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Part 1: Strata Free Crochet Sweater Pattern (With a Hood!)

This crochet blanket sweater can button in front to create the look of a pullover or be worn open like a cardigan. Free pattern and tutorial.

The main body of this free crochet sweater pattern with a hood is worked in one piece, making it almost seamless and very beginner-friendly. Get Part 1 the free pattern below or purchase the complete ad-free, printable PDF here. Find Part 2 here.

With a hood, fringe and subtle stripes, this is the only crochet cardigan you need! Beginner friendly tutorial.
This free crochet sweater pattern with a hood is part of a collaboration with Lion Brand Yarns. This post contains affiliate links.

If you’re looking for a simple, almost seamless hooded crochet sweater pattern, the Strata Cardigan is for you! The yarn cakes do all the color-changing work, while you sit back back and enjoy an easy Netflix-worthy project. Read on for all the yarn and inspiration details or scroll down for Part 1 of the free pattern. (You can find Part 2 here!)

This hooded crochet cardigan is made from a simple rectangle, making a perfect free pattern for confident beginners.

A Crochet Sweater That Feels Like a Blanket Snuggle

Somedays you just want to wrap up in a blanket and stay that way. Unfortunately, unless your Linus from Charlie Brown, that’s probably not in the cards for most of your daily activities.

That’s where this free crochet sweater pattern with a cozy hood comes in. The simple construction is verrrrry blanket-like, leaving you with socially-acceptable cocoon that is pretty much a blanket with sleeves.

click to pin this pattern for later ⇨

The main body of this free crochet sweater pattern with a hood is worked in one piece, making it almost seamless and very beginner-friendly.

Add Buttons–Or Don’t!

Optional buttons at the collar can transform your cardigan into more of a casual pullover. But if you just like the easy breezy style a fringed cardigan offers, you can skip the buttons and buttonholes all together.

This crochet blanket sweater can button in front to create the look of a pullover or be worn open like a cardigan. Free pattern and tutorial.
The main body of this free crochet sweater pattern with a hood is worked in one piece, making it almost seamless and very beginner-friendly.

As Simple as Crocheting a Rectangle

The pattern starts from the bottom up working the fronts and back of the cardigan at once. (Two cheers for no seams!) You’ll divide for the arm holes, rejoin the row at the shoulder and work a simple rectangular hood–all in one piece.

In progress photo of a free crochet cardigan pattern with a hood that's made from two rectangles. Beautiful subtle stripes made from Lion Brand Cupcake yarn.

Because of how the the rectangle is reconnected above the armholes, you’ll create some natural shoulder shaping without having to do any decreasing. Seriously. This cardigan is s-i-m-p-l-e. And hooded. And fringe-y. And so fun to make!

Free very easy crochet cardigan pattern made with Lion Brand Cupcakes yarn in the color Coffee Break. (Compare to Lion Brand Mandala yarn.)

What Yarn Cakes Can Be Substituted in This Hooded Crochet Sweater?

If you like self-striping yarn cakes, it’s a great time to be a crocheter! There are so many options, with so many colors available to us these days.

For the Strata Sweater, we chose Lion Brand Cupcakes yarn in the a beautifully neutral shade called “Coffee Break.” The gentle, subtle stripes of this sweater are created without cutting our yarn at all. I’m all for more crocheting and less weaving in ends, so this is a huge win in my book!

Lion Brand Cupcakes yarn is a category 3 yarn, which makes it slightly thinner than a worsted weight yarn. I like how this keeps this easy crochet sweater really drapey and lightweight. Also, Cupcake is the same weight and fiber composition as Lion Brand’s Mandala and Mandala Baby yarns, so you can substitute either of those seamlessly in this pattern.

In fact, last year, I made very similar sweater to the Strata using deconstructed cakes of Mandala and Cupcake to form a gorgeous rainbow gradient (pictured below). You can get the free Remix Cardigan pattern here along with a video tutorial on how to deconstruct the cakes and plan your color gradient.

Woman standing in desert wearing a hooded rainbow cardigan in muted colors.

More Easy Free Crochet Sweater Patterns

If you like free crochet sweater patterns with hoods, you’ll love the cozy Campfire Cardigan pattern. You can always find all our free crochet sweater patterns here.

And here are a few more sweaters made from super simple shapes that you might enjoy (most include video tutorials as well!)

Free crochet sweater patterns made using Lion Brand yarns.
1. Habitat Cardigan / 2. Day Date Cardigan / 3. Brunch Cardigan / 4. Dwell Sweater

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Part 1: Strata Sweater
Free Crochet Sweater Pattern With Hood

Purchase the ad-free, printable PDF with schematic here.

Add this pattern to your Ravelry here.

Pin it for later here.

Follow Part 2 of the pattern here.

Explanation:
Wrap yourself in a gentle gradient of neutral tones in this simple, flowy hooded crochet sweater. With fringe to add a touch of southwestern flair, this cardigan drapes beautifully on its own or you can add buttons to turn it into a cocoon of subtle stripes. 

The back, two fronts and hood are worked in one piece and the sleeves are crocheted in the round, so very minimal seaming is required to complete this project. Skills required included double crochet and working in the round.

Supplies:
Lion Brand Cupcake (Weight: 3/light – 590 yds, 5.3 oz)
5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7) skeins [(approx. 590 (670, 750, 795, 900, 945) g)]

Pictured: 
Coffee Break (#935-220)

• Tapestry needle
Size I (5.5 mm) crochet hook
• Stitch markers or safety pins
• 2 wooden buttons (1.25” pictured) – optional

Yarn Substitution Options:
Lion Brand Mandala and Mandala Baby have an identical weight and fiber content to Cupcake yarn so they can be substituted very easily if you find a colorway you prefer.

Sizes:
S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X

Fits Bust:
S: 32-36”
M: 36-40”
L: 40-44”
1X: 44-48”
2X: 48-52” 
3X: 52-56”

See schematic at end of pattern PDF for additional measurements. When choosing size, consider armhole size as determining factor as main body of sweater is quite forgiving in its sizing. Sample is a size small shown on a 5’8” model with a 36” bust. 

Gauge:
15 dc = 4”
9 rows = 4”

Abbreviations and Glossary (US Terms):
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
fdc – foundation double crochet
inc – increase(s)
rep – repeat
PM – place marker
RS – right side
sk – skip
sl st – slip stitch
sp(s) – space(s)
st(s) – stitch(es)
tch – turning chain
WS – wrong side
yo – yarn over

Overall Pattern + Sizing Notes:
• Main sweater body and hood is worked in one piece. Sleeves are worked in the round separately and joined to body at end. 

• Ch 3 at beginning of each row/round always counts as a dc. 

• See an alternate version of this pattern made with deconstructed Lion Brand Mandala yarn cakes that form a color gradient here.

MAIN SWEATER BODY

Notes:
• Because of the long length of the foundation, using the foundation double crochet stitch is recommended. Only work one foundation from the options below.

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

Recommended Foundation:
Foundation Row: 190 (205, 220, 235, 250, 265) Fdc. [190 (205, 220, 235, 250, 265) dc]

Move on to sweater body.

Alternative Foundation:
Foundation Row: Ch 192 (207, 222, 237, 252, 267).

Foundation Row 2: Sk 3 ch, dc in each ch to end; turn. [190 (205, 220, 235, 250, 265) dc]

Move on to sweater body.

SWEATER BODY

Row 2: Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc to end; turn. [190 (205, 220, 235, 250, 265) dc]

Rows 3-38 (42, 46, 46, 52, 52): Rep Row 2. 

Do not fasten off.

DIVIDING FOR ARMHOLES

Notes:
• Fronts and back will now be worked in three separate columns. (See photo below.)

• When placing markers, ch 3 at beginning of row counts as a dc.

In progress photo of a free crochet cardigan pattern with a hood that's made from two rectangles. Beautiful subtle stripes made from Lion Brand Cupcake yarn.

Divide stitches as follows by placing a marker between stitches at appropriate points to mark Front, Armhole, Back, Armhole, and Front.

Small: 57 sts, PM, 12 sts, PM, 52 sts, PM, 12 sts, PM, 57 sts

Medium: 61 sts, PM, 14 sts, PM, 55 sts, PM, 14 sts, PM, 61 sts

Large: 65 sts, PM, 15 sts, PM, 60 sts, PM, 15 sts, PM, 65 sts

1X: 69 sts, PM, 17 sts, PM, 63 sts, PM, 17 sts, PM, 69 sts

2X: 72 sts, PM, 21 sts, PM, 64 sts, PM, 21 sts, PM, 72 sts

3X: 72 sts, PM, 28 sts, PM, 65 sts, PM, 28 sts, PM, 72 sts

Continuing with working yarn, work first front between outside edge and first marker as follows:

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

Front #1:

Row 1: Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc to marker; turn. [57 (61, 65, 69, 72, 72 ) dc]

Rows 2-15 (17, 19, 19, 21, 21): Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc to end; turn. [57 (61, 65, 69, 72, 72 ) dc]

Cut yarn leaving an 8” tail and pull through last st to fasten off. 

Back:

Continue working in same direction as first row of Front #1. Sk the 12 (14, 15, 17, 21, 28) sts between armhole markers. Join yarn in first st of back.

Row 1: Ch 3, dc in next st after join, dc in each dc to marker; turn. [52 (55, 60, 63, 64, 65) dc]

Rows 2-15 (17, 19, 19, 21, 21): Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc to end; turn. [52 (55, 60, 63, 64, 65) dc]

Cut yarn leaving an 8” tail and pull through last st to fasten off. 

Front #2:

Continue working in same direction as first row of Front #1 and Back. Sk the 12 (14, 15, 17, 21, 28) sts between second armhole markers. Join yarn in first st of second front.

Row 1: Ch 3, dc in next st after join, dc in each dc to end; turn. [57 (61, 65, 69, 72, 72 ) dc]

Rows 2-15 (17, 19, 19, 21, 21): Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc to end; turn. [57 (61, 65, 69, 72, 72) dc]

Do not cut yarn.

Use tail from Front #1 to sl st to side of ch-3 of last row of Back. (See photo below.)

Use tail from Back to sl st to side of ch-3 of last row of Front #2.

The Front, Back and Front should now be joined again. 

Tutorial photo from a very simple rectangular blanket sweater crochet pattern.

COLLAR

Notes:
• To leave cardigan open with no buttons, simply skip the marker placement instructions below and work Row 1 like this:

Row 1: Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc, ch-3, and sl st to end; turn (inc of 2 sts). [168 (179, 192, 203, 210, 211) dc] 

TIP: Row 1 in layman’s terms means that you’ll double crochet across the row, placing a double crochet in each double crochet as well as the top of the ch-3 turning chains at the sides of the columns. (These have always counted as a double crochet anyhow.) Also place a double crochet under the two slip stitches that join the columns. (See photo above.)

Proceed to Row 2.

To add button holes (optional):
Lay sweater flat with WS facing. Fold front that’s on the right side of sweater (when it’s facing you) across sweater. Fold left front over right front. 

Counting from outer edge of left front: Place marker in 8th and 9th stitches. 

Counting from the sl st which is joining the Back and Front on left side: Place marker in 8th and 9th stitches of left front. 

Continue with working yarn from Front #2. 

Row 1: Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc, ch-3, and sl st to first set of markers, ch 2, sk marked sts, dc in each dc until second set of markers, ch 2, sk marked sts, dc in each of last 7 dc; turn (inc of 2 sts, including two ch-2 sps). [168 (179, 192, 203, 210, 211) dc and ch]

TIP: Row 1 in layman’s terms means that you’ll double crochet across the row, placing a double crochet in each double crochet as well as the top of the ch-3 turning chains at the sides of the columns. (These have always counted as a double crochet anyhow.) Also place a double crochet under the two slip stitches that join the columns. (See photo above.) Instead of placing a dc in each marked stitch, ch 2 and skip the marked stitches. 

For Both Button and Non-Button Sweaters:
Rows 2-3:
Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc and ch to end; turn. [168 (179, 192, 203, 210, 211) dc]

Main sweater body should now have a total of 56 (62, 68, 68, 76, 76) rows.

Fasten off.

HOOD

Notes:
• Hood is worked back and forth in rows and seamed at top. Think of it as similar to the middle column of “Diving for Armholes.” See photo of sweater in progress in blog post above.

• When placing markers, ch 3 at beginning of row counts as a dc.

• To eliminate hood, skip this section and work one extra collar row instead.

Divide stitches as follows by placing a marker between stitches at appropriate points.

Small: 50 sts, PM, 68 sts, PM, 50 sts

Medium: 54 sts, PM, 71 sts, PM, 54 sts

Large: 59 sts, PM, 74 sts, PM, 59 sts

1X: 64 sts, PM, 75 sts, PM, 64 sts

2X: 67 sts, PM, 76 sts, PM, 67 sts

3X: 67 sts, PM, 77 sts, PM, 67 sts

With WS of last collar row facing you, join yarn in first stitch of middle section between markers.

Row 1: Ch 3, dc in next st after join, dc in each dc to marker; turn. [68 (71, 74, 75, 76, 77) dc]

Row 2: Ch 3, sk first dc, 2 dc in next dc, dc in each dc until tch remains, 2 dc in tch; turn.  [70 (73, 76, 77, 78, 79) dc]

Rows 3-32: Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc to end; turn.  [70 (73, 76, 77, 78, 79) dc]

Fasten off leaving 24” tail for seaming.

Follow Part 2 of the pattern here or purchase the complete ad-free, printable PDF with schematic here.

I love to see your work-in-progress projects! Use #MakeAndDoCrew and tag me Instagram (@MakeAndDoCrew) to show off your stitches and have a chance to be featured.

More Stylish Free Crochet Sweater Patterns

And while you’re here, these are a few more free crochet cardigan patterns that you might enjoy (most include video tutorials as well!) You can always find all our free crochet patterns here.

Free crochet cardigan patterns made using Lion Brand yarns.
1. Alchemy Cardigan / 2. Haven Cardigan / 3. Campfire Cardigan / 4. Up North Cardigan

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