Introduction: Hand-knit Chunky Cardigan

About: Crocheting, knitting, stitching, sewing!

This pattern guides you in hand-knitting a top-down chunky baby cardigan in size 0-3 months. It goes through the steps of a basic raglan cardigan knit and is open to anyone and everyone, whether you’re new or experienced knitter. And because chunky yarn is so forgiving, mistakes and inconsistencies won’t show! It comes with an added bonus: it won’t take you months to complete, making it a great last-minute gift for the holiday season.

You can knit this in all colors or in alternating stripes. You can change up the buttons, add pom poms, stitch a constrasting edge, sew on square knit pockets. The possibilities are endless!

Step 1: Supplies

100 g DK yarn (I used Ella Rae Classic Wool in gray)

5.5 mm (#9) circular needle, 60cm+

1 large sewing needle for sewing in threads

1 thin needle for sewing on buttons

cotton thread for sewing on buttons (I used white)

discard thread of about 30 inches for setting aside sleeve stitches

5 buttons (I used wooden)



Extra contrast yarn for stitching edge

3.5 mm crochet needle

Step 2: Casting on at the Neck

Cast on 54.

Knit 4 rows of ribbing (K1, P1). In the third row, knit a button hole (K1, P1, YO, P2tog, K1).

The following button holes will begin: K2, YO, K2tog, K to end of row.

Remember to knit a button hole every 2 inches or so – as you wish. You can also knit a single button on the collar—or forego the button holes altogether!

Step 3: Raglan Markers

Now it’s time to place your four stitch markers to mark your raglan stitches at 11, 17, 38, and 44. While some knitters place the marker into the stitch, I place a marker just before each of these stitches and carry them over as I knit each row.

You will knit the next 2 rows a total of 13 times as follows:

Row 1 (Right Side/RS): *K to raglan marker (RM), YO, slip marker, K1 (this is your raglan stitch), YO, K to next RM*, repeat from * to *, K to end of row. You have increased the row by 8 stitches.

Row 2 (Wrong Side/WS): K all stitches except the raglan stitch as well as the two stiches on each side of the raglan stitch—you will purl these 12 stitches.

Step 4: Knitting Body and Sewing on Buttons

On the next row, you will set aside the sleeve stitches, including the 4 raglan stitches, by threading discard yarn of about 15 inches through the stitches to be set aside.

Before continuing the knit after setting aside those stitches, cast on 3 stitches for the underarms.

Repeat for second sleeve.

Once you have about 7 inches measured from the neck to the current row, knit 5 rows of ribbing (K1, P1), then cast off from the right side. You can play with this length as you would like.

I ended up having five button holes, creating a button hole every 16 rows.

I like to sew my buttons on at this point, but you can also do this at the end. I tuck in the two threads (at the neck and at the cast off point) now too so I only have the four sleeve threads to tuck in at the very end for what feels like a more climactic finish. (Who likes sewing in ends?! If you do, you are a saint.)

Step 5: Knitting the Sleeves

Place the right or left side of sleeve stitches back onto the circular needle.

Starting on the right side, knit every row in garter stitch. The first two rows will be unique: you will cast on 2 new stitches at the end of both the first and second row. Then, every ½ inch, K2tog at the start and end of the row (decreasing 2 stitches). Continue thus until you have made 6 decreases and the sleeve is 5 inches, ending up on the right side for the next row. Knit 4 rows of ribbing (K1, P1) before casting off loosely on the fifth.

Leave about 15 inches for sewing sleeve edge. You can sew from the right side or the wrong side – the chunky thread masks the edge.

Repeat with second sleeve. Tuck in threads.

Step 6: Optional Contrast Edge

You can single crochet an edge in a contrast color for extra detail that makes your sweater colorful. Here is a helpful video tutorial for a single crochet edge.

I used a light green with little orange and yellow spots.

You have now completed your hand-knit baby cardigan! Thanks for checking out my Instructables.

Step 7: Care

Wash the sweater in cold water. Lay out to dry, pinning the sleeves, the bottom, and the neck. For more instructions, check out this guide.

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