This cozy oversized cardigan knitting pattern features an easy garter and stockinette stitch and simple construction. My easy step-by-step instructions make this the perfect sweater pattern for beginners looking to try their hand at garment-making.
The Apricity Cardigan is a new free cardigan knitting pattern here on the blog. Read about my inspiration and the simple construction, or scroll down for the free pattern.
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Scroll down for the free version but I recommend you purchase the ad-free PDF Pattern to get all the instructions and pictures in a nice PDF you can print and take notes on without relying on your phone or an internet connection, I’ve got you covered!
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The Perfect Cardigan Knitting Pattern to Bundle Up With
Let the Apricity Cardigan bring warmth and coziness to the colder months. I made this sweater with long sleeves and overlapping front flaps so you can hide away inside in when the winter wind blows.
With contrasting color and texture, it looks great layered over any top, and is sure to become a new favorite in your wardrobe.
This free cardigan knitting pattern is made with LionBrand’s yarn color of the year: succulent. I’ve used their Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn which is soft, durable, and super bulky so the cardigan works up in no time.
Before you Start
- 10 mm/ US 15 knitting needles. I used my circular needles for ease. (Read this detailed guide on knitting needles for more info)
- Optional: 10 mm/ US 15 circular needles for the sleeves.
- Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick (80% acrylic, 20% wool):
- 5 (4, 6, 7, 8) 170g skeins in Succulent color (referred to as color A)
- 4 (4, 6, 6, 7) 140g skeins in Seaglass color (referred to as color B)
Or you can grab the bonus bundle skeins to save and have fewer ends to weave in. One bonus bundle skein is equivalent to 2 normal skeins for each colorway.
- Tapestry needle to weave in the ends. I love this set as it has different eye sizes for different yarn thicknesses and it comes in a small tube which is very convenient so I don’t lose them.
The Apricity cardigan is a very oversized comfy cardigan. The cardigan is available in the following sizes XS/S, M/L, XL/2XL, 3XL/4XL, 5XL/6XL. The pattern is written for Medium/Large, with the smallest and larger sizes in parentheses as: M/L (XS/S, XL/2X, 3X/4X, 5XL/6XL). The pictures illustrate the size M/L. If you want less of an oversized fit, don’t hesitate to go one size down.
Below are the final cardigan dimensions for the different sizes.
- XS/S: 73 cm /28.75” height, 92cm/ 36” circumference
- M/L: 75 cm / 29.5” height, 1.12m / 44” circumference
- XL/2XL: 77 cm / 30.25” height 1.32m / 52” circumference
- 3XL/4XL: 79 cm / 31” height 1.52m / 60” circumference
- 5XL/6XL 81 cm / 31.75″ height, 1.72m / 67.75″ circumference
The gauge for this pattern, in stockinette stitch is 8.5 st by 13 rows for a 10 cm by 10 cm square (4” by 4”).
Confused on how to make or measure gauge? Check out my detailed post all about knitting gauge.
Abbreviations & Instructions
- st = stitch
- k = knit
- p = purl
- stockinette st= knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side of the project (when worked flat)
- garter st= knit on both sides of the project (when worked flat)
- k2tog = knit 2 stitches together
Work instructions between  the indicated number of times or until the end of the round.
The Actual Cardigan Knitting Pattern
- Main Cardigan Square
With 10 mm / US 15 knitting needles and your Seaglass color yarn (color B), cast on 120 (103, 137, 154, 171) st.
Knit in garter stitch for 25cm / 9.75”.
Switch to Succulent color yarn (color A).
Repeat the following 2 rows until you reach a total length of 55cm / 21.5”:
Row 1: Knit across
Row 2: k4, p across, k4
This will give you a 4 st garter border on each side. The middle part is in stockinette st.
Now you need to split your work in 3 sections: both front panels and the back panel. This way you create the armholes.
Divide your stitches as follows:
XS/X: 31 st, 41 st, 31 st
M/L: 35 st, 50 st, 35 st
XL/2XL: 39 st, 59 st, 39 st
3XL/4XL: 43 st, 68 st, 43 st
5XL/6XL: 47 st, 77 st, 47 st
Leave the remaining stitches on the side (on a stitch holder, cable or alternatively a piece of yarn) while you work one section.
Work each part separately until you reach 20 cm / 7.75” (18 cm / 7”, 32 cm / 12.5”, 34 cm / 13.5”, 36 cm / 14″) length for each section (refer to below picture). Keep working the garter st border on the sides of the front panels.
- Assemble the Cardigan
Sew the top of the cardigan panels to close the armholes. Leave 20cm / 7.75” of the front flaps unsewn on each side.
- Bulky cardigan knitting pattern free assembling the pieces
With the Succulent color yarn (color A) and your 10mm / US 15 circular needles* pick up 45 (41, 49, 53, 57) st around the armhole.
If you’re not comfortable picking up stitches, I recommend this tutorial.
* You can either work with circular needles with a short cord (40cm / 16” or shorter) or with a longer cord and use the magic loop method. Alternatively, you can use straight needles, work the sleeves in rows back and forth and seam the underside at the end.
Knit in the round (stockinette st) for 17 cm / 6.5”.
On the next round decrease: [k7, k2tog] around.
Continue in stockinette st until the sleeve has a total length of 30cm / 11.75”.
On the next round decrease again: [k6, k2tog] around.
Switch to Seaglass color yarn (color B) and knit in garter st for 13 cm / 5”.
In order to achieve garter st in the round alternate rounds of knit stitches with rounds of purl stitches.
Cast off and weave in all the ends.
Repeat the same process for the other sleeve.
With your 10mm / US 15 needles and your Seaglass color yarn (color B), cast on 16st.
Knit in garter stitch for 13cm /5”.
Cast off and leave a long tail for sewing.
Blocking and Sewing
Carefully block your cardigan to final dimensions. The front flaps intentionally overlap.
Don’t skip this step as it can make a huge difference. Read my detailed tutorial on why block, how-to, and all my tips and tricks if you need help.
Sew the pockets to the cardigan. The top of the pocket is aligned with the seaglass succulent color change while I placed the side of the pocket 13cm / 5” from the edge of the cardigan.
If you enjoyed this cardigan knitting pattern free, I’m sure you will enjoy my other women’s sweaters:
Betty CutlerJanuary 30, 2020 at 9:06 am
Fun seeing a lovely, cozy sweater being worn at the same time as bare feet. Put a smile on this 87 year old face. Thanks. Betty
Hortense MaskensJanuary 30, 2020 at 10:40 am
haha, Oups… I didn’t pay attention to that. I live in Malaysia where it’s 32°C all day ;).
DanielleJanuary 30, 2020 at 10:22 pm
Easy beautiful cardigan. Love the gorgeous colors. I see that you start with the Seaglass color B, but you write it’s color A in the instructions. Same mistake when you switch colors for the main body, it’s Succulent color A, not color B. Must be the heat that plays a trick on you. Here in Canada, it’s more -15°C.
Hortense MaskensFebruary 6, 2020 at 10:55 am
Thank you for catching this, it’s all corrected now!