Beginner and more experienced crocheters alike will find something to love in this compilation of free crochet sweater and cardigan patterns. Each of these modern cardigans, pullovers, hoodies and shrugs requires very little shaping so you can confidently tackle your first (or 50th!) crochet garment.
With the right yarn, pattern, and tools you will be amazed at how doable crocheting a sweater can be.
This guide to crochet sweaters and cardigans contains affiliate links.
Free Crochet Sweater Patterns for All Levels
Learning how to crochet a sweater can be every bit as do-able as other smaller projects. Even if you’ve only crocheted flat things or "simpler" projects like hats and scarves, you can absolutely learn how to crochet sweaters that you actually want to wear.
This beginner’s guide will show you how and provide easy, modern patterns to get you started.
But can I crochet a sweater as a beginner?
Absolutely! Learning how to make a sweater is really no different from another crochet project. The first step is choosing an easy pattern that uses straightforward construction and techniques.
You're in luck though because many of the free patterns below are made using basic stitches and very simple shapes, like rectangles!
Important Skills and Techniques
When making garments, skills like knowing how to check your gauge and take body measurements are critical.
If you're new to making garments, you'll definitely want to check out our comprehensive sweater guide for beginners. Learn how to crochet a sweater, including all the tips and tricks that will guarantee sweater success. Don't start a pattern without these!
Supplies for Crochet Cardigans + Sweaters
Choosing the right supplies is critical to sweater success. Does this mean you need to break the bank on really expensive yarns and notions? Thankfully, no.
It means you need the right supplies for the specific crochet sweater pattern you’ve picked and the particular way you want it to come out. Here are some things to keep in mind when gathering your supplies.
When you see the hook size in a pattern, remember this: The pattern designer is telling you how they achieved the right gauge, not how you must.
We all crochet a little more tightly or loosely than the next person. It’s very personal. Changing your hook size to achieve the pattern gauge is ALWAYS okay. (See more on how to check your gauge below.)
Other than a hook and yarn, what do you need to learn how to crochet a sweater? Just determination, an adventurous spirit and a few notions.
Use this to ensure you’ve achieved the right gauge. You might also want to measure the length of a sleeve, a hem, or something similar. You’ll use this to take your own measurements to choose the right sweater size as well.
Stitch markers usually look like little plastic safety pins. They are important for helping you keep your place in the stitches and knowing when to repeat decreases.
PRO TIP: In a particularly long row, you can mark every 10-20 stitches, for example. This way you can more easily count your stitches if you get lost.
Yarn needles are essential for weaving the yarn tails into the sweater and sometimes, for joining pieces together.
For fastening off yarn at the end of a pattern section.
Highlighter or pen
This is the easiest way to keep track of your one size within a crochet pattern with many size options. I always like to highlight all numbers and stitch counts for my size in the pattern before I get started.
If you’ve never made a sweater, you may not know what blocking is. It just means steaming out your garment or its final pieces at the end to even out stitches and ensure the final size is correct.
Ideally you will use a blocking board or large piece of stiff foam, and t-pins to secure the pieces. You can use an actual steamer to create the moisture for blocking, or an iron with steam function can work too. NEVER touch the steamer or iron to the actual yarn. When using acrylic yarn, direct contact with the heat source can burn or melt the yarn.
If you can’t steam, you can just pin the sweater pieces down and wet them well with a simple spray bottle.
PRO TIP: Always consider the fiber type when choosing a sweater blocking method. Some yarn fibers respond better to wet blocking, steam blocking or other techniques. If in doubt, do a simple google search to determine the best blocking method for your fiber type.
Alright, are you ready to roll up your, ahem, sweater sleeves and dive into my favorite crocheted sweaters?!
Crochet Sweater and Cardigan Patterns
You'll find a variety of different modern crochet cardigans and sweater in this collection. Or if you'd like, skip straight to how to crochet a sweater to get a primer on all the basic skills you'll need for these patterns.
Many of the free patterns below require minimal shaping and include video tutorials, making them perfect beginner projects to learn how to crochet a sweater. If you already know the style of free sweater pattern you're looking for, click the link below to jump to that section.
Beginner Crochet Sweater Patterns
Just the basics! We’ve got the simplest crochet sweater patterns for beginners. These are stylish sweaters that use simple techniques. They have quick-to-memorize stitch patterns, minimal increasing and decreasing, little to no seaming, and simple shapes like rectangles.
The Easiest Cardigan Patterns for Beginners
If you can make a washcloth or scarf, you already have most of the skills you need to complete these patterns. These beginner crochet sweater patterns will show you the magic of a few basic rectangles.
Habitat Beginner Sweater Made From Rectangles
Dwell Chunky Cocoon Cardigan
Ready to level up? Are you willing to take on a bit more seaming or shaping for the perfect crochet sweater? You may be looking for an advanced-beginner pattern.
This kind of pattern may include some increasing or decreasing in the sleeves, and basic seaming. However, it'll still be based on simple shapes like rectangles and hexagons and feature easy to memorize stitch patterns.
Up North Classic Cardigan for Beginners
C2C Crochet Cardigan Made from Rectangles
Crochet Hexagon Cardigans
It's hard to believe two humble hexagons can serve as the foundation for a gorgeous cardigan pattern. Using some creative geometry, these patterns come together with minimal seaming and loads of fun.
Following a hexagon cardigan pattern also allows you to try on the sweater as you go. This can be really helpful in adjusting the fit if you're learning how to crochet a cardigan for the first time.
Campfire Cardigan Hexagon Sweater
Day Date Lightweight Hexagon Cardigan
Comfy Oversized Cardigan
Favorite Cardigan Patterns
Cardigans can be the perfect layering garment for many seasons. If you're looking for a sweater you can wear most of the year, a cardigan is the way to go. Cardigans also happen to be my favorite type of garment to design because the styles can vary so much.
From dolman sleeves and bobble stitches to granny squares, you'll find a little of everything in our cardigan patterns.
See all our cardigan crochet patterns →
Drapey Puff Stitch Cardigan
Patchwork Cardigan Pattern
Long Crochet Jacket with Belt
If you despise weaving in ends, you're going to love these seamless patterns. These are all perfect examples of crochet cardigans that are not any more difficult than any other type of project.
RELATED: Don't leave out your furry friends - easy crochet dog sweater pattern for large dogs (and small dogs too!)
Easy Hooded Sweater with Fringe
Simple Beginner Sweater Jacket
Long Seamless Cardigan
Colorful Cardigan with Hood
Intermediate Sweater Patterns
You’ve finished a few sweaters and you’re ready for your next challenge. It’s time to learn some new crochet skills and make a stunning sweater.
Intermediate-level patterns can include individual pieces or motifs like granny squares. They also might require some joining, either using crochet stitches or sewing.
Summer Sweater with Pockets
Chunky Bobble Cardigan
Easy Tunisian Crochet Cardigan
Oversized Cardigan With Fur Collar
The Staycation Crochet Cardigan
Sherpa Fleece Sweater Jacket with Hood
Modern Granny Square Cardigan
Seamless, Versatile Cardigan
Summer Crochet Cardigan
Elevation Long Duster Cardigan
Flowy Color Block Cardigan
Easy V-Stitch Cardigan
Pullover Sweaters and Sweatshirts
Crochet pullovers are fun because they can be designed in the style of hoodies, ponchos or tunics. All you really need for the simplest pullover is two big rectangles and two smaller ones.
The pullovers below include a variety of necklines like v-necks, cowl necks and boat necklines. You'll also find different methods used to create the pullover design, including top down raglan and seamless yoke patterns.
See all our pullover sweater patterns →
Free Crochet Hoodie Pattern
"Inside Out" Pullover with Exposed Seams
Fisherman’s Pullover Sweater
Colorful Seamless Top Down Raglan
Unique Raglan Crochet Top
Bell Sleeve Sweater
V-Neck Cropped Crochet Sweater
Easy Top Down Yoke Sweater for Beginners
Harvest Pullover Sweater with Removable Turtleneck
Striped V-Neck Jumper
Ballet Wrap Sweater Pattern
Easy + Quick Beginner Raglan
Trans-Seasonal Mesh Top
The Weekender Color Block Sweater
Classic V-neck Pullover
Ponchos can be a very easy crochet sweater pattern for beginners because they are often made from very simple shapes. Some crochet poncho patterns even include sleeves, making them a hybrid pullover sweater mixed with poncho, or "swancho" for short!
See all our crochet poncho patterns →
Poncho Sweater with Sleeves
Minimalist Poncho with Kangaroo Pocket
Knit-Look Poncho with Tassels
Easiest Rectangle Poncho
Seamless Waffle Stitch Poncho
Asymmetrical Poncho Made From Rectangles
Crochet shrugs are typically easy first sweaters for beginners they're made from a simple rectangle or square. You'll also love shrugs for their versatility throughout different seasons.
See all our crochet shrug patterns →
Colorwork Shrug Pattern
Easy Cocoon Cardigan
Lightweight Shrug with Sleeves
Alright, while vests are not technically sweater patterns, they are essentially cardigans without sleeves. Layer a boho vest a top your outfit for instant style points.
See all our crochet vest patterns →
Bohemian Granny Square Vest
Serenity Beginner Vest Pattern
Long Vest Pattern - Perfect for Layering
Patterns for Kids
A crochet sweater pattern for kids can often be a perfect first garment for beginners. Why? Because kids are smaller of course! Whether you're new to crocheting garments or you're an old pro, these sweaters for children will come together quickly using simple techniques.
See all our wearable patterns for babies, toddlers + kids →
XO Little Girls Sweater Pattern
Baby Sweater with Bobble Tree Motif
Final Thoughts on Crocheting Sweaters
Welcome to the world of slow fashion! Making your own clothing can be so satisfying. Whether you gravitate toward cardigans, pullovers, or ponchos, I really hope one of these patterns inspires you to dive into a new crochet sweater project!
Obsessed with finding the best free crochet patterns?
Check out these collections of handpicked patterns to find your next project.
Learn a New Skill
And when you're ready to master a new skill, check out our detailed guides that include everything you need to know to level up your crochet game.
- How to Corner to Corner (C2C) Crochet for Beginners - with video tutorials to get you started
- How to Crochet a Beginner Hat - make an entire beanie in 1.5 hours!
- How to Crochet Amigurumi for Beginners - the ultimate guide to making your own toys and plushies
- How to Tunisian Crochet - learn with this video and a standard hook
That was so fun! Now what?
Invitation to our Facebook group
Come discuss making easy crochet sweater patterns and lots of other yarn-y projects and techniques in our Make & Do Crew Facebook group. Here thousands of helpful crocheters answer each others questions and share their stitches. Come join us!