Looking for a new crochet sweater or cardigan pattern to try? Look no further! In this blog post, we have collected 35 of the best free crochet sweater and cardigan patterns for you to choose from. These patterns are suitable for beginner and intermediate crocheters, and include pullovers, cardigans, hoodies, and more. So whether you’re looking for a new winter project or something cozy to keep you warm in the spring and fall, we’ve got you covered!
Free Crochet Sweater Patterns
If you’re just starting out in crochet, the idea of crocheting a whole sweater can seem intimidating. But don’t worry! There are plenty of crochet sweater patterns out there that are perfect for beginning crocheters.
If you’re looking for a relatively simple design to try, these free patterns are perfect for you. They use basic stitches and construction techniques, so they’re a great way to practice the basics while still making a beautiful and wearable garment.
Can I crochet a sweater as a beginner?
Even beginners can make crocheted sweaters. Many crochet sweaters are not much more complex than a scarf or a dishcloth – they are just a lot larger.
In fact, many of the sweater designs included below are made of simple rectangles pieced together. Still, others are crocheted seamlessly in one piece, and require minimal or no piecing at all.
Plus, many of the patterns use worsted weight and bulky yarn, so they’ll work up relatively quickly.
What types of crochet sweater patterns are suitable for beginners?
There are a few things to look for when choosing a crochet sweater pattern as a beginner.
First, choose a pattern that uses basic crochet stitches like single crochet, half double crochet, and double crochet stitches. Read through the pattern, and see if there is a recommended skill level listed near the top. Get an idea of what stitches you will use, what type of seaming will be involved, and whether you need to know any special techniques.
Second, look for patterns made of basic rectangles or other large simple shapes. You may want to avoid designs that utilize complex shaping techniques and fancy colorwork – at least for your first project. Likewise, avoid patterns that call for very lightweight or otherwise difficult yarns.
Third, consider a loose or oversized sweater design as an excellent starting project. These silhouettes tend to be more forgiving than fitted sweaters. This way, even if your gauge is a little off, there’s still a good chance that your sweater will fit.
Additionally, look for a well-tested pattern with detailed instructions. Video tutorials can be especially helpful for beginners, too.
Supplies for Crocheting Sweaters
Here’s what you’ll need to crochet a sweater.
Your sweater pattern will give you instructions for the correct yarn weight, and often recommend a specific yarn. For your convenience, I’ve included links to the recommended yarns in the list below.
You can substitute yarns, but make sure to choose one that is a similar weight and fiber content. This will help you achieve the correct gauge, and ensure that your sweater has a similar drape to the one in the pattern photos.
Remember, whether you use the recommended yarn or not, it’s crucial to make a gauge swatch to make sure you’re on the right track.
How much yarn will you need? Most sweater patterns require 3-9 skeins of yarn – but it all depends on the type of sweater and which size you’re making. Waist-length sweaters need between 3-6 skeins, and longer cardigans usually require more. Don’t worry; your pattern will let you know how much is necessary.
You’ll also need a crochet hook in the appropriate size. Again, your pattern will give you these details. Then, make a gauge swatch. After making your swatch, you’ll know whether you need to size up or down.
And, if you’re using a different yarn than the one specified in the pattern, you may need to adjust your hook size to meet the gauge.
In addition to yarn and a crochet hook, you’ll need a few other supplies before you get started on your new sweater.
Tape measure. A tape measure or ruler will help you take your gauge, check your finished dimensions, and make sure that your sweater is the right size.
Stitch markers will come in handy for marking your place as you work, especially if you’re working on a larger project.
Blocking is a finishing step that helps even out your stitches, and helps your sweater take on the right shape. It also allows the fabric to drape more nicely. To block your sweater, you’ll need blocking mats, T-pins, or blocking wires. Blocking kits are available, too.
Crochet Sweater and Cardigan Patterns
Here are 35 of our favorite free crochet sweater patterns. Many of the patterns are suitable for beginners, while some are more appropriate for intermediate crocheters. Check the description beneath each pattern for more information.
Enjoy this collection of free crochet and cardigan patterns, and happy crocheting!
This classic oversized crochet cardigan pattern is easy and cozy! Though it's made from a simple rectangle, it transforms into a flowy, flattering sweater that you'll wear over and over. This free crochet pattern contains instructions for sizes S/M, M/L, L/XL, XL/2XL, and 2XL/3XL, along with instructions for helping you find your perfect fit.
Here's a chunky cardigan that will fit right in with your fall wardrobe. It's made of 5 panels that are seamed together. After that, you'll just add the ribbed opening and pockets, and you're ready to go!
Throw on this lightweight, drapey shrug over your t-shirt and you're ready to head out the door! It's made of one large granny square, and is easy to customize to the exact size you want. This sweater is made from cotton yarn, so it's a great choice for warmer weather and summer nights.
You'll be amazed at how this cardigan comes together out of two simple granny square hexagons. This sweater even sports a hood, making it extra cozy, while the airy, granny pattern keeps it from being too heavy.
This oversized crochet sweater pattern is lightweight and may just be your new favorite hoodie! Even though it looks complicated, this free pattern comes together with a simple construction method - there's just a back panel, front panel, and two sleeves to sew together. Then, add your hood!
This extra long sweater is ideal for relaxing, and can even be worn over leggings. It's made with a simple stitch pattern called single crochet columns. Don't worry - all you need to know for this stitch pattern is how to work single crochets and chains. It's the perfect sweater pattern for beginners!
This simple crochet cardigan is made out of pieced rectangles. If you can make a scarf, you can make this! There's a video tutorial included. Even if you've never made a handmade sweater, you can do this one!
Here's a stylish, relaxed sweater crochet pattern that's a little longer in the back. It's made with half double crochet stitches and minimal shaping. The pattern is available in sizes small through 3XL.
Pockets, length, and texture – this cardigan has it all. Dress it up, or pair it with your favorite pair of jeans and a t-shirt. This sweater is so comfy, you may never want to take it off. And since it calls for wool blend yarn, it's perfect for those colder months.
There's tons of texture on this classic sweater. If you're up for a little challenge, this pattern will teach you how to create some beautiful textured stitches. Interestingly, this sweater is worked sideways.
If you've been wanting to learn how to crochet buttonholes, this modern sweater is the perfect pattern to learn! If you need help, there's a step-by-step video tutorial included. This pattern uses the Linen Stitch (or Moss Stitch), which is made up of single crochets and chain stitches.
This chunky crochet cardigan features eye-catching colorwork. In addition to the mountain pattern designed into the back, you'll love the matching, colorful ribbing. It's the perfect sweater for your next camping trip.
This flowy sweater features plenty of length! After you crochet the pockets, the rest of the sweater is worked in one piece. Because of it's simple construction, this easy crochet sweater pattern is excellent for beginners.
There are plenty of free crochet sweater patterns for adults, but this one includes instructions for this crochet sweater in girls' sizes, too! Make one for your favorite little girl, or work up some matching, cozy cardigans for both of you.
Nothing says "snug" like this ribbed, wool-blend sweater. Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn features the warmth of wool without sacrificing ease of care (for sweaters, washability is a must!). You have the option of sewing the buttons on at the shoulder seam for decoration, or making them functional.
This striped sweater is worked from the top down and requires no seaming. If you prefer solids up top, simply skip the stripes. You'll find instructions for sizes XS through 5X included in this pattern.
You'll work this soft, comfy sweater by holding your wool and mohair yarns double. Intermediate crocheters will enjoy the interesting stitch pattern. And everyone will enjoy the comfort of this cozy design!
Yarn weight: Lace & Fingering
Suggested yarn: Aloft Super Kid Mohair & Hawthorne Tonal Hand Painted
You'll feel like celebrating when you finish this colorful confetti cardigan! Make it your own by choosing a different color combination. This fun sweater is easy to make and includes a video tutorial.
Choose your style: this pattern includes options for both a cowl neck and a simple rolled collar. The pattern includes ladies' sizes XS-5X. It's worked from the top down and is best for intermediate-level and advanced beginners.
The rich texture on this sweater is created by using the waffle stitch. It makes for a chunky, cozy sweater that works up quickly and goes well with anything! This pattern includes sizes from baby and toddler all the way up to adult 5XL.
Though it looks sophisticated, this poncho is made from simple rectangles. It's drapey and flattering for all body types. If you want a more traditional poncho look, there are instructions for leaving the sleeves off, too.
This lightweight pullover works well even on cool summer days. It can even be used as a swimsuit cover! It does include some collar shaping and other techniques that make it best for the intermediate and advanced crocheter.
This chunky cardigan is worked with a ribbed texture and has a giant, comfy hood for staying warm and snug! You'll love the oversized fit, too. This one is definitely going to be a great addition to your fall and winter wardrobe.
Here are a few tips for making a crochet sweater for the first time.
Choose the right level pattern for you.
Before getting started on your crochet sweater, take a good look at the pattern. Check the recommended skill level. Look over the pattern to make sure you understand the stitches and techniques required.
Don’t be afraid to start simple. There will always be more difficult sweater patterns out there, so don’t burn yourself out in the beginning!
Read the pattern carefully all the way through.
Before beginning, carefully look over your pattern. Make sure you have the correct type and amount of yarn and any other supplies needed. Read through the instructions and make sure you understand what you’ll need to do. You can always review any stitches you don’t know.
Make a gauge swatch.
Making a gauge swatch is especially important when creating clothing or other wearable items for which size matters. Be sure to work up a gauge swatch before getting started to see whether you need to size your hook up or down.
I know that it’s tempting to skip the swatch and go right to the sweater. But the few minutes that it takes to make a gauge swatch will be well worth it. If you’re going to invest hours into crocheting a sweater, you definitely want it to fit!
Choose the right size.
Most crochet sweater patterns come with instructions in multiple sizes. Many of the patterns below include sizes from XS to 5XL, and some even have instructions for sweaters for kids and babies.
Don’t automatically choose the size you’d buy at a store, though. The pattern will tell you how to choose the correct size for your measurements.
For sweaters, this is usually determined by your bust size. Take the time to measure carefully and choose the correct size. It will pay off in the long run!
Take it step by step, checking the fit as you go
Looking at a full sweater pattern can be overwhelming, even for experienced crocheters. Once you have a general overview of the pattern, take a deep breath and work through the sections step-by-step. Focus on one instruction at a time.
As you go, check the fit to make sure it’s on track. The beauty of making your own sweater is that some details (such as sleeve length and overall length) can often be adjusted during the crocheting process.
If anything needs to be adjusted or redone, it’s best to do this right away before you get too far along.
Blocking at the end
Blocking is a finishing step that’s definitely worth taking the time to do. Blocking helps to even out your stitches, and it also allows the fabric to drape more nicely.
There are many ways to block crochet sweaters. One way is to get the sweater slightly damp, lay it out in the correct shape on a blocking mat, and let it dry overnight.
Once you’ve blocked your sweater, it will be ready to wear!
More Easy Crochet Patterns
If you enjoyed these easy crochet sweater patterns, I think you’ll enjoy these related posts.
Pin this post: Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards so that you can come back to it later.
Leave a comment: We love to hear your feedback. Tell me in the comments below!
Share on Instagram or Facebook: When you make this project, share it on social media and tag me @sarahmaker_. We love to see what you make!
Have questions? Join the Facebook Group!
We hope this article was useful for you! If you have any additional questions, feel free to join my Facebook Group. We created this group for you to share pictures, ask questions, and help each other out.
Sarah Stearns has helped millions of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
With over a decade of experience in knitting and crochet, she has been featured in prominent publications like The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and Lifehacker.