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How To Knit A Cardigan (Advanced Beginner Pattern)


In this blog post, you will see how to knit a cardigan in an advanced beginner pattern.

This pattern is perfect for those who love to knit and want to create a beautiful and stylish cardigan for the summer season. 

The cardigan is made from soft and breathable cotton, which makes it comfortable to wear even on warm days. 

The knitting pattern is easy to follow, making it suitable for beginners and experienced knitters. 

You’ll love how this attractive cardigan looks and feels, and it will be a fantastic addition to your summer wardrobe. 

So, grab your knitting needles and create a stunning summer cotton cardigan with this free knitting pattern. 

Please scroll down to view the free pattern online or grab the inexpensive, ad-free PDF pattern in my shop here

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How To Knit A Cardigan (Advanced Beginner Pattern)

How To Knit A Cardigan (Advanced Beginner Pattern)

Skill Level – Advanced beginner knitters

Make a light-fitted cardigan perfect for spring/summer weather with this easy knitting pattern.

This is an easy-level pattern for advanced beginners looking to make their first garment.

For an oversized, more slouchy cardigan, you could use bulky yarn with large needles (6 mm / US 10).

Grab the ad-free printable PDF in my shop here.

You can also grab the whole Muses pattern collection here. 

Copyright Info

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute, or republish this pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, please provide a 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.

The Supplies You Need…


  • The Pima Cotton From We Are Knitters (This cotton is 100% Pima Cotton / 10g/3.05oz/232 yds/212m).
  • Use my code – MGM4VHHAT – for 10 off on your WAK yarn order.
  • This is an Aran/Worsted/10 Ply yarn.
  • For the following sizes, you will need;
  • Small – 4 – (400g/928yds/848m).
  • Medium – 5 – (500g/1,160yds/1,060m).
  • Large – 6 – (600g/1,392yds/1,272m).
  • XL – 7 – (700g/1,624yds/1,484m).
  • XXL – 8 – (800g/1,856yds/1,696m).



  • Scissors
  • Darning needle/yarn needle
  • Tape measure
  • Stitch holder
  • Stitch markers
Cardigan knitting pattern

Size Information

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

To follow the pattern more easily, circle or highlight all numbers pertaining to your size before beginning.

Further Notes

The cardigan is made from 5 pieces – a back, 2 fronts, and 2 sleeves.

Circular needles are used for the front bands because there are many stitches; you will work back and forth on those needles and not join in the round for any piece.

The sizes are for the following sizes – S / M / L / XL / XXL

Measurements are given in inches (“) and in centimeters (cm).

Finished Bust

  • S – 32 – 34” / 76-81 cm / Actual size – 39.3″/100 cm
  • M – 36 – 38” / 86-91 cm / Actual size – 43.3″/110 cm
  • L – 42 – 44” / 96-101 cm / Actual size – 47.2″/120 cm
  • XL – 50 – 52” / 132cm / Actual size – 51.1″/130 cm
  • XXL – 60 – 62” / 155cm / Actual size – 55.1″/140 cm

Finished Back Length

  • S – 22.4″/57 cm
  • M – 22.8″/58 cm
  • L – 23.2″/59 cm
  • XL – 23.6″/60 cm
  • XXL – 24″/61 cm

Sleeve seam – 18″/45 cm

Gauge – 10 x 10 cm /4 x 4 inches = 16 sts and 20 rows in stocking stitch using 5.5 mm (US 9) needles.

Side view of knitted cardigan

Knitting Abbreviations

  • Beg – Beginning
  • CO – Cast on
  • Dec – decrease
  • Foll – following
  • Inc – Increase
  • K – Knit
  • K2tog – Knit two stitches together
  • P – Purl
  • PM – Place marker
  • Rib – To work in ribbing (2×2 ribbing)
  • Rem – Remaining
  • Rep – Repeat
  • RS – Right side
  • St(s) – Stitch (es)
  • St St – Stocking stitch
  • WS – Wrong side
  • YO – Yarn over (also known as yarn forward)
  • 2×2 Ribbing – Knit two stitches, Purl two stitches.
Worsted weight cardigan knitting pattern

Knit Cardigan Pattern

Back Piece

  • Using 4.5 mm (US 7) needles cast on 78 (86, 94, 102, 110) sts
  • Work in 2×2 ribbing until the piece measures 1″/3 cm from the CO edge, ending after a WS row and inc 1 st at both ends of the last row. 80 (88, 96, 104, 112) sts.
  • Change to 5.5 mm (US 9) needles and start working in st st, beg with a K row.
  • Cont straight in st st until work measures – 57 (58, 59, 60, 61) cm, 22.4 (22.8, 23.2, 23.6, 24) inches, ending after a WS row.

Shape the shoulders

  • Cast off 27 (30, 33, 36, 39) sts at the beg of the next two rows.
  • Leave the rem 26 (28, 30, 32, 34) sts on a stitch holder for the back neck.

Right Front

  • Using 4.5 mm (US 7) needles cast on 38 (42, 46, 50, 54) sts.
  • Work in 2×2 ribbing until the piece measures 1″/3 cm from the CO edge (same as for the back) ending after a WS row.
  • Change to 5.5 mm (US 9) needles and start working in st st, beg with a K row.
  • Cont straight in st st until work measures 15″/38 cm, ending after a WS row. (For the Left Front work one row less here).

Shape Front Slope

  • Cont in st st, dec one st at the beg of next row and at the same edge of every foll 3rd row until 27 (30, 33, 36, 39) sts remain.
  • Cont straight in st st until Front matches Back to shoulder, ending at side seam edge.

Shape Front Slope

  • Cast off the rem 27 (30, 33, 36, 39) sts.

Left Front

Work as for Right Front, noting bracketed exception.


  • Using 4.5 mm (US 7) needles cast on 42 (46, 50, 54, 58) sts.
  • Work in 2×2 ribbing until the piece measures 1″/3 cm from the CO edge (same as for the back) ending after a WS row and inc one st at both ends of the last row. 44 (48, 52, 56, 60) sts.
  • Change to 5.5 mm (US 9) needles and start working in st st, beg with a K row.
  • Inc one st at both ends of every 5th row until there are 76 (80, 84, 88, 92) sts, working extra sts into st st.
  • Cont straight in st st until work measures 18″/45 cm, ending after a WS row.
  • Cast off.
Back view of knitted cardigan


You may wish to block your pieces before seaming.

If you want to learn more about blocking, you can view this blog post here – Blocking Knits

Front Band/Borders

  • Join Shoulder seams.
  • Using a 4.5 mm (US 7) circular needle and with the RS facing, pick up and knit 72 sts along the right front opening edge, 38 (39, 40, 41, 42) sts along the right front neck slope to shoulder, K across 26 (28, 30, 32, 34) sts left on back neck holder, pick up and knit 38 (39, 40, 41, 42) sts along left front neck slope and 72 sts along left front opening edge. 246 (250, 254, 258, 262) sts.
  • Starting with a WS row, work one row in 2×2 ribbing.
  • Next row (RS): Rib 4, K2tog, YO, (rib 20, K2tog, YO) 3 times, rib to end.
  • Cont in rib until the border measures 1″/3 cm.
  • Cast off in rib.

Making Up

  • Mark the point along the side seam edges of the back and front 24 (25, 26, 27, 28) cm, 9.4 (9.8, 10.2, 10.6, 11) inches, on either side of shoulder seams, and sew sleeves to the body between these points.
  • Sew side and sleeve seams.
  • Attach buttons to correspond with buttonholes on the button band.

Could you share your work with us?

I love seeing your finished projects on social media.

If you enjoyed this beautiful cardigan pattern, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme or #handylittleme to be featured.

If you are on Facebook, stop over to the Handylittleme Facebook group and share a photo, 

I’d love to see your work.

You can also find us on Pinterest and Etsy.

Happy knitting!

Knit cardigan

A Knit Cardigan For Summer 

This classic cardigan pattern is knit with worsted/aran weight yarn in cotton – We Are Knitters – Pima Cotton and (US size 7) 4.5 mm and (US size 9) 5.5 mm knitting needles.

There are many color options to choose from.

A 2×2 rib pattern on the sleeve cuff and all over the edges of the front and back panels.

The main body of the sweater is knit in stocking stitch, you can see a video tutorial showing you how to knit this stitch pattern here – Stocking Stitch.

The pattern comes in various sizes, and it’s written in the smallest size, S, with the instructions for the larger sizes in parentheses.

Learn how to knit the 2×2 rib pattern here – How To Knit Rib Stitch Patterns (1×1 and 2×2 ribbing) 

What is the best yarn for a summer knit cardigan pattern? 

The ideal yarn for a summer knit cardigan pattern combines lightweight yarn with breathable fibers to ensure comfort in warm weather. 

For a lighter, airier fabric, opt for yarn in fingering, sport, DK, or worsted weight categories. 

Natural fibers such as cotton, linen, bamboo, or blends of these materials are excellent choices. 

  • Cotton yarn, renowned for its softness and breathability, is a popular option. It keeps you cool and comfortable even on the hottest days. 
  • Linen yarn offers a crisp texture and beautiful drape, perfect for creating elegant and breezy cardigans. 
  • Bamboo yarn, with its silky feel and antibacterial properties, provides a luxurious touch while remaining lightweight and cool. 
  • Blends of these fibers offer a balance of comfort and functionality, ensuring your summer cardigan is both stylish and practical for warm-weather wear. 

The pattern you will choose should have a recommended yarn in the instructions. 

Making a gauge swatch before starting your project is a good idea to ensure you have the right yarn, needles, and tension. 

What supplies do you need to knit a cardigan?

To knit a cardigan, you’ll need several supplies to get started. 

Firstly, choose a yarn appropriate for the project, considering factors like weight, fiber content, and color. 

Worsted weight yarn is commonly used for cardigans due to its versatility and availability, but you can choose any weight depending on the desired drape and warmth of the finished garment. 

Additionally, select knitting needles in the size recommended by your chosen pattern, typically circular needles for the body and sleeves to accommodate the large number of stitches. 

You’ll also need basic knitting tools such as scissors, stitch markers, and a tapestry needle/yarn needle for sewing the back panel to the front panels. 

A stitch marker can be an essential tool to help you keep stitch count. 

With these supplies on hand, you’ll be ready to cast on and knit your own cozy cardigan sweater.

Steps to measure yourself for a summer cardigan

To measure for a summer cardigan jacket pattern, you’ll want to take several key measurements to ensure a proper fit:

  1. Chest/Bust Circumference: Measure around the fullest part of your bust or chest, making sure the measuring tape is straight and parallel to the ground.
  2. Waist: Measure around your natural waistline, which is typically the narrowest part of your torso, between your ribcage and your hips.
  3. Hips: Measure around the fullest part of your hips, ensuring the tape is parallel to the ground.
  4. Length: Decide how long you want your cardigan to be, whether it’s cropped, hip-length, or longer. Measure from the shoulder down to your desired length, keeping in mind any shaping or hem details in the pattern.
  5. Armhole Depth: Measure from the top of your shoulder down to where you want the armhole to sit. This measurement is crucial for ensuring comfort and mobility in your cardigan.
  6. Sleeve Length: Measure from the top of your shoulder down to your desired sleeve length, whether it’s full-length long sleeves, three-quarter length, or short sleeves.

Once you have these measurements, compare them to the sizing information provided in your chosen pattern to determine the size that best matches your measurements. 

Keep in mind that ease, or the amount of extra room in the garment beyond your actual measurements, may vary depending on the style of the cardigan. 

Adjustments can also be made during knitting to customize the fit further.

Knit cardigan sweater

Knitting Lessons

If you are new to knitting and need help with the basics, check out these posts here: Knitting Lessons (With Video Tutorials).

There, you will find step-by-step tutorials for all the different knitting techniques a newbie needs to know.

This includes how to cast on, how to bind off, how to knit the basic stitches, how to knit the knit stitches, how to knit the purl stitches, how to knit the stockinette stitch, how to knit the seed stitch, and how to knit the rib stitch.  

How to make the mattress stitch, short rows, yarn over(yo), knit the slip stitch, use the magic loop technique, how to decrease knitting, fix knitting mistakes, measure gauge in knitting, how to insert pockets, and more. 

Also included is a list of knitting abbreviations (UK + US terms), how to knit the linen stitch, and more.

And if you need more video tutorials to help you practice your basic knitting skills, check out my YouTube channel here Handy Little Me – YouTube. 

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