How to Knit a Cardigan

Knitting a cardigan can be a daunting task, especially when you are a beginner. However, with the right tools, materials, and techniques, you can create a beautiful and cozy piece you will love wearing. This comprehensive guide will take you through the step-by-step process of how to knit a cardigan from scratch. 

From choosing the right yarn and needles, casting on, knitting the body and sleeves, and finishing your cardigan, this guide covers everything you need to know. So, grab your knitting needles, and let’s get started!

How to Knit a Cardigan

Can You Knit a Cardigan?

When it comes to knitting, the possibilities are endless. And the idea of knitting a cardigan may seem daunting at first, but it is certainly achievable with the right tools and patience. Not only is it a great way to challenge yourself and learn new techniques, but you’ll also end up with a timeless piece that is cozy and stylish. 

With so many patterns and yarns, you can make a cardigan that perfectly fits your style and preferences. So, if you’re up for a knitting challenge and want to add a new wardrobe staple to your collection, knitting a cardigan might be the perfect project for you.

Why Should You Knit a Cardigan?

If you enjoy knitting and crafting, knitting a cardigan should be on your to-do list. Not only is it a fashionable addition to your wardrobe, but it’s also a practical one. A cardigan can be worn in many settings and occasions, from a casual lunch out with friends to a cozy night curled up with a good book. 

Knitting your cardigan allows for customization and personalization, ensuring it fits and flatters your body perfectly. While cardigans can be expensive, knitting them yourself can save you money in the long run. So, why not take on this fun and fulfilling project and knit yourself a cozy cardigan to enjoy all year long?

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Knit a Cardigan

1. Choose Your Yarn and Needles

The first step in knitting a cardigan is choosing the right yarn and needles. Consider the weight and fiber content of the yarn and the gauge and size of the needles. A worsted weight yarn and size US 8 or 9 needles are good choices for a classic cardigan. However, if you want a more lightweight or chunky cardigan, adjust the size of your needles and yarn accordingly.

2. Cast on And Knit the Body

After you have chosen your yarn and needles, cast on the stitches for the body of your cardigan and knit in stockinette stitch until the body reaches the desired length. If you want to add buttons to your cardigan, leave space for the button bands.

3. Knit the Sleeves

Once the body is complete, it’s time to knit the sleeves. Cast on the stitches for your sleeve and knit in stockinette until the sleeve reaches the desired length. You can choose to knit the sleeves flat or in the round, depending on your preference.

4. Assemble Your Cardigan

Fold the Sleeves in Half and Sew Them

After you have completed the body and sleeves, it’s time to assemble your cardigan. Fold the sleeves in half and sew them onto the body, ensuring they are properly aligned. Next, sew up the side seams of the body and sleeves. If you added a collar or button bands to your cardigan, sew them on now.

5. Add Buttons and Buttonholes

If you add buttons to your cardigan, sew them on at the appropriate places. Then, create buttonholes on the opposite side of the cardigan. For a basic cardigan, use a yarn needle and some contrasting yarn to make an ‘X’ pattern for each buttonhole.

6. Knit the Edgings

To give your cardigan a neat, finished look, knit some edging around the front opening and cuffs. You can use any stitch pattern you like; ribbing is a great choice for this type of project. If you want to add an extra touch of personalization, consider adding a special row of lace or colorwork.

7. Block and Enjoy!

The last step in knitting a cardigan is to block it. Soak the cardigan in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes, then gently press out any excess water with a towel. Lay the cardigan flat on a blocking surface and shape it as desired. Once dry, your cardigan is ready to wear – enjoy!

These seven steps provide everything you need to know about how to knit a cardigan. With this easy-to-follow guide, you can quickly create your own stylish and cozy cardigan. So grab your needles and yarn, and start knitting!

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Knit a Cardigan

1. Yarn

When choosing yarn for your cardigan, you will want to consider the weight of the yarn, the fiber content, and the color. The weight of the yarn will determine how thick or thin your cardigan will be. The fiber content will determine how warm or cool your cardigan will be. The color of the yarn is a matter of personal preference.

Choosing Yarn for Your Cardigan

2. Needles

The type of needles you use for your cardigan will also be important. You will want to choose needles that are the right size for the yarn you are using. If you are using a thicker yarn, you will need larger needles. If you are using a thinner yarn, you will need smaller needles.

3. Pattern

The pattern you use for your cardigan is also important. You will want to choose a pattern that is easy to follow, and that produces a garment that is the right size for you. There are many patterns available online and in knitting magazines.

4. Buttons

The buttons you use for your cardigan should be chosen to match the yarn and the pattern. You will also want to ensure that the buttons are durable and can be sewn on securely.

5. Sewing Thread

You will need sewing thread to attach the buttons to your cardigan. The thread should match the color of the yarn and should be strong enough to hold the buttons securely in place. You may also want to choose a waterproof thread if you will be wearing the cardigan in wet conditions. These five considerations give you everything you need to knit a beautiful and comfortable cardigan.

Benefits of Knit a Cardigan

There’s something truly magical about wearing something you’ve created with your hands, and knitting a cardigan is no exception. Not only is it a fun and rewarding hobby, but it also has several benefits. Knitting is known to have a calming effect on the mind, making it a great way to destress and relax after a long day. 

Additionally, a cozy cardigan can warm the body and soul, providing comfort and a sense of security during the colder months. And let’s not forget about the creative aspect – knitting allows you to express your style and individuality by customizing patterns and yarn colors to your liking. Overall, knitting a cardigan is a worthwhile endeavor that produces a beautiful piece of clothing and comes with many benefits for both the mind and body.

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Knit a Cardigan

Knitting a Cardigan Can Be a Fun and Rewarding Experience

Knitting a cardigan can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and overlook some important details. One common mistake people make is not measuring themselves properly before knitting. This can lead to a cardigan that is too large or too small, which can be disappointing after all the time and effort spent knitting it. 

Another mistake is not paying attention to the pattern and missing important instructions. For example, forgetting to switch from the ribbing to the main stitch pattern can result in a cardigan that doesn’t look right. Lastly, not using the right yarn or needles can affect the fit and structure of the cardigan. 

It’s important to choose the right materials based on the pattern and their gauge to ensure everything turns out as expected. By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be on your way to knitting the perfect cardigan in no time.

How Long Does It Take Knit a Cardigan?

Knitting a cardigan is a fulfilling and rewarding experience that requires patience, time, and dedication. For those who enjoy knitting, creating a cardigan can be a true labor of love, with the result being a cozy and stylish piece of clothing that can be worn for years to come. 

However, how long it takes to knit a cardigan is not easily answered. It depends on various factors, such as the level of skill of the knitter, the complexity of the pattern, the type of yarn used, and the size of the cardigan. In general, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete a cardigan, but the creative process and the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a project make it all worth it.

Knitting a Cardigan May Seem Daunting


Knitting a cardigan may seem daunting, but it’s a rewarding experience that yields a cozy and beautiful garment that you and your loved ones can cherish for years. 

Remember to choose the right yarn and needles and follow the step-by-step process outlined in this guide. With practice and patience, you will soon become a cardigan-knitting master. Thanks for reading our post about how to knit a cardigan.

Nancy Behan

Nancy Behan

Nancy is an embroidery artist, fashion blogger and a full time editor at DIY quickly. Nancy edits the fashion section on DIY quickly, focusing on the embroidery and cross stitch articles, alongside with fabric and other costume design elements. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. She loves to work on her own projects, read books and watch romantic movies in her spare time.

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