Cross Back Cardigan Free Crochet Pattern

Looking for a unique crochet cardigan to wear this summer? This beginner friendly crochet cardigan made with weight 5 yarn, is the perfect blend of fun and functional! Using a combination of shell stitches and horizontal puff stitches, the back panels create a whimsical stitch pattern that makes anyone look fabulous.

Inspiration for Design

After I saw the cross back sweater designed by Chantal of Knitatude, I knew I wanted to create a crochet version with my own spin on it! I loved how the cross back of the sweater shows off the back while still providing a functional piece to wear. To add my own spin to the sweater, I decided to turn it into a cardigan! When I came up with this cross back cardigan design it was already getting into spring, and I wanted to have something that I could wear any time of year. This sweater design can be worn in the spring or summer if you use a lighter weight bulky yarn like Lion Brand Color Made Easy, or could be worn in fall and winter if you use a heavier weight bulky yarn.

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Construction

After doing a few raglan designs, I found myself wanting to try to make an easy crochet cardigan pattern out of panels. This sweater was the perfect crochet garment to test that out that style of construction with. The garment is made in four pieces: two front panels, and two back panels that form the cross back. Then once you sew them together, the sleeves are worked off of the armholes that are formed. It’s a super beginner friendly crochet pattern because of how simple the construction is. Yes, there is seaming, but it isn’t too much! Plus, I actually like seaming. (I’m kind of in the minority there, hehe.)

The Yarn

When Lion Brand Color Made Easy came out, I heard so many awesome things about it that I knew I wanted to create a sweater using it. I saw some of my favorite designers creating spring and summer things with it, so I thought this design would be perfect for it! Color Made Easy yarn is a Bulky weight 5 yarn that has great body to it. I love how the yarn itself has a super plush feeling to it all while providing great body to whatever it’s made with. It doesn’t feel like it’s a bulky yarn, so it feels like it wouldn’t be too warm to wear during the warmer months. I think it would be a great cardigan for those cool spring and summer nights. It’s a chunky crochet sweater that can be worn all year long. If you use a warmer bulky weight yarn though, that is totally fine! The sweater will still be lovely to wear, and then you can wear it during the cool months too. Now that you know all about it, let’s get to the pattern!

If you love this pattern, you’ll also love:

1. She Sells Sea Shells Top 2. Faux Real Bolero 3. Soceles Triangle Wrap

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(The rest of the post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. See my full affiliate disclosure here.)

Supplies:

Gauge:

4”x 4” square (using double crochets) = 9 st x 5 rows

Stitches Used/Abbreviations:

St = Stitch (s)
R = Row
Rnd = round
Ch = chain
dc = double crochet

( ) = stitch amounts for different size
** = do all that’s between two *
[ ] = stitch count at end of round for each size

horizontal puff stitch = *yarn over, yarn over around post of dc* repeat 2 more times, then yarn over and pull through all loops on hook.

Sizes: XS-5X Bust Measurements:

  • Sizes are listed in pattern from XS-5X with reference

          – XS = 28″  – 2X = 48″
– S = 32″    – 3X = 52″
– M = 36″  – 4X = 56″
– L = 40″   – 5X = 60″
– XL = 44″

  • Pattern is made with 2″ of positive ease that is added to each of these measurements.
  • Sizes are listed in pattern from XS-5X with reference to the stitch amounts.

                              xs (s,  m,   l,   xl, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x)
For example “dc 10 (10, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17)” the first 10 being the XS, the the first number in parentheses being S and so forth.

Notes:

  • I recommend reading through the entire pattern before starting to make sure that you fully understand the pattern.
  • Ch 2 at beginning of rows does not count as a stitch.
  • Pattern uses U.S. Stitch terminology
  • Pattern is worked in 4 panels that are sewn together, and then the sleeves are worked off of those pieces.

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Pattern

Front Panel (Make 2):

R 1: Ch 47 (47, 50, 50, 54, 54, 58, 58, 62), starting in 3rd ch from hook, dc 44 (44, 48, 48, 52, 52, 56, 56, 60) R 2-10 (2-11, 2-12, 2-13, 2- 14, 2-15, 2-16, 2-17, 2-18): ch 2, turn, Dc 44 (44, 48, 48, 52, 52, 56, 56, 60) [44, 44, 48, 48, 52, 52, 56, 56, 60]
R 11 (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19): ch 1, turn, sc 1 in first dc, *sk 1, dc 5 in next st, sk 1, sc 1,* repeat 10, (10, 11, 11, 12, 12, 13, 13, 14) more times [11, 11, 12, 12, 13, 13, 14, 14, 15 shell stitches]

Fasten off and leave a tail for sewing

Back Panel (Make 2):

R 1: ch 58 (58, 62, 62, 66, 66, 70, 70, 74) starting in 3rd chain from hook, dc 56 (56, 60, 60, 64, 64, 68, 68, 72) [56, 56, 60, 60, 64, 64, 68, 68, 72]
R 2: ch 1, turn, sc 1 in first st, *sk 1, dc 5 in next st, sk 1, sc 1* repeat 13 (13, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16, 17) more times [14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16, 17, 17, 18 shell stitches]

R 3: ch 2, sk 1, dc 1, *ch 3, skip over shell to sc 1 from previous row and dc 1, horizontal puff stitch around dc you just did,* 13 (13, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16, 17) more times [14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16, 17, 17, 18 horizontal puff stitches]
R 4-7, (4-7, 4-9, 4-9, 4-9, 4-11, 4-11, 4-13, 4-13): repeat rows 2-3
R 8 (8, 10, 10, 10, 12, 12, 14, 14): dc 56 (56, 60, 60, 64, 64, 68, 68, 72) across [56, 56, 60, 60, 64, 64, 68, 68, 72]

Fasten off and leave a tail for sewing.

Panel Assembly:

Cross Back Cardigan Panel Assembly Photo

1. Take both front panels and space them a few inches apart as pictured.

Cross Back Cardigan Panel Assembly Photo

2. Take one of the back panels, and line up one of its short edges with the short side of the front panel, which will be the top of the cardigan. Pin it in place.

Cross Back Cardigan Panel Assembly Photo

3. To make the armhole, count down 15 (16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23) stitches, and then pin in place. Also, count down 7-10 stitches and pin to the edge again.

Cross Back Cardigan Panel Assembly Photo

4. Take the other short end of the back panel, line it up with the edge of the other front panel so that it goes against the bottom corner. Repeat steps 2-4 with the other back panel.

Cross Back Cardigan Panel Assembly Photo

5. Take you yarn needle, thread it with one of the extra tails you left on for sewing, and sew the top edges together. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Cross Back Cardigan Panel Assembly Photo

6. Sew between the two pins on the side, which will then create the armhole as well as securing the back panel to the side of the front one.

Cross Back Cardigan Panel Assembly Photo

7. Sew the opposite edge you pinned together, and repeat steps 5-7 with the other panel.

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Sleeves (Do the following for both sides):

Rnd 1: Sl st in bottom seam join of armhole, ch 2, dc 2 in same st as sl st, dc 26 (28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42) around edges, dc 2 in last st, join with sl st to ch 2 [30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46]
Rnd 2-9 (2-9, 2-10, 2-10, 2-11, 2-11, 2-12, 2-12, 2-13): dc 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46) around [30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46]

Rnd 10 (10, 11, 11, 12, 12, 13, 13, 14): dc 1, *ch 1, sk 1, dc 1, horizontal puff stitch over dc you just did* repeat 14 (15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22) more times [15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 horizontal puff stitches]
Rnd 11-12 (11- 12, 12-14, 12-14, 13-15, 13-15, 14-16, 14-16, 15-17): dc 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46) around [30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46]

Rnd 13 (13, 15, 15, 16, 16, 17, 17, 18): dc dec 1, dc 26 (28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42), dc dec 1 [28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44]
Rnd 14-16 (14-16, 16-18, 16-18, 17-19, 17-19, 18-20, 18-20, 19-21): dc 28 (30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44) [28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44]

Rnd 17 (17, 19, 19, 20, 20, 21, 21, 22): dc dec 1, dc 24 (26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40), dc dec 1 [26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42]
Rnd 18-21 (18-21, 20-22, 20-22, 21-23, 21-23, 22-24, 22-24, 23-25): dc 26 (28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42) [26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42]

Rnd 22 (22, 23, 23, 24, 24, 25, 25, 26): dc 1, *ch 1, sk 1, dc 1, horizontal puff stitch over dc you just did* repeat 12 (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20) more times [13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 horizontal puff stitches]
Rnd 23-24 (23-24, 24-25, 24-25, 25-26, 26-27, 26-27, 27-28): dc 26 (28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42) [26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42]

Fasten off and weave in all ends.

Now you’re all done!

I hope you enjoy your brand new cardigan! I loved getting to create this design, and it is so much fun to wear! If you do make this pattern, I’d love to see it. Tag me on instagram @eclairemakery or use #eclairemakery and I will share it!

Happy stitching,

~Claire

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