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Cotton Comfort Easy Knit Cardigan Pattern

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In this pattern post, I want to share with you the cotton comfort easy knit cardigan pattern.

This cardigan is really soft and comforting, due to the drape and fit.

It’s baggy and cozy, it wraps around you and somehow you feel comforted just wearing it!

Scroll down to view the free pattern or you can grab your printer-friendly ad-free PDF here.

Cotton-Comfort-Easy-Knit-Cardigan-Pattern

An Easy Level Knitting Pattern

This is an easy pattern for those of you who are advanced beginner level, using mainly knit and purl stitches, it will also introduce you to decreasing and shaping.

This cotton cardigan is wonderful for the spring/summer months when there is a slight breeze in the air or a storm is coming over.

Knit on size 8mm (US 11) needles, you could use a different yarn and make a wonderfully cozy blanket cardigan for the winter.

Easy knit cotton cardigan

Easy Cardigan Knitting Pattern

This is a great project for anyone who is an advanced beginner and looking to make a garment for the first time.

Knit mostly in garter stitch, you will use simple increases and decreases to shape.

The cardigan is knit in 5 pieces, back, left front, right front, and two sleeves.

woman on the beach wearing an oversized knit sweater

How To Knit A Cardigan – The Basics You Need To Know

Before you knit a cozy cardigan or sweater there are some basic knitting skills you should already know how to do.

For beginner knitters, the knitting basics like being able to cast on and cast off, knit, and purl stitches.

You will also need to know some basic increases and decreases, like being able to sl 1, K2tog for example.

back view of knit sweater

Great for all skill levels

You should also be confident in reading an easy skill-level knitting pattern and know simple knitting abbreviations.

Knitting skill level is sometimes not that important, as you read through the pattern and see if it looks like something you could do.

If you read through it and think – ‘yes! ok, I can do this’ then give it a go, there are always tutorials out there to help you with anything unfamiliar.

woman at the beach wearing a knitted cardigan

Resources And Tutorials That Will Help You To Knit This Cardigan

To make the cardigan you mainly need to know how to knit and purl.

You will be creating the main knitted fabric of the piece in garter stitch (knitting every row) and the selvedge edges are where you need to do a purl stitch.

The purl stitches are also used when you create the collar that runs on the left and right fronts.

If you are new to knitting and still finding your feet with all of the knitting terms and abbreviations, you can find some tutorials and information here;

woman wearing an oversized knit cardigan

Oversized Knit Sweaters Have Comfort In Mind

The stitch pattern looks very soft in this cotton which is from Rico yarns.

Using the 8mm (US 11) needles with this yarn created a comfy, drapey piece that wraps around you like a hug.

The sleeves are purposely loose and baggy, for extra comfort.

woman wearing a long knitted sweater

Why Is This Cardigan So Easy To Knit?

  1. It uses only knit and purl stitches.
  2. It works up quickly as you will use 8mm (US 11) needles and two strands of cotton aran which is a medium-weight yarn (04).
  3. Has minimal shaping and a loose baggy fit.
  4. The shaping is clear and simple to understand.
  5. All of the pieces are knit flat (even though I used circular needles to accommodate the number of stitches).
woman wearing a knit cardigan

Great For The Beach!

If you follow my blog, IG, or Facebook and know a little about me, you know that I visit Corfu, Greece, every year and love to be at the beach!

I feel so inspired by nature and colors here on the island, with the lush Corfiot landscape rich in greens and the shores with crystal clear waters in many shades of blue.

My summer pieces generally have color inspiration from the sea and the pebbled shores.

This knit cardigan was made in teal-colored cotton (color name Patina) and echoed the wonderful colors in the water.

woman wearing a loose knit sweater

Cozy and oversized to wear

I wore this cardigan during a trip to the north of the island to visit Avlaki beach and then to visit a family-run taverna in Roda.

The loose-knit sweater was worn, as a storm was coming and the wind really picked up, making it much needed.

The cotton I knit it with, Rico Creative Cotton Aran in Patina, is really soft cotton.

After wearing it for a while, I felt so cozy and sleepy, the baggy fit, as well as the drapey style, made it perfect for throwing over a sundress.

woman wearing a hand knit cardigan

An easy first garment for beginners

This would make a great project for anyone who wants to make their first garment.

The cotton comfort cardigan is knit by creating a back panel, a left front, a right front, and two sleeves.

The collar is extended on both front pieces so that it can be folded over and stitched at the neck to stay in place.

You could adjust the length of the cardigan if you wish – by adding more rows to the back and front panels.

side view of oversized cardigan collar

The back is longer

As you can see from the photographs, the back piece has been knit slightly longer than the two front panels.

I usually like a long cardigan to cover my bum and to feel a little like a blanket.

So this length felt right for me, but you can adjust it to your own preferences.

woman at the beach wearing a baggy sweater

The cotton yarn I used is from Rico Design

The design of the loose-knit cardigan is basic – so simple yet also affordable depending on which cotton or type of yarn you want to use.

I used the Rico cotton knit with two strands together and it didn’t break the bank.

This cotton is of good quality and yet affordable.

Rico creative cotton aran in Patina knit with two strands together

Notes

There are 5 sizes available – small, medium, large, XL and XXL.

In the photographs, I am wearing the medium size for a UK size 10/12 / US size 6/8.

Please read the notes section of the pattern below before starting to knit.

The pattern is written for all sizes starting with the small size – with changes for different sizes listed in all necessary places (the parentheses).

Copyright Info

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute or republish this pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, link to the pattern page only.
  • You may sell items produced using this pattern.
  • Do NOT use the copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • For the copyright T&C please read my Terms of Use.

Further Notes

  • The cardigan is made from 5 pieces – back, 2 fronts, and 2 sleeves
  • Circular needles are used because there are many stitches, work back and forth on those needles, and do not join in the round for any piece.
  • Each row of each piece begins with a slip stitch and ends with a purl stitch for any selvedge.
  • Selvedge stitches create a neat edge for seaming.
  • You can slip as if to knit or to purl, whichever you prefer.
  • The back piece is about 5 inches (13cm) longer than the front pieces.

Skill Level – Easy

Gauge – 10 x 10 cm /4 x 4 inches = 10 sts and 16 rows in garter stitch.

The Supplies You Need

Yarn

  • Rico Creative Cotton Aran in Patina – 50g / (85m/93 yards).
  • This is an Aran/Worsted/10 Ply yarn – knit with two strands together.
  • If you want to knit with a single strand only – you will need Bulky/Chunky/12 Ply yarn.
  • For the following sizes you will need;
  • Small – 14 – 50g (700g/1,190m/1,303yds)
  • Medium – 16 – 50 g (800g/1,360m/1,488yds)
  • Large – 20 – 50g (1000g/1,700m/1,860yds)
  • XL – 24 – 50g (1200g,2,040m/2,232yds)
  • XXL – 28 – 50g (1400g/2,380m/2,604yds)
  • Yarn weight guide

Needles

Notions

garter stitch oversized cardigan

Measurements/Sizes

Sizes – S / M / L / XL / XXL

Finished Bust

S – 32-34” – 87cm

M – 36-38” / 97 cm

L – 42 – 44” / 112cm

XL – 50 – 52” / 132cm

XXL – 60 – 62” / 155cm

Finished Back Length

S – 31” / 79cm

M – 32” / 82cm

L – 33” / 85cm

XL – 34”” / 87cm

XXL – 35” / 90cm

Finished Front Length (not including the collar extension)

S – 27”/ 69cm

M – 28” / 72cm

L – 29” / 74cm

XL – 30” / 77cm

XXL – 31” / 79cm

Cardigan pattern measurements

Abbreviations / Knitting Abbreviations List

  • Beg – beginning
  • K – knit
  • K2tog – knit two stitches together
  • P – purl
  • PM – place marker
  • Rem – remaining
  • Rep – repeat
  • RS – right side
  • Sl – slip
  • St(s) – stitch (es)
  • WS – wrong side

Pattern

Back Piece

  • Cast on – 57 (75, 93, 111, 129) sts
  • Row 1 – Sl 1 (selvedge), K to last st, p1 (selvedge).
  • Rep row one until the back piece measures – from the beginning: 23”/59cm ( 24”/61cm, 25”/64cm, 26”/67cm, 27”/69cm)
  • End with a WS row as the last row you work.

Shape the shoulders

  • Cast off 1 (2, 3, 4, 5) sts at the beg of the next 8 (10, 12, 14, 16) rows. 49 (55, 57, 55, 49) sts.
  • Cast off 2 sts (S/M) 3 sts (L/XL/XXL) at the beg of the next 12 (10, 8, 6, 4) rows. 25 (35, 33, 37, 37) sts.
  • Cast off.

Left Front

  • Cast on 33 (39, 51, 57, 69) sts.
  • Row 1: Sl 1, P6, PM, K to last st, p1.
  • Row 2: Sl 1, K to last 7 sts, (slide marker) p 6 sts, p1.
  • Rep the last two rows, cont to slip marker as you come to it.
  • Continue to work pattern as established until piece measures: 20”/51cm (20.5”/52cm, 21”/53.5cm, 21.5”/54.5cm, 22”/56cm) from beg, end with a RS row as the last row you work.

Shape Shoulder

  • Row 1: (WS) cast off 1 (2, 3, 4, 5) sts, then work in pattern as established.
  • Row 2: Work in pattern as established to end of row. 32 (37, 48, 53, 64) sts.
  • Rep rows 1 and 2 a further 3 (4, 5, 6, 7) times more. 29 (29, 33, 29, 29) sts.
  • Next row: Cast off 3 sts, work in pattern as established to the end of the row – (26, 26, 30, 26, 26) sts.
  • Next Row: Work even in pattern as established.
  • Rep last two rows: 3 (3, 3, 2, 1) more times. 17 (17, 21, 20, 23) sts.

Collar Extension

  • Cont in pattern as established, slipping the first st and purling the last st for selvedges for about 3.5”/9cm (4”/10cm, 4”/10cm, 4¼ / 11 cm, 4 ¼ / 11 cm), ending with a WS row as the last row you work.
  • Next row: Cast off 5 (6, 7, 7, 8) sts then work in pattern as established to end of row. 12 (11, 14, 13, 15) sts.
  • Next row: Work even in pattern as established.
  • Rep last two rows once more.
  • Cast off rem: 7 (5, 7, 6, 7) sts.

Right Front

  • Cast on 33 (39, 51, 57, 69) sts.
  • Row 1: Sl 1, K to last 7 st, PM, p6, p1.
  • Row 2: Sl 1, p6, slip marker, k to last st, p1.
  • Rep the last two rows, cont to slip marker as you come to it.
  • Continue to work pattern as established until piece measures: 20”/51cm (20.5”/52cm, 21”/53.5cm, 21.5”/54.5, 22”/56cm) from beg, end with a WS row as the last row you work (not the collar end).

Shape Shoulder

  • Row 1: (RS) cast off 1, (2, 3, 4, 5) sts, then work pattern as established to end of row. 32 (37, 48, 53, 64) sts.
  • Row 2: Work in pattern as established.
  • Rep rows 1 and 2 a further 3 (4, 5, 6, 7) times more. 29 (29, 33, 29, 29) sts.
  • Next row: Cast off 3 sts, work in pattern as established to the end of the row. 26 (26, 30, 26, 26) sts.
  • Next Row: Work even in pattern as established.
  • Rep last two rows: 3 (3, 3, 2, 1) more times. 17 (17, 21, 20, 23) sts.

Collar Extension

  • Cont in pattern as established, slipping the first st and purling the last st for selvedges for about 3.5”/9cm (4”/10cm, 4”/10cm, 4 ¼ / 11 cm, 4 ¼ / 11 cm), ending with a WS row as the last row you work.
  • Next row: Cast off 5 (6, 7, 7, 8) sts then work in pattern as established to end of row. 12 (11, 14, 13, 15) sts.
  • Next row: Work even in pattern as established.
  • Rep last two rows once more.
  • Cast off rem: 7 (5, 7, 6, 7) sts.

Sleeves – Make 2

  • Cast on 39 (45, 51, 57, 63) sts.
  • Row 1: sl 1 (selvedge), k to last st, p1 (selvedge).
  • Rep row 1 until the piece measures: 15.5”/40cm (16”/41cm, 16.5”/42cm, 16.5”/42cm, 15.5”/39.5cm) from beg.

Shape cap – top of sleeve:

  • Rows 1-5: Bind off: S – 4sts / M – 5sts.
  • Rows 1-6: L – 6sts / XL – 7sts / XXL – 8sts.
  • Work in pattern as established to end of row – S = 19 sts / M = 20 sts in row 5 / L / XL / XXL: 15 sts in row 6.
  • Cast off.

Finishing

  • Sew shoulder seams – lie the pieces out on a large surface and align the fronts onto the back piece.
  • Match up the shoulders and seam using the mattress stitch, once you have done this the next steps should seem easier to follow.
  • Place markers on side edges of back and fronts, about:
  • S – 5”/13cm / M – 5.5”/14cm / L – 6”/15cm / XL – 7”/17cm / XXL – 7.5”/19cm, below shoulder seams.
  • Sew side and sleeve seams, leaving the lower 4 inches of the back piece un-sewn – you can see in the photographs, that the back piece is longer than the fronts.
  • Sew ends of collar extensions together (the ends first with the mattress stitch) and stitch the edge of the collar extension to the back of the neck.
  • You can see something similar in the making up of this cardigan pattern here this also has neck extensions that are seamed in the same way.
  • Use a simple whip stitch seam for garter stitch sections, or your preferred seaming method – you can also use the mattress stitch.
  • Weave in loose ends.

More patterns you may like…

If you like this pattern you may also like the sea glass shawl pattern.

Made in blue, green, and white cotton, the shawl is easy to knit, with a video tutorial to help you.

You may also like this Rainbow Cardigan Knitting Pattern or this Chunky Cardigan Knitting Pattern.

Share your work with us…

I love seeing your finished projects!

If you enjoyed making the cardigan, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme.

Happy Knitting!

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36 Comments

  1. I have a question about the easy knit cardigan. Would it work okay to knit it in worsted weight acrylic rather than cotton? And if so, would I still need to use two strands together?

    1. Hello, you could use yarn in a similar weight to the cotton (which is a medium weight yarn 04), but it would have to be knit with two strands together and used with 8mm/US 11 needles. You could knit a swatch to see if the tension is correct before you decide? If you change the needle size and the yarn weight, the sizing is going to be all different from what is written in the pattern. Thanks for visiting πŸ™‚

    1. Hello, sorry I just have this as a knitting pattern – maybe that is something I can develop in the future! Thanks for visiting πŸ™‚

  2. I’m knitting this cardigan in the largest size and had a question about the left front. Do you have a measurement for its width? I know long it’s supposed to be but not the width. I ask because it seems awfully wide. I normally wear this size so I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong, or will it somehow not look so wide when it’s all sewn together?

    Thanks!

    1. Hello Debbie, I don’t have a measurement for the width, only for the length. I am wearing the medium in the photographs and it was very slouchy and oversized, this is the style of the cardigan. As you can see in the photos the sleeves start quite far down the arm, so the front has to be wide enough to cover your shoulder and part of your upper arm – if that makes sense. I hope that helps and let me know how it goes. Thanks, Louise πŸ™‚

  3. I’m making this in the biggest size, working on the Left Front. I’ve come to the shaping shoulder part and am totally lost on the instructions for rows 5-6.

    What does it mean , for instance, when the pattern says:

    XXL – 3-16: Rep rows 1 and 2

    I don’t know what the 3-16 means.

    Thank you,

    Deb

    1. Hello Deb, 3-16 refers to rows 3 to 16. So you need to repeat rows 1 and 2 through rows 3 to 16. I hope that helps! πŸ™‚

  4. Hi,
    Your pattern prompted me to buy the Rico Patina yarn and get ready to make your lovely cotton cardigan. It gives me hope to be able to travel again in the future, possibly to Corfu! Thanks for the inspiration . Let’s hope for an end to Covid very soon. Will let you know how the sweater turns out. Stay well.

    1. Hello Bev,
      I’m so happy that you want to make this cardigan, it is a very simple knit and the Rico yarn in the patina colour can go with many outfits!
      I hope too that one day you will come to Corfu and wear your cardigan around the island πŸ™‚
      Do let me know how the sweater goes, you can share photos on Instagram and tag me or in the Handy Little Me Facebook group.
      Happy Knitting!
      Louise

  5. Help I am a beginner and cannot understand the shape shoulder instructions for the back. Please can you translate for me

    1. Hello Christine,
      Depending on the size you are making – you need to highlight all of the numbers that pertain to your size – this wil help you to shape the shoulders.
      For example, if you are making the small size – you will cast off one stitch at the beg of each row – in rows 1-8.
      Then you would – Continue to work in the pattern as established to end of row – S – 49 sts in row 8.
      Next work in pattern for: S – 12 rows.
      Finally – Cast off 2 sts (S/M) at the beg of each row, then work in pattern as established to the end of the row. (S – 25 sts)
      Then cast off.
      I hope that helps,
      Louise

  6. Would like to knit this beautiful cardigan but using a thicker yarn for winter – I’m a new’ knitter can your recommend which yarn to use for a warm baggy snuggly cardigan normally get a size 14 top should I knit a large – thanks

    1. Hello Catherine,
      You can make this cardigan in any bulky/chunky/12 ply yarn – so maybe something like Hue and Me from Lion Brand Yarns or Paintbox yarns simply chunky.
      Or one of my favourite yarns to work with – The Petite Wool from We Are Knitters – that would be really cosy to wear for the colder months.
      There are lots of choices!
      For an oversized fit I would recommend making the large size, it is quite a slouchy, baggy cardigan, so this should be ok!
      I hope that helps and happy knitting!
      Louise

  7. Hello!! I love this project so far! I have a question about the amount of yarn. I substituted the yarn you suggested with
    Scheepjes Cahlista 50gr and I think it is a perfect sub in terms of grams / yardage. However, I think that I am going to need many more skeins than suggested. Has anyone ever mentioned this or is it just my knitting??

    1. Hello Beth,
      I haven’t heard from anyone about this before and have seen many beautiful finished cardigans from makers over on IG.
      The yarn I used was Rico Creative Aran 50g/85m/93yds – knit with two strands together.
      Let me know how it goes!
      Louise

      1. Hi! Did you only need 93 yards total? I’m trying to figure out how many skeins to order of the exact yarn you linked.

        1. Hello Ashten, the yarn I used is 93 yards per 50g ball.
          I knit with two balls together on 8mm (US 11) needles.
          So depending on the size you are making – you will need much more than 93 yards – for the medium size I used 800g which is around 1,488 yards.
          The sizes and amount of yarn needed for each size in grams are listed in the pattern underneath the yarn section.
          I hope that helps!
          Louise

          1. Thank you! I realized right away it was a silly question to ask if 93 yds was all that was needed. πŸ˜‚

  8. Hello, I love the pattern for the sweater. I just wanted a clarification on instructions for shaping the shoulder on the left front. When it says, β€œ 2. Row 2: Work pattern as established to end of row (S – 32sts / M – 37sts / L – 48sts / XL – 53sts / XXL – 64sts)
    3. Work in pattern as established.” Is number three saying that you need to knit a new row after number two. Or is it just a reminder to knit number two as established.

    1. Hello Alexis,
      So in the instructions, it is saying to work in the pattern established for both rows 2 and 3.
      This is 2 rows – then you move onto row 4.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  9. Hello Louise
    I am new to knitting and would love to give this pattern a go . Please can you clarify when you say you say you knitted with two strands together. Perhaps I am being daft but what does that mean exactly ?
    As I said I’m new to knitting so I apologise if this seems a silly question!!!
    Look forward to hearing from you
    Best wishes
    Diane

    1. Hello Diane,
      Knitting with two strands together means that I used two single strands from two balls of yarn instead of one to get the thickness I required for the project.
      This was because I wanted to get a bulky weight yarn and put two strands of worsted together to get that.
      You can read more about knitting with two strands of yarn together in this tutorial post here – https://www.handylittleme.com/how-to-knit-with-two-strands-of-yarn-together/
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  10. I am a little confused about how much yarn I need. I want to use the chunky wool (using only one strand)
    Will make it up in a large ….. how many balls of 100g wool do I need.
    Do I use the 8mm knitting needles.
    Thanking you in advance

    1. Hello Claire,
      Using one strand only and making a large size you will need approx 10 of 100g balls – but it depends on the meters and yards because it may be different from the yarn I used.
      So you would need around 930 yards/850 meters.
      That’s using Bulky/Chunky/12 Ply yarn and 8mm (US 11) knitting needles.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  11. Can I please have clarity on how to shape the shoulders the on the back piece . I have made the large size…. I would be extremely grateful

    1. Hello Claire,
      Sure here are the instructions for the back piece / large size only:

      Shape the shoulders
      Rows 1-12: cast off 3 sts at beg of each row, continue to work in the pattern as established to the end of the row. (57sts)
      Next 8 rows: Cast off 3 sts at the beg of each row, then work in pattern as established to the end of the row. (33 sts)
      Cast off.

      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  12. Hi,
    Can you tell me roughly how many balls of yarn you used to knit the back of the cardigan? I’m making the medium size and only have 6 balls off 50g yarn left. That seems to be a small amount for knitting 2 front panels, collar extensions and sleeves. Does it sound right to you? I don’t want to plough on and find I have no will left!

    1. Hello Jess,
      This depends on the meters/yards of the 50g yarn you are using.
      The yarn I used is 85m per 50g ball, so for the medium size you would need = 1,360m
      For the back piece, I think I would have used around 4-6 balls of the Rico cotton Aran yarn.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  13. Hello! When shaping the sleeve cap in size large, am I just binding off the first 6 stitches for rows 1-6? Or am I binding off 6 at the end of the rows? Also, when it says rows 1-6, are these actually the last 6 rows after I knit the sleeve until it meets the 16.5” length? I’m still learning patterns. Thanks!

    1. Hello Hillary,
      You will work the sleeve until your desired length first before the shaping of the top of the sleeve, this is 16.5″.
      For the large size sleeve – in rows 1-6 you will bind off 6 sts at the beg of each row and then work in the established pattern to the end of the row (in row 6 you should have 15 sts left).
      Then you can cast off.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  14. Hi! I have a question about the left front panel shaping the shoulders. Is Row 1 the WS? Should I end the two row repeat with Row 1? If I end with Row 2 I think that means I’m decreasing the collar so I want to make sure I’m reading the pattern correctly. Thank you!

    1. Hello Sarah,
      You are correct, Row 1 begins on the WS of the work, you will decrease the side of the work that is not the collar side.
      The collar will continue to be worked without decreases.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise