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Crochet Sherpa Sweater Jacket – Free Pattern Part 1

Woman sitting on a bench wearing a hooded crochet jacket made from Lion Brand Baby Soft Boucle yarn.

Recreate the popular look of “teddy bear” fleece in this crochet sherpa sweater jacket pattern. By using fuzzy yarn and the most beginner Tunisian crochet stitch, we’ll make a fabric that looks decidedly not crocheted. Get the free pattern below or purchase the ad-free, printable PDF here.

Use basic Tunisian crochet skills, you can make this hooded crochet sherpa sweater jacket pattern from Make & Do Crew. Free pattern + beginner video tutorials!
This crochet sherpa sweater pattern is part of a collaboration with Lion Brand Yarns. This post contains affiliate links.

Sherpa sweaters are everywhere lately and now you can crochet your own! While fuzzy yarn can sometimes be intimidating to crochet with, it’s quite straightforward when working in Tunisian crochet. If you’ve never tried Tunisian before, this entry-level sweater is a perfect place to start. Follow the included video tutorials to master the basic skills necessary.

Read on for all the yarn and inspiration details or scroll down for Part 1 of the free crochet Sherpa Sweater pattern. Find Part 2 here.

If you’d like to have the entire pattern together in one easily printable document, you can purchase the complete ad-free, printable PDF here.

Use basic Tunisian crochet skills, you can make this crochet sherpa sweater jacket pattern from Make & Do Crew. Free pattern + beginner video tutorials!

Can I make this Sherpa Sweater if I don’t know how to Tunisian crochet?

I’ll give you a strong YES on this one! This sweater uses only the most beginner Tunisian crochet stitch (Tunisian simple stitch) to make three simple rectangles that will become the fronts and back of your sweater. The sleeves require some basic increasing, but we’ve got you covered with a video tutorial for that!

In fact, we’ve got easy to follow video tutorials that’ll break down the basics of this sweater in a matter of about 30 minutes.

VIDEO TUTORIALS:
Start Here ⇨ How to Tunisian Crochet for Absolute Beginners
– Use these skills to make the sweater fronts and back.

Then watch ⇨ How to Increase in Tunisian Crochet
– Use these skills to make the sleeves.

Fuzzy free crochet sweater pattern that looks like fleece made with Lion Brand Baby Soft Boucle yarn in the color Tan.

And please don’t worry that you’ll have to buy a load of new hooks. You’ll need just one Tunisian crochet hook with a cable to make the Sherpa Sweater. If you do want to buy a set, I really like the Knitter Pride set because of the pointy tips on the hooks, although L is the largest size it includes.

If you tend toward projects with chunkier yarn, I’d try the Denise hook set that includes larger sizes. (Keep in mind that in Tunisian, you’ll increase your hook by 2-3 sizes above what you’d use in standard crochet, so it can be handy to have larger sizes than you might typically reach for.)

How to create teddy bear fleece with yarn

Wanna know the best kept fuzzy-yarn secret? Here is what makes this crochet sherpa sweater so special–the entire sweater is made with the “wrong” side of the Tunisian simple stitch fabric facing out.

Why? Well, the usual wrong side of Tunisian simple stitch creates a beautifully smooth fabric with this fuzzy yarn. There’s nearly zero stitch definition, resulting in a fabric that looks much more fleece-like than any traditional crochet or knitting. It’s quite magical!

A woman sitting on a bench wearing a crochet sherpa sweater jacket with beautiful crochet sl st ribbing that looks knit.

So speaking of the yarn, for this crochet sherpa sweater jacket, we’re using Lion Brand Baby Soft Boucle to achieve this super cozy look. (We also used Baby Soft Boucle yarn along with Mandala in the Tributary Blanket to create a richly textured, quick baby blanket.)

I really wanted to polish this sherpa jacket off with some pro touches. Lion Brand Jeans Colors ended up offering the perfect solution! The color “Khaki” is a perfect compliment for the knit-look ribbed sleeve cuffs. These cuffs are made with standard crochet slip stitches (not Tunisian) and they’re one of my favorite parts of this sweater!

Work in progress slip stitch (slst) crochet ribbing made with Lion Brand Jeans Colors yarn in the color Khaki.

But aren’t the stitches impossible to see?

Here’s the thing. I ordered this Baby Soft Boucle yarn a year and a half ago with the intention of designing a crocheted sherpa sweater. But then I swatched it with traditional crochet stitches and it just didn’t look sherpa-ish enough to me. The stitches were quite difficult to find while crocheting, but then a little too visible in the final fabric.

Fast forward to this year, when I taught myself Tunisian crochet and became officially obsessed. I realized that because the stitches are worked by picking up one “bar” of yarn instead of looking for the hole of a stitch, it’s MUCH easier to see where to place your hook.

Watch the brief preview video below to get a sense of how easy it is to work your Tunisian stitches in this traditionally tricky yarn.

click to pin this pattern for later ⇨

Grid of photos of a fuzzy, sherpa crochet cardigan made with Lion Brand Baby Soft Boucle yarn in "Tan." Free Tunisian crochet sweater pattern.

More Easy Crochet Sweater Patterns

Crochet sweaters that are easy to make are pretty much my fave. Here are a few more free crochet sweater patterns that are both easy, on-trend and have a max cozy factor. You can always find all our free crochet sweater patterns here.

Four free crochet cardigan patterns from Make & Do Crew. All of these are free crochet patterns made with Lion Brand yarn.

1. Habitat Cardigan + video tutorial // 2. Up North Cardigan + video tutorial // 3. Dwell Sweater + video tutorial // 4. Brunch Cardigan


The Crochet Sherpa Sweater
Free Pattern – Part 1

Purchase the complete ad-free, printable PDF here.

Save this pattern to Ravelry here.

Pin it for later here.

View Part 2 of the free pattern here.

Explanation:
Sherpa or “teddy bear” style fleece is very en vogue and now you can recreate the look with yarn! By using the most basic Tunisian crochet stitch, we’ll make a fabric that looks decidedly not crocheted. Add some crocheted cuffs that appear knit and you’ll have yourself the coziest, snuggliest toss-on cardigan you ever did see. 

While fuzzy yarn can sometimes be intimidating to crochet with, it’s quite straightforward when working in Tunisian because you’re not searching for stitches in the same way. If you’ve never tried Tunisian before, this entry-level sweater is a perfect place to start. Follow the included video tutorials to master the basic skills necessary.

Supplies:
• A: Lion Brand Baby Soft Boucle (Weight: 5/bulky – 120 yds, 3.5 oz) – 11 (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19) skeins [(approx. 1070 (1155, 1245, 1340, 1480, 1600, 1715, 1810) g)]
Pictured: Tan (#918-123)

• B: Lion Brand Jeans Colors (Weight: 4/medium – 246 yds, 3.5 oz) – 1 skein 
Pictured: Khaki (#506-123)

• Tapestry needle
Size L (8mm) Tunisian crochet hook with cord length up to 16-20” (or hook size needed to obtain gauge)
• Optional: Size L (8mm) standard crochet hook (The sharper the tip, the better for crocheting slip stitch cuffs. Tunisian hook may be used as well.)

Size chart for The Sherpa Sweater--Tunisian crochet cardigan jacket pattern.

Sample pictured is a M on a 5’9” model with a 41” bust. For a looser fit, size up. 

Gauge:
4” = 11.5 sts

Because of the fuzzy yarn, vertical gauge is hard to count. Pattern gives instructions in inches instead of rows to account for this.

Abbreviations and Glossary (US Terms):
Bump – strand of yarn on underside of chain
Ch – chain
FwP – forward pass
Inc – increase
M1 – Make 1 (increase) see instructions in Sleeve notes
PM – place marker
Rep – repeat
RetP – return pass
RS – right side
Slst – slip stitch
Slstblo – slip stitch through the back loop only 
St(s) – stitch(es)
Tslst – Tunisian slip stitch (for binding off)
Tss – Tunisian simple stitch
WS – wrong side
Yo – yarn over

Click here to purchase the PDF of this pattern, which is formatted for easy printing.

Video Resources:
• If you’re new to Tunisian crochet, watch an introductory tutorial that covers all the basics on how to Tunisian crochet here.

• Watch a video tutorial on how to increase in Tunisian crochet to learn the skills necessary to crochet the sleeves.

Crochet sherpa sweater jacket sketch of each piece of fabric.

Overall Pattern Notes:
• Pattern is worked in Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss). Row instructions are for the Forward Passes (FwP). 

• Work a standard Return Pass after each Forward Pass.

!! GAUGE CHECK !!

Please don’t skip this step or you will risk your sweater not fitting.

To check gauge:

Ch 17. Follow instructions below for sweater back until swatch is 5” tall. Width of swatch should measure approx. 6”. (Vertical gauge is not critical.) If width is too small, increase your hook size and re-swatch. If swatch is too wide, decrease your hook size and re-swatch. 

Once appropriate hook size to meet pattern gauge is determined, move on to sweater back.

SWEATER BACK

With Tunisian hook and A:

Foundation Row: Ch 62 (65, 68, 70, 71, 71, 73, 73). Draw up a loop in second bump from hook and each bump to end of row. [62 (65, 68, 70, 71, 71, 73, 73) sts] 

Row 1: Tss in each st across. 

Rep Row 1 until rectangle is 26 (26, 26, 26, 27, 27, 28, 28)” tall. Rectangle should measure approx. 21.5 (22.5, 23.5, 24.5, 25, 25, 25.5, 25.5) wide x 26 (26, 26, 26, 27, 27, 28, 28)” tall. For a longer sweater, rep Row 1 additional times. 

Finishing Row: Loosely Tslst in each bar across. Fasten off.
(See this video tutorial for walk-through of binding off with Tslst.)

Click here to purchase the PDF of this pattern, which is formatted for easy printing.

CROCHET SHERPA SWEATER FRONTS

Make 2. 

With Tunisian hook and A:

Foundation Row: Ch 33 (37, 41, 46, 51, 57, 62, 67). Draw up a loop in second bump from hook and each bump to end of row. [33 (37, 41, 46, 51, 57, 62, 67) sts] 

Row 1: Tss in each st across. 

Rep Row 1 until rectangle is 26 (26, 26, 26, 27, 27, 28, 28)” tall. Rectangle should measure approx. 11.5 (13, 14.5, 16, 18, 20, 21.5, 23.5) wide x 26 (26, 26, 26, 27, 27, 28, 28)” tall. For a longer sweater, rep Row 1 until length is identical to Back.

Finishing Row: Loosely Tslst in each bar across. Fasten off.

SLEEVES

Sleeve Cuffs

Notes:
• Slip stitches must be worked loosely. If you’re having trouble inserting your hook in each stitch, trying making them looser. The sharper the point on your crochet hook, the easier it will be to insert it into each stitch.

• For the tidiest edge, work the turning chain quite tightly. 

• Row 2 and beyond is worked through the back loop of each stitch. The back loop is always be the loop farthest from you even though the piece is turned after each row. 

• If longer cuffs are desired, chain additional stitches to increase the width of your piece. 

Make 2. 

With standard or Tunisian hook and B:

Foundation Row: Ch 17. 

Row 1: Loosely slst in second ch from hook and each ch to end of row; turn. [16 sts] 

Row 2: Tightly ch 1, loosely slstblo in each st; turn. 

Rep Row 2 until cuff has 22 (23, 24, 25, 25, 26, 26, 27) visual lines of ribbing. Fasten off leaving a 20” tail for seaming. Cuff should measure approx. 3.5 x 6.5 (6.75, 7, 7.25, 7.25, 7.75, 7.75, 8)”. 

Sleeves

Notes: 
• Sleeve section is written with both row counts and measurement instructions. Follow whichever is more intuitive to you. In either case, it’s helpful to place a marker in the increase rows so that it’s clear where to measure from. 

• Sizes 1X-5X only: The increases for the later rows are closer together and therefore do not include measurement instructions. You can place a stitch marker at the start of each row worked evenly and a contrasting st marker on each increase row to keep track, removing them after beginning the next increase row if you have a limited number of markers.

• To work M1: Insert hook between two stitches. Yo and draw up a loop (increase made). When working RetP, treat as a normal stitch. (See photos at end of pattern or video tutorial below for further instruction.)

• Watch a video tutorial on how to increase in Tunisian crochet here.

Make 2. 

With Tunisian hook and A:

Foundation Row: Ch 28 (30, 32, 32, 32, 34, 34, 34). Draw up a loop in second ch from hook and each ch to end of row. [28 (30, 32, 32, 32, 34, 34, 34) sts] 

Row 1: Tss in each st across.

Row 2 (inc): Tss, M1, Tss in each st across until 2 sts remain, M1, Tss in last 2 sts. [30 (32, 34, 34, 34, 36, 36, 36) sts] 

Rows 3-6: Tss in each st across. 

Row 7 (inc): Tss, M1, Tss in each st across until 2 sts remain, M1, Tss in last 2 sts. [32 (34, 36, 36, 36, 38, 38, 38) sts] 

Rep Rows 3-7 seven (seven, seven, six, five, four, three, three) more times. Piece should now contain 46 (48, 50, 48, 46, 46, 44, 44) sts. Sizes S, M, L move on to “All Sizes” instructions. 

Tip: If you prefer not to keep track of row counts for the above increases–each section of the five-row repeat measures 2” (the marked increase row and 4 non-increase rows above). Therefore you can PM in first increase row, then work non-increase rows for 2”. Work another increase row and move marker to this row. Repeat an increase row every 2” until sleeve is 46 (48, 50, 48, 46, 46, 44, 44) sts wide, then continue to instructions below for your size. 

Sizes 1X (2X, 3X, 4X, 5X) only:
Rep Rows 5-7 twice. Piece should now contain 52 (50, 50, 48, 48) sts.

Size 1X: Move on to “All Sizes” instructions.

Sizes 2X (3X, 4X, 5X) only:
Rep Rows 6-7 two (four, seven, seven) more times. Size 3X only: rep Row 7 once more. Piece should now contain 54 (58, 62, 62) sts.

All Sizes:
Rep Row 1 three more times. Sleeve should measure approx. 18” long. For a longer sleeve, work additional repeats of Row 1. 

Finishing Row: Loosely Tslst in each bar across. Fasten off.

Okay! Head to Part 2 of the free crochet Sherpa Sweater pattern where we’ll work some quick pockets, join all our pieces together and add a hood. Get Part 2 here.

More Free Tunisian Crochet Patterns

If you’re on a roll, here are some more free Tunisian crochet patterns that will keep you hookin’ all day and night. You can always find all our free Tunisian crochet patterns and tutorials here.

A grid of four free Tunisian crochet patterns and video tutorials.

1. Brushland Wrap + video tutorials // 2. Beginner Tunisian Mitts // 3. Dee’s Tunisian Tee // 4. 20+ Tunisian Crochet Stitches + video tutorials

2 Comments

  • Tracy King
    December 22, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Ohhh nice! Ok you convinced me. I’ll try Tunisian for something other than a dishcloth 😂😂. Thanks so much and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    Reply
  • Phyllis
    January 2, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    I have ordered the yarn for The up north cardigan and the Sherpa one. And I am so excited about getting started on these projects because they are for my two daughter-in-laws. I hope I can please them. But I have a question about yarn in general. How do you know what yarn needs to be blocked when garment is finished? I recently made a headband for a friend using lion brand vel-luxe. The pattern said nothing about blocking it. I gave it to her and she loved it because of the softness, and an hour later it was drooping terrible. I tried to fix it for her then gave it back and it is still stretching. I guess I used the wrong yarn but it was so soft and pretty. Can you answer this question for me? Thank you very much for all your hard work on these patterns. So far I have made several things. Most came out real good, Thanks again. Phyllis

    Reply

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