Crochet Cardigan Free Pattern

Easy Crochet Cardigan with Pockets

The Sophia Cardigan with Pockets was one of my first designs when I began my journey into crochet pattern design! When I started to crochet I wanted to make things I would love, but honestly I wasn’t finding what I could see in my head. That was where this free easy crochet cardigan pattern come from, a need to fill a space I didn’t see! However, being one of my first designs it certainly was not my best and required an update! Keep Scrolling for the updated crochet cardigan free pattern!

An Easy Crochet Cardigan Free Pattern to start today!
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Design Story and Inspiration for this Easy Crochet Cardigan!

I can’t remember a time that I didn’t know how to crochet…that’s not to say that I could always crochet as well as I can now. My journey in this craft is proof that practice can make almost perfect. I never believe that anyone or anything can be perfect, there is always room for improvement or ways to learn more! However, when I started to crochet there was so much I just didn’t know, that I didn’t know, get it? This easy crochet cardigan with pockets is a perfect example!

Easy Crochet Cardigan made with Lion Brand Touch of Alpaca.

When I wanted to make a cozy and oversized sweater with pockets I couldn’t find anything I liked or maybe it was just that I couldn’t understand the patterns. In my head I could make what I wanted better than any free pattern I could find…while I loved my original Sophia Cardigan and others did too, there were a lot of bumps along the way during the design process. One issue was that if someone else following my pattern didn’t use Lion Brand Landscapes they would have an extremely hard time matching gauge. This led to countless emails about sizing issues or an incorrect fit. After some time I decided to make a new sample for this easy crochet Cardigan with pockets using a yarn that created a more universal gauge.

This new version of my Sophia Cardigan looks nearly identical to the original and if you didn’t know, you probably wouldn’t notice some slight changes! The construction is the same and so is the sizing, but since the gauge has changed the stitch and row counts are significantly different from the original. I finished this crochet Cardigan with pockets simple ribbing that is slightly different from the first sweater to make the finish better and to also simplify the pattern instructions. Keep scrolling to start making your new Sophia Cardigan using the modern free crochet pattern below!

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About the Yarn

Originally, I used Lion Brand Landscapes to make this easy crochet project. While I love Lion Brand Landscapes, I don’t believe it comes in solids anymore and although it is classified as a worsted weight it gauges very differently from other worsted weights. This led to many problems for other makers tryin to make this DIY Crochet Sweater with yarns other than Landscapes. After growing in my skills and a ton of emails I decided it was time for a new sample and pattern update. So, I decided to use Lion Brand Touch of Alpaca!

I love, love, love Touch of Alpaca from Lion Brand! The colors are all amazing, its affordable and it comes in a ton of stunning colors!

Make this Cardigan with Pockets using the updated free crochet pattern!
Click to Purchase a Lion Brand Kit!

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How to Style your Cardigan with Pockets!

There is nothing easier to wear then an oversized sweater cardigan with pockets! I love pieces like this because you can dress them up or dress them down. From jeans, cowboy boots and a tank like I wore for photos to yoga pants, a tee and socks, a cardigan like this is perfect! You can dress it up with a cute top and slacks to wear to work it you would like!


Size 7.00 mm crochet hook       
 #4 Worsted, 100% Acrylic either :
5 (5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7) Skeins LB Touch of Alpaca MC 
1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2) Skein LB Touch of Alpaca CC
160 (170, 180, 190, 200, 200, 230, 240, 250) yards
1010 (1030, 1220, 1230, 1240, 1410, 1420, 1430, 1440) yards

Sizing for the Sophia Cardigan.


12 sts x 10 rows in hdc BLO is 4” x 4”
Make sure to measure your gauge swatch when it is relaxed, not stretched or squished.

Stitch Descriptions and Abbreviations

  • Chain Stitch – ch / Slip Stitch – Sl St / Stitch(es) – st(s) /
    Half Double Crochet– hdc / Double Crochet – dc 
  • Back Loop Only – BLO – Work intended stitch in the back loop only of the top of the stitch.
  • Foundation Half Double Crochet – Fhdc – Chain 3, yarn over, insert hook into 3rd chain from hook, yarn over and pull up loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over, pull through 1 loop on hook (3 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all loops, (1 foundation double crochet with chain at bottom). *Yarn over, insert hook to bottom of the stitch you just made. It will look like the top or “V” of a stitch. Yarn over and pull up loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over, pull through 1 loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all loops, repeat from * to desired count.
  • Front Post Double Crochet – FPdc – work a dc as you normally would but insert your hook from front to back to front around post of indicated st.
  • Back Post Double Crochet – BPdc – work a dc as you normally would but insert your hook from back to front to back around post of indicated st
  • Half Double Crochet 2 Together – hdc2tog – (work next 2 sts together for a decrease stitch) – yarn over, insert into first st, yarn over, draw up a loop, yarn over, insert into second st, yarn over, draw up a loop, yarn over, draw through all 5 loops on hook.

Pattern Notes

  • XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL) – Use corresponding number for your size.
  • * Designates a repeat.  
  • Ch 1 and Ch 2 at beginning of Rounds and Rows do not count as stitches.
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Main Color MC
  • Contrasting ColorCC
  • Construction The Rows of the front and back panels make up the width go this cardigan not the number of stitches. The front and back panels start with the same stitch count for the length of the cardigan.
  • Ease – This pattern has close fitting or zero ease. The ribbing adds stretch to the material but panel measurements are actual dimensions. 
  • GaugePlease note that when working in BLO the row height measurements may vary if you are stretching your material. Make sure to measure your gauge swatch when it is relaxed, not stretched or squished. 
  • AssemblyYou may leave long tails the you complete your pieces for assembly if you prefer not to reattach your yarn. 

Easy Crochet Cardigan Pattern Begins

Back Panel – Main Color

Row 1  – Fhdc 69 (72, 72, 75, 75, 78, 78, 78, 81).
Rows 2 to 35 (38, 40, 43, 44, 45, 45, 46, 46) – Ch 1, turn, hdc BLO in every stitch across, finish off.
[69 (72, 72, 75, 75, 78, 78, 78, 81) total stitches]

Front Panels – Make 2 – Main Color

Row 1  – Fhdc 69, ch 1, turn. (72, 72, 75, 75, 78, 78, 78, 81).
Rows 2 – 8 (10, 10, 12, 12, 14, 14, 16, 16) – Hdc BLO in every stitch across, ch 1, turn. 
[69 (72, 72, 75, 75, 78, 78, 78, 81) total stitches]
Row 9 (11, 11, 13, 13, 15, 15, 17, 17) – Hdc BLO to last 2 sts, hdc2tog, ch 1, turn. 
[68 (71, 71, 74, 74, 77, 77, 77, 80) total stitches]
Rows 10 (12, 12, 14, 14, 16, 16, 18, 18) Hdc BLO in every stitch across, ch 1, turn. 
Rows 11 (13, 13, 15, 15, 17, 17, 19, 19) – 16 (18, 18, 20, 20, 20, 22, 22, 22)
Repeat Rows Previous 2 Rows.
Row 17 (19, 19, 21, 21, 21, 23, 23, 23) – Hdc BLO to last 2 sts, hdc2tog, finish off.
[64 (67, 67, 70, 70, 74, 73, 74, 77) total stitches]

Arms – Make 2 – Main Color

Row 1  – Fhdc 37, ch 1, turn. (40, 40, 40, 40, 43, 43, 43, 43)
Row 2  – Hdc BLO to next to last st, 2 hdc BLO in last st, ch 1, turn. 
[41 (41, 41, 41, 41, 44, 44, 44, 44) total stitches]
Row 3- Hdc BLO in every stitch across, ch 1, turn.
[41 (41, 41, 41, 41, 44, 44, 44, 44) total stitches]
Rows 4 – 9 Repeat Rows 2 and 3 another 3 times.
Rows 10 to 21 (21, 21, 23, 23, 25, 25, 27, 27) – Hdc BLO in every stitch across, ch 1, turn. 
[44 (44, 44, 44, 44, 47, 47, 47, 47) total stitches]
Row 22 (22, 22, 24, 24, 26, 26, 28, 28)
Hdc BLO to last 2 sts, hdc2tog, ch 1, turn. [43 (43, 43, 43, 43, 46, 46, 46, 46) total stitches]
Row 23 (23, 23, 25, 25, 27, 27, 29, 29)
Hdc BLO in every stitch across, ch 1, turn. [43 (43, 43, 43, 43, 46, 46, 46, 46) total stitches]
Rows 24 (24, 24, 26, 26, 28, 28, 30, 30) – 29 (29, 29, 31, 31, 33, 33, 35, 35)
Repeat previous 2 rows another 3 times, then finish off.  [40 (40, 40, 40, 40, 43, 43, 43, 43) total stitches. 

Pockets – Make 2 – Main Color

Row 1 – Fhdc 16, ch 1, turn.
Rows 2 to 10 – Hdc BLO in every stitch across, ch 1, turn, then finish off. [16 total stitches]

Pockets – Trimming – Contrasting Color

Attach to a corner to work down the row ends in your contrasting color.
Row 1 Ch 1, place 1 hdc in each row end. [10 hdc sts]
Row 2  -Ch 1, turn, *FPdc, BPdc, repeat from * to end, then finish off. Repeat on other pocket.

Diagram of Crochet Pieces for Cardigan.


  1. Lay your front panels on your back panels to create the shoulder seams of this easy crochet cardigan. Be sure to place the angled edge towards the top and facing inward to create the neck line. 
  2. Attach your yarn from the outer corner and seam toward the neck 8 (10, 10, 12, 12, 14, 14, 16, 16) stitches, finish off and repeat on the other side of your crochet sweater cardigan.
  3. Starting from the waistline, attach your yarn and seam up until you have a 6 (6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8 8.5, 9.5, 10)” space to create the arm opening. 
  4. Fold your arms in half and starting from the cuff (straight side) seam up 37 (40, 40, 40, 40, 43, 43, 43, 43) stitches towards the tapered edge. 
  5. Attach your arms to the body of your crochet cardigan using the end of an arm seam to attach to the end of your side seam where the armpit is located. 
  6. Seam around to attach the arms to the body of the cardigan. You may have to stretch or squish the arm and cardigan body to get the materials to align properly.
  7. Weave in all of your ends and continue on to the trimming instructions.

Body Trimming at Waist – Contrasting Color

Row 1  – Attach your yarn to a bottom corner and working into the row ends, work 1 hdc into each row end and each seam around waistline, hdc 71 (78, 80, 87, 88, 89, 93, 94, 94)sts .

For Rows with an EVEN Stitch Count.

Rows 2 to 5 – Ch 2, turn, *FPdc, BPdc, repeat from * to end, finish off on last row.

For Rows with an ODD Stitch Count.

Row 2 – Ch 2, turn, *FPdc, BPdc, repeat from * to end.
Row 3  – Ch 2, turn, *BPdc, FPdc, repeat from * to end.
Rows 4 and 5 – Repeat Rows 2 and 3, finish off.

Body Trimming at Sides and Neck – Contrasting Color

Row 1
Attach your yarn to a bottom corner of CC waistline and working up towards the neck in sts, row ends and shoulder seam, hdc 79 (82, 82, 85, 84, 87, 88, 87, 90) sts in the first front panel,  hdc 19 (18, 20, 19, 20, 17, 17, 14, 14) in each exposed row end of the back panel, continue down the second side panel 79 (82, 82, 85, 84, 87, 88, 87, 90) sts.
[177 (182, 184, 198, 190, 191, 193, 188, 194) total stitches ]
Row 2
Ch 2, turn, *FPdc, BPdc, repeat from * to end, finish off.

Cuff Trimming – Contrasting Color

Round 1
Attach your yarn to your sleeve seam and hdc in the seam and hdc in each stitch around, sl st to 1st st. 30(30, 30, 32, 32, 34, 34, 36, 36) sts 
Rounds 2 – 5 – continue in the round, do not turn.
Ch 2, *FPdc, BPdc, repeat from * to end, finish off.


Complete your Cardigan with pockets by placing your pocket panels where they are comfortable for you.  Weave in all ends. 

Make these other Crochet Cardigan Free Patterns!

Maybe you would like to make a warmer weather cardigan? The Celia Cocoon is a perfect DIY Light Cardigan Pattern!

A favorite of mine is the Winnie Hooded Vest! This is a great pattern to make any time of the year since you can wear it over long sleeves or over a tank top! Plus it has POCKETS just like this easy crochet cardigan!

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  1. I just purchased this pattern. I looks awesome. I love it. I just hope mine looks half as good as yours. Thank you.

  2. Im making this for my niece. A size M, but I’m afraid the arms will be too short. From her shoulders to wrists are 27 inches. Will the M pattern for the armada work for her? TIA!!

    1. Hi! I’m wearing the medium in the photos. I’m not sure if the measurement off hand, I can check, but I’m about 5’-7” for reference!!! If you are meeting gauge then they should be long enough!

  3. I love this sweater. But there are no measurements for the sizes. Would love to make this for my daughter. Thanks for any input. :)

    1. I am going to be updating all of my blog patterns to have a sizing chart. It’s taking some time for format! But for reference, I am wearing the medium in the photos and I am 5’-7” and 125 pounds!

  4. I looked at the yarn you suggested but it all seems to be self stripping and your sweater looks solid. Can you please say what color you used. Thanks again

    1. I’m going to reach out to Lion Brand. It seems that the colors I used are no longer available, or any solids. I used Rust and Taupe in the Landscapes line…I’ll see if the solids are coming back.

      1. Thanks so much. I usually knit my sweaters but this is a great crochet pattern. Looks comfy

  5. I was wondering for the arms especially for the row from 17 – 24. Do we do all the rows the sizes or just do the one with the size chart?

    1. You follow the number according to your size…so specifically for the arms if you no longer have a number and have an X then you should have finished off.

  6. So very disappointed. Spent the last few weekends working this project in the 1X size. Struggled with the gauge and ended up with a LDC instead of the HDC to achieve gauge. Stitched it together and couldn’t wait to wear it. Only to find out that it’s so small that it fits my 13 year old who wears a junior’s size Medium/large. Which would be AWESOME if she liked anything with color. But only black will do for her wardrobe. So I now have a cardi that will never be worn. Very disappointed.

    1. You say you struggled to meet gauge and had to use a different stitch? May I ask what yarn you are using?

      I am finding that when Lion Brand Landscapes isn’t used the pattern is more difficult…I am currently working up a new sample in a different yarn to hopefully make it so that any worsted weight will work ??

  7. Hi. This cardigan is lovely! I just have a quick question. I was wondering about the number of chains for the front panels? We’re supposed to chain 66 for the back panel but then chain 63 for each front panel? Won’t that make each front panel almost the same size as the back of the cardigan instead of being half the size? Thank you!

    1. When it’s assembled the rows go up and down your body not across so it’s the number of rows not stitches that make up the width of the garment ??

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