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Spring Buds Cardi – Free Simple Crochet Cardigan Pattern

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The Spring Buds Cardi is a super-simple crochet cardigan pattern – just crochet 2 rectangles, add some sleeves and seam! And it is lightweight too, making it perfect for those “in-between” spring days or chilly summer evenings.

Simple Crochet Cardigan / Ned & Mimi

LIMITED TIME ONLY!

Mar 1 2021:
Mar 2021: This pattern was featured in the Spring Style Blog Hop (co-hosted by me and my friend RaeLynn at Itchin’ for some ‘Stitchin’!)
If you would like to get the remaining FREE patterns in the blog hop you can find them here (one pattern is available for free each day for the month of March):
Or, if you missed any of the blog hop patterns, you can check out the discounted bundle of 33 crochet patterns here:

Crochet Cardigan Sizing & Fit

This crochet cardigan pattern is written for 9 sizes – XS, S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X, 4X and 5X.

This cardigan has a casual, relaxed fit, with about 3″ – 5″ / 7.5 – 12cm of ease added at the bust. Have a look at the sizing table below to choose your size!

The drop shoulder design and 3/4 length sleeves make this a great cardi to throw on over a tank top or tee. And use a lightweight/#3/DK yarn for a great drape and just enough warmth 🙂

Cardigan Construction

This cardigan is very easy to make; if you can work a single crochet and a half double crochet, you’re good to go! It’s perfect for confident (or adventurous!) beginners.

The cardigan is made from two rectangles with tapered sleeves. Each rectangle will cover the front AND back of the cardigan. Once you’ve worked the rectangle, you will fasten off and attach the yarn (about 1/3 of the way up) to begin the sleeve.

Next comes the seaming step. You will seam the rectangles at one end (to almost half way) and this will give you a nice little “V” neckline at the back.

Next, fold in half and seam the sides. After that, all that’s left is to add a trim at the bottom and weave in your ends.

Note: the pattern PDF includes full schematics with detailed measurements (in inches and cm) for both the rectangle and the finished cardigan.

Spring Cardigan Inspiration

Get inspired with these photos from some of the talented crocheters who tested the Spring Cardi pattern:

Photo credit: Ana from @havencrochetdesigns

What you’ll need to crochet this cardigan

For my cardi, I used KnitPicks Kindred, which was very generously provided by WeCrochet for this design. Kindred is a #3/Light/DK yarn, and a gorgeous combination of baby alpaca for warmth, and pima cotton for breathability. It was a dream to work with and I already have about 6983 ideas for things I would like to make with it!

Any similar weight yarn would work great.

I used a 4mm (G-6) hook for my cardigan, but you can choose any hook that enables you to meet the correct gauge. (Getting the gauge or tension right before you start is important to ensure that your cardigan ends up the correct size).

More Crochet Patterns

You might also like to check out these other crochet patterns:

Spring Cardi

Free Crochet Shrug Pattern


Pattern Notes

Skill Level

Abbreviations (US Terms)

  • ch = chain                               
  • st = stitch                               
  • sp = space                                                
  • sl st = slip stitch                        
  • sc = single crochet
  • hdc = half double crochet  
  • fsc = foundation single crochet (see Special Stitches)
  • DEC = Decrease
  • RS = Right Side
  • WS = Wrong Side
  • rem = remaining
  • hdc2tog = half double crochet 2 together (see Special Stitches)
  • mini-ps = mini puff stitch (see Special Stitches)

Construction

The cardigan is work flat from side-to-side as follows:

  1. Crochet a long rectangle panel – this panel will equal the length of the front and back of the cardigan.
  2. Fasten off. Join yarn approx. 1/3 of the way up the panel, and continue working in the same direction for the sleeve.
  3. Make a second rectangle panel as per 1) and 2).
  4. Lay both panels flat with long sides touching. Seam edges at one end to approx. 3” from the center point. This is the back of the cardigan.
  5. Fold panels in half and seam sides + sleeves.
  6. Add a trim along the bottom edge.

Sizing

  • This cardigan is designed with 3”-5” / 7.5 – 12.5cm of positive ease on the bust i.e. your finished garment will be wider than your bust measurement by this amount.
  • The sizes in this pattern are based on the body measurements as laid out by the Craft Yarn Council (https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/woman-size).
  • Before you start, go through the pattern and highlight/mark the stitch and row counts that correspond to the size you are making. (This will make your life much easier!)

Schematic

The print-friendly PDF version of this pattern also includes the following schematics, (with all measurements in inches and cm):

  • Rectangle Panel Schematic
  • Finished Cardigan Schematic

General Pattern Notes

  • Ch 1 at the start of a row does not count as a st.
  • Instructions are given for the smallest size, with larger sizes in brackets ( ).
  • Stitch counts are given in [ ] at the end of each row. If no stitch count is given, then the count is the same as the previous row.

Starting Chain

The starting chain should be worked loosely in order to keep the first row the same length as subsequent rows. If you find that your starting chain is too tight, you can use a larger hook for this step only.

Alternatively, you can work the first row with foundation single crochet stitches.


Special Stitches

Foundation Single Crochet (fsc)

Please see this photo and video tutorial on how to work the Foundation Single Crochet (fsc) stitch.

Half Double Crochet 2 Together (hdc2tog)

Note: this is a modified hdc2tog in that the first step does not have a “yarn over” as it normally would for a hdc st. This is done to prevent the stitch from “puffing up” too much.

Step 1: Insert hook into indicated st and pull up a loop. [2 loops on hook]

Step 2: Yarn over, insert hook into next st and pull up a loop. [4 loops on hook]

Step 3: Yarn over and pull through all 4 loops.

Mini Puff Stitch (mini-ps)

Step 1: Yarn over, insert hook into indicated st and pull up a loop. [3 loops on hook]

Step 2: Yarn over, insert hook into same st and pull up a loop. [5 loops on hook]

Step 3: Yarn over and pull through all 5 loops.


Finished Measurements

FINISHED CARDIGAN

SizeTo fit bustWidthLength (incl 1” trim)
XS28 – 30″ / 71 – 76cm17.5″ / 44cm23.25″ / 59cm
S32 – 34″ / 81 – 86cm18.5″ / 47cm23.5″ / 60cm
M36 – 38″ / 91.5 – 96.5cm21.5″ / 55cm24″ / 61cm
L40 – 42″ / 101.5 – 106.5cm22.5″ / 57cm24″ / 61cm
XL44 – 46″ / 111.5 – 117cm25.5″ / 65cm24″ / 61cm
2X48 – 50″ / 122 – 127cm26.5″ / 67cm24.75″ / 63cm
3X52 – 54″ / 132 – 137cm29.5″ / 75cm25.5″ / 65cm
4X56 – 58″ / 142 – 147cm30.5″ / 77cm26.25″ / 67cm
5X60 – 62″ / 152 – 158cm33.5″ / 85cm26.75″ / 68cm

ONE RECTANGLE

SizeLengthWidth
XS44.5″ / 113cm8.75″ / 22cm
S45″ / 114cm9.25″ / 23cm
M46″ / 117cm10.75″ / 27cm
L45.5″ /  116cm11.25″ / 29cm
XL46″ /  117cm12.75″ / 32cm
2X47.5″ / 121cm13.25″ / 34cm
3X49″ / 124cm14.75″ / 37cm
4X50.5″ / 128cm15.25″ / 39cm
5X51.5″ /  131cm16.75″ / 43cm

Gauge

13 sts x 12 rows = 4″ x 4″ / 10 cm x 10 cm measured over alternating rows of mini-puff stitch / hdc.


Materials

Hook: 4mm (G-6) or hook required to meet gauge.

Yarn: Any #3/DK/Lightweight yarn.

The amounts given here are for KnitPicks Kindred DK (105m/115yds per 50g skein; Weight 3/Lightweight; 68% Baby Alpaca, 32% Peruvian Pima Cotton).

XS: 1308 yds / 1196m (569g) – 12 skeins

S: 1389 yds / 1270m (604g) – 13 skeins

M: 1546 yds / 1414m (672g) – 14 skeins

L: 1632 yds / 1492m (710g) – 15 skeins

XL: 1751 yds / 1601m (761g) – 16 skeins

2X: 1913 yds / 1749m (832g) – 17 skeins

3X: 2123 yds / 1941m (923g) – 19 skeins

4X: 2262 yds / 2068m (983g) – 20 skeins

5X: 2363 yds / 2161m (1027g) – 21 skeins

Misc.

  • Yarn needle

Written Pattern

BODY PANEL (MAKE 2)

RECTANGLE

ALL SIZES: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X)

ROW 1 (RS): Ch 145 (147, 151, 151, 151, 155, 161, 165, 169), sc in second ch from hook and in each st across, turn. [144 (146, 150, 150, 150, 154, 160, 164, 168)]

OR

ROW 1 (RS): Fsc 144 (146, 150, 150, 150, 154, 160, 164, 168), turn. [144 (146, 150, 150, 150, 154, 160, 164, 168)]

ROW 2 (WS): Ch 1 (does not count as a st, here and throughout), sc in first st and each st across, turn.   

ROWS 3 – 5: Repeat ROW 2 three more times.

ROW 6 (WS): Ch 1 (does not count as a st, here and throughout), hdc in first st and each st across, turn. 

ROW 7 (RS): Ch 1 (does not count as a st, here and throughout), mini-ps in first st and each st across, turn.       

ROWS 8 – 27 (29, 33, 35, 39, 41, 45, 47, 51): Repeat previous 2 rows.

ROW 28 (30, 34, 36, 40, 42, 46, 48, 52): Repeat ROW 6.       

Cut yarn and fasten off.

SLEEVE

Ensure you are working on the RS.

ROW 1: Join yarn at st 48 (48, 48, 46, 44, 43, 43, 43, 43), ch 1, hdc in join st and each of next 49 (51, 55, 57, 63, 69, 75, 81, 85) sts, turn (leaving rem 47 (47, 47, 45, 43, 42, 42, 42, 42) sts unworked). [50 (52, 56, 58, 64, 70, 76, 82, 86)]

ROW 2: Ch 1, hdc in first st and each st across, turn.

SIZES XS (S, M, L, XL, 2X) ONLY

ROWS 3 – 4: Repeat ROW 2.      

DEC ROW 5: Ch 1, hdc2tog over first 2 sts, hdc in each st across until 2 sts rem, hdc2tog over last 2 sts, turn. [48 (50, 54, 56, 62, 68)]

ROWS 6 – 8: Repeat ROW 2 three times.

ROWS 9 – 28 (28, 28, 28, 12, -): Repeat previous four rows 5 (5, 5, 5, 1, 0) times. [38 (40, 44, 46, 60, 68)]

ALL SIZES: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X)

DEC ROW 29 (29, 29, 29, 13, 9, 3, 3, 3): Ch 1, hdc2tog over first 2 sts, hdc in each st across until 2 sts rem, hdc2tog over last 2 sts, turn. [36 (38, 42, 44, 58, 66, 74, 80, 84)]

ROW 30 (30, 30, 30, 14, 10, 4, 4, 4): Repeat ROW 2.   

ROWS 31-32 (31-32, 31-32, 31-32, 15-28, 11-28, 5-28, 5-24, 5-16):

Repeat previous two rows 1 (1, 1, 1, 7, 9, 12, 10, 6) time(s). [34 (36, 40, 42, 44, 48, 50, 60, 72)]

SIZES 4X (5X) ONLY

ROWS 25 – 28 (17 – 26): Repeat DEC ROW THREE 4 (10) more times. [52 (52)]

ALL SIZES: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X)

ROW 33 (33, 33, 33, 29, 29, 29, 29, 27): Ch 1, sc in first st and each st across turn. [34 (36, 40, 42, 44, 48, 50, 52, 52)]

ROWS 34-37 (34-37, 34-37, 34-37, 30-33, 30-33, 30-33, 30-33, 28-31): Repeat previous row 4 times.       

Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a long tail (approx. 2 yd/1.5m) for seaming.


Finishing

BLOCKING

Block each panel before seaming.

SEAMING

  1. Seam Back
  • With Right Sides facing, lay both panels flat so that the long edges are touching.
  • Mark the center point of these long edges (you can use a stitch marker or pin).
  • Using the mattress stitch, seam the edges, leaving about approx. a 1” gap before the center point. This is the back of your cardigan.

2. Seam Sides

  • Fold cardigan panels in half so that the top and bottom edges are touching.
  • Using the long tail from each sleeves, seam sleeve edges and sides together. You can seam the edges on the RS using the mattress stitch, or on the WS using whip stitches – whichever option you prefer.

TRIM

With RS facing, join yarn to the bottom-right edge of the cardigan.

ROW 1 (RS): Ch 1, sc evenly along the bottom edge of the cardigan to the opposite side, turn.

ROW 2: Ch 1, sc in first st and each st around turn.

ROWS 3 – 5: Repeat previous row 3 more times.

Cut yarn and fasten off.

Weave in ends.

All done!


If you wish, you can purchase an inexpensive, ad-free, pdf version of this pattern through Ravelry, Etsy or LoveCrafts.. Or if you haven't already signed up for my newsletter you can subscribe here and I will send you a promo code for a FREE PDF of ANY ONE of my patterns!

I hope you have enjoyed this pattern, if you have questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact me. And be sure to tag your finished project on Instagram or Facebook using @nedandmimi or #nedandmimi!

Happy crocheting!

Sarah