Easy crochet cardigan

Free crochet pattern cardigan

I made my first piece of crochet clothing: a cardigan. When I started this project, I actually wanted to make something else. However, the yarn that I was using was way too chunky for what I had in mind, so I changed plans. This is what came out!

The pattern is very easy and only asks for half double crochet stitches. However, mind you, it’s a very time consuming project! I have only made this cardigan once, so if you see a mistake in the pattern, please let me know in the comments!


– 2 balls of dark grey yarn
– 4 balls of light grey yarn
– 6 mm hook (US J/10 hook, UK 4)
– Zipper, mine was 40cm but if you want the zipper till the end, you should probably go for 45 cm.

I used a local yarn brand that doesn’t ship international. I used 6 skeins in total which were 100g each. I think Chunky Tweed yarn is similar to the Dutch yarn that I used: it looks the same and asks for the same crochet hook.

The light yarn is an example of the yarn that I used. The dark grey yarn (you can click on it) is a set of 3 skeins which costs $22 on Amazon.
yarn i used free crochet pattern cardigan


The size I made is S, but all the instructions will tell you how to make this cardigan in your desired size. It is important to fit all parts while working on it.

If you make this cardigan in a different size, please let us know how many chains you started with and the yarn you used in the comments below. This way you can help others who want to make the same size or use the same yarn. I will share your input here.

Abbreviations (US terms)

ch: chain
sc: single crochet
hdc: half double crochet
inc: increase (2 stitches in the next stitch)
dec: decrease (2 stitches together)

Other notes

The body part is worked in rows. Make 2 turning chains at the end of every row unless stated otherwise. The sleeves are worked in the round.

Body part

Use dark grey yarn.
Row 1: Start with 90 chains + 2 turning chains and fit the chain around your chest: the ends should almost touch each other without stretching it.
Row 2: 90 hdc
Row 3 – 6 (4 rows): 90 hdc in the back loops only. This will create a rib effect.
From now on we do not make a rib effect anymore. Work with normal hdc stitches through all loops.
Row 7 – 28 (22 rows): 90 hdc

Change to light grey yarn.
Row 29 – 50 (22 rows): 90 hdc
Do not cut the yarn, we will continue working on the front part.

rib effect crochet pattern cardigan

Front part 2x

Now we are going to make the front part of the cardigan. We have to make a gap for the arms. The front and back part will be made with a few stitches between them. Note: if you work with another amount of stitches than 90, divide the amount of stitches by 4 and round off downwards. This is how many stitches you will start with. For example, 90 / 4 = 22,5 so you use 22 stitches.
body part cardigan free crochet pattern

Row 51: 22 hdc (22)
Row 52: dec, 20 hdc (21)
Row 53: 19 hdc, dec (20)
Row 54: dec, 18 hdc (19)
Row 55: 17 hdc, dec (18)
Row 56 – 59 (4 rows): 18 hdc
Row 60: 16 hdc, dec (17)
Row 61: dec, 15 hdc (16)
Row 62: 14 hdc, dec (15)
Row 63: dec, 13 hdc (14)
Row 64: 12 hdc, dec (13)
Row 65 – 69 (5 rows): 13 hdc
Cut the yarn and leave a long end for sewing. Repeat rows 51 – 69 at the other side.

Back part

Row 51: Skip 3 stitches and start working from there. Work hdc until you’re three stitches away from the other front part.
Row 52: dec, hdc till end, dec
Row 53: dec, hdc till end, dec
Row 54: dec, hdc till end, dec
Row 55 – 69 (15 rows): hdc

Now lay the cardigan flat and fold the two front parts to the middle. With a tapestry needle and yarn, sew the front shoulder parts to the back parts.

SC around the edge

To make the edge look better, single crochet around the edge of the body and neck. I started on the left bottom and sc all the way to the right bottom. Make sure you insert the hook through all loops, otherwise you will get big gaps. I had to re-do this.

sewing body to back free crochet pattern vestsc around the edge free crochet patterns


sleeve crochet pattern cardigan

– The first 6 rows will be worked in joined rounds. This means you will close the round with a slip stitch in the first stitch of the round and chain 2 which doesn’t count as a stitch. Why we do this? To create the same rib effect as we have on the bottom of the body part.
– Also, I started the sleeves with 23 chains. Fit the chains around your wrest, for me 23 was loose enough. If it’s too tight, use more chains.
– In some rows you need to increase. You can make the increase wherever you want, I made them on the side parts of the sleeves.

Row 1: chain 23 and close the round with a slip stitch in the first chain.
Row 2 & 3: 23 hdc
Row 4: 23 hdc in the back loops only
Row 5: 23 hdc
Row 6: 23 hdc in the back loops only
From now on we will work in continuous rounds, so do not make slip stitches and chains anymore.
Row 7 – 14 (8 rows): 23 hdc
Row 15: hdc + inc two times (25)
Row 16 – 19 (4 rows): hdc (25)
Row 20: hdc + inc two times (27)
Row 21 – 24 (4 rows): hdc (27)
Row 25: hdc + inc two times (29)
Row 26 – 29 (4 rows): hdc (29)
Row 30: hdc + inc two times (31)
Row 31 – 51 (21 rows): hdc (31)
Fit the sleeve. It should reach your armpit. If it’s not long enough, make a few more rows of hdc.
From now on we will not work in rounds, but from left to right. Chain 2 at the end of every row.
Row 52: 28 hdc (stop 3 stitches before the end)
Row 53 – 67 (15 rows): hdc and decrease at the end of every row.
Row 68: dec at the start and end of the row.

To attach the sleeves to the cardigan, use a tapestry needle and yarn. Look at the pictures how I did it: I worked from the inside of the cardigan.
sleeve free crochet patternSew sleeve to cardigan free crochet pattern

Attach the zipper

All you need to do now is attach the zipper. I used a sewing machine, but you can also use a needle and thread.

NOTICE: The written instructions, illustrations, photos, and patterns herein are protected by copyright law. You are free to link to the patterns, but please do not copy!

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  • Reply
    20 Free Crochet Sweater Patterns Perfect for Chilly Days - Ideal Me
    2 December 2017 at 11:31 am

    […] Via Wilma Westenberg […]

  • Reply
    21 November 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Can you please tell me if this pattern is USA terminology? It is beautiful. Thank you.

    • Reply
      28 November 2017 at 8:47 am

      Yes it is. I noticed it at the top of the pattern, thank you.

    • Reply
      4 December 2017 at 12:29 am

      Yes, USA term! Thank you x

  • Reply
    2 October 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you so much for this beautiful pattern! I can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply
    Monica B Johnson
    21 September 2017 at 4:14 am

    Hi Miss Wilma.
    I love the picture of the sweater and am very excited about trying it. I found a beautiful chunky yarn to try it with. But my problem is I am having problems understanding the front / back decreases. Could you explain that part a little more in detail. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance
    Monica B Johnson

  • Reply
    8 September 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks for the pattern I’m really gonna try it. I just have a question. I’m not really used to crochet clothing and I’m gonna need something bigger than Small. I’ve seen that most people add chains in the beginning. But do you also add rows?

  • Reply
    5 September 2017 at 10:02 am

    I have to tell you that your work is wonderful and thank you for sharing it with us… keep up the good work and we are behind you 🙂

  • Reply
    Tham Kelly
    2 September 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Wilma: I love this pattern and have all the yarn ready to go. I need a size L, but cannot find anywhere in the instructions how many chains I need to start with. Help!
    I use milk cotton 100g

    • Reply
      Tham Kelly
      2 September 2017 at 7:53 pm

      If first Row 1 : Start with 160 chains, that will very big size or not

  • Reply
    Cynthia Walker
    29 August 2017 at 1:02 pm

    You said you used 2 of the dark tweed Patons yarn……2 skeins from the 3 pack?

    • Reply
      30 August 2017 at 10:37 am

      Hi Cynthia, I think you have misunderstood that. ‘I used a local yarn brand that doesn’t ship international. I used 6 skeins in total which were 100g each. I think Chunky Tweed yarn is similar to the Dutch yarn that I used: it looks the same and asks for the same crochet hook.’

      Depending on the size you want to make, you can use 2 skeins from the pack. If you make size L, you can even use all 3 of them.

  • Reply
    Amy R
    23 August 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Hello from Dallas, TX! Ok so…..If I adjust by adding 10 stitches to the original chain, how will it work from that point on? (So sorry….I am a brand new crocheter and really don’t want to mess this up)

  • Reply
    22 August 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Wilma: I love this pattern and have all the yarn ready to go. I need a size L, but cannot find anywhere in the instructions how many chains I need to start with. Help! Please

  • Reply
    Mrs. Taylor
    24 July 2017 at 5:52 pm

    What’s another yarn you would suggest other than the 80% acrylic 20%wool type? Would it wirk just as good with cotton or 100% acrylic?

    • Reply
      28 July 2017 at 8:29 am

      Hi, I think it would work with any yarn! Cotton would be even better I think, as the quality of cotton is better. Just make sure you use yarn that’s also chunky and that asks for the same hook size 🙂 x

  • Reply
    Jeanne Feijó Machado
    20 July 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Boa tarde Wilma,
    Se.blogspotou do Brazil e vou tentar fazer o casaco adaptado para o meu tamanho G, depois te mostro o resultado. Se quiseres fazer uma visita no meu blog eu adoraria, também estou no face e no Pinterest. Um grande beijo e obrigada pelo padrão.

  • Reply
    14 July 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Hi Wilma xx thank you for lovely pattern xxx I’m on sleeves now but I’ve got confused with increasing on row 15 . Can you tell me please where I should increase, is on the beginning? Thank you xxx

    • Reply
      14 July 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Hey hey, you can increase where you prefer, I increased on the left and right. That is, if you lay it flat, one increase on the left side and one increase on the right side. Let me know if this helps! x

      • Reply
        14 July 2017 at 9:10 pm

        Thank you, will do x

      • Reply
        21 July 2017 at 5:51 pm

        Hi Wilma x it worked perfect thank you x just sawing second sleeve 😄 Can’t wait to try it on xx

  • Reply
    Lori S.
    12 July 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Hi Wilma,
    This is a beautiful pattern and I can’t wait to get started, but I do have a question. On the Front Part on Row 52 it says “dec, 20 hst”. I’m not sure what hst is? Thank you

    • Reply
      12 July 2017 at 6:31 pm

      Hi Lori, thanks for your message! Woops, HST must be HDC. I fixed the typo in the pattern, ty for letting me know!

  • Reply
    10 July 2017 at 10:38 am

    Beautiful talent you got there. The colors are so classy too. Would love to make this. But having a hard time understanding the complete pattern. Looking forward to the video tutorial.

  • Reply
    ISIN yusuf
    10 July 2017 at 2:27 am

    Please make a tutorial for dhis please

  • Reply
    9 July 2017 at 11:09 pm

    I really want to make this pattern but I’m in no way shape or form a size small lol. I did however look through the pattern the first part i understand perfectly but when you get to the front, back, front it’s very confusing it would be helpful if you can make a YouTube video for this. I’ve been crocheting for 45+ years and I’ve never seen a pattern written like this I’m sorry I’m very confused. Please help If you can. Guess I must be getting to old.

  • Reply
    Klara King
    9 July 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Hello, I can’t seem to find instructions to add the zipper with a crochet hook .. I’d hate to get it close to finish and not add the zipper😍

    • Reply
      9 July 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Heyyy! I wanted to upload a video last week but I forgot the zipper and left it at my parent’s house. I have it now and will upload a video probably tomorrow! 🙂 x

      • Reply
        Dorothy McDowell
        14 July 2017 at 4:15 pm

        I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED! TY TY TY!! Where can I find the video – also can you do a post about how to do the zipper?

  • Reply
    9 July 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Hello, but can not find where you can make in lager size you have this in small, looking for med. Thank you love the look of this.

  • Reply
    Susan Moran
    7 July 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you very much for this generous pattern share, I will definitely be trying this.

  • Reply
    7 July 2017 at 11:05 am

    thank you for this easy to follow pattern 🙂 I’m looking forward to make this ^^

  • Reply
    7 July 2017 at 3:50 am

    This might be a silky question… but how do you attach the zipper with a crochet hook?
    Love the pattern ❤️

    • Reply
      20 September 2017 at 5:57 am

      You SEW the zipper in either by hand with thread and needle or by sewing machine

  • Reply
    6 July 2017 at 7:10 am

    Thank you so much for your pattern I can’t wait to try it out I love the colours you used thanks again x

  • Reply
    6 July 2017 at 7:09 am

    Thank you so much for your pattern I can’t wait to try it love your colours you used too thanks again x

    • Reply
      6 July 2017 at 11:07 pm

      TY for your kind message! <3

  • Reply
    6 July 2017 at 12:55 am

    I would love to see this whole pattern as a video!!! Lovely!!!

    • Reply
      6 July 2017 at 11:05 pm

      I have considered this, but as it takes much time to complete a part and I crocheted in the car etc, I wasn’t able to make a video. Im thinking to make another one and record this one!

      • Reply
        ISIN yusuf
        10 July 2017 at 2:27 am

        Please make a tutorial for dhis please

  • Reply
    5 July 2017 at 4:42 am

    I can’t wait to make this!! Soooo cute! Thanks for sharing and I’ll make sure to credit you once I make it!

    • Reply
      5 July 2017 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words, can’t wait to see your final cardigan! 🙂 x

  • Reply
    4 July 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Will what a lovely pattern…it’s great for me because it lots of room to make it my own. I crocheted many garments over the year including wedding gowns and coats but my favorite patterns are on the ones like you sweater here. I’m from Philadelphia, USA and it a big holiday here for us…we are celebrating our independence…..you pattern puts me in mind of that due to its creative independence and your willingness and open to share. Thank you. I will share my rendition and all details once I get start. Have a bless day and happy hooking.

    • Reply
      5 July 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Yvett, thanks so much for taking the time to send me this message. I really appreciate your kind words. Hope you had a great Independence Day. Thank you in advance for sharing your details! If you need any help, feel free to ask 🙂 Love from Europe x

  • Reply
    4 July 2017 at 2:14 pm

    What a talent. Gonna try it.

    • Reply
      5 July 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    3 July 2017 at 12:10 am

    Thank you for all the instructions
    I will try it
    BR, Moni

  • Reply
    2 July 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I would love to make but need size 3xl and not sure how to do it any help idea

    • Reply
      3 July 2017 at 9:55 pm

      I would probably do as Wilma has suggested and make a longer chain that meets without stretching if 90 chains is small then 3xl would perhaps be double that or 1 1/2 times that i.e 180 stitches or 135 it would probably depend on your hook size and the yarn your using .Good luck!

      • Reply
        5 July 2017 at 12:45 pm

        Thanks so much for your help Aileen! 🙂 I think you’re right, and it’s important to measure while working on it because it indeed depends on the yarn and how tight you crochet etc.

  • Reply
    Crochet lover
    2 July 2017 at 4:08 am

    This is an super easy and adorable pattern, thank you so much

    Im going to start it now !!!!

    Excited to see it completed.
    Thank you once again.

    • Reply
      2 July 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind reply! <3 Can't wait to see your final result 😀

  • Reply
    1 July 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Omgosh I can’t wait to start crocheting this 🙂 Thank you soo much for taking the time to write this pattern out and share it with us folks 🙂 I will post about mine when I can of how it’s going and how many stitches I used etc 🙂 Thanks again! 🙂

    • Reply
      1 July 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Aaah thank you so much for your fast reply! 🙂 And thanks in advance for sharing your yarn/stitches etc. x

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