Easy crochet cardigan
CLICK HERE FOR MY UPDATED PATTERN
Available in size S-5XL, including video tutorial
Please do not use the pattern below. This pattern was updated on November 18th, 2021, and the correct version can be found here.
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: a free crochet cardigan pattern!
The free crochet cardigan pattern is very simple 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.
Other free crochet patterns you might like
– 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 worldwide. I used 6 skeins in total which were 100g each. I think Lionbrand 24/7 Cotton is a good American alternative as it has the same weight and length as the yarn I used.
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)
sc: single crochet
hdc: half double crochet
inc: increase (2 stitches in the next stitch)
dec: decrease (2 stitches together)
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.
Free crochet cardigan pattern
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.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
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.
I hoped you enjoyed my first a. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. If you make one, please tag or mention me on Instagram @wilmawestenberg, I’d love to see what colors you used!
Share a picture!
I would love to see the cardigan you made and the different yarn/color choices. Please share some pictures on Facebook and Instagram, you can tag me on Instagram with my username @wilmawestenberg. Don’t forget to add this pattern to your Ravelry queue here.
If you have any questions about my patterns, feel free to join my Facebook Group. I created this group for you to share pictures/ progress, ask questions and to help each other out.
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A question. Help would be apricated. Is there a way to print patterns without all the adds? Thak you so much.
Hello, you can cut and paste just the pattern onto a Word document. This way you can have just the pattern.
This is the first clothes item I have ever tried, and have no idea how to join sleeves. There are no pictures. I love ths sweater and the body is done and I am working on the 1st sleeve. It has bn interesting doing this as I am a L or XL but short with short arms. If I get the sleeves in I’ll try to post and follow up by making it short as a bolero. Thanks for getting me to at least try.
I am giving this a try as my first clothing attempt. I have made 4 blankets and one pair of six so far. The look of this sweater is great but I might try a fancy edging instead of a zipper. Using Red Heart Super Saver Soft Navy and haven’t totally decided on Turqua or Light Grey. I’ll try to let you know if I actually finish it. Keep you fingers crossed!
hello is a very nice cardigan . thanks for sharing…
please I need help to Star my cardigan o needhow many chains for size medium
can you help me please
Could you please be more spefic with your yarn. Do you still have the label.? It would be a great help in order to find simular yarn quality and length of the yarn. Could you please be kind to send me a picture of the label or just imformation on the back.
This is an easy pattern to follow. This is my first article of clothing that I made, however I am a lot heavier then you and I’m still new at crocheting so it’s not perfect like yours but I am learning. I also am thinking maybe lighter yarn might be better. I am proud of myself.
Cant believe I am just seeing this pattern. It is so classy and beautiful. I need to try this out in a Medium. Will be working on this, hopefully, soon!! You always make such beautiful things. I found this while checking out your journey hat. Hugs, my friend!
Looks like a great pattern. Is there a print version?
I think I would need a medium or possibly a large – I’m guessing that I have to add starting chains until it fits comfortably around my chest and then keep the arm holes 1/4 of the way from the outer edge?
I have made this sweater using your pattern. Thank you super easy! I am now making another this time using a lighter yarn for the summer. Keep up the great sharing
What are the finished measurements of the sweater? It’s hard to know if the patter will fit me as written or if I would need to make it larger without this information
I used the Patons Shetland Chunky yarn, and am making the same size you did only all the same color as I couldn’t find the lighter color at a cheap enough price. I ordered 6 skeins, and it’s not going to be enough! The Patons is 100g like the one you used. My gauge & tension are fine. Don’t understand why I’m coming up short.
I am having the same problem. Using a 6mm hook, but my 2 dark grey skeins only got me to row 14 (and I made the pattern even smaller, only 80 stitches instead of 90). Wilma, do you have a gauge size for your pattern? Wondering if I should use a larger hook.
If the metres are different, it will come up that you need more
The picture at the top doesn’t show the neckline. There’s no collar of any kind? Just single crochet stitches?
Beautiful pattern! Can’t wait to make this.
Thank you so much Ruby!
Where can I find the video?
I don’t have a video of this pattern. I worked on it while traveling (in the car, train, etc) and haven’t made a second one yet. Next time I will make sure to record the process!
Hi… I have just learned how to crochet..and I followed your pattern… the result was amazing that I am making another using different colors… thanks a million..
Thank you so much for your kind words! So glad it turned out amazing. You must be very talented if you only started recently! <3
Can you please tell me if this pattern is USA terminology? It is beautiful. Thank you.
Yes it is. I noticed it at the top of the pattern, thank you.
To. Jenny – though it is noted at top of this pattern, I’ve seen others that do not state. Here’s a hint to help you determine. If the pattern uses a single crochet (sc), you can be assured that it is in US terms – UK terms do NOT use that term at all, Knowing that has helped me so many times!
Yes, USA term! Thank you x
Thank you so much for this beautiful pattern! I can’t wait to try it.
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
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?
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 🙂
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
If first Row 1 : Start with 160 chains, that will very big size or not
I’m a size 16/18 uk and I’ve started with 170 chain, and has a little bit of extra room
Thank You Beth. I am also a 16/18. Just needed to know how many chains to start with.
You said you used 2 of the dark tweed Patons yarn……2 skeins from the 3 pack?
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.
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)
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
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?
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
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.
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
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
Thank you, will do x
Hi Wilma x it worked perfect thank you x just sawing second sleeve
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
Hi Lori, thanks for your message! Woops, HST must be HDC. I fixed the typo in the pattern, ty for letting me know!
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.
Please make a tutorial for dhis please
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.
Hiya. I’m also a bit lost. I’ve done the first front side but what now. How do I start the second front. I understand to pick up stitches but from which side. Is there not a wrong and a tight side. Must I start 22 stitches in?
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
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
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?
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.
Thank you very much for this generous pattern share, I will definitely be trying this.
thank you for this easy to follow pattern 🙂 I’m looking forward to make this ^^
This might be a silky question… but how do you attach the zipper with a crochet hook?
Love the pattern ❤️
You SEW the zipper in either by hand with thread and needle or by sewing machine
Thank you so much for your pattern I can’t wait to try it out I love the colours you used thanks again x
Thank you so much for your pattern I can’t wait to try it love your colours you used too thanks again x
TY for your kind message! <3
I would love to see this whole pattern as a video!!! Lovely!!!
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!
Please make a tutorial for dhis please
I can’t wait to make this!! Soooo cute! Thanks for sharing and I’ll make sure to credit you once I make it!
Thanks so much for your kind words, can’t wait to see your final cardigan! 🙂 x
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.
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
What a talent. Gonna try it.
Thanks so much!
Thank you for all the instructions
I will try it
I would love to make but need size 3xl and not sure how to do it any help idea
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!
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.
Did it work for the 3x to do 180 chains or 135 chains
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.
Thanks so much for your kind reply! <3 Can't wait to see your final result 😀
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! 🙂
Aaah thank you so much for your fast reply! 🙂 And thanks in advance for sharing your yarn/stitches etc. x