This crochet granny square cardigan pattern plays on the retro classic with reimagined modern details. You're sure to love the seamless design and cozy hood!
Scroll down for the free pattern or purchase the complete ad-free, printable PDF here.
The free granny square cardigan crochet pattern is part of a collaboration with Lion Brand Yarns. This post contains affiliate links.
Crochet Granny Square Cardigan, Reimagined
Last year I became mesmerized with some beautiful granny square cardigans I was seeing in fashion shows and on Instagram (like @cosmic_crochet_creations' amazing sweater!)
I knew that for my own take on the traditional granny square jacket, I wanted to try something a little different, something a bit understated that still highlighted the iconic granny square motif.
Granny Square Sweater Design
While I love a classic crochet granny square, I knew this cardigan was asking for something less overtly "retro." Instead of an entire jacket made of granny squares, the Revival Cardigan uses the squares as a stunning accent.
The granny squares are joined as you go (with crochet, not sewing!) and the remainder of the sweater is crocheted with a twist on the traditional granny stitch.
While this pattern is quite comfy and cozy, the open granny stitches will make it at home in your warm weather wardrobe as well.
Why you'll love this granny square cardigan!
A Modern Spin On a Classic Granny
The sunburst granny square pattern we're using in this sweater gives a nod to the classic granny square motif while staying modern and fresh. The Revival Cardigan is a perfect pattern to make with stash yarn if you'd like the sunburst grannies to change color each round.
Alternatively, you can also work your squares and sweater in one color to really highlight the texture of these modernized granny squares. For an idea of how this crochet jacket would look in a single color, check out our granny square vest pattern.
A Rare Super Portable Sweater Project
It's rare that you can tuck your crochet sweater project in your purse to work on wherever you go, but these granny squares are just the right size for toting along.
No matter what size of crochet granny square vest you're making, you'll notice that you need the same number of squares. This helps keep the pattern a bit easier to follow.
Each size also then uses the same number of skeins of yarn for the accent colors. Simple, right?! (See more on the yardage needed below.)
New to making cardigans? Don't miss How to Crochet a Sweater for our best beginner tips
My Favorite Way to Crochet Granny Squares
In my experience, each granny square takes about 20-30 minutes to make so they're pretty satisfying to knock out between meetings or while you're watching a show.
My favorite way to whip up these squares is with an assembly line approach. I crochet a bunch of round 1 circles. Then I add a round 2 (puff stitches) to each circle. Next, each motif gets a round 3 of dc clusters. You get the idea.
I find this approach gives me the fastest sense of progress and a big feeling of accomplishment when several grannies are finished all of a sudden. Of course, you can crochet your grannies however you wish!
Tips for Choosing Yarn Colors
The color palette you choose will influence if your granny square cardigan feels like a beautiful statement piece or a gorgeous everyday wardrobe staple. Both options can be absolutely beautiful!
Getting the Look You Want
Once I learned the following trick for choosing colors, I stopped getting quite as stress sweaty in the yarn aisle. It's really helpful in the case of this granny square jacket pattern because you have the option of using many different colors.
Here’s the deal—all colors have a value, which is basically their relative lightness or darkness. Combining colors with different values (some light, some medium, some dark) can create a higher contrast, balanced look. This puff stitch scarf is a good example.
A project with colors in similar tones can have a nice, subtle vibe. But if your colors are ALL the same tone, your project can end up lacking definition or just looking a little “muddy.” Your eye won’t be able to find a place to rest.
How To Assess the Color Contrast
How to actually assess the value of any color that wasn’t a shade of grey though? That baffled me for the longest time.
Then I learned this trick and it has really helped me stop second guessing my color choices the entire time I’m crocheting--or at least do it a little less!
Take a photo of your colors and convert it to black and white. (You can easily do all of this on your phone in the basic camera app.) Doing so reduces colors to their relative value.
Is the level of contrast what you’re going for? If not, add a color or two that is noticeably lighter or darker than the rest and take another photo.
Achieving a Balanced Design
It can be helpful to generally alternate between lighter and darker colors each round. This prevents any one square from looking particularly “heavy” or “light” in the overall design.
Similarly, if you're going for a scrappy granny square sweater look, using a good mix of colors for all the round 1 circles (and subsequent rounds) can help achieve a random playful vibe.
In other words, avoid using the same color for most of the granny square centers, or the round 2 rings, etc. Mix it up and have fun!
Crochet Skills You'll Practice
One of the best things you'll have a chance to master in this pattern is joining granny squares as you go. Yes. You heard me. There's no seaming squares together in this granny square cardigan. In fact, there's no seaming whatsoever in the entire pattern!
You'll make a bunch of grannies and I'll show you how to join them together in a nice drapey way that works beautifully in a garment.
Then we'll use a modern granny stitch variation to crochet the sweater fronts, sleeves and pockets. I think you're going to love it, just like the makers who came before you.
Community Crochet Along Option
The Revival Cardigan was a crochet along in the Make & Do Crew community a while back. What's a crochet along, you ask? Typically a crochet along is a virtual community activity where crocheters all join in on making a certain pattern at the same time (from home).
What's great about this for you is that many of the crocheters in our Facebook group have already crocheted this pattern and will help you out if you have questions.
Want some company while you crochet?
Get support (and camaraderie!) in the Make & Do Crochet Crew Facebook Group.
So think of the this multi-stage granny square crochet cardigan as your chance to join in on a fun, low key sweater-making project.
You might possibly use up some stash yarn, find some community support and definitely have any amazing granny square sweater at the end!
Video Tutorials + Easy Instructions
I intentionally broke this pattern into four digestible sections to help ensure you feel lots of success along the way. Each pattern stage includes written instructions and a photo or video tutorial of the skills involved.
Free Pattern Sections
Feel free to dive into the free pattern by following these links to each section of the project.
Free Pattern - Part 1 (below) // Sunburst Granny Square Video Tutorial
Free Pattern - Part 2 // Join As You Go Video Tutorial
Free Pattern - Part 3 // Daisy Farm Craft's Video Tutorial
Free Pattern - Part 4 // Tutorials included in pattern
Since many of us prefer to work from a printed pattern, you might also choose to invest in the the premium, ad-free PDF on Etsy. The PDF includes all four sections of the pattern and tutorials in one large type, easily printable place.
Upgrade to the Premium PDF Pattern
You know, I never set out to make a 32 page PDF, but like a lot of my DIY projects, I just start with an idea and things get a little out of control from there. Ha.
I wanted to make this PDF really, really helpful. So it includes the complete written pattern all in one place, tons of step-by-step photo tutorials, links to video tutorials, a stitch chart and join-as-you-go granny square diagrams.
I hope you enjoy this in depth resource and having the entire pattern in one easily printable file!
When you purchase my PDFs, you are doing so much to support my family. Like literally putting food on our table and shoes on our feet. So hank you for all of you who invest in us in this way, especially these days.
More Free Crochet Sweater Patterns
Crochet sweater patterns don't need to be difficult. In fact, most of ours are made with very simple shapes. Dive into the wonderful world of crochet garments with cardigans, pullovers, ponchos, shrugs and more!
See more free crochet sweater patterns →
What Yarn Do I Need?
For this crochet granny square cardigan I used Lion Brand Yarn's Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling yarn. I chose this yarn because the anti-pilling quality is sort of a no-brainer for something you plan to wear A LOT. Plus this line of medium weight yarn includes a lot of fantastic colors. (See all the colors HERE.)
If you'd like to shop you stash before buying new yarn, any worsted weight yarn with decent drape will work great for this.
You could even begin making the granny squares from scraps on hand while you wait for yarn to arrive for your main sweater color.
Here are a few ways you can get the yarn for your sweater:
• Order the kit from LionBrand.com HERE (includes a printed copy of the pattern too!)
• Order the yarn separately from LionBrand.com HERE (great if you just need a couple colors to supplement stash yarn)
• Order the yarn from Joann.com for delivery or curbside pickup HERE
• Order from Amazon HERE
Detailed Supply List
Here's the supply list for sizes S/M (M/L, L/1X, 1X/2X, 2X/3X, 3X/4X, 4X/5X):
• Yarn: Lion Brand Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling (Weight: 4/medium - 185 yds, 3.5 oz)
• Main Color (A):
- Olive (202-132) – 8 (9, 11, 11, 13, 14, 15) skeins [(approx. 775 (880, 1025, 1100, 1210, 1305, 1485) g)]
• Accent Colors (5 colors, 7 total skeins required for all sizes):
- Ecru (202-098) – 2 skeins
- Gold Heather (202-401) – 1 skein
- Pomegranate (202-138) – 1 skein
- Prism (202-142) – 2 skeins
- Tan/White (202-603) – 1 skein
• Tapestry needle
• Size J/5.75 mm crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge (using a smaller or larger hook size is completely acceptable if it helps you achieve the gauge)
• Stitch markers or safety pins
Alternative Neutral Palette
In case you want to see what the pattern will look like in neutrals, here is a swatch in some alternative colors of Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling.
• Accent Colors (same amount required for all sizes):
- Ecru (202-098) – 2 skeins
- Tan/White (202-603) – 2 skeins
- Eggplant (202-145) – 1 skein
- Taupe Heather (202-402) – 1 skein
- Lion Brand DIYarn - Camel (205-124) - 4 skeins (120g total)
Choosing a Size
This cardigan is designed with a fair amount of positive ease (looseness) so it's quite forgiving in sizing. Measuring your bust and choosing a size based on that is a great place to start.
Sizes / Fits Actual Bust:
Additional measurements included in the premium PDF.
S/M - 33"
M/L - 37"
L/1X - 41"
1X/2X - 45"
2X/3X - 49"
3X/4X - 53"
4X/5X - 57"
Sample pictured is a size M/L on a 5'9" model with a 38" bust. If in doubt, size up for a looser fit.
Okay, I'm In! What's Next?
Wonderful! I'm so excited to have you joining us on this low-key pursuit of #crochetastherapy. Here's what you can do right now:
- Purchase the ad-free PDF HERE if you prefer printing your patterns. Otherwise, head to Part 1 of the free crochet pattern below to begin your granny squares.
- Join our Crochet Crew Facebook group HERE for help and camaraderie.
- Use the hashtag #revivalcardigan when you share your progress on Instagram so that we can all admire it too. (Not following along with M&DC on Instagram yet? You can do so right here!)
Alright, what questions can I answer for you? Ask away in the comments section below or jump into Part 1 below.
Free Pattern Part 1 - The Granny Squares
Each granny square after blocking (4 rounds) = 4.75”
Abbreviations and Glossary (US Terms)
3dcCluster – group of 3 dc (granny st)
ch(s) – chain(s)
ch1sp – space created by 1 ch
ch2sp – space created by 2 chs
dc – double crochet
dc2tog – double crochet 2 together (decrease)
dc3tog – double crochet 3 together (decrease)
rep – repeat
RS – right side
sk – skip
sl st – slip stitch
st(s) – stitch(es)
tch – turning chain
WS – wrong side
yo – yarn over
BegDcCl – beginning double crochet cluster – [yo, insert hook in the designated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops] 3 times in the same stitch, yo and pull through all 4 loops.
4DcCl – 4 double crochet cluster – [yo, insert hook in the designated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops] 4 times in the same stitch, yo and pull through all 5 loops.
Puff – [yo, insert hook in the designated stitch, yo and pull up a loop] 3 times in the same stitch, yo and pull through all 7 loops on hook, ch 1 to close puff.
Partial Puff – [yo, insert hook in the designated stitch, yo and pull up a loop] twice in the same stitch, yo and pull through all 5 loops on hook, ch 1 to close puff.
Find Your Next Crochet Cardigan Pattern
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How to Crochet the Granny Squares
Tips For Choosing and Arranging Colors:
• It can be helpful to generally alternate between lighter and darker colors each round. This prevents any one square from looking particularly “heavy” or “light” in the overall design.
• Similarly, end each square with a lighter color in Round 4 (or a darker color if using a light-colored main color for sweater). This will provide contrast between the edges of each square and the main sweater.
• If using scrap yarn for granny squares, feel free to use more than six total colors. Also, you can make each granny square identical if a less random look is desired. (Additional yarn in your Round 4 color may be required.)
• See abbreviations section above for explanations of each stitch.
• Watch this Sunburst granny square video tutorial or reference photos below for visual guidance while learning this sunburst granny square crochet pattern.
• Sunburst granny square is worked in the round without turning. Each round is finished with a sl st to the first st of the round.
• Ch 3 at beginning of round always counts as 1 dc. Work these chs quite tightly so as to minimize the potential gap they can create in a round.
All Sizes: Make 24 granny squares.
Foundation: Create a magic ring (or ch 4, sl st to join).
Round 1: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc, 1 ch1sp), [dc, ch 1] in ring 15 times, sl st to third ch from beginning of round to join. (32 sts)
Fasten off. Attach next color yarn in any ch1sp.
Round 2: Ch 3, partial puff in same ch1sp as yarn attached in, [puff in next ch1sp] 15 times, sl st to top of first puff to join. (16 puff sts)
Fasten off. Attach next color yarn in any ch1sp.
Round 3: Ch 2, BegDcCl in same ch1sp as yarn attached in, ch 2, [4DcCl in next ch1sp, ch 2] 15 times, sl st to top of first cluster to join. (48 sts)
Fasten off. Attach next color yarn in any ch2sp. Now we will turn our granny circle into an official granny square.
Round 4: Ch 3, 2 dc in same ch2sp as yarn attached in, [3 dc in next ch2sp] twice, [3 tr, ch 1, 3 tr] in next ch2sp, *[3 dc in next ch2sp] 3 times, [3 tr, ch 1, 3 tr] in next ch2sp, rep from * twice more. (4 distinct sides made)
Find Your Next Crochet Pullover Sweater
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Block all granny squares. To block, pin corners of each square down using T-pins. Direct steam from an iron or steamer at each square. (Do not touch iron directly to yarn, instead hold 8-12” away.) Blocking may seem unnecessary, but it really improves the overall look and shape of the squares.
If you don't have a blocking board, check out this DIY blocking board tutorial. It's the perfect size for blocking granny squares.
Ready for more? Find Part 2 of the free Revival Cardigan pattern here!
Some FAQs Crocheters Ask
How many granny squares does it take to make a cardigan?
It can vary based on the size of the garment and the size of the granny squares.
In the case of this Revival Cardigan pattern, it takes 24 granny squares to make any of the sweater sizes.
How big should a granny square be for a cardigan?
It can vary. One of the best aspects of granny squares is that the size can be adjusted by working additional rounds.
In this pattern, each granny square should measure 4.75" after blocking.
How do you connect granny squares to create a sweater?
Granny squares can be joined together by many methods. Some of the most popular include seaming with a tapestry needle, using single crochet stitches to "seam" the pieces together and using a granny stitch join as you go technique.
This sweater jacket is truly a seamless cardigan because we use method of crocheting the squares together with double crochet stitches.
That was so fun! Now what?
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How to Crochet a Granny Square Cardigan
- Lion Brand Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling Weight: 4/medium - 185 yds, 3.5 oz
- Olive 202-132 – 8 (9, 11, 11, 13, 14, 15) skeins [(approx. 775 (880, 1025, 1100, 1210, 1305, 1485) g)]
- Ecru 202-098 – 2 skeins
- Gold Heather 202-401 – 1 skein
- Pomegranate 202-138 – 1 skein
- Prism 202-142 – 2 skeins
- Tan/White 202-603 – 1 skein
- Tapestry needle
- Size J 5.75 mm crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge
- Stitch markers or safety pins
Abbreviations + Glossary (US Terms)
- 3dcCluster – group of 3 dc (granny st)
- ch(s) – chain(s)
- ch1sp – space created by 1 ch
- ch2sp – space created by 2 chs
- dc – double crochet
- dc2tog – double crochet 2 together (decrease)
- dc3tog – double crochet 3 together (decrease)
- rep – repeat
- RS – right side
- sk – skip
- sl st – slip stitch
- st(s) – stitch(es)
- tch – turning chain
- WS – wrong side
- yo – yarn over
Want some company while you crochet?
Get support (and camaraderie!) in the Make & Do Crochet Crew Facebook Group. Search “Make and Do Crochet Crew” on Facebook.com.
Permissions + Copyright
Please do not publish or share this pattern as your own. You may make items to sell with this pattern. In exchange, please link back to this page. Do NOT use my photos as your own sales photos.
Crochet Square Cardigan - Basic Process
- 1. Crochet the gauge swatch and adjust your hook size if necessary. (Good news! The gauge swatch can double as one of your pockets.)
- 2. Crochet 24 sunburst granny squares.
- 3. Use the join as you go technique to seamlessly join your granny squares.
- 4. Create the left armhole first, then the right armhole.
- 5. Join the shoulder seam and try your sweater on. Celebrate your progress!
- 6. Crochet the sleeves directly into the cardigan body. (No seaming!)
- 7. Attach the hood, pockets and work some finishing details.
- 8. You did it! You now have a Revival Granny Square Cardigan!