This pattern is for a very simple baby/ toddler size crochet cardigan (American terms). I like to think of it as a blank canvas for you to ‘paint’ with your own choice of colours, textures, embellishments, edgings, ribbing, buttons, zipper or whatever takes your fancy!
For my first one, pictured here, I used a cotton/linen mix DK weight yarn and added ruffles, crab stitch and some surface slip stitching for a girly, summery look. Swap ruffles for ribbing and surface crochet for stripes, and you will get a distinctly boyish cardigan. Or leave as is for a classic, gender neutral version. I’d love to see how you choose to personalise it – Please share your cardigans on Ravelry!
Sizes are guides only, all kids are different. If you can, try on the yoke before continuing to the body section. If trying on isn’t possible, use the size guidelines below. When laying the yoke down, folded at the shoulders, fronts meeting in the middle, the measurement across the lower edge (what will be across the chest) should be about half of the circumference measurements below. Hopefully my illustration explains it:
Chest circumference of finished cardi:
3 months: 18 in/ 46 cm
6 months: 19 in/ 48 cm
9 months: 20 in / 51 cm
12 months: 22 in/ 56 cm
18 months: 24 in/ 61 cm
2 years: 26 in/ 66 cm
4 years: 28 in/ 71 cm
6 years: 30 in/ 76 cm
- DK yarn. I used Drops Belle. You can use thicker or thinner yarn if you like – just make the yoke large enough to match the chest circumference measurements above (or try on). When the yoke is the right size, continue to the body section. If you do use different weight yarn, gauge and row count is irrelevant.
- 4.5mm hook – or hook to meet gauge
- Buttons, zip or whichever closure you prefer
15 dcs x 9 rows= 10 cm / 4 inches
Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook (first 2 dc made), dc in next 7 chs, 3dc in next ch, dc in next 9 chs, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next 18 chs, 3dc in next ch, dc in next 9 chs, 3dc in next ch, dc in last 9 chs, turn. (66 dcs)
Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in next 9 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 11 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 20 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 11 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in last 10 sts, turn. (74 dcs)
Row 3: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in next 10 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 13 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 22 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 13 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in last 11 sts, turn. (82 dcs)
Row 4: (90 dcs)
Row 5: (98 dcs)
Row 6: (106 dcs) Stop here for 3M & continue to BODY
Row 7: (114 dcs)
Row 8: (122 dcs) Stop here for 6M & continue to BODY
Row 9: (130 dcs)
Row 10: (138 dcs) Stop here for 12M & continue to BODY
Row 11: (146 dcs)
Row 12: (154 dcs)
Row 13: (162 dcs) Stop here for 18M & continue to BODY
Row 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in each st across to, and including, the centre dc in the first corner, skip all sts up to the centre dc in the next corner (first sleeve opening made), dc in this st and in every st up to, and including, the centre dc in the third corner, skip all sts up to the centre dc in the last corner (second sleeve opening made), dc in this st and in every st to end, turn. (3M: 64 dcs; 6M: 72 dcs; 12M: 80 dcs; 18M: 92 dcs)
Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in each st around, turn.
Repeat row 2 until required length. Compare with a cardigan that fits the child or try on.
Round 1: Join yarn to centre of underarm, ch 3 (counts as first dc), and work dcs evenly around the arm hole: 1 dc in ea dc around + about 5 dcs into the underarm area (inc. the beginning ch-3). Join to beginning ch-3, turn.
Exact stitch count doesn’t matter too much here, just make sure both sleeves have the same number of sts. You don’t have to turn after each round of the sleeves, but doing so will give you the same fabric texture in the sleeves as in the yoke and body.
Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in each st around, join to beginning ch-3, turn.
Round 3: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2dctog, dc in all sts to last 2, 2dctog, join to beginning ch-3, turn.
Repeat round 2 & 3 until sleeve is required length. Try on or compare with a cardi that fits the child.
You may find that the neck opening is too wide, especially for the smaller sizes.
If you need to make the neck opening smaller:
Row 1: Join yarn to neckline at top corner of right front, ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in each st of neckline until the first corner, (where there’s 3 dcs worked into the same st), *work 3dctog into the st before, into the corner st and into the st after the corner st, dc in each st to the next corner, repeat from * to end of neckline at top corner of left front.
Row 2: Repeat row 1 if required.
If you just need the neckline neatened up a bit:
Join yarn to neckline at top corner of right front, ch1 (does not count as a stitch), sc in each st around neckline.
Button band with holes
Girls: right, boys: left
Row 1: Join yarn to bottom corner of cardi, ch 1 (does not count as a stitch) and work 2 sc around the post of each dc all the way up, turn.
Row 2: Ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), sc in ea sc all the way down, turn. Now, with stitch markers or yarn scraps, mark where you want your button holes along the button band. Each button hole will be 2 sts. Space them out evenly.
Row 3: Ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), sc in ea st until you get to where you want your first button hole, *ch 2, skip 2 sts, sc in ea st until you get to the next button hole, repeat from * until the end, turn.
Row 4: Ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), sc in ea st, work 2 sc into each ch-2 space all the way down.
Button band with buttons
Girls: left, boys: right
Same as other button band (4 rows of sc along the edge), just omit the button holes. Sew buttons.
Ruffles along bottom hem & sleeve edges
Row 1: Sc in each stitch, turn
Row 2: Work 3 dcs into each st, turn
Row 3: Working into front loops only, sc in each dc.
Crab Stitch/ Reverse Single Crochet
In addition to the ruffles, I chose to work crab stitch, or reverse sc, around the neckline and down the fronts for a more finished look. To do this, start in the bottom corner of the left front and work backwards up the left button band, around the neckline and down the right button band. I find that my crab stitch looks neater if I go down a hook size or two. Here, I opted for a 3.5mm. Tamara Kelly has a great tutorial on how to crochet the crab stitch over on Moogly.
Surface Slip Stitches
This is a great way to add interest to plain crochet fabric. I free handed the little heart shape on this cardi. Start with a slip knot, and always hold the yarn at the back of your work. Insert your hook into the fabric from front to back where you want your stitches to start, get the slip knot on your hook and pull it through your work, from the back to the front, insert hook into the next place where you want your stitches to go, yarn over at the back of the fabric, pull through your work and through the loop on your hook to complete the slip stitch. There’s a great tutorial on Dedri Uy’s blog here.
I have tried to start this pattern twice but am immediately having a problem with the corners (3dc in next stitch) not matching up. Do you have any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong, or is there an error in the written pattern?
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you,
Hmm, so do you end up with the wrong number of stitches in-between each corner or how do you mean not matching up?
In Row 2, I start with chain 3 then 9 dc stitches. When I go to do the following “3 dc in next stitch” I am at the top of the FIRST stitch of the “3 dc” in the row below but I believe I need to be in the middle stitch of the “3 dc” in the row below. I am thinking that the paternal should say to do 10 dc instead of 9 dc? Shouldn’t the 3dc fan always be centered on the one below it?
Yes, the 3dc ‘fan’ should always land in the centre stitch of the fan below. I’ve taken som photos for you, hopefully they’ll help! Will email them to you now…
Thank you for this pattern. I am very excited about making matching Easter sweaters for my 6 mo. and 4 yr. old granddaughters. I do have a question that relates to the question posted by Kim in Aug. 2016.
In row 1, if by making a dc in the 4th chain, 2 dc are created, then making dc in next 8 stitches will result in 10 dc before the 3 dc “fan”. Continuing with the remaining stitches called for in row 1 will then result in 67 stitches rather than 66. Also, the original chain of 60 will not be sufficient to complete the row. It will be one short.
When reaching the last section of row 2 following the final 3 dc ” fan”, the pattern calls for dc in remaining 10 stitches. If the row 2 fan is to be made in the middle stitch of the fan from row 1, there will be 11 stitches remaining (1 from the row 1 fan, 8 dc, the first dc done in the 4th chain, and the first 3 chains which were said to count as a dc).
It seems that the “extra” dc in row 1 prior to the first fan will result in not ending up in the middle stitch of fans on each subsequent row. I am thinking that the way to deal with this is in row 1 to make only 7 dc following the first dc in the 4th chain, resulting in no further changes needed to the pattern.
Sorry for the length of this post and again, thank you for this lovely pattern. I am going to proceed as I indicated, but would value your response as I leave open the likelihood that I have misunderstood some part of the instructions.
Thank you for this wonderful analysis and entirely correct conclusion! Well spotted 🙂 I have now, as you suggested, changed row 1 to say dc in the next 7 sts (rather than 8). So glad you spotted this mistake!
I love this pattern – I was having trouble finding something in size 12-24 as most things either seem to be sized for tiny babies or bigger kids. Anyway, I’m making this for my friends baby girl and she’s almost 1. I don’t live near her (so can’t measure) and I don’t want to ask my friend to measure something that already fits her as it’s a surprise. I want to add the ruffles at the bottom of the hem and sleeves and was wondering if you can you give me an idea of how long the sleeves/cardigan should be? I don’t want to end up with a cardi down the the baby’s knees or sleeves that drag along the floor and I’m rubbish at eyeballing this sort of thing!
Thank you! Glad you like it! Check out this guide: https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/baby-size-chart for sizing – so c. 8 inches from underarm to cuff. The back-to-waist measurement here is only to the waist of the child, so you need the cardigan to be a little longer, about 11,5 inches from neck down. Hope that helps?
I love this pattern! This is my first attempt at a baby cardigan. I’m a little confused about which to do first, the button bands or the ruffles on the bottom?
Thank you for your help.
Thanks! I know in the photos I’ve clearly done the ruffles before the button band, but I would advise to follow the order in the written pattern – button bands first, then ruffles last. Hope that makes sense! 🙂
Can you please advise if this pattern is in American English together with measurements, etc.
I am in the UK.
Hello! All my English patterns use US terminology. Best, Anna
I love this pattern! I’m not quite done with making it yet. I made the pattern smaller than your smallest size. I am making it for a doll. I also had an issue in the very beginning. I adjusted it and it is turning out adorable! Thank you for easy to follow directions!
Hi, I love this pattern, but I don’t know how to make the round 3 of sleeve, will I crochet 2dctog and DC in the same stitch
Hi, no, not in the same stitch. dc2tog (=decrease) first (this is done over 2 sts, so 2 sts become 1), then dc around the sleeve until you have 2 sts left: dc2tog into these last 2 stitches (another decrease).
Hi Anna, I love this pattern thank you so much for sharing this with us, I’d like to know why they have blocked the link to this cardi on Pinterest though? I now have to come straight to your website to get the pattern? Is this accidental or? It’s quite frustrating when saving favourites and then one day you decide to make a pattern you saved and they say it’s blocked as it may lead to spam 😡 I’m glad I was able to find your website though thanks again 😊
I have no influence over what happens on Pinterest. However, as you’ve discovered, Pinterest is just a collection of users’ favourite images, which may not click through to the original source. Pinterest is rife with copyright infringement, faulty or fraudulent links, and people actively stealing web traffic from small scale creators like myself, but that’s another story. Glad you found your way to my site despite Pinterest being what it is!
Hi Anna-thank you for sharing the Blank Canvas Cardi. It is lovely. I am looking to complete a size 6 for my granddaughter, the largest size listed in the beginning but after I started, then read through the instructions, they only go u to 18 mo. Am I missing something?
Stay safe and well,
Hello, this is a “recipe” type pattern, so if you want to make 6-year size, continue adding more rounds to the yoke after row 13, until your yoke is 30 inches across (see illustration). Hope that makes sense! Stay safe, Anna
Looking for pattern for the collar on one of the pictures….do you have this?
Hi Claudia, if you mean the blue neckwarmer/collar, the rights to this design belong to the Swedish magazine who commissioned it for 12 months after publication. I will self publish this pattern in Nov this year, when rights return to me.
On Ravelry there is a picture of a dark grey sweater trimmed in white. It has a little decorative “collar”. I was inquiring for directions for the little “collar” for that version of the sweater.
I’m afraid I can’t help here, as this photo belongs to another crocheter who has added her own touch to this basic pattern. I called it “blank canvas” to invite others to add their personal flavour!😊