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How to knit a cardigan for a woman


Yarn - Vanna’s Choice Lion Brand/ medium 4 / Net Weight - 100 g / 170 yds (156 m) / 3 balls needed
Needles - Circular US 8 and double pointed US 3 (3.25 mm)
Cardigan Size - US 4 - 6
Complexity - Intermediate

Images & Captions: 

Women’s cardigan knitting pattern
Step-by-step knitting instructions
Step 1
Cast on 120 stitches.
Step 2
Knit the ribbing:
1st row (right side) – knit 1 and purl 1 to end
2nd row (wrong side) – knit all knit stitches and skip all purl sts (slip stitch - slide each of those stitches on the right needle without knitting them)
Alternate the 1st and 2nd rows for 12 rows.
Step 3
Continue the pattern and purl two stitches together every 10 sts in order to decrease the total number of stitches to 110 sts.
Step 4
Begin the new pattern – you should have multiples of 7 stitches plus additional 5 sts
1st row (right side) – [knit3, yarn over*, knit2, 1 slip decease**] to last 5 sts, knit5
2nd row and all even rows – purl all stitches to end
3rd row – k1, [knit3, yarn over, knit2, 1 slip decease] to last 4 sts, knit4
5th row – k2, [knit3, yarn over, knit2, 1 slip decease] to last 3 sts, knit3
7th row – k3, [knit3, yarn over, knit2, 1 slip decease] to last 2 sts, knit2
Repeat these 7 rows for 60 rows or more (if you want to make the cardigan longer)
*yarn over – to make one additional stitches before a knit st. (wrap the yarn over the right knitting needle and knit the following stitch)
**slip decrease – slip the stitch to the right needle without knitting it and knit the following stitch, then with help of the left needle make from the two stitches one.
Step 5
Continue the pattern for 10 more rows gradually increasing the total number of stitches to 116 sts (reuse an old/base stitch to make from one two new stitches).
Step 6
Divide the total number of stitches by 3 parts (2 front parts – 25% each and 1 back part 50%)
In my case, one front part is equal to 29 stitches and back part = 58 stitches.
Step 7
Knit the pattern for 29 stitches (you will work on both front pieces later).
After that, use the other knitting needle for the back.
Bind off 3 first stitches and continue the pattern for 55 stitches, and then begin to work the wrong side.
Cast off the other 3 stitches and continue purling the other 52 stitches.
Continue the pattern for 23 rows or more.
Step 8
Start working on shoulders. Continue the pattern for the first 16 stitches of the back piece for 5 rows and then cast off all those 16 stitches leaving some yarn to connect the back and front shoulder pieces together.
After that begin working on the last 16 stitches of the back, and then bind off the stitches.
Leave the remaining 20 back stitches; you will come back to them later.
Step 9
Return to the front piece.
Cast off 3 stitches from the sleeve side, and continue the pattern for the remaining 26 sts.
Shape the neck line by knitting two stitches together every other row from the neck side until you have 16 stitches left.
Cast off the 16 stitches, cut the yarn, and secure it.
Repeat the above for the other front side.
Step 10
Connect the front and back shoulder pieces.
Step 11
Pick up 40 or more stitches for a sleeve. To knit the pattern in round, you need just multiples of 7 stitches.
Knit the needed length of the sleeve.
Decrease the number of stitches if desired.
Step 12
Make a ribbing for the sleeve
1st row – knit 1 and purl 1 to end
2nd row – skip each knit stitches (slide the knit stitches to the right needle without knitting them) and purl all the purl stitches to end
Alternate 1st and 2nd rows for 10 rows.
Step 13
Cast off the sleeve stitches.
Cut the yarn, connect the first and last stitches, and secure the tail of the yarn.
Step 14
Pick up stitches for the neck line.
Knit all stitches for the right side, and purl all the sts for the wrong side.
Cast off the stitches, cut the yarn, and secure it.
Step 15
Straighten the cardigan up.
Fix the zipper from the top of the cardigan with a pin to hold it in the place and begin sewing.
Do not sew too close to the plastic
Step 16
Cast on 3 stitches to knit a zipper cover. You need that to make the zipper look nicer from the inside.
Once you reach the desired length of the cover, bind off the stitches, cut the yarn, and secure it.
Step 17
Sew the cover to the back of the zipper.


Knit a cardigan jacket with a zipper


For step I

For step I continue the pattern for another 12 rows? Because it does not say how many to rows to make in step 3.

Hi Shawnna,

Hi Shawnna,
For the step 3, I decreased 1stitch every 10 stitches. I worked just one row of the decrease. You may watch the video starting from about 4:29 to 6:20. Happy knitting!

Hey Just wonder on a rough

Hey Just wonder on a rough scale how long it will take to complete this project? I've never done anything like this before.


Hi Justin,

Hi Justin,
The time to complete any knitting project depends on many factors like your organization, planning, and time available. Happy knitting!

you continue the pattern (

you continue the pattern ( rib) for 12 rows.... then after the 12 rows you do step 3. which is decrease every 10 stitches ( so the 10th stitch you purl 2tog)

Hi Maddy,

Hi Maddy,
Yes, you are right. The 10th and 11th sts I purl2tog. You may watch the video starting from about 4:52. Happy knitting!

Hi this is a very beautiful

Hi this is a very beautiful sweater, I would like to make a sweater for UK size 12, could I get cast on instructions and other instructions please.

Hi Vinaya,

Hi Vinaya,
For the size UK 12 (US 8), I would cast on 127 stitches. Then I'd decrease 10 after the bottom ribbing. The pattern requires multiples of 7 plus 5 additional stitches or (7 x 16) + 5= 117 sts. Happy knitting!


I have started this cardigan and finished up to step 6. I used same yarn size, needle size, and 120 stitches as yours. But after completing step 6, I am confused that after making 3 parts it will be smaller because same stitches we are dividing in 3 parts. I am making this for size 34-29-38. please help me out.

Hi Apps,

Hi Apps,
Sorry that it took me so long to answer you. I'll be glad to help you. Please write me your gauge or how many stitches goes into 4 inches. Thank you.