How To Crochet a Cardigan: 6 Different Styles To Try

How To Crochet a Cardigan: 6 Different Styles To Try
6 styles of cardigan

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Few things are as rewarding and enjoyable as crochet cardigan. You can also feel comfy and ensure that it will be sized exactly just for you. As you create each unique item, you truly deserve to show off your creativity and craftsmanship with pride. 

How to make a cardigan crocheted?

Making a cardigan is easier than you think. You can crochet it using basic and repeatable stitches that you already know. Even double crochet stitches 🙂 Of course, you can get fancy with it as well. In general, you will make 3 separate pieces: a back piece and 2 front panels.

When you joint these pieces together, the only job left is to make the sleeves. Then to attach them to the rest of the cardigan. And some of the patterns are even simpler than that. You only have to make a one big simple rectangle and…

Before starting to crochet, gather the following:

  1. Yarn
  2. Crochet Hook
  3. Scissors: For cutting loose yarn ends.
  4. Measuring Tape: You will need it to take your body measurements. Later on it will be needed to gauge your progress.
  5. Stitch Markers: Useful for marking stitches or rows in your project.
  6. Yarn Needle: Required for weaving in yarn tails and seaming.

Now, let’s explain each point more detail.


Buy enough yarn for the pattern and the size you want to make. Most of the patterns suggest the type and amount of yarn needed. However, you can choose any yarn (acrylic, cotton, wool or mix) you like and feel comfortable with.

Good quality yarn is pricey, so decide your budget first. The most universal yarn to purchase is worsted weight yarn that weighs 3.5 ounces  (100 g)  per skein. Skein lengths will vary, but will be yards 180 to 210 yards (160 – 190 meters). You will need from 5 to 8 skeins for an adult size cardigan.

The number of skeins will also depend on the size of the cardigan and yarn weight. Generally, for size L you will need 7 skeins of a worsted weight yarn. Once you have a little experience, you can play with yarn weights to customize the cardigan as well.

Crochet Hook:

Select the appropriate hook size recommended for that yarn. Hook size is another area where you can customize your work.

 Accurate body Measurements:

All great projects start with accurate measurements. Take measurements for your bust, waist, hips, arm length, and desired sweater length. Compare these with a size chart or use a pattern designed for your size. To measure accurately, pull the tape tight, but not too tight.

Next step will be  choosing a simple stitch pattern you want to follow. There is a plenty of free and paid patterns to choose from, so you can be overwhelmed first. Try to decide the style first. Let me explain it first below.

6 different styles of a crochet cardigan:

  1. Cocoon cardigan made from a single rectangle
  2.  Crochet cardigans made from panels
  3. Single piece main body panel with separate sleeves
  4. Top down raglan cardigan
  5. Top down round yoke cardigan
  6. Crochet cardigan made from 2 granny hexagons

In the name of transparency, this is not an exhaustive list of options of crochet cardigan construction. There are endless ways one could crochet a cardigan, but these are the most common approaches used in crochet patterns.

 To help you explore further, I have included some suggested paid and / or free crochet cardigan patterns which use each method.

Style 1 Cocoon cardigan made from a single rectangle

Make a granny square rectangle measuring 40″ (102cm) on a side. Fold the corners to the center and pin it together to try the cardigan on and add more rounds if desired. When you get the size you need, join the sides creating the sleeves. Add the finishing rounds to the cuffs and around the neck line if you want. 

A great and easy example of a cocoon cardigan made from a single rectangle is the Movie Night Cocoon Cardi. It’s a free pattern designed by Alexandra Tavel and you can find it here. It is based on a simple stitches (a granny)  and a simple construction so it will be perfect for beginners.

Cocoon cardi

For more patterns of this type, please visit

Airy Cocoon Cardigan Free Crochet Patterns


Style 2 Crochet cardigans made from panels

The next type is a panelled cardigan with back, front and sleeve panels. After crocheting, you join the back together with the  2 front panels. You then sew together the sleeve panels and add them to the main part of the cardigan.

A fine example of this technique is the Staycation Cardigan by Make and Do Crew blog.

staycation cardigan

Style 3 Single piece main body panel with separate sleeves

It’s an easier version to make than style 2. You have to crochet the main parts of the cardigan, e.g front and back panels as one piece. We will only leave a spaces for adding sleeves afterwards.

A great example of this techinque is the Lucie Crochet Cardigan by Knitting with Chopsticks blog. It an easy crochet cardigan pattern due to a simple shapes. 

Lucie Crochet Cardigan

Style 4: Top-down raglan

Next, let’s take a look at a schematic for a classic top-down crochet raglan cardigan. The yoke is crocheted flat, from the neck outwards. It is split at the corners, adding underarm chains to create sections for the body and sleeves. You then work the body and add sleeves directly to the arm holes. 

You can adjust sleeves length accordingly. For joining them with the main body of the cardigan, you can use any stitch you know, e.g a slip stitch. As they are narrow, they will also look good for the longer side. If you love long sleeves, this pattern will fit you the most.

Top down raglan

A patten for this raglan you can find here.

Style 5: Top down round yoke cardigan

A round yoke crochet cardigan is made using a similar principle to a top-down raglan cardigan. However, you distribute the increases more evenly around the yoke. This starts with a circular flat shape, not a rectangle.

The split circle or oval yoke is worked flat to the underarms. You then split it to form the body and armholes with underarm chains. You continue crocheting to make the body then add the sleeves to the arm holes on the yoke.

Top down yoke cardigan

 A patten for this top down round yoke cardigan you will find here.

More info on Ravelry.

Style 6: Crochet cardigan made from 2 granny hexagons

The two simple granny hexagons are what form the chest and shoulders of this sweater. Once they’re sewn together, you’ll lengthen the sweater. Next, you will add longer sleeves, and pop a basic rectangular hood on the top to make. Et voila, your extra comfy cardigan is ready.

The pattern is made from a basic stitch for any skill level. This crochet garment is foreseen as a longer cardigan, but you can adjust the length as you desire. 

crochet cardigan made from 2 granny hexagons

A free pattern and crochet cardigan tutorial made from 2 granny hexagons you can find at Make and Do Crew blog.


Can a beginner crochet a sweater?

If you are a beginner you probably thinking if you handle making a crochet cardigan. Yes, you do? You can crochet a cardigan even if you are a newbie. Here I collected the simplest patterns which generally  are no more complicated than easy projects you have already made.
A main difference is that cardigan project is bigger and more time consuming. For a beginner it will require more patience and more time on a project than the crochet pro. However, in no time your will be quicker and fluent.

How many hours does it take to crochet a sweater?

It is faster than you expect! It takes approximately from 15 to 25 hours to finish a sweater, on average.
However,  if it is your first sweater, consider at least 30 hours of your time to complete it.
Considering that this is time spend nicely spend on your hobby! 🙂

If you would like to find more popular pattern to consider, see my previous post:

25+ Best Free Crochet Sweater and Cardigan Patterns

Granny Square Cardigan, Free Crochet Patterns

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