To successfully knit a shrug from a pattern, you must know how to knit and how to read and follow a pattern. Assemble the proper tools, such as the specified knitting needles, correct weight yarn, stitch markers and a tapestry needle prior to beginning.
First, select a suitable pattern, which is one you want to make and have the skills to make. AllFreeKnitting.com has a wide variety of free patterns and tutorials available to help.
Next purchase the appropriate yarn, which is any yarn that is the same weight as what is specified in the pattern. Using a lighter weight yarn results in a smaller shrug, and heavier weight yarn results in a larger shrug.
Knit a sample of approximately 25 cast on stitches to ensure that your gauge is the same as what is specified in the pattern. If your gauge is larger than the one specified in the pattern, then try smaller needles, and if your gauge is smaller, try larger needles to ensure proper sizing.
Read and follow one step at a time from the pattern exactly as it is written, making sure to keep track of your stitches and rows. Mistakes do happen, so remember to be patient.