more rain:
I almost ran out of yarn, so I ended up making a few modifications to the pattern. I blocked the shrug after finishing the body and then seamed the arms before deciding how long to make the cuffs. As it turned out, the necessary cuff length was much shorter than the pattern suggestion. In addition, I decided to skip the lace cuffs from the pattern and just did a K2P2 rib instead. Overall, I think this is a great shrug "template" pattern, you could do a lot of different things based on this design.
I love the finished shrug, perfect for snuggling up in during chilly fall and winter days, but requiring much less effort to knit than a sweater :)