Reindeer Christmas Sweater

It’s time to start working on your new favorite Christmas sweater! With the use of a free iPhone app you can make the eyes move. Steal the show with a lot of oohing and aahing over this sweater. Pattern is available in size S up to 3XL and includes a 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!

Digital Reindeer Christmas Sweater - free crochet pattern

Free ways to support me

About the design

Last year I saw some amazing sweaters which made use of an app to create digital effects. This immediately inspired me to make a crochet sweater. Of course I could also just buy a sweater, but the more handmade, the better!

About the pattern

The design of this sweater is simple: it’s made out of two squares sewn together and mainly uses half double crochet stitches. The reindeer is made with color changes on the front panel. There’s a nice simple hemline and textured cuffs. The sleeves are worked from the armpit to the wrist.

Don’t want to use your iPhone? No problem! Pattern includes instructions on how to make eyes with color changes for a good ol’ crochet sweater (which is even easier and faster than the digital version).

Digital Reindeer Christmas Sweater - free crochet pattern

About the fit

This pattern includes instructions for sizes S up to 3XL. The sweater is slightly oversized and based on the official sizing regulations from the Craft Yarn Council (CYC). If you’re in between sizes, I recommend to size down.

You can easily make adjustments by skipping or adding stitches on both sides of the sweater. Just make sure the reindeer stays in the middle of the front panel.

Digital Reindeer Christmas Sweater - free crochet pattern

About the yarn

For this sweater I’ve used Yarn and Colors Super Must-Have, a luxurious 100% mercerised cotton. This yarn comes in a range of 50 shades and is very affordable considering the quality of the yarn. It’s bulky 5 weight and works up fast, which is perfect for a sweater like this.

As this yarn is only available in Europe, I’ve searched for an American yarn alternative with the same weight category. Lion Brand Color Made Easy is the exact same weight category. I haven’t tried this yarn myself, but based on the labels, it should work very well with this pattern.

Update November 25, 2022: Color Made Easy is not available anymore. I think Lion Brand Pound of Love is a good option, you just might have to use 2 threads at the same time. I’m planning on making a new reindeer sweater with Pound of Love myself.

Digital Reindeer Christmas Sweater - free crochet pattern - pinterest pin

Reindeer Christmas Sweater
free crochet patter

Materials

– Yarn And Colors – Super Must Have (weight: 5 bulky, 100g/155m, 3.53oz/126yds)
Red: 9 (12, 15) skeins
White: 2 skeins
Black: 1 skein
Clay: 1 skein

American alternative:
Lion Brand Color Made Easy (weight: 5 bulky, 200g/226m, 7oz/247yds)
Anthurium: 5 (6, 8) skeins
Birch: 2 skeins
Caviar: 1 skein
Wheat: 1 skein

Update November 25, 2022: Color Made Easy is not available anymore. I think Lion Brand Pound of Love is a good option, you just might have to use 2 threads at the same time. I’m planning on making a new reindeer sweater with Pound of Love myself.

Crochet hook 5.5mm (US I/9 hook)

Crochet hook 4.5mm (US 7 hook)

Tapestry needle

Measuring tape

Sizes

Size S/M: bust 36″, length 21″ / bust: 92 cm, length: 54cm

Size L/XL: bust 44″, length 22.5″ / bust: 112 cm, length: 57cm

Size XXL / XXXL: bust 52″, length 23.5″ / bust: 132 cm, length: 60cm

For reference, model is 1.69m/5’6″ tall with a 36” bust and wearing the sweater in size S/M. If you are between sizes, please size down as the sweater is oversized.

Gauge

Body
13 HDC stitches x 13 rows = 4 x 4″ / 10 x 10 cm

Sleeves
13 HDC stitches x 10 rows = 4 x 4″ / 10 x 10 cm

Stitches & abbreviations (US terms)

– st: stitch
– ch: chain
– hdc: half double crochet
– hdc2tog: half double crochet 2 together (decrease)
– dc: double crochet
– fpdc: front post double crochet
– bpdc: back post double crochet

* *: 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 on two panels separately which are then sewn together at the sides and shoulders. Sleeves are joined at the armhole and worked in continuous rounds.

– Chain 2 (or 3) at the start of a row does not count as a stitch unless stated otherwise

– HDC stitches are worked through 3 loops (in between the stitches) except the sleeves.

– Be sure to check gauge. You can easily use other yarn, but make sure it’s close to the gauge I used. This sweater is designed to be oversized, so if your yarn is bigger, size down.

– Pattern contains instructions for sizes S/M, L/XL, 2XL/3XL. Directions for sizes are in parentheses such as “chain 63 (75, 89)” whereas ch 63 stands for size S/M, 75 for size L/XL, 89 size 2XL/3XL. When only one number is given, it applies to all sizes. To follow the pattern more easily, circle all numbers pertaining to your size before beginning.

– Please always check if the app works on your phone before making a sweater. See all info at the bottom of this page. Nov 25, 2022: iPhone app still has the moving eye effect, Android apps don’t have this animation anymore. 

Video

In this video you can see how to make the sweater. Please ignore the different backgrounds, lightnings and nail colors. I started this project in 2017 and finished in 2018 and had to record on many different places.

Written pattern

** An ad-free PDF version is available on Etsy and Ravelry.
It’s designed for printing and this way you can support me **

Back panel

Use crochet hook 5.5mm

Start with white and chain 63 (75, 89)

R1: Skip first 3 ch, 1dc in each st across, turn (60, 72, 86)

R2 – 4 (3 rows): ch 3 (does not counts as a st), *1 fpdc in next st, 1bpdc in next st* repeat from * to end, turn (60, 72, 86)

We’re now going to work with hdc stitches. Start every row with 2 turning chains which do not count as the first hdc. I personally didn’t like the ribbed effect of a normal hdc stitch (worked through 2 loops), so I decided to insert my hook through all three loops (in between the stitches).

R5 – 70 (74, 78): ch 2, 1hdc in each st across, turn (60, 72, 86)

Change to red after row 8

Finish off. If you want to make the sweater longer, add a few more rows with red. Don’t forget to add those extra rows to the front panel as well.

Front panel

Use crochet hook 5.5mm

Start with white and chain 63 (75, 89)

R1 – 4: repeat row 1-4 from the back panel

We’re now going to use the graph below. Each square on the graph will be one hdc in that specific color. Start every row with 2 turning chains which do not count as the first hdc and don’t forget to insert the hook through all 3 loops (in between the stitches).

R5 – 31 (66, 69): ch 2, 1hdc in each st across using the colors as stated in the graph below, turn (60, 72, 86)

Gap for the eyes

R32 – 38 (7 rows): ch 2, 1hdc in next 26 (32, 39) st, turn (26, 32, 39)

Repeat row 32 – 38 on the other side. This should result in a gap of 8 stitches in the middle. This is where we will place the phone.

R39: ch 2, 1hdc in next 26 (32, 39) st, ch 8, 1hdc in next 26 (32, 39) st, turn (60, 72, 86)

R40 – 70 (74, 78): ch 2, 1hdc in each st across, turn (60, 72, 86)

Finish off. If you want to make the sweater longer, add a few more rows with red. Don’t forget to add those extra rows to the back panel as well.

Reindeer pixel graph - free crochet pattern by Wilmade

Normal sweater without digital eyes

If you want to make a normal sweater without digital eyes, you can skip the gap part (row 32-39) and continue making 1hdc in each st across, while following the color changes in the graph below till row 70 (74, 78).

Reindeer pixel graph - free crochet pattern by Wilmade

Sewing your pieces together

After both body panels are completed, lay them on a flat surface, right sides facing each other. Make sure to align the rows of each piece. Sew up to row 48 on each side, starting on the bottom of the sweater. This should leave 22 (26, 30) st for armhole.

Continue working on the shoulder seam. Align the stitches of the top rows and start sewing on the outside. Sew up 18 (20, 23) stitches on both sides. This should leave 24 (32, 40) st for neck opening.

Sleeves

Use crochet hook 5.5mm. The sleeves are worked in continuous rounds. Start with red and join with a slip stitch at the base of an armhole opening. Make normal hdc stitches (which means you insert the hook through 2 loops instead of 3 like we did before).

Digital Reindeer Christmas Sweater - free crochet pattern - sleeve

R1: 1hdc in each st around (44, 52, 60)

R2 – 11 (11, 13): hdc2tog, 1hdc in each st around (34, 42, 48)

R12 (12, 14): 1 hdc in each st around (34, 42, 48)

Repeat R12 (12, 14) till row 44 (47, 50)

Digital Reindeer Christmas Sweater - free crochet pattern - sleeve

Change to white and use crochet hook 4.5mm

R45 (48, 51): 1 dc in each st around (34, 42, 48)

R46 (49, 52): *1 fpdc in next st, 1bpdc in next st* repeat from * in each st around (34, 42, 48)

Repeat last round two more times.

Sleeve should measure 48 (51, 54)cm / 19 (20, 21)”. You can adapt the length of the sleeve by making more (or less) rows with red before starting with white.

Repeat sleeve on the other sid e.

Edge around the neck line

Use crochet hook 4.5mm. Attach white yarn to one of the corners and work 1 hdc in each st around

Digital Reindeer Christmas Sweater - free crochet pattern - neckline

Phone pocket

We need to make a ‘pocket’ for the phone. Use brown yarn and crochet hook 5.5mm.

Chain 20 + 3 turning chains or as many chains as you need for the size of your phone.

Digital Reindeer Christmas Sweater - free crochet pattern - pocket

R1: skip first 3 ch, 1dc in each st across, turn (20)

R2 – 8 (7 rows): ch 3, 1 dc in each st across, turn (20)

Finish off. Sew pocket to the inside of your front panel behind the eye gap. Close bottom and both sides of the pocket. Do not close the top.

Digital Reindeer Christmas Sweater - free crochet pattern - pocket

App

Install the free app ‘Morph DigitalDudz’ and navigate to ‘Ugly Christmas Sweaters’ > Rudolph eyes. Click on ‘play animation’ (the green button) and again, click on ‘play animation’ (the orange button on the bottom).

Zoom in a little bit and make sure the eyes are completely visible on the screen. Tap on your screen and lock the animation. Now you’re ready to steal the show!

By the way, if you don’t have time enough to make your own sweater, you can buy awesome sweaters via the Morph DigitalDudz app!

Update Nov 25, 2022: iPhone app still has the moving eye effect, Android apps don’t have this animation anymore. 

End of pattern.

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Lee Dean
    16 December 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Is it possible to scale this down for children. My grandsons would love it

  • Reply
    Josie
    28 January 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Dear Wilma, I’m just starting on size S/M. If I’m not mistaken, in the back panel instructions, you need to switch to red after row 12, not after row 8. (The switch to red does look to be after the 8th row of hdc rows.) Otherwise the white won’t line up in the front and back.

    • Reply
      Josie
      11 February 2021 at 11:16 pm

      Ugh. Ignore my previous comment. I misread the chart. I thought there was an extra 4 rows of white at the bottom of the sweater.

  • Reply
    Nikki Henrie
    2 December 2018 at 4:50 am

    Hey Wilma, I’ve followed your pattern on the material. It requires bulky yarn and I bought it. Turned out it’s ways too big. I’ve chnaged it to size 4 medium yarn

  • Reply
    Charlesjek
    19 November 2018 at 1:45 am

    Hi Look what we have for you! an interestingoffer
    Are you in?

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uOTp5LW_8CPN6cjuvsz9-w_Q7fbUqh9b/preview

  • Reply
    Kim
    17 November 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Very cute Idea…be careful putting a phone that emits radiation near your breasts…could cause cancer.

    • Reply
      Wafflesalot
      1 December 2021 at 4:28 pm

      Could you please provide evidence from credible sources backed up by internationally accepted research, clinical trials and medically published information.
      Scaremongering without evidence can be extremely dangerous. I would always suggest an individual contact their Doctor, or pharmacist for evidence based medicine.

  • Reply
    Emily
    17 November 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Hey Wilma,
    Wauw, wauw, wauw. Wat een ontzettend gave trui (ik zei het al op instagram, maar laat het je nog een keer weten) Echt super mooi. Bedankt voor je mooie patroon.
    Fijn weekend.

    Lieve groetjes,
    Emily
    (casacreaemilia.blogspot.nl)

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