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Crocheted Cardigan Sweater

cardigan A cardigan is the same as a pullover sweater except that you make the front in two even pieces and include buttons and button holes. So, if the front and back widths need to be 26 inches each, you make the front in two 13 inch pieces.

The neckline shaping is done the same way as the pullover except that you do one side at a time. Buttons and buttonholes are part of the finishing. You have to measure and figure out where to place them and make sure they are the right size for the buttons. Cardigan sweaters are typically finished with rows of double or single crochet where the sweater joins in the front. Neckline, cuffs, and bottom hemline are often finished with ribbing, shells, or some other pattern.

Finishing on a cardigan is usually done around the bottom first and the neck last. That way, when you can finish the front pieces you have a button and buttonhole strip that runs the full length of the sweater from top to bottom excluding the collar or neck finishing.

Calculate where you want to place the top and bottom buttons so the sweater closes the way you want it to, and then finish the buttonhole side with buttonholes in the correct locations evenly spaced between the top and bottom button locations.


Buttonhole Sizes

For small buttons, the buttonholes are done by making a row, then in the next row you chain over one stitch in the first row where each buttonhole goes. For larger buttons, you do it the same way, except make two chains over the two stitches in the first row where each buttonhole goes. It's important to match the size of the buttonhole to the button.


It is easy to add a collar to a cardigan by joining yarn at the open edge on the front piece, making a single crochet all the way around, and using the finishing stitch to make the collar either extend up your neck as far as you want, or extend further such that the collar will fold back. I made a sweater where I decreased at the front pieces to leave more of an opening. In this case, the collar falls more to my back, and I compensated for that by increasing as I added rows so the collar would fall more to the front.