Coral Cardigan – FREE Beginner-Friendly Knitting Pattern by Yay For Yarn

by | Sep 14, 2019

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Can you knit a rectangle in a simple stitch pattern? Then you can knit the Coral Cardigan! Knit as a rectangle, it’s a great knitted sweater pattern for beginners.

When a reader suggested I make a knitted version of my crocheted Seafoam Cardigan, I knew this project would be first on my WIP list.  The Seafoam Cardigan is one of my favorite designs, and one of the easiest to work.  So why not make a knitted version?

This piece is super versatile, and can be worn year-round.  I used a bright coral-pink yarn, but this would be lovely in a soft neutral for fall.

Even though it’s made from #4 Worsted Weight yarn, this cardigan is worked at a loose gauge, giving the fabric a lovely drape.  The flowy, over-sized style looks great on every body type.  And best of all, it’s made from one rectangle!  If you’ve never knit a garment before, this is the perfect place to start!

Coral Cardigan Knitting Pattern

by Yay For Yarn

For the Crochet version of this cardigan, click here.

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner


Sizing follows the Craft Yarn Council’s standards for Women’s sizes.

– This sweater is designed to be over-sized and loose-fitting. Sizes are combined into size groups.

– Instructions and yarn requirements for Size 1 are given outside the parentheses, with Size 2 and Size 3 given inside the parentheses, like this: Size 1 (Size 2, Size 3).

– When only one number is given, it applies to all sizes. To follow pattern more easily, circle or highlight all numbers that apply to your size before beginning.

To choose a size, measure around the fullest part of the bust.

Size 1: Fits sizes X-Small, Small, and Medium (30” – 38” OR 76 cm – 97 cm bust)

Size 2: Fits sizes Large, X-Large, and 2X (40” – 50” OR 102 cm – 127 cm bust)

Size 3: Fits sizes 3X, 4X, and 5X (52” – 62” OR 132 cm – 158 cm bust)

Finished Bust: 46” (57”, 67”) OR 117 cm (145 cm, 170 cm)

Finished Length: 23” (24”, 25”) OR 58 cm (61 cm, 63.5 cm)

Coral Pink knitted cardigan, easy beginner sweater made from a rectangle

You Will Need:

653 (828, 1027) yards of #4 Worsted Weight Yarn (I used Red Heart Super Saver Ombre, 2 (2, 3) skeins)

US Size 10 (6.0 mm) Circular Knitting Needle, at least 36” long


Measuring Tape

Yarn Needle or Blunt Tapestry Needle

Gauge: 13 stitches = 4” (10 cm); 22 rows = 4” (10 cm) in stitch pattern

Easy plus size knitted kimono cardigan made from a rectangle for beginners


st: stitch

sts: stitches

K: knit

P: purl

K2tog: knit 2 stitches together*

YO: yarn over*

*See instructions below to learn how to work these stitches.

Yarn Over:

Bring the yarn to the front, and wrap it over the right needle from front to back. This stitch is worked into as normal on the following row. It creates the little holes or eyelets in the lace.

Knit 2 Together:

Insert the needle from front to back into the next 2 sts at the same time. Knit through both stitches as though they were one.

How to work the Knitted Cast On

Make a Slip Knot and place it on the left needle. Insert the right needle into that slip knot as if to knit. Knit through the slip knot as normal, but do not lift the slip knot off of the left needle. Stretch the loop that is on the right needle, lift it up, and slide it down onto the left needle so the right needle appears to be inserted into the loop as if to knit.

For all following stitches:

Step 1: The right needle is already inserted into the first loop on the left needle as if to knit. Knit through the stitch as normal, but do not lift the old stitch off of the left needle.

Step 2: Stretch the loop that is on the right needle, lift it up, and slide it down onto the left needle so the right needle appears to be inserted into the loop as if to knit.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have cast on the correct number of stitches.

Coral Cardigan Instructions

Before you begin, leave a tail about 1 yard long (we will use it for seaming later).

Cast On 150 (156, 164) stitches with the Knitted Cast On.

Row 1: K1. *K1, P1* across to last st, K1.

Row 2: K1. *P1, K1* across to last st, K1.

Row 3: K across.

Row 4: K1. P across to last st, K1.

Rows 5-6: Repeat Rows 3-4.

Rows 7-8: Repeat Rows 1-2.

Rows 9-10: Repeat Rows 3-4.

Row 11: K1. *K2tog, YO* across to last st, K1.

Row 12: Repeat Row 4.

Row 13-14: Repeat Rows 3-4.

Repeat Rows 1-14; 3 (4, 5) more times.

Repeat Rows 1-6 once more.

Row 15: Loosely Bind Off 84 (88, 92) sts. *K1, P1* across to last st, K1. You should have 66 (68, 72) sts left.

Row 16: K1. *P1, K1* across to last st, K1. With Knitted Cast On, cast on 84 (88, 92) more sts. To do this, turn the work so the needle with the stitches on it is in your left hand. Begin by inserting your right needle into the first stitch on the left needle and cast on the extra stitches with the Knitted Cast On. You should now have 150 (156, 164) sts.

Repeat Rows 3-14.

Repeat Rows 1-14; 3 (4, 5) more times.

Repeat Rows 1-8 once more.

Bind off Loosely. Leave a tail about 1 yard long, then cut your yarn and tie off (we will use this tail for seaming later.)

easy spring summer fall cardigan knitting pattern free

To Block: (video tutorial here)

For natural fibers, pin project out on foam blocking mats. Spray with water until fully saturated, allow to dry.


For acrylic fibers, pin project out on an ironing board or several layers of towels. Hold a steaming iron 2”-3” over the surface of the fabric, making sure all of the fabric is penetrated by the steam. Allow to cool / dry.


At this point, our piece is a big rectangle with a slit in it. The slit is the front opening of the cardigan.

Lay the piece out so the section with no slit is closest to you, facing wrong side up. This is the back of the cardigan. The slit divides the rest of the piece into two strips. Those are the fronts of the cardigan.

Bring each front section down so the short edge of the front section meets the short edge of the back section. At the top, the folded edges of the front panels make the shoulder portions of the cardigan.

Beginning at the bottom corner, line up the side edge of the front with the side edge of the back. We will be stitching the side edges together, leaving an opening at the top for the armhole.

Thread the long yarn tail from the corner through your yarn needle. Beginning at the bottom corner, we are going to whip stitch the side edges together, and stop about 2/3 of the way up.

Each time we take a stitch with the yarn needle, we will be inserting into one stitch from the edge of each panel, joining one pair of stitches.

Take your yarn needle and whip stitch 49 (51, 53) pairs of stitches together.

Insert your needle again through the same pair of stitches you just went through, wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot. Weave in the yarn tail.

Repeat for the other side seam.

Enjoy your finished Coral Cardigan!

ombre sweater for summer or fall, hip length long cardigan

This pattern is intended for your personal use only. You may not share it, copy it, sell it, give it away, or mass-produce the finished product. However, you may sell the finished items on a small scale, as long as you convey in your item description that you used a Yay For Yarn pattern.

Yay For Yarn Copyright© 2019 – Current. All patterns and photos are owned by Yay For Yarn.

Pin the image below to save this project for later!

Can you knit a rectangle in a simple stitch pattern? Then you can knit the Coral Cardigan! Knit as a rectangle, it’s a great knitted sweater pattern for beginners. #knittedsweaterpattern #knittedcardigan #yayforyarn #freeknittingpatterns #knittingpatternsforbeginners
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Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Knitting and crochet are my passion, and I love helping others create beautiful things from yarn. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out some of my other free patterns, tips, and tutorials? Happy Yarning!


  1. Agnes

    HI! I’ve just finished knitting this wonderful cardigan. I wear size S, though, 150 stitches were way too few for me, so I had to cast on 200 to get the desired length. It still isn’t that long as yours in the picture. But I love it, this is my first real work that I ever made, so I’m very grateful for you that you posted this pattern. Thanks and all the best!

  2. Marilyn Williams

    Thank you so much. Hope to make many of these in other colors and for my sister and friends. Perfect travel pattern. So much fun!

  3. Arla Schmaltz

    Hi Yvonne, something I like to do when working with so many stitches is to put stitch markers every 10 stitches (or so). It might seem a bit tedious to have to move those markers all the time, but it will be an easy way to check your stitch count. I learned the hard way when I was knitting a lace tablecloth…
    Hope that helps!
    Happy knitting!!!


  4. Mary Falkner

    To make this longer, would I just increase the number of cast on stitches and follow pattern for my size to finish? Thanks

    • Yay for Yarn

      Hi Mary. Yes, that is essentially what you would do to add length. You’ll need to determine how many extra stitches you’ll need to get the back length you need, and add twice that many stitches to the total cast on. Half of the extra stitches are for the back, and half of the extra stitches are for the front. Just keep that in mind as you bind off stitches for the front slit and cast on stitches for the other half of the cardigan. I hope this helps!

  5. Yvonne M

    I knitted this project several times up to where
    I have to cast off, and for some reason
    I am always short stitches. Usually after Row 11
    K2tog. Why is that? I am YO ‘ing when supposed to so not sure why my count is always off. I’ve had to pull my progress out several times and it’s never a good feeling to have to do that????. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Yay for Yarn

      Hi Yvonne! I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with the pattern. When your count is off after row 11, do you always have more stitches than the pattern says? Do you always have fewer stitches than the pattern says? Or is it off by a different number of stitches each time? If your count is correct after row 10, but incorrect after row 11, there could be several causes. Either there are missing Yarn Overs, missing K2togs, or dropped stitches. If you could send me a photo of your work, I would be better able to help you figure out what the problem might be. You can send a photo to me at blogger{at} if you like. I am happy to help!

      • Yvonne

        Thank you for your insightful response. The first time I did the pattern up to the 84 cast off and was 7 stitches short. The other 8 times I tried the pattern I usually work the pattern once and stop on row 12 or 13 to check my stitches count and I have been 2-4 stitches short. I love, love, this pattern and am determined to get it right. I have considered all your advice, and will make a concerted effort to count my stitches every row and also and make sure I watch my YO’s. I will keep u updated.????????????

  6. Connie M Brandon

    Loved this .Easy to make. Only thing different, I would have liked it a little longer. It isn’t as long as picture shows! Thank you!

    • Yay for Yarn

      Hi Connie! If you matched the gauge called for in the pattern, the finished cardigan should match the finished length measurement in the pattern. It is shown on a petite model, though, so will not be as long on a taller person. I’m glad you enjoyed making it!

  7. Erica Fong

    When you have to switch skeins, what is your advice for making the color match? I am using red heart coral humble as you have.

    • Yay for Yarn

      Hi Erica! If you need to switch skeins, I would suggest making sure that you pull from the same end of each skein. So if you use the center-pull end of the first skein, use the center-pull end from the second as well. If the color shade your first skein ends with is not the same shade that your second skein begins with, here’s what you can do to match them. Pull yarn out of the second skein until the yarn color matches the end of your first skein. Then, you can cut the yarn from the second skein, and join the two skeins so that the colors match. The leftover yarn may or may not be needed for your project. I hope this helps!

  8. Stella Mary

    This was awesome. What I loved is the combination of colors. Thank you for the instructions shared.

    • Erica Fong

      I finished! My colors did not line up as perfect as yours but this is my first completed sweater. Thank you so much for the pattern and the tutorial!

  9. Mary Perona

    I would love to take on this project as a beginning knitter, but I need to use a natural fiber yarn. Would you please give recommendations? I love flax and silk, silk and wool, alpaca, cashmere, silk (and silk), but I need help with yarn weight and one yarn I thought would be perfect (ombré) was single ply on closer inspection. I used to be a hand spinner but gave it up because I ended up surrounded by yarn and fiber I loved but never used for anything practical. When I was taught knitting in first grade, I was like a duck on water. When I returned to it as an adult, I was all thumbs and nerves! That was 30 years ago and I am ready to try knitting again since I have retired. I love your site and appreciate your advice. Thank you.

    • Yay for Yarn

      Hi Mary! You can use a yarn of any fiber content you like, as long as it is #4 Worsted Weight. If you like silk, I think a yarn of silk blended with something else would be a better choice than pure silk, as pure silk could be too slippery and make it easier to drop stitches. But as long as your yarn is #4 Worsted Weight, any fiber content is fine. I hope this helps!

  10. Sandy

    Hi …
    I love this pattern. I was trying to figure out how to crochet the seafoam pattern in one piece to avoid the back seaming. I’m so glad I found this pattern. Even though crocheting is faster, out come my knitting needles. Thank you so much. Take care & God Bless.

    • Yay for Yarn

      You’re welcome, Sandy! I hope your cardigan turns out great!


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