Flattering Open Front Crochet Cardigan- free pattern

OPEN FRONT CROCHET GAP YEAR CARDIGAN

I love this open front crochet cardigan for its relaxed drapy feel and open front- my Gap Year Cardigan. Enjoy another free crochet pattern on the blog, read why I’m cotton yarn convert or scroll down for the free pattern.

open front crochet cardigan worn on the model

OPEN FRONT CROCHET CARDIGAN DESIGN PROCESS

Firstly, I have a confession to make. If you have been following for a while you might know that I am not a cotton yarn fan. BUT… I just love the feel of this easy crochet cardigan! The cotton yarn gives this open front crochet cardigan that lovely smooth drape the way that not any other yarn can do.

I have designed this cardigan with cropped length. The front neckline hem is worked as part of each row so you don’t have to work it afterwards. I added 3/4 sleeves so it is perfect for those warmer months or transition periods between warmer and colder seasons. The open front ads to the relaxed feel so you can just “throw a cardi on” whatever you are wearing. The pattern can be easily adjusted, if you prefer more classic look to your cardigans. I have included size adjustment instructions to change the length and width.

hanger with open front crochet cardigan

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YARN I CHOSE FOR MY OPEN FRONT CROCHET CARDIGAN

I have used Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima Cotton for this beginner friendly open front crochet cardigan pattern. It gives the pattern a beautiful stitch definition while staying soft and oh, that drape! Moreso, have you seen the choice of colours? To tell the truth, this yarn has been a leftover from another project. I am so glad I had enough for an open front cardigan. I love the nod to the ombre colour sequence in grey and yellow. However, you can choose so many other colour combinations or keep the cardigan one coloured. Using all different colours might be perfect for a stashbusting crochet cardigan too!

back view of open front crochet cardigan

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MATERIALS

  • Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima [100% cotton; DK weight; 200m per 100g ball]
  • 1 (1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) balls in each colour Dark Shadow (3831), Gray (3729), Silver (3801), Natural (3718), Yellow Rose (3743), Sunshine (3764), Buttercup (3748)

I have tried my best to accurately calculate the amount of yarn needed for each size. But please note the exact quantities will vary depending on your tension and any size adjustments you might make. Therefore, if you are unsure, I’d recommend buying more yarn rather than not enough.

  • 4.5 mm crochet hook
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure

OPEN FRONT CROCHET CARDIGAN FINISHED SIZE

SIZE CHEST CIRUMFERENCE TOTAL LENGTH SLEEVE LENGTH FROM UNDERARM
XS 86cm 53cm 41cm
S 95cm 54cm 42cm
M 106cm 55cm 42cm
L 116cm 57cm 43cm
XL 127cm 58cm 43cm
2XL 137cm 58cm 44cm
3XL 147cm 59cm 44cm
4XL 156cm 60cm 46cm
5XL 166cm 61cm 46cm

Model is UK size 10-12, wearing size M. The cardigan has been designed with open front, cropped in length with ¾ length sleeves and 9-10cm positive ease.

TENSION

17 sts x 10 rows = 10 x 10 cm measured over dc

STITCHES AND ABBREVIATIONS (US CROCHET TERMS)

ch- chain stitch

FPdc- front post double crochet

BPdc- back post double crochet

dc- double crochet

sc- single crochet

dc blo- double crochet through back loop only

hdc- half double crochet

sc2tog- single crochet the following 2 stitches together

dc2tog- double crochet the following 2 stitches together

OPEN FRONT CROCHET CARDIGAN PATTERN NOTES

  • The pattern starts with working the bottom hem of the cardigan in full circumference/width
  • The back and two front halves are worked together in one piece up to arm openings
  • The front hem around the neckline is worked as part of each row at the beginning and end
  • The panel is then divided between back panel and two front halves
  • The front halves are shaped into V neckline by decreasing on each side
  • It’s a seamless design apart from 2 seams at shoulders
  • The sleeves are worked directly onto the main body of the cardigan, the first round is worked around the end stitches of the armhole rows in round
  • They are slightly tapered by decreasing every 5th round but they retain their oversized balloon shape
  • The sleeves are finished off by adding a mock ribbing sleeve cuff
  • Colour changes- I have worked with a leftover yarn from another project so my sections are not even but who doesn’t love a stash buster project, right?

If you are using full hanks of yarn change colour every 11 (11, 11, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12) rows for the main body. Then add/take away 0 (1, 2, -1, 0, 0, 1, 2, 3) rows in Yellow Rose

For the sleeves I used 2 colours, to evenly split the sleeve colours work 16 (16, 16, 16, 16, 17, 17, 18, 18) rounds in Sunshine and the remaining rounds in Buttercup

SIZE ADJUSTMENTS

  • The starting chain determines the overall chest circumference. To make a larger chest circumference add stitches to the starting chain. Take away stitches if you want to reduce the chest circumference. Please note for the pattern to work you will need an odd number of stitches in total
  •  The number of rows determines the finished length of the cardigan, to adjust it add/take away rows from the main body before splitting the panel for back and front panels
  • The sleeves are slightly tapered giving them more of an oversized/balloon look. If you prefer more tapered sleeves, work the decrease round more often (every 4th or 3rd round). To make the sleeves more oversized, work the decrease round less often or omit the decrease round completely.
side view of open front crochet cardigan

OPEN FRONT CROCHET CARDIGAN MAIN PATTERN

For instructions on colour changes please see pattern notes.

MAIN BODY PANEL HEM

With Dark Shadow (yarn A) chain 147 (163, 179, 201, 217, 235, 251, 267, 283)

Row 1: starting in 4th ch from hook, 1 dc across to end, turn. 145 (161, 177, 199, 215, 233, 249, 265, 281) dc

Row 2: 3 ch (counts as first dc here and throughout the pattern), (1 FPdc, 1 BPdc) repeat to last 2 sts, 1 FPdc, 1 dc into top of beg 3ch, turn.

Row 3: 3 ch, (1 BPdc, 1 FPdc) repeat to last 2 sts, 1 BPdc, 1 dc into top of beg 3ch, turn.

Do not fasten off, continue pattern with Main Body.

MAIN BODY

Row 1 (RS): 3 ch, (1 FPdc, 1 BPdc) twice, 1 dc across to last 5 sts, (1 BPdc, 1 FPdc) twice, 1 dc into top of beg 3 ch, turn.

Row 2 (WS): 3 ch, (1 BPdc, 1 FPdc) twice, **(1 sc, 1 dc) in next, miss one st; repeat from ** across to last 6 sts, 1 sc in next, (1 FPdc, 1 BPdc) twice, 1 dc into top of beg 3 ch, turn.

Repeat row 1-2 pattern until you have 34 (34, 34, 34, 34, 32, 32, 32, 32) rows in total. Do not fasten off.

SPLIT FOR ARMHOLES

RIGHT FRONT HALF

Row 35 (35, 35, 35, 35, 33, 33, 33, 33): 3 ch, (1 FPdc, 1 BPdc) twice, 31 (35, 39, 45, 49, 53, 57, 61, 65) dc, turn leaving the remaining sts unworked. 36 (40, 44, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 70) sts

Row 36 (36, 36, 36, 36, 34, 34, 34, 34): 1 ch (doesn’t count as a st here and throughout), **(1sc, 1 dc) in same st, miss one st; repeat from ** across to last 6 sts, 1 sc in next, (1 FPdc, 1 BPdc) twice, 1 dc into top of beg 3 ch, turn. 36 (40, 44, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 70) sts

Repeat last 2 rows 0 (0, 0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2) times. 36 (40, 44, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 70) sts

V NECK SHAPING

Row 37 (37, 37, 39, 39, 39, 39, 39, 39): 3 ch, (1 FPdc, 1 BPdc) twice, 1 dc2tog, 1 dc to end, turn. 35 (39, 43, 49, 53, 57, 61, 65, 69) sts

Row 38 (38, 38, 40, 40, 40, 40, 40, 40): 1 ch, **(1sc, 1 dc) in same st, miss one st; repeat from ** across to last 7 sts, 1 sc2tog, (1 FPdc, 1 BPdc) twice, 1 dc into top of beg 3 ch, turn. 34 (38, 42, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 68) sts

Repeat last two rows of V neck shaping until you have 18 (19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28) rows of RIGHT FRONT HALF in total counting from the split for armholes row. Fasten off. 20 (23, 26, 32, 35, 39, 42, 45, 48) sts

BACK PANEL

Rejoin yarn in next stitch to the Right Front half to work the back panel.

Row 35 (35, 35, 35, 35, 33, 33, 33, 33): 3 ch (counts as first dc), 72 (80, 88, 98, 106, 116, 124, 132, 140) dc, turn leaving the remaining sts unworked. 73 (81, 89, 99, 107, 117, 125, 133, 141) sts

Row 36 (36, 36, 36, 36, 34, 34, 34, 34): 1 ch, **(1sc, 1 dc) in same st, miss one st; repeat from ** across to last sts, 1 sc in last st, turn. 73 (81, 89, 99, 107, 117, 125, 133, 141) sts

Repeat last 2 rows until you have 18 (19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28) rows of BACK in total counting from the split for armholes. Fasten off.

LEFT FRONT HALF

Rejoin yarn in next stitch to the Back panel to work the left front panel.

Row 35 (35, 35, 35, 35, 33, 33, 33, 33): 3 ch (counts as first dc), 30 (34, 38, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64) dc, (1 BPdc, 1 FPdc) twice, 1 dc into top of beg 3 ch, turn. 36 (40, 44, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 70) sts

Row 36 (36, 36, 36, 36, 34, 34, 34, 34): 3 ch, (1 BPdc, 1 FPdc) twice **(1sc, 1 dc) in same st, miss one st; repeat from ** across to last st, 1 sc in last st, turn. 36 (40, 44, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 70) sts

Repeat last 2 rows 0 (0, 0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2) times. 36 (40, 44, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 70) sts

V NECK SHAPING

Row 37 (37, 37, 39, 39, 39, 39, 39, 39): 3 ch, 1 dc across to last 7 sts, 1 dc2tog, (1 BPdc, 1 FPdc) twice, 1 dc into top of beg 3 ch, turn. 35 (39, 43, 49, 53, 57, 61, 65, 69) sts

Row 38 (38, 38, 40, 40, 40, 40, 40, 40): 3 ch, (1 FPdc, 1 BPdc) twice, 1 sc2tog, miss one st **(1sc, 1 dc) in same st, miss one st; repeat from ** across to last st, (1hdc, 1 sc) in last st, turn. 34 (38, 42, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 68) sts

Repeat last two rows of V neck shaping until you have 18 (19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28) rows of LEFT FRONT HALF in total counting from the split for armholes. Fasten off. 20 (23, 26, 32, 35, 39, 42, 45, 48) sts

Fold and line up the left and right front halves to the back panel so that WS are together and the shoulders are aligned. Sew or crochet through both layers together at shoulder seams. Turn the right side out.

SLEEVES

Join yarn to underarm. You will be working around the posts of the st along the armhole edge for round 1. Pick up sts by working 3 dc around each end dc st and 1 dc around each end sc st.

Rnd 1: 3 ch (counts as first dc), pick up dc sts around armhole opening, sl st to top of beg 3 ch. 72 (78, 80, 88, 94, 102, 104, 110, 112) dc.

Rnd 2: 3 ch, 1 dc blo around, sl st to top of beg 3 ch.

Repeat rnd 2 another 3 times.

Rnd 6 (decrease round): 2 ch, 1 dc in next (counts as 1 dc2tog), 1 dc around to last 2 sts, 1 dc2tog, sl st to first dc. 70 (76, 78, 86, 92, 100, 102, 108, 110) dc.

Repeat rnd 2- 6 another 4 times for all sizes. 62 (68, 70, 78, 84, 92, 94, 100, 102) dc

SIZES XS, S, M ONLY

Continue pattern with Sleeve Cuff. 62 (68, 70)

SIZES L, XL ONLY

Rnd 27: repeat Rnd 6. 76 (82) sts

SIZES 2XL, 3XL

Rnd 27: repeat Rnd 2.

Rnd 28: repeat Rnd 6. 90 (92) sts

SIZES 4XL, 5XL ONLY

Rnd 27-29: repeat Rnd 2.

Rnd 30: repeat Rnd 6. 98 (100) sts

SLEEVE CUFF ALL SIZES

Next rnd: 1 ch (doesn’t count as a st), 1 sc2tog around, sl st to first st. 31 (34, 35, 38, 41, 45, 46, 49, 50) st

Next rnd: 3 ch, 1 dc around, sl st to top of beg 3 ch.

Next rnd: 2 ch (doesn’t count as a st), starting around 3 ch from prev rnd, (1 FPdc, 1 BPdc) around, sl st to first st.

Repeat last rnd another two times. Fasten off.

FINISHING INSTRUCTIONS

Sew in all ends and block to dimensions.

The cardigan can be worn both ways- as an open front cardigan or you can pull the front halves together and fix them in position with a pin or brooch.

crochet cardigan worn with closed front
crochet cardigan worn with an open front

Happy crocheting!

For all my previously published patterns visit my shops, find all the links HERE.

Check out my other free patterns here on the blog!

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This blog post contains affiliate links and if you click through them to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. I link these companies and their products because of their quality and service not because of the commission I receive from your purchase.

About Veronika Cromwell

Hi, I’m Veronika! I design modern and wearable crochet garments, accessories and homewares. Grab your hook and find your next project!

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