Wrap yourself in coziness with the Cuddle Cardigan! Crochet your own Cuddle Cardigan with this size-inclusive free crochet sweater pattern.
The Cuddle Cardigan is like a thick, cozy, oversized crochet shrug. This easy-to-make, beginner-friendly crochet cardigan is like wearing a snuggly blanket. Made from a rectangle in bulky yarn, it’s a simple project that works up quickly.
Crocheting a garment doesn’t have to be complicated! A cardigan like this can easily be made from simple shapes, with very little or no shaping required. Instead of making separate sleeve and body panels, this crochet sweater is made from a rectangle. A simple stitch pattern of single crochet and double crochet stitches adds texture. Even if you have never crocheted a garment before, this free crochet cardigan pattern and video tutorial will show you how.
How to Choose the Best Yarn for a Women’s Crochet Cardigan
This easy crochet cardigan pattern calls for #5 Bulky Weight yarn. I prefer to use a washable yarn for most garments, so I chose to use Knit Picks Brava Bulky. A wool or other animal fiber yarn would also be suitable for this free pattern, as would an acrylic blend yarn. Feel free to choose a yarn with a different fiber content if you like, as long as it is #5 Bulky Weight.
When selecting the yarn you want to use for this pattern, make sure the yarn label says it is #5 Bulky Weight. Then, purchase enough skeins of the yarn you want to use so that you have at least the total number of yards required in the pattern for the size you are making.
How do I Choose a Size?
The Cuddle Cardigan crochet pattern includes instructions that cover 9 sizes, from a women’s size XS to 5X (XS, S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X, 4X, and 5X). However, since the sweater is designed to be oversized and loose-fitting, the sizes are combined into 3 size groups. To decide which size you want to make, you’ll need to measure around the fullest part of the bust. Then, follow the instructions in the “Sizing” section of the pattern to select the size according to the wearer’s bust measurement.
Please note that the cardigan length will fall differently on individuals of different heights. To see how long the cardigan will fall, measure the back length measurement against the wearer.
Check out more size-inclusive women’s crochet cardigan patterns!
Can I crochet this if I am a beginner?
This crochet cardigan pattern is beginner-friendly. To make this project, you’ll need to know how to work the basic stitches of crochet and work in a simple stitch pattern. Many crochet sweater patterns are made with the double crochet stitch (dc), but I chose to use a pattern alternating single crochet and double crochet for a more interesting texture. It doesn’t matter which side is the right side or the wrong side, as the fabric is reversible.
You will also need to be comfortable reading a written pattern, and understanding how to follow a set of repeating instructions. (See this article by the Craft Yarn Council to learn more about how to read a crochet pattern.) This pattern is written in US terms, but can be converted to UK terms if you prefer by following this chart. If you are familiar with those techniques, you can make this cardigan.
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Ready to get started? Let’s crochet the Cuddle Cardigan!
Crochet Pattern by Yay For Yarn
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
– Sizing follows the Craft Yarn Council’s standards for Women’s sizes.
– This sweater has an over sized fit, and drapes loosely around the body. Measure the bust of the wearer, and choose the size that is closest to the wearer’s bust measurement, under the title, “To Fit Bust”.
– 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 Fit Bust:
Size 1: 30″-38″ (76-97 cm)
Size 2: 42″-50″ (107-127 cm)
Size 3: 54″-62″ (137-157 cm)
Finished Length / Width of Body Panel
Size 1: 42″ (107 cm) / 25″ (63.5 cm)
Size 2: 46″ (117 cm) / 25.75″ (65.4 cm)
Size 3: 50″ (127 cm) / 26.5″ (67.3 cm)
You Will Need:
Approx. 1001 (1131, 1256) yards of #5 Bulky Weight yarn (I used WeCrochet Brava Bulky, 136 yards / 100 grams per skein, 8 (9, 10) skeins)
US Size L / 8.0 mm Crochet Hook
Yarn Needle or Blunt Tapestry Needle
Gauge: 8 stitches = 3 ¼” (8.3 cm), 6 rows = 3” (7.6 cm) in main stitch pattern
sc: single crochet
dc: double crochet
hdc: half-double crochet
*Fsc: foundation single crochet
*Rhdc: ribbing half-double crochet
*This is a special stitch. See instructions below to learn how to work this stitch.
Foundation Single Crochet
To begin, chain 2. Insert hook into the 2nd chain from the hook. Yarn over, pull up a loop. Yarn over, pull through one loop on hook. Yarn over, pull through both remaining loops on hook.
For all following stitches: Turn work upside-down so the bottom (foundation) edge is facing you. On the bottom of the previous stitch, there is what looks like the top of a normal crochet stitch. Insert hook into both strands of that “stitch”. Yarn over, pull up a loop. Yarn over, pull through one loop on hook. Yarn over, pull through both remaining loops on hook.
Ribbing Half-Double Crochet
Yarn over, insert hook, not into the top of the hdc below, but into the horizontal strand that runs across the front of the hdc below. Yarn over, pull up a loop. Yarn over, pull through all 3 loops on hook.
Cuddle Cardigan: Body Panel
Begin by leaving a tail at least 12” (30.5 cm) long.
This pattern begins with a row of foundation single crochet instead of a foundation chain. The foundation single crochet is simple to work, and makes the foundation chain and the first row of single crochet at the same time. The foundation edge, when worked in this way, has much more stretch and flexibility than a regular foundation chain. It is also easier to stitch into when seaming. I highly recommend using the foundation single crochet to begin your panel, but instructions for a regular foundation chain and row of single crochet are also included.
Row 1: ch 2. Fsc in 2nd ch from hook. Work 61 (63, 65) more Fsc. You should have 62 (64, 66) sts, not including beg ch sp.
Row 1: ch 63 (65, 67). Sk 1st ch, sc in 2nd ch from hook. Sc in ea of nxt 61 (63, 65) chs. You should have 62 (64, 66) sts, not including skipped ch from beg of row.
Row 2: ch 2, turn. Hdc in same st and in ea of nxt 7 sts. (Sc, dc) in nxt st. *sk 1 st, (sc, dc) in nxt st*. Repeat from *to* across, till you have 9 sts left. Sk 1 st, hdc in nxt 8 sts. You should have 62 (64, 66) sts, not including beg ch-sp.
Row 3: ch 2, turn. Rhdc in same st and in ea of nxt 7 sts. (Sc, dc) in nxt st. *sk 1 st, (sc, dc) in nxt st*. Repeat from *to* across, till you have 9 sts left. Sk 1 st, Rhdc in nxt 8 sts. You should have 62 (64, 66) sts, not including beg ch-sp.
Repeat Row 3; 80 (88, 96) more times.
Row 4: ch 1, turn. Sc in same st and in ea st across. You should have 62 (64, 66) sts, not including beg ch-sp.
Tie off, leaving a tail at least 12” (30.5 cm) long.
Block panel with the blocking method of your choice.
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.
Lay piece out flat. Fold each corner in, making sure the two corners on each short end of the rectangle are touching. We will now stitch the folded short edges together.
Thread one of the long yarn tails through your yarn needle. Begin at where the two corners of one short edge meet, and whip stitch the short edge together. Stop when there are 18 (20, 22) sts remaining around the edge of the opening. Take one more stitch in the same place as the previous stitch, wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot.
Weave in ends.
Repeat instructions for the seam on the other side of the panel.
We will now add the cuff ribbing to the sleeve. The ribbing is worked in rows perpendicular to the previous rounds. We will use slip stitches to join the ribbing to the remaining stitches of the sleeve opening as we work.
Join yarn in the first stitch of the sleeve opening, next to the seam.
Row 1: Sk 2 chs, hdc in 3rd ch from hook. Hdc in nxt 17 chs. Sl st in nxt 2 sts of sleeve opening. You should have 18 sts, not including skipped chs or sl sts.
Row 2: Turn. Sk nxt 2 sl sts, Rhdc in ea of nxt 18 sts. You should have 18 sts.
Row 3: ch 2, turn. Rhdc in same st and in ea of nxt 17 sts. Sl st in nxt 2 sts of sleeve opening. You should have 18 sts, not including skipped chs or sl sts.
Repeat Rows 2-3 until you have worked all the way around the sleeve cuff, ending with Row 2.
There should not be any stitches of the last round of the sleeve remaining that have not been slip-stitched into.
There should not be a gap between the beginning and end of the ribbing, just a slit. Tie off, leaving a tail.
We will now stitch the ends of the ribbing together. Use the yarn tail to stitch the slit between the beginning and end of the ribbing closed.
When you reach the end of the seam, bring the needle to the inside, make a knot, and weave in the ends.
Repeat instructions for Sleeve Cuff to create the ribbing on the other sleeve.
Block sleeves using the blocking method of your choice.
Enjoy your finished Cuddle 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.
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