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Simple Slouchy Sweater – FREE Knitting Pattern & Video Tutorial for Confident Beginners

This soft, slouchy cardigan is a fall wardrobe essential!  It’s so cozy you’ll want to make one in every color!

This sweater is one of my new favorite pieces for fall.  With its over-sized fit, drop shoulder style, and hip length hem, this cardi makes me feel like I’m wrapped up in a snuggly blanket.  The Lion Brand Pound of Love yarn I used is just perfect for garments like this – soft and fuzzy, but machine washable.  The “Oxford Grey” colorway is heathered, which adds a bit of extra depth and texture to the fabric.

Simple  Slouchy Sweater 

Knitted Cardigan Pattern by Yay For Yarn

 

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Skill Level:

Advanced Beginner

 

Sizing:

  • Sizing follows the Craft Yarn Council’s standards for Women’s sizes.
  • This sweater fits oversized, with 4” of positive ease. If you are between sizes, size up if you want a more slouchy-fit sweater, or size down if you want a more fitted sweater.
  • Instructions and yarn requirements for size X-Small are given outside the parentheses, with Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, 2X, 3X, 4X, and 5X given inside the parentheses, like this:  X-Small (Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X).  When only one number is given, it applies to all sizes.

 

To Fit Bust:

  • X-Small: 30” (76 cm)
  • Small: 34” (86 cm)
  • Medium: 38” (96.5 cm)
  • Large: 42” (106.7 cm)
  • X-Large: 46” (116.8 cm)
  • 2X: 50” (127 cm)
  • 3X: 54” (137 cm)
  • 4X: 58” (147 cm)
  • 5X: 62” (157.5 cm)

 

Finished Bust / Back Length:

  • X-Small: 34” (86 cm) / 23” (58.4 cm)
  • Small: 38” (96.5 cm) / 23” (58.4 cm)
  • Medium: 42” (106.7 cm) / 23 ½” (59.7 cm)
  • Large: 46” (116.8 cm) / 23 ½” (59.7 cm)
  • X-Large: 50” (127 cm) / 24” (61 cm)
  • 2X: 54” (137 cm) / 24” (61 cm)
  • 3X: 58” (147 cm) / 24” (61 cm)
  • 4X: 62” (157.5 cm) / 24 ½” (62.2 cm)
  • 5X: 66” (167.6 cm) / 24 ½” (62.2 cm)
  •  

 

You Will Need:

  • 950 (1,055, 1,140, 1,280, 1,360, 1,470, 1,584, 1,692, 1,790) Yards of soft #4 Worsted Weight Yarn (I used Lion Brand Pound of Love in Oxford Grey, 16 oz / 1020 yds per ball, 1 (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) Balls)
  • US Size 8 (5.0 mm) Circular Knitting Needle, at least 40” long
  • 2 Stitch Markers
  • 1 Locking Stitch Marker or Safety Pin
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Yarn Needle or Blunt Tapestry Needle

Gauge:

19 stitches = 4” (10 cm); 19 rows = 3” (7.6 cm) in stockinette stitch (knit all right side rows, purl all wrong side rows)

Abbreviations:

  • K: knit
  • P: purl 
  • sl: slip
  • st: stitch 
  • sts: stitches 
  • nxt: next 
  • Kf&b: knit front and back*

*This is a special stitch.  See instructions below to learn how to work this stitch.

Kf&b:  Insert right needle tip into the nxt st on the left needle.  Knit that st, but don’t let the old stitch slip off the left needle yet.  Bring the right needle behind the left needle, and insert the right needle into back of the same st, and knit through it again.  Now let the old stitch slip off the left needle.  The Kf&b increases one stitch by working into a stitch twice, once in the front and once in the back.

Body of Sweater

With Long-Tail Cast On, cast on 186 (206, 222, 250, 266, 286, 314, 330, 350) sts.

Row 1: *P2, K2* across to last 2 sts, P2.  You should have 186 (206, 222, 250, 266, 286, 314, 330, 350) sts.

Row 2: *K2, P2* across to last 2 sts, K2.  You should have 186 (206, 222, 250, 266, 286, 314, 330, 350) sts.

Repeat Rows 1-2 until you have a total of 20 rows, ending with row 2.  Piece should measure 3” (7.6 cm) from cast on edge.

Row 3: *P2, K2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, P2.  Place a stitch marker on right needle.  K 134 (154, 170, 190 206, 226, 246, 262, 282) sts.  Place a stitch marker on right needle.  *P2, K2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, P2.  You should have 186 (206, 222, 250, 266, 286, 314, 330, 350) sts.

Row 4: *K2, P2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, K2.  Sl marker, P across to nxt marker, sl marker.  *K2, P2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, K2.   You should have 186 (206, 222, 250, 266, 286, 314, 330, 350) sts.

Row 5: *P2, K2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, P2.  Sl marker, K across to nxt marker, sl marker.  *P2, K2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, P2.  You should have 186 (206, 222, 250, 266, 286, 314, 330, 350) sts.

Repeat Rows 4-5 until piece measures 15 ½” (15”, 15”, 14 ½”, 14 ½”, 14”, 13 ½”, 13 ½”, 13”) OR 39.4 cm (38 cm, 38 cm, 36.8 cm, 36.8 cm, 35.6 cm, 34.3 cm, 34.4 cm, 33 cm) from cast on edge, ending with row 4.


Upper Right Front

Row 1: *P2, K2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, P2.  Sl marker, K 27 (32, 35, 40, 44, 49, 54, 57, 63) sts.  STOP.  Do not continue to work across remaining sts.  We will now only be working across the section just knit.  All remaining sts will sit on the needle until we move on to the nxt section.  You should have 53 (58, 61, 70, 74, 79, 88, 91, 97) sts for this section, not including remaining sts held on the needle for later.

Row 2: P 27 (32, 35, 40, 44, 49, 54, 57, 63) sts, sl marker.  *K2, P2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, K2.  You should have 53 (58, 61, 70, 74, 79, 88, 91, 97) sts.

Row 3: *P2, K2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, P2.  Sl marker, K 27 (32, 35, 40, 44, 49, 54, 57, 63) sts.  You should have 53 (58, 61, 70, 74, 79, 88, 91, 97) sts.

Repeat Rows 2-3 until piece measures 23” (23”, 23 ½”, 23 ½”, 24”, 24”, 24”, 24 ½”, 24 ½”) from cast on edge, ending with row 3. 

Row 4: Bind off 26 (31, 34, 39, 43, 48, 53, 56, 62) sts, remove marker.  *K2, P2* across to last 2 sts, K2.  You should have 27 (27, 27, 31, 31, 31, 35, 35, 35) sts.

Row 5: *P2, K2* across to last 3 sts, P2, K1.  You should have 27 (27, 27, 31, 31, 31, 35, 35, 35) sts.

Row 6: P1.  *K2, P2* across to last 2 sts, K2.  You should have 27 (27, 27, 31, 31, 31, 35, 35, 35) sts.

Repeat Rows 5-6 until ribbing extends 2 ¾” (2 ¾”, 3”, 3”, 3 ¼”, 3 ¼”, 3 ¼”, 3 ½”, 3 ½”) OR 7 cm (7 cm, 7.6 cm, 7.6 cm, 8.3 cm, 8.3 cm, 8.3 cm, 8.9 cm, 8.9 cm) past bound-off edge from row 4, ending with row 5.  Bind off in pattern (knitting the K sts & purling the P sts).  Cut yarn, leaving a 1 yard tail, and tie off.


Upper Back

With the right side of the work facing you, begin with new yarn in 1st st on the right of remaining sts (first st nxt to upper right front).

Row 1: K 80 (90, 100, 110, 118, 128, 138, 148, 156) sts.  STOP.  Do not continue to work across remaining sts.  We will now only be working across the section just knit.  All remaining sts will sit on the needle until we move on to the nxt section.  You should have 80 (90, 100, 110, 118, 128, 138, 148, 156) sts.

Row 2: P across.  You should have 80 (90, 100, 110, 118, 128, 138, 148, 156) sts.

Row 3: K across.  You should have 80 (90, 100, 110, 118, 128, 138, 148, 156) sts.

Repeat Rows 2-3 until piece measures 23” (23”, 23 ½”, 23 ½”, 24”, 24”, 24”, 24 ½”, 24 ½”) OR 58.4 cm (58.4 cm, 59.7 cm, 59.7 cm, 61 cm, 61 cm, 61 cm, 62.2 cm, 62.2 cm) from cast on edge.  Bind off, cut yarn leaving a 6” tail, tie off.


Upper Left Front

With the right side of the work facing you, begin with new yarn in 1st st on the right of remaining sts (first st nxt to upper back).

Row 1: K 27 (32, 35, 40, 44, 49, 54, 57, 63) sts, sl marker.  *P2, K2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, P2.  You should have 53 (58, 61, 70, 74, 79, 88, 91, 97) sts.

Row 2: *K2, P2* 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) times, K2.  Sl marker, P 27 (32, 35, 40, 44, 49, 54, 57, 63) sts.  You should have 53 (58, 61, 70, 74, 79, 88, 91, 97) sts.

Repeat Rows 1-2 until piece measures 23” (23”, 23 ½”, 23 ½”, 24”, 24”, 24”, 24 ½”, 24 ½”) OR 58.4 cm (58.4 cm, 59.7 cm, 59.7 cm, 61 cm, 61 cm, 61 cm, 62.2 cm, 62.2 cm) from cast on edge, ending with row 2.

Row 3: Bind off 26 (31, 34, 39, 43, 48, 53, 56, 62) sts, remove marker.  *P2, K2* across to last 2 sts, P2.  You should have 27 (27, 27, 31, 31, 31, 35, 35, 35) sts.

Row 4: *K2, P2* across to last 3 sts, K2, P1.  You should have 27 (27, 27, 31, 31, 31, 35, 35, 35) sts.

Row 5: K1.  *P2, K2* across to last 2 sts, P2.  You should have 27 (27, 27, 31, 31, 31, 35, 35, 35) sts.

Repeat Rows 4-5 until ribbing extends 2 ¾” (2 ¾”, 3”, 3”, 3 ¼”, 3 ¼”, 3 ¼”, 3 ½”, 3 ½”) OR 7 cm (7 cm, 7.6 cm, 7.6 cm, 8.3 cm, 8.3 cm, 8.3 cm, 8.9 cm, 8.9 cm) past bound-off edge from row 3, ending with row 5.  Bind off in pattern (knitting the K sts & purling the P sts).  Cut yarn, leaving a 1 yard tail, and tie off.


Sleeve (make 2)

With Long Tail Cast On, cast on 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 58, 62, 66, 70) sts.

Row 1: *K2, P2* across to last 2 sts, K2.  You should have 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 58, 62, 66, 70) sts.

Row 2: *P2, K2* across to last 2 sts, P2.  You should have 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 58, 62, 66, 70) sts.

Repeat Rows 1-2 until piece measures 2 ½” (6.4 cm) from cast on edge, ending with row 2.

Row 3: K across.

Row 4: P across.

Row 5: K1, Kf&b, K across to last 2 sts, Kf&b, K1. (2 sts increased)

Row 6: P across.

Repeat Rows 3-6, 19 more times.  You should now have 74 (78, 82, 86, 90, 98, 102, 106, 110) sts.

Repeat Rows 3-4, 8 (8, 8, 8, 4, 4, 1, 1, 1) more time(s).  Bind off, cut yarn, leaving a tail at least 2 yards long.  Tie off.


Assembly

Block all pieces before seaming. Use the blocking method recommended for the type of yarn you are using. Lion Brand Pound of Love is 100% Acrylic, so I steam blocked my pieces (pin to finished measurements on ironing board or thick towels, hold steaming iron 2”-3” / 5 cm – 7.6 cm above the fabric). For animal fiber yarns, it is generally recommend to wet block (pin to finished measurements on blocking mat, spray with water, let dry).

Lay Body of Sweater wrong-side-up, and fold both front sections to the center so the armhole slits are on the sides.  See the extended section of ribbing at the top of each front?  We will be sewing the bind-off edges of those extended sections together to make the back of the collar.

Notice that on one extension, the yarn tail comes from the collar edge (long edge that goes down to the bottom of the sweater), and the other comes from the other edge (short edge that goes down a bit to meet the shoulder edge of the front).  Thread the tail that comes from the collar edge through your yarn needle.

Bring the bound-off edges of the ribbing extensions together, and turn them both over so they are wrong-side-up.  The purl side of the stockinette portions from the fronts will be facing up.  We are sewing this seam with wrong sides up so the pretty side of the seam will be on the wrong side.  When the sweater is right-side-out and the collar is folded back, the pretty side of the seam will face out.  Starting from the collar edge, begin mattress stitching the bound-off edges of the ribbing extensions together, stopping when you reach the other side of the ribbing extensions.  Take a small stitch at the end of the seam, wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot.  Turn the work over so the right side of the sweater is facing up.

You now have 2 yarn tails at the edge of the work, where the seam you just made is.  This edge  is the back neck edge, and will be sewn to the middle of the upper back edge (at the back of the neck).  The right side of the sweater should be facing out.  Fold the Upper Back edge in half to find the center, and line up the center with the collar seam just made.  We will sew the next seam with the yarn tail that is still on your needle, beginning at those aligned center points and working your way out to the shoulder edge.  Mattress stitch one half of the upper back edge to one half of the back neck / upper front edge.  When you reach the shoulder edge, take a small stitch at the end of the seam, wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot.  

Now thread the other yarn tail from the collar seam / center of back neck edge through your yarn needle.  Mattress stitch the other half of the upper back edge to the other half of the back neck / upper front edge.  When you reach the shoulder edge, take a small stitch at the end of the seam, wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot.

Now we will attach the sleeves.  Take one of the sleeves and find the long yarn tail at the top / bind-off edge.  Thread this yarn tail through your yarn needle.  Lay the body of the sweater flat, and find the bottom of the armhole slit.  Lay the top edge of the sleeve right side up next to the armhole, making sure the top edge of the sleeve is parallel with the armhole edge.  Fold the top edge of the sleeve in half to find the center.  With your locking stitch marker or safety pin, “pin” the center point of the top of the sleeve to the edge of the shoulder seam.  Begin at the bottom of the armhole slit and the top corner of the sleeve (where the yarn tail is coming from).  Skip the first stitch of the sleeve, as this will be used as an edge stitch in the next seam.  Mattress stitch the first half of the sleeve to the armhole (from the bottom of the armhole slit to the shoulder seam).  When you reach the stitch marker, remove it, and use it to pin the other top corner of the sleeve to the first corner that is already sewn to the sweater.  Continue mattress stitching the second half of the sleeve to the other half of the armhole slit (from the shoulder seam back around to the bottom of the slit).  When you reach the bottom of the armhole slit, leave the last stitch of the sleeve for an edge stitch on the next seam.  Take a small stitch at the edge of the armhole, wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot.

Bring the two long edges of the sleeve together with right sides up.  Beginning at the underarm, mattress stitch those edges together, stopping when you get to the edge of the sleeve cuff.  Take a small stitch at the edge of the cuff, wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot.  

Repeat instructions for attaching sleeve with the second sleeve.  Weave in all remaining ends.


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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