Crochet is a wonderful past-time that is currently undergoing a revival! More and more of us are turning to crochet as a way to unwind, take time for ourselves, and make wonderful clothes and gifts for our friends and family!
But as fun, as crochet is, it isn’t the easiest skill to master. Many beginners and even experienced hands find themselves desperately scrolling for some advice and guidance, especially when making sweaters.
Those arms, collars, and openings can be tricky to master and leave many of us with headaches.
Well, no more! Today, we will walk you through how to crochet a sweater so you can leave here a pro and create sweaters that would rival Molly Weasley’s!
How to crochet a sweater
The following steps are for those that are crocheting a sweater without any templates or patterns to follow. You can download these from the internet if you wish, follow these, or follow our steps below!
Starting the Body
To begin making your sweater, you will need to take some measurements to determine the size. Wrap a measuring tape around your bust or the recipient of the weather and note the size.
You can then measure how long you want the sweater to be. It’s best to pick a size that matches your measurements closely; choose from these below:
- Small: 32 inches bust and 23-inches length
- Medium: 36 inches bust and 25inches length
- Large: 40-inches bust and 27-inches length
- Extra-large: 44 inches bust and 23-inches length
Next, get your yarn. Choose an acrylic, cotton, wool, or blend so that the sweater is comfortable. The sweater size will determine how many skeins of yarn you need in any color you wish.
Ideally, you want the skein to weigh 5oz and be 251 yards long. Use our guide below to see how many skeins you need.
- Small: 4 skeins
- Medium: 4 skeins
- Large: 5 skeins
- Extra-large: 6 skeins
Now it’s time to make a chain stitch or ch on a large crochet hook. Tie a slip knot and slide it onto the hook. Next, wrap your yarn around the hook and pull yarn through the knot to make one ch.
You will also need a size K and H crochet hook to make the rest of the sweater, so have those handy!
Continue making crochet ch stitches now to make a chain. To make your next stitch, insert your hook into the first ch you made and wrap the yarn around it. Pull it through the loop to make a ch stitch.
Carry on until you have made a foundation chain. The size of your sweater will determine how many you should have:
- Small: 55 chains
- Medium: 61 chains
- Large: 69 chains
- Extra-large: 75 chains
Crocheting the Panels
Now it’s time to crochet the panel! To create a nice edge, you want to single crochet (sc) into every chain stitch for the first row. To do this, insert your hook into a stitch and wrap the yarn around it.
Next, pull through the loop to create two loops on your hook. Wrap the yarn around again and pull through both loops, creating an sc stitch.
Ch 2 and turn the work to start the second row. You can skip the first stitch on the row and insert your hook into the second stitch to slip stitch (sl st). To do this, wrap the yarn around your hook and pull it through both loops.
This is the start of a simple mesh stitch, which you will continue for the entire panel.
Continue across row 2. To work the repeating mesh stitch pattern, you’ll need to ch two stitches.
Then, skip the first stitch and insert your hook into the following stitch on the row—the second stitch to slip stitch and keep working the pattern until you complete row 2.
Now ch two and turn the work over to start the third row. At the end of the second row, ch two and flip the work over. Now you can sl st into the ch two space below and repeat ch 2, sl st until the end of the row.
Now the fabric should look like a loose mesh with some gaps.
Keep making row 3’s pattern until the panel is as long as you like. Be sure to ch two Sl and Sl st into the next gap for every row. You want to go until your panel is at least the measurements listed below for your size:
- Small: 21 ½ inches long
- Medium: 23 ½ inches long
- Large: 24 ½ inches long
- Extra Large: 25 ½ inches long
Once the panel is made, cut an 8-inch tail and tie off the end. Thread this tail and weave it into your panel. Now make another panel with the same dimensions.
Make the sleeves
Now it’s time to make the sleeves of your sweater. You will crochet a rectangle of fabric that’s wide at one end and narrow at the other. Use your large crochet hook and make the following depending on your size:
- Small: 49 chains
- Medium: 55 chains
- Large: 61 chains
- Extra-large: 67 chains
You will want to sc into every stitch across the first row. Skip the first ch stitch that’s closest to your hook and sc into the next stitch. Sc into every stitch until you hit the end of the row, working the upper part of the sleeve.
Ch 2 sk a stitch and sl st before working the pattern for the next row. Once the first row is complete, ch two and turn the work, skip the single crochet stitch below and Sl st into the next stitch.
Continue to ch 2, SK a stitch, and Sl st into the following stitch across row two.
Before moving onto row three, ch two and sl st into space. At the end of the second row, ch two and flop the work, sl st into the ch two space and start the repeating pattern on row 3 (ch 2, SK st, sl st).
Repeat this pattern until the sleeve is 5 inches long.
Now, let’s switch to a size K hook to work the midsection of the sleeve. Use a size K hook to ch three and double crochet (dc) into the gap below.
Ch 3 stitches and turn the work before you dc into the first ch two space below. You will want to make two dc stitches into the next ch two space. To complete the row, continue to 2 dc in the next ch two space.
Next, ch3, sk st, and dc into every stitch across the row. Turn the work after your ch 3. Skip the first stitch of the row and then dc into every stitch for the rest of the midsection.
At the end of a row, ch three and turn the work. Skip the first stitch of a row and dc into every stitch. Repeat this pattern until the mid-section you are doing with your K hook measures one of the following:
- Small: 5 inches
- Medium: 6-inches
- Large: 7-inches
- Extra-large: 7-inches
Switch to a size H hook and begin working on the lower section of the sleeve. Use the pattern: ch 3, turn, sk a stitch, and dc every row for six inches. You can use a smaller hook if you want the sleeves to be narrower at the wrist.
To finish, cut a six-inch yarn tail and thread it onto a tapestry needle. Weave the end through the sleeve, hiding it. Once complete, make another identical sleeve.
Make the cuffs for the sweater and sleeves.
Before we can assemble the sweater, we need cuffs for the sweater and its sleeves. Take a large crochet hook and slide a slip knot onto it and ch 6. Sc the second stitch from the hook and sc into every stitch across the row.
When you reach the end, ch one and turn the work.
Now, sc through each back loop (sc blo) for every row. To do this, insert your hook into the back of the stitch instead of the front loop. Work an sc stitch, and crochet through the back of every stitch of the row.
Continue to do this to make a cuff for the sweater or sleeves.
Continue to ch one and turn the work before you sc blo each stitch across the row. Repeat the pattern until it fits across the bottom of one panel. Tie off the yarn and weave in the tail when done.
Repeat the pattern to crochet two short cuffs for the small ends of the sleeves. Work each cuff until it’s as long as the width of the sleeve ends. Cut the yarn and thread it onto a tapestry needle before weaving it into the fabric.
Assembling the Sweater
The end is near! To assemble the sweater, take 1 of the rectangles you made for a sleeve and fold the long sides together, creating a tube shape. Next, thread a needle with 40 inches of yarn and whipstitch the sides together.
Next, lay both panels on top of each other and whipstitch from the bottom towards the top. Measure the widest part of the sleeve and leave that much space near the top of the panels. The space allows you to sew the sleeves in place.
Whip Stitch the sleeves to the sweater. Place the sleeves in place with their seams pointing down. Continue to sew along the top of the shoulders. Leave roughly an 11-inch opening in the middle for your head.
Tie off the yarn and weave in the ends when you are done.
Place the narrow cuffs at the end of the sleeves and whipstitch them into place. Tie off the yarn and weave the ends in, and you are done! Take the long cuffs and seam them to the bottom of your sweater.
And just like that, we have reached the end of our crochet journey today. As you can see, crocheting a sweater isn’t as difficult as you first thought!
Sure, it might take you a while, especially if you are a beginner, but with some patience and practice, you too will be enjoying cozy sweaters! If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our guides on how to crochet a blanket and how to crochet a dishcloth.