How to Crochet a Sweater

How to Crochet a Sweater

If you’ve already created the crochet scarf or hat of your dreams and you’re ready for a matching sweater, it’s time to learn how to crochet a sweater. The craft of crochet allows you to create cozy, fashionable sweaters.

Once you’ve learned the basics of how to crochet, it’s easy to create wearable garments without fabric. Mastering how to make a crochet sweater is the natural next step after you’ve made your first crochet blanket and crochet beanie.

    • How to make a crochet sweater for beginners
    • The best crochet sweater patterns
    • How to crochet a jacket
    • How to crochet a sweater without a pattern

If you’re ready to discover how to crochet a jumper with an easy pattern, keep reading!

How to Crochet a Sweater for Beginners

This simple pullover sweater pattern shows you how to crochet a sweater for adults using only the single crochet, double crochet, and chain stitches. A few different hook sizes are required, but there’s no increasing or decreasing. It doesn’t get easier than this!

Required materials for this beginner-friendly crochet pattern include: 

    • 8.0 mm crochet hook (size L)
    • 6.5 mm crochet hook (size K)
    • 5.0 mm crochet hook (size H)
    • Between 4 – 6 skeins of worsted weight yarn
    • Scissors
    • Measuring tape
    • Yarn needle

Before digging into the pattern details,  check out the overview of the method below. Reviewing the “big picture” of the process will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed as you’re working through the individual steps.

Broadly speaking, to create this gorgeous sweater you will: 

    1. Make your first large rectangular panel to form either the front or back of the sweater. You’ll size the sweater by measuring inches per width.
    2. Continue stitching the first panel until you reach your ideal length. See the sizing diagram below for reference.
    3. Repeat to create the second panel, which will become the other side of the sweater.
    4. Create rectangular sleeves that become narrower towards the cuff. This will be achieved by using smaller crochet hooks.
    5. Folding each sleeve in half and sewing a whip stitch seam using your yarn needle.
    6. Lay the two panels from step one together. Seam up each side at the shoulder, leaving space for the head hole and sleeves. Attach sleeves with a whip stitch.

Crocheted easy pullover pattern
Image source: Mama In a Stitch

      7. Make cuffs by working a short chain and single crocheting through the back loop only of each stitch. Attach the cuffs with a whip stitch to the bottom and sleeves of the sweater.

How to make an easy crocheted sweater
Image source: Mama In a Stitch

Sweater Size

Approximate Sleeve Length

Approximate Sweater Width

Small

17 inches

16 inches

Medium

18 inches

18 inches

Large

19 inches

20-22 inches

Read the full pattern for detailed, step-by-step instructions with sizing instructions. This crochet sweater comes together quickly and works for men and women of all ages. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add a crochet heart as an applique. If you plan to gift this sweater to a new mother, consider matching it to a pair of crochet baby booties for an adorable matching set. Finish off the gift set with woven labels and care labels.

The Best Crochet Sweater Patterns

Once you’ve graduated from the basic crochet sweater above, you might find yourself curious about the infinite crochet sweater patterns you’ve yet to discover. Feeling overwhelmed by the endless options available? Browse the list below to get started.

    1. Varsity Sweater

How to crochet a sweater
Image source: Meg Made With Love

Crochet sweaters become athleisure with this unique varsity crochet sweater pattern. Pick your favorite team’s colors for one-of-a-kind fan apparel or keep it generic for a sporty, laidback staple piece.

      2. Lightweight Crochet Sweater Top

Free crochet top pattern
Image source: Easy Crochet

Who says sweaters are only for the coldest months of the year? This lightweight crochet sweater top is the perfect layering piece and can be worn from early autumn to late spring. 

To create this top, stitch two panels together and add some crochet edging for a surprisingly easy project!

      3. Chunky Sweater

How to crochet a chunky sweater
Image source: Crochet With Carrie

Create this chunky crochet sweater for the ultimate fall/winter coziness. The secret to this garment is a great weight four yarn and generous sizing. 

This pattern comes together so quickly and looks so chic that it makes a great candidate for any crochet shop. If you plan to sell these sweaters, don’t forget to add a custom hang tag so customers remember to re-order from your brand again!

      4. Peplum Crochet Sweater

Peplum crochet sweater free pattern
Image source: For the Frills

The peplum detail in this sweater creates a delicate, elevated look unique to crochet sweaters. 

Believe it or not, this detailed pattern comes together with just the chain stitch, slip stitch, single crochet, and double crochet. Made with a lightweight yarn, this sweater is appropriate for most of the year.

      5. Heidi Sweater for Kids

Heidi sweater free crochet pattern
Image source: Desert Blossom Crafts

This precious sweater is worked together in two rectangles. Decreases on the front form a subtle v-neck. The sleeves are sewn on afterward for simple construction. The Heidi Sweater looks great for all genders and works for ages two to twelve!

The list above is just a springboard for your exploration of crochet sweater patterns. After you’ve tried out several different sweater patterns, you can start to explore how to make a crochet sweater pattern on your own!

How to Crochet a Jacket

Crochet sweaters may be a cold-weather classic, but crochet jackets bring an extra level of texture and interest to any outfit. Feel free to follow along with the steps below to create your first crochet jacket.

Lion brand twisted cotton yarn crochet cardigan
Image source: Make and Do Crew

First, check the sizing table below.

Size

Bust Size

Sweater Length (top of collar to bottom)

Circumference at Bust

Circumference at Sleeve

XS/S

29 inches

27 inches

33.5 inches

13.5 inches

M

37 inches

28 inches

40 inches

14.5 inches

L/1X

45 inches

29 inches

48 inches

16 inches

1X/2X

49 inches

29.5 inches

51 inches

18.5 inches

3X

53 inches

29.5 inches

56 inches

20 inches

Before starting this crochet pattern, keep in mind that for this project chain three counts as one double crochet. Be sure to check the gauge according to the full pattern instructions. The front and back of the sweater are worked as one piece until it’s time to divide for the armholes.

    1. Foundation row. Chain 66.
    2. Row one, work on the right side. Single crochet in the second chain hook. Single crochet in each chain until the end of the row. Turn.
    3. Row two, work on the wrong side. Chain three. Repeat the following until only two single crochets remain: [skip two single crochets, then work two double crochets, chain one, work two more double crochets in the next stitch]. Skip one single crochet. Double crochet in the last single crochet. Turn.
    4. Row three, work on the right side. Chain three. Skip the first three double crochets. Repeat the following until the last chain one space: [work two double crochets, chain one, work two double crochets in the chain one space. Skip the next four double crochets.] 
    5. Continue row three. In the last chain space, work two double crochets, chain one, and work two more double crochets. Skip two double crochets. Work one double crochet in each turning chain. Turn.
    6. Repeat row three 19 more times. You should now have a total of 21 cluster rows. Don’t fasten off.
    7. Now, the sweater is worked into three separate sections: first front, back, and second front. Work each section according to the full pattern instructions.

Easy crochet jacket tutorial pattern
Image source: Make and Do Crew

      8. Seam the shoulders.

      9. Add a border or edging along the bottom of the sweater.

     10. Work two separate sleeves.

     11. Finish off.  

Looking for more crochet jacket patterns? Keep reading for a short list of beginner-friendly crochet jacket patterns you can rock for months.

    • Granny Square Sweater Pattern

How to make crochet sweater
Image source: Yarnspirations

If you know how to make the classic granny square, then this crochet granny square jacket pattern is for you. Customize the finished look of this jacket by selecting your own colors for the granny squares.

As with most granny square projects, this crochet jacket can be worked in separate pieces until you’re ready to stitch the individual granny squares together.

    • Crochet Jacket

How to crochet a sweater for beginners
Image source: Ravelry

This crochet pattern uses the raglan technique, which enables crafters to create seam-free garments. To create this warm jacket, you’ll start from the neck and work your way down. 

    • Wrap Around Warm Crochet Jacket

How to crochet a jacket
Image source: Yarnspirations

This effortlessly chic crochet jacket pattern is made by crocheting the back in rows, then adding crochet rounds around the back rows. Create this jacket with a refined yarn for a garment that goes from day to night.

How to Crochet a Sweater Without a Pattern

Crochet sweater patterns provide guidance and structure when you’re creating your first-ever crochet sweater. 

With more experience, you might find that following a sweater pattern is cumbersome and slows you down. As you gain crochet confidence, you’ll be ready to crochet a sweater without a pattern. 

Freeform crochet (also called scrumbling) moves crochet from a “craft” to an “art” by allowing for freedom to follow your inspiration. By creating a freeform crochet sweater without a pattern, you are completely free to use the yarn, stitches, and methods that appeal most to you.

Following the step-by-step instructions of another crocheter’s freeform crochet project is an excellent starting place. This will give you the feeling of how experienced crocheters invent their own patterns.

To get you started on your first crochet sweater without a pattern, try following along with Rachel’s freeform sweater steps below.

How to crochet a jumper without a pattern
Image source: Rachel Blog

    1. Make a long chain and join the last stitch to the first one to create your starting circle. The chain length will become the circumference of the bottom of the sweater. 
    2. Work your favorite stitch in rounds until you reach the length of the sweater just below the armpits.

How to crochet a sweater for kids
Image source: Rachel Blog

      3. Make the sleeves by repeating steps one and two. This time the starting circle should measure the desired circumference of the sweater’s wrist. 

      4. Continue working the sleeves in rounds to create the arm length. Increase the width of the tube near the elbows. This can be accomplished by crocheting two stitches into the one in the row below the elbow a few times. Do this approximately every two times until it fits over the wearer’s elbow and upper arm. The length of the tube should be equivalent to the sleeve length.

      5. Have the future sweater wearer try on the sleeves and lower half. Sew the sleeves to the body of the sweater, lining up the top rounds together.

Crochet sweater tutorial
Image source: Rachel Blog

      6. Finish the sweater by continuing stitches in one large round. This incorporates the body and sleeves of the sweater altogether.

      7. After a few big rounds, start decreasing the roundabout four times per row, every other row. Feel free to switch out colors to create a striped effect near the collar.

      8. Congratulations, you’ve just created your first freeform crochet sweater!

Feeling inspired by the open possibilities offered by freeform, patternless crochet projects? Check out crocheter KopyKali’s advice on creating her own candy-striped crochet sweater.

How to crochet a jumper easy
Image source: Kopy Dolls

Listen to her video here:

As you dive deeper into the exciting world of freeform crochet, follow these top eight tips.

    1. Understand the difference between freeform crochet and aimless stitching. Although freeform crochet doesn’t follow a strict pattern, a plan and overall structure are still essential to creating wearable garments. Save the truly unstructured stitching for art.
    2. Explore freeform crochet materials. Nothing teaches better than real-world experience, but the second-best option is learning from the most experienced freeform crocheters.
    3. Take a class. If there’s a freeform crochet class available near you, consider attending one. Classes are particularly helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the open-ended nature of freeform crochet.
    4. Stitch with yarn that’s easy to work with but isn’t precious to you. Don’t punish yourself by working with a challenging yarn. Keep the pressure low by not using expensive or otherwise special yarn. This helps you get in the flow.
    5. Start small. If you’ve never made a crochet project without strictly following a pattern, consider starting with a small, simple project. Starting small staves off overwhelm and frustration as you begin your freeform journey.
    6. Follow freeform crochet “recipes.” Freeform crochet might be “patternless”, but there are endless guides that crocheters have created to provide direction. By following a freeform “recipe”, you can rely on a loose structure to ensure a successfully finished item.
    7. Release expectations and “rules.” If you want your finished product to look a specific way, then freeform crochet is not for you. Let go of preconceived ideas of what your piece will look like and enjoy the process.
    8. Enjoy your favorite crochet stitches. Take full advantage of the pattern-less nature of freeform crochet by working with your favorite stitches. Try out new combinations and enjoy the freedom of not having to count stitches or worry about direction.
    9. Seek out inspiration. Feeling stuck? Let the work of other freeform crocheters inspire you. This helps overcome the fear of the “blank slate.” 

The more experience you have with following different crochet sweater patterns, the better you’ll understand how to successfully freeform your own crochet sweater.

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