My First Cardigan

Crochet your First Cardigan with my free crochet pattern in size S up to 5XL. This crochet cardigan is worked bottom-up in one piece and features 2 shades of grey. The zipper makes it look like a ‘real store bought cardigan’ 😎. This easy pattern is for advanced crocheters, or beginners who are ready for their next adventure. Scroll down for my free crochet pattern and step by step video tutorial.

Get the free pattern below or purchase the ad-free PDF version of this pattern on Etsy and Ravelry. The PDF is designed for printing and this way you can support me!

My First Cardigan

My first cardigan - easy crochet cardigan pattern

About the design

This cardigan was my very first cardigan design which I published in 2017. Back then I didn’t know how to properly write and grade patterns and I only published instructions in size S. Over the years this cardigan turned out to be one of my most popular designs ever and I received many emails and questions about other sizes.

Needless to say, I’ve grown and learned a lot the last few years. Nowadays I publish garments in size S up to 5XL. Updating this cardigan pattern has been on my to do list quite a few years. The wait is over, I’m finally done!

I’ve completely rewritten the pattern and worked up a new version with Lionbrand Pound of Love which is now available in all sizes. I’ve also made a detailed step-by-step video tutorial. Enjoy!

About the pattern

This pattern is worked bottom-up in one piece. First front panel is worked without breaking yarn, then rejoined for the back panel and second front panel. The sleeves are joined in the arm hole and worked in continuous rounds. Lastly we will sew a zipper (by hand or sewing machine, you decide).

It might look difficult, but it really isn’t. This pattern includes a step by step video tutorial so everyone who knows some basic crochet, should be able to make this cardigan!

About the yarn

For this cardigan I’ve used Lion Brand Pound of Love which is soft and affordable yarn. You’ll only need 2 (big!) balls (3 for size 3X, 4X and 5X) and you’ll have plenty of leftover yarn which you can use for other projects.

My First Crochet Cardigan

My first cardigan - easy crochet cardigan pattern

Materials

– Lion Brand Pound of Love (Weight 4/Medium, 16 oz/454 g, 1020 yds/932 m)
1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1) skein in 150 Oxford Grey
1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2) skein in 151 Elephant Grey
or
125 (140, 155, 170, 185, 200, 215, 225) grams of similar dark grey yarn
325 (365, 405, 425, 465, 510, 530, 565) grams of similar light grey yarn

– Crochet hook 6 mm (US J/10)

– Tapestry needle

 Measuring tape

– Scissors

– Needle and thread for the zipper

Zipper
22 (22, 23, 23, 24, 24, 24, 25) inch
55 (55, 60, 60, 60, 65, 65, 65) cm

Here is a black zipper option on Amazon and here is a white zipper option.

Sizes

S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL

For reference, model is 1.63m/5’4″ tall with a 34” bust and wearing the cardigan in size Small.

Finished measurements

In inch

S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL
To fit bust 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50 52-54 56-58 60-62
Actual measurement at bust 34 38 42 46 50 54 58 62
Length 24 24,5 25,5 25,5 26 27 27 27,5
Arm hole 7 7,5 8,5 8,5 9 10 10 10,5
Sleeve length 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18
Zipper 22 22 23 23 24 24 24 25

In CM

S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL
To fit bust 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50 52-54 56-58 60-62
Actual measurement at bust 86 97 107 117 127 137 147 157
Length 61 62 65 65 66 69 69 70
Arm hole 18 19 22 22 23 25 25 27
Sleeve length 46 46 46 46 46 46 46 46
Zipper 55 55 60 60 60 60 60 65

Gauge

11 hdc (worked in between the stitches) x 11 rows equals 4 x 4″ / 10 x 10 cm

Stitches & abbreviations (US terms)

– st: stitch
– sl st: slip stitch
– ch: chain
– sc: single crochet
– hdc: half double crochet
– hdc flo: half double crochet worked in the front loop only
– hdc blo: half double crochet worked in the back loop only
– hdc 3rd loop: half double crochet worked in the 3rd loop only (also called the horizontal bar)
– wide hdc: half double crochet worked in between the stitches. Yarn over, insert hook under all 3 loops, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through all loops on your hook.

* *: repeat what is between the asterisks as many times as directed
( ) at end of a row: amount of stitches you should have at the end of that row

Notes

– This pattern is written in US terminology

– Pattern is worked bottom-up in one piece. First front panel is worked without breaking yarn, then rejoined for the back panel and second front panel. Sleeves are joined in the arm hole and worked in continuous rounds. Zipper is sewn lastly.

– Turning chains do not count as a stitch

– This cardigan is entirely made with wide half double crochet stitches. When pattern says hdc, work a wide hdc (hdc worked in between stitches).

– Pattern contains instructions for sizes S with size M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL and 5XL in parentheses. When only one number is given, it applies to all sizes.

Video

In this video you can see how to make this cardigan.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

Pattern

** Note: You can purchase the ad-free PDF version of this pattern on Etsy and Ravelry. The PDF is designed for printing and this way you can support me! **

Body

With dark grey and hook size 6mm

Reminder: work hdc in between the stitches.

Row 1:
86 (96, 106, 116, 126, 136, 146, 156) foundation hdc, turn

Or you can use the old method: chain 88 (98, 108, 118, 128, 138, 148, 158) and work 1 hdc in 3rd ch from hook and each ch across, turn <86 (96, 106, 116, 126, 136, 146, 156) hdc>

Width should measure 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62)”

Row 2:
ch 2, 1 hdc in each st across, turn <86 (96, 106, 116, 126, 136, 146, 156) hdc>

Row 3:
ch 2, 1 hdc FLO in each st across, turn <86 (96, 106, 116, 126, 136, 146, 156) hdc>

Row 4:
ch 2, 1 hdc in each st across, turn <86 (96, 106, 116, 126, 136, 146, 156) hdc>

Row 5:
ch 2, 1 hdc FLO in each st across, turn <86 (96, 106, 116, 126, 136, 146, 156) hdc>

Row 6:
ch 2, 1 hdc in each st across, turn <86 (96, 106, 116, 126, 136, 146, 156) hdc>

Repeat row 6 until row 28 or until length measures 10” / 25.5 cm.

Change to light grey.

Repeat row 6 until row 48 (total of 20 rows) or until total length measures 17” / 43 cm.

Do not fasten off, we will continue with the first front panel.

Front panel A

Row 49:
ch 2, 1 hdc in next 21 (24, 26, 29, 31, 34, 36, 39) st, turn <21 (24, 26, 29, 31, 34, 36, 39) hdc>

Repeat row 49 until row 58 (60, 62, 62, 64, 66, 66, 68).

Row 59 (61, 63, 63, 65, 67, 67, 69):
ch 2, skip 1st hdc, 1 hdc in 2nd st and each st across, turn <20 (23, 25, 28, 30, 33, 35, 38) hdc>

Row 60 (62, 64, 64, 66, 68, 68, 70):
ch 2, 1 hdc in each st across until last st, skip last st, turn <19 (22, 24, 27, 29, 32, 34, 37) hdc>

Repeat row 59 and 60 consecutively 2 more times <15 (18, 20, 23, 25, 28, 30, 33) hdc)>

Row 65 (67, 69, 69, 71, 73, 73, 75):
ch 2, 1 hdc in each st across, turn <15 (18, 20, 23, 25, 28, 30, 33) hdc)>

Repeat row 65 (67, 69, 69, 71, 73, 73, 75) three more times.

Front panel A should measure 7 (7.5, 8.5, 8.5, 9, 10, 10, 10.5)” / 18 (19, 22, 22, 23, 26, 26, 27) cm and total length of cardigan should measure 24 (24.5, 25.5, 25.5, 26, 27, 27, 27.5)” / 61 (62, 65, 65, 66, 69, 69, 70) cm.

Fasten off, weave in all ends.

Back panel

Join yarn in the next stitch after front panel A.

Row 49:
ch 2, 1 hdc in next 44 (48, 54, 58, 64, 68, 74, 78) st, turn <44 (48, 54, 58, 64, 68, 74, 78) hdc>

Repeat row 49 until row 68 (70, 72, 72, 74, 76, 76, 78) or until total length of cardigan measures 24 (24.5, 25.5, 25.5, 26, 27, 27, 27.5)” / 61 (62, 65, 65, 66, 69, 69, 70) cm.

Fasten off, weave in all ends.

Front panel B

Join yarn in stitch next to back panel.

Row 49:
ch 2, 1 hdc in next 21 (24, 26, 29, 31, 34, 36, 39) st, turn <21 (24, 26, 29, 31, 34, 36, 39) hdc>

Repeat row 49 until row 58 (60, 62, 62, 64, 66, 66, 68)

Row 59 (61, 63, 63, 65, 67, 67, 69):
ch 2, 1 hdc in each st across until last st, skip last st, turn <20 (23, 25, 28, 30, 33, 35, 38) hdc>

Row 60 (62, 64, 64, 66, 68, 68, 70):
ch 2, skip 1st hdc, 1 hdc in 2nd st and each st across, turn <19 (22, 24, 27, 29, 32, 34, 37) hdc>

Repeat row 59 and 60 consecutively 2 more times <15 (18, 20, 23, 25, 28, 30, 33) hdc)>

Row 65 (67, 69, 69, 71, 73, 73, 75):
ch 2, 1 hdc in each st across, turn <15 (18, 20, 23, 25, 28, 30, 33) hdc)>

Repeat row 65 (67, 69, 69, 71, 73, 73, 75) three more times.

Front panel B should measure 7 (7.5, 8.5, 8.5, 9, 10, 10, 10.5)” / 18 (19, 22, 22, 23, 26, 26, 27) cm and total length of cardigan should measure 24 (24.5, 25.5, 25.5, 26, 27, 27, 27.5)” / 61 (62, 65, 65, 66, 69, 69, 70) cm.

Fasten off, weave in all ends.

Shoulders

Fold front panels with ribbing facing inside. Sew shoulders and fold cardigan inside out. Ribbing should now be on the outside.

Sleeves

With hook size 6 mm and light grey, join yarn to first st of arm pit. Leave a long beginning tail to use for seaming later.

Round 1:
ch 2 (does not count as a stitch), 1 hdc in each st around <40 (44, 48, 48, 52, 56, 56, 60) hdc>

From now on we’ll work in continuous rounds.

Round 2:
hdc2tog, 1 hdc in each st around <39 (43, 47, 47, 51, 55, 55, 59) hdc>

Round 3:
1 hdc in each st around <39 (43, 47, 47, 51, 55, 55, 59) hdc>

Repeat round 2 & 3 until round 31
<25 (29, 33, 33, 37, 41, 41, 45) hdc>
or until width measures 4 (4.5, 5.5, 5.5, 6, 7, 7, 7.5)” / 10 (12, 14, 14, 15, 18, 18, 19) cm.

Use your long beginning tail and a tapestry needle to close the hole between the first and last hdc of arm pit.

Round 32 – 45:
Repeat round 3 until round 45
<25 (29, 33, 33, 37, 41, 41, 45) hdc>
or until sleeve length measures 16.5” / 42 cm.

You can make the sleeve longer by repeating round 3 as many times as needed. Keep in mind that we will add a cuff which will add an extra 1.5” / 4 cm.

Don’t break yarn yet as we’re going to continue working on the cuff.

Sleeve cuffs

Work in continuous rounds.

Round 46:
Sl st in next st, ch 2 (does not count as a stitch), 1 blo hdc in same st as sl st, 1 blo hdc in each st around <25 (29, 33, 33, 37, 41, 41, 45) hdc>

Note: work the sl st through all 3 loops, just like the hdc stitches

Round 47:
1 hdc in each st around <25 (29, 33, 33, 37, 41, 41, 45) hdc>

Note: first hdc is worked in between ch 2 and first hdc

Round 48:
Sl st in next st, ch 2 (does not count as a stitch), 1 blo hdc in same st as sl st, 1 blo hdc in each st around <25 (29, 33, 33, 37, 41, 41, 45) hdc>

Round 49:
1 hdc in each st around <25 (29, 33, 33, 37, 41, 41, 45) hdc>

Round 50:
1 sl st in each st around <25 (29, 33, 33, 37, 41, 41, 45) hdc>

Note: work the sl st through the back loop and 3rd loop only (the 2 loops furthest away from you)

Fasten off, weave in all ends. Repeat sleeve + cuff on the other side.

Sc edge

With hook size 6 mm and dark grey, join yarn to the first row (left front panel when lying in front of you).

Work 1 sc in each row until you reach light grey.
Change to light grey and work 1 sc in each row, continue with the neckline, back panel, and across the other front panel until you reach dark grey again. Change to dark grey and work 1 sc in each row until end.

Fasten off, weave in all ends.

Zipper

You’ll need a separating zipper which is 22 (22, 23, 23, 24, 24, 24, 25) inch or 55 (55, 60, 60, 60, 60, 60, 65) cm. Zippers can be bought online or at craft stores like JOANN, Hobby Lobby and Michaels.

Sew your zipper using needle and thread. Optionally you can use a sewing machine. Here you can see how to sew a zipper by hand to your crochet project.

Share a picture!

If you are going to make this cardigan, please tag me @wilmawestenberg on Instagram and add this pattern to your Ravelry queue. I would love to see what colors you used and feature some of your pictures!

Questions?

If you have any questions about my free crochet 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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