Granny Square Cardigan Crochet Pattern

Introducing: The Granny Square Cardigan — free crochet pattern

This modernized version of a classic granny square cardigan features a cropped silhouette, dropped shoulders, and unique gusset style construction that allows for a great fit! Choose a couple colors or many, this cardigan is a beautiful statement piece for your warm weather wardrobe!

Granny Square Cardigan main image, model wearing the cardigan standing slightly to the side and looking over her shoulder
model wearing a multicolored crochet cardigan turning slightly to the side and smiling at the camera

Available as a free pattern and as a kit with Lion Brand Yarn.

Scroll down to access the free pattern, find the granny square video tutorial, or continue reading to learn a bit about the design and some pointers to help you out!

**please note, some links may be affiliate links which will allow me to make a small commission on products purchased through my referral. This does not influence my opinion or the price of the item that you are purchasing in any way.

Granny Square Cardigan Design

Granny Squares are one of my favorite designs in crochet. I love the vintage inspired, colorful look! I even made a whole post dedicated to my favorite granny square patterns! The Maria Top that I designed last summer uses also granny stitch in an allover sweater design.

I designed this cardigan with the vintage, oversize, granny square cardigans in mind. I love the look of those cardigans but I think that they are such a statement piece and don’t get enough use.

In my opinion my vintage inspired granny square cardigan is much more wearable. The slightly cropped silhouette looks put together and more warm weather appropriate, and the wider, open front is cute and feminine.

I also love the way the sleeves are constructed using a gusset technique. This gives it a better fit because it’s more three dimensional. Therefore, you can wear it slightly more fitted and not oversize!

model wearing a colorful pink and orange crocheted cardigan turned to the back
model wearing a vintage inspired crochet cardigan smiling in front of an ice cream sign

Yarn and Materials

The yarn that I used for this cardigan is Lion Brand Nuboo in the colors blush, peach, mocha, walnut, and salmon. For the main color, I used white. I chose this yarn because it had tons of colors for a unique palette and land the fibers are a bit silky. I love the silky look with granny squares, it just adds another dimension to the texture and makes them look so luxurious!

This cardigan can be made using a few colors, or many. I used 5 colors in addition to white and randomized the order each time. If you shop the kit with Lion Brand Yarn, you can choose any combination of colors you want to make a palette that is your style!

Yarn Substitutions

I will note, the yarn I used is very ‘splitty’ meaning your hook can easily split through the strands. It doesn’t break the strands, just kind of misses that part! Personally, I don’t mind this too much but if this is something that bothers you you might want to use another yarn. I have some of my favorite options listed below!

  • Coboo by Lion Brand Yarn: this yarn is super similar to Nuboo but doesn’t have the shine. This yarn is so cool to the touch and actually my #1 favorite yarn of all time. It is a bit splitty as well, but again I don’t really mind.
  • Truboo by Lion Brand: similar to Coboo and Nuboo, this yarn is cool to the touch but is the shiniest of the three! Use this yarn if you love the silky look. Also check out Truboo Sparkle!
  • CotLin from KnitPicks: this yarn is a very matte, cotton linen blend. I love this yarn. The linen makes it surprisingly cool and comfortable! It is a little more of your typical cotton yarn and can be a bit heavy.
  • Gloss DK from KnitPicks: this yarn is a merino wool and silk blend so its extremely luxurious! Great option for a colder weather cardigan that still has that ‘shine’ look to it.

As always, be sure to gauge swatch, especially when substituting yarn. Small differences in gauge can lead to large changes in the size of the finished item!

Granny Square Cardigan Crochet Pattern

© ORIGINALLY LOVELY 2021

This pattern and photographs of this garment are property of Kaitlin Barthold of Originally Lovely. This pattern, photos, and design are subject to copyright and are for personal use only. All commercial use is strictly prohibited. You may not reproduce or distribute this pattern under any circumstances.

The free version of this pattern must be viewed from the webpage.

Shop the kit with Lion Brand Yarn HERE

To purchase an ad-free, printable PDF of the Granny Square Cardigan on Ravelry, CLICK HERE

To purchase an ad-free, printable PDF of the Granny Square Cardigan on Etsy, CLICK HERE

Skill Level

Easy +

Materials

9, (14, 16, 18) skeins / 1413, (2198, 2512, 2826) yards Lion Brand Nuboo Yarn:

  • 3, (5, 6, 7) skeins Main Color (shown in White)
  • 2, (2, 2, 3) skeins accent color 1 (shown in Blush)
  • 1, (2, 2, 3) skeins accent color 2 (shown in Peach)
  • 1, (2, 2, 3) skeins accent color 3 (shown in Mocha)
  • 1, (2, 2, 2) skeins accent color 4 (shown in Walnut)
  • 1, (1, 2, 2) skeins accent color 5 (shown in Salmon)

Size US 7 (4.5 mm) crochet hook (favorites linked here)

Tapestry Needle to weave in ends

Notes:

This cardigan is shaped by working 4” x 4” granny squares and seaming them together.

  • Because you are changing colors after each round, this project will create lots of ends. It is highly recommended to weave in your ends as you work. Tying knots instead of weaving in ends is not recommended.
  • Portions of this pattern are written in crochet shorthand. This means that if you see 3DC, you will work 3 DC stitches into the same st and 2DC means 2 DC sts in to the same st.
  • Unless otherwise noted, the starting/turning chains in this pattern will count as the first stitch.
  • This cardigan is created using 5 coordinating accent colors and a main color. There is no order to which accent color to use next, work each square randomly in a color pattern that looks good to you, careful not to use two similar colors right next to eachother (in my case, Walnut and Mocha looked similar so I made sure they were not worked consecutively). Also, be sure not to use too much of one color as you may run out of that color sooner, try to use them equally.
  • Granny squares are created by working granny stitch in rounds, increasing at the corners to create a square. There are many techniques to create granny squares. The technique we will be using in this pattern will be to turn at the end of each row to prevent the squares from twisting. For a full video tutorial on making these squares, visit https://www.youtube.com/originallylovely

Finished Dimensions:

XS/SM/LXL/2X3X/4X
Bust40485664
Finished Width20242832
Finished Length20222426
Measurements are finished sweater dimensions and are given in inches

XS/S, (M/L, XL/2X, 3X/4X)

Pattern is written for smallest size with changes for larger sizes in parenthesis. When only one number is given, it applies to all sizes. To keep track of your size, you may highlight or circle all numbers for your chosen size before you begin.

Help Choosing Size

This top is designed to be worn with 0-6” of positive ease at the bust. Model is 6’ tall, has a 33” bust, and is wearing a size small with 3” of positive ease. For best fit, choose a size that is 0-6” larger than your corresponding bust measurement.

Gauge

15 sts and 10 rows = 4” in granny stitch

NOTE: This means each granny square should measure 4″ by 4″. If you are substituting different yarn, be sure to check gauge so that your finished cardigan fits properly!

Abbreviations

This pattern is written using U.S. English Terminology

[ ] = work instructions within brackets as directed

( ) = work instructions within parentheses as directed

Ch = chain stitch

DC = double crochet

MC = main color

MR = magic ring

Rd = round

SC = single crochet

SLST = slipped stitch

Sp = space

St = stitch

Sts = stitches

Rd= round

Granny Square Cardigan Crochet Pattern

To begin, you will crochet your granny squares. You will create 54, (78, 96, 125) granny squares.

Granny Square Instructions:

This video tutorial will help you construct the granny squares. Scroll down for the written instructions.

Round 1: [ch2, 2DC, ch1, (3DC, c h1) 3x] in MR, with new yarn color, join with a slst in the 2nd ch of the starting ch2, turn.

2: Slst into ch1 gap sp directly below, ch2, 2DC into same ch1 gap sp, [(3DC, ch1, 3DC) in to next gap sp] 3x, (3DC, ch1) into beginning ch1 gap sp once more, with new color yarn, slst in the 2nd ch of the starting ch2 to join, turn.

You should now be able to see your granny square starting to form. Each ch1 sp is a corner of the square where you will increase each round. In each round, you will be working into the gap sp between the 3DC clusters.

3: Slst into ch1 gap sp directly below, ch2, 2DC into same ch1 gap sp, [3DC in next gap sp, (3DC, ch1, 3DC) in corner gap sp] 3x, (3DC, ch1) into beginning ch1 gap sp once more, with new color yarn, slst in the 2nd ch of the starting ch2 to join, turn.

4: Slst into ch1 gap sp directly below, ch2, 2DC into same ch1 gap sp, [3DC in each gap sp to corner, (3DC, ch1, 3DC) in corner gap sp] 3x, (3DC, ch1) into beginning ch1 gap sp once more, with main color yarn, slst in the 2nd ch of the starting ch2 to join, turn.

Note: On the next round, the final round of the granny square, you will work a ch2 at each corner instead of a ch1.

5: Slst into ch1 gap sp directly below, ch2, 2DC into same ch1 gap sp, [3DC in each gap sp to corner, (3DC, ch2, 3DC) in corner gap sp] 3x, (3DC, ch2) into beginning ch1 gap sp once more, slst in the 2nd ch of the starting ch2 to join. Cut yarn leaving a tail to weave in and pull through to secure. Weave in all ends.

Repeat rounds 1-5 to construct granny squares until you have completed 54, (78, 96, 125) squares.

Cardigan Assembly

Granny squares will be joined using a flat slipped stitch join technique. Be sure that you are not working the slipped stitches too tight. If you find that the seams are too tight, you may increase your hook size. For help understanding a flat slipped stitch join, check out this tutorial:

You will begin assembling your cardigan flat by working all vertical seams, and then all horizontal seams. You will also seam together two gussets. Then, you will assemble the body by adding the gusset along the sides.

Assemble squares following the diagram below for your chosen size:

1. Using MC, begin by seaming your cardigan by working all vertical seams (seams shown in blue)

2. Work all horizontal seams (shown in pink). Be sure to assemble two gussets.

3. At this point, it is best to block your cardigan while laying flat. Either steam or wet block.

4. Fold the cardigan over and seam a gusset along either side of the body (shown in red)

5. Weave in all ends and begin working border rows

Granny Square Cardigan assembly diagram size XS/S
Granny Square Cardigan assembly diagram size M/L
Granny Square Cardigan assembly diagram size 3X/4X
Granny Square Cardigan assembly diagram size 3X/4X

Border:

You will now work a border around the neckline and bottom hem of the cardigan. Border will be worked flat in rows. You will work around the front and neckline first and then turn to work along the bottom edge.

Row 1: Using MC yarn and beginning at bottom corner of cardigan opening, DC into corner gap sp, 3DC into each gap sp until just before the corner at back of neckline, 3DC into the middle of the 3 gap sp at corner, 3DC into each gap sp until the opposite corner, 3DC into the middle of the 3 gap sp at corner, 3DC down opposite side until last gap sp, DC into final gap sp, ch2, turn.

2: DC into 1st gap sp, 3DC into each gap sp up around and down cardigan opening to opposite edge, DC into final gap sp, ch1, turn.

3: in 2nd ch from hook, SC. SC in to both loops of each st around cardigan opening. When you have worked the final st, ch2 and turn the cardigan to begin working across the bottom.

4: DC into the side of the SC just worked for the border, 2DC into both of the DC rows worked along border, DC into both loops of each st across bottom of cardigan to opposite border, 2DC into both of the DC rows at border, DC into the SC at border. Ch2, turn to work back across this row.

5: in 4th ch from hook DC, DC across, ch1, turn.

6: in 3rd ch from hook SC, SC across. Cut yarn leaving a tail to weave in and pull through to secure.

Weave in all ends.

Sleeve Cuffs:

1: Beginning at underside of sleeve, 3DC into the first gap sp, 3DC into each gap sp around sleeve opening, slst with 1st DC to join, ch1.

2: in 3rd ch from hook, SC, SC in to each st around opening, slst to join. Cut yarn leaving a tail to weave in and pull through all sts to secure. Weave in ends.

Repeat for second sleeve.

For questions, please email kaitlin@originallylovely.com or comment below!

I’d love to see your finished work! Share on social media using the hashtag #originallylovely or by tagging @originally.lovely on Instagram!

model wearing cardigan sitting in chair smiling at the camera.  Cardigan is multicolored crocheted out of vintage inspired granny squares

Looking for other easy crochet patterns? Check out the Rosebud Scarf, the Maria Top, or the Cove Crochet Tote Bag!

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26 Comments

    1. Hi Anita! The gusset is just the strip of 7 granny squares that is used to attach the sides and sleeves together. If you look at the diagram, the gusset is attached to the body pieces shown with the red lines. Nothing extra special to make the gusset, more just the way the squares are seamed together to give a more 3 dimensional fit!

  1. I’m about a 4x and have been looking all over for a granny square cardi design that would actually fit me! Thank you for making this available to us fat folks! 🙂 <3

    1. I’m so glad you found it!! I always try to be size inclusive 🙂 I am 6′ tall and finding pants is always a struggle so I can relate!

  2. hi,I have all my squares ready. I’m doing the m size. I’m confused by the charts for joining the squares, some have a two square gap, the others one. the photo shows 2 square width across the shoulders. I’m making this for someone else and I’m worried the fit wont be the same as the photo with one square neckline

    1. Hi Naomi!

      Crochet has a tendency to curve and pull into the shape that you give it on its own. This is especially the case for granny squares and granny stitch and is part of what makes this stitch so special! For example, if you check out my Maria Top Crochet Pattern you can see that the neckline is curved on its own despite the neckline being worked straight across. This would not work as well with knitting or even some different crochet stitches!

      If you look at the chart, the sizes that have a two square gap the opening begins directly in the center of the sleeve when the cardigan is open in the diagram. When the size has a one square gap, the opening begins one square back from the center. This extra allowance gives the squares more time to open and curve to shape the neckline. Part of what makes this pattern unique from some other granny square cardigans is that is it shaped using full sizes squares. There are limitations to this but the border that is chosen, gauge, smaller square size and hook size are all chosen to bridge this gap as much as possible to give the best fit possible using full sized squares. If you are conscious not to seam your squares together too tightly, it will work just fine 🙂

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.
      Kaitlin

  3. I’m confused as to where the gussets actually ‘go’. Sure, I see the gussets to the side in red. What I don’t see is where they’re supposed to fit with the rest of the piece.

    1. Hi! Sorry this is throwing you off. So basically, the ‘gussets’ are just the added strips of granny squares that makes the cardigan more three dimensional which gives the closer fit. So the seams that connect the gussets to the rest of the piece are highlighted in red. If you match the red seam along the gusset to the red seam along either side of the cardigan, this is where you sew it together, (basically along the underside of the arm, it then turns at the underarm, and then down the edge of the body). Its best to connect the gusset last because otherwise it can seem a bit confusing! Hope that helps explain it a bit better 🙂

    1. It depends! I personally didn’t but that was because my blocked squares and un-blocked squares ended up being the same size. This will probably come down to yarn choice as well. Regardless of what you choose, definitely be careful not to let the seams be too tight!! I was extra cautious to keep my seams loose because of this so that when I did block the seams didn’t hold the sweater too tight or rigid in any areas. Hope that helps!

  4. This is so cute! I want to do the XS/S, but would prefer the body part a little longer. Would I just add one more row of granny squares at the bottom? Do you think I would need to increase the amount of yarn I buy? Thanks for sharing the pattern!

    1. Hi Leslie! Yes adding another row at the bottom would easily make it longer! I would order a little extra yarn to be safe, I don’t think you need extra of every color but maybe just a couple colors!

  5. Hi there. I have just assembled my cardigan and ready to do the border. I’m worried the 3dc in each for the first border row will make too many sts. Am I thinking right or reading it wrong somehow?

    1. Hi Kylie! So this means you’ll be working 3dc (which is one granny st cluster) into each gap sp that is left between the ‘granny clusters’. This will maintain the granny stitch look on the first border row. If you look at the photo of the back of the cardigan, up by the neck, you can see this first border row. Hope that helps 🙂

  6. Hi! I’m really confused about where the gusset goes, I already sewed everything together but have yet to connect the gusset to the rest of the cardigan, I checked the previous comment who asked this but I really don’t get it.

    1. Hi Rai! So the ‘gusset’ is the strip that connects the front and the back of the cardigan together on either side. It gives the 3 dimensional fit. If you match up the red lines from the gusset to the cardigan it will seam together as needed.

      I’ll try to explain it differently to help you visualize it a bit better. So imagine the seam on a sweatshirt that goes from the wrist, to the underarm, then down to the waist. Then, imagine you separate this seam and attach a strip of fabric that lines up along this entire seam, on either side of the sweatshirt. So translate that to your cardigan and this is the gusset, it just makes it so that you have a smoother, three dimensional fit! I hope that helps 🙂

  7. Hi Kaitlyn.. I must have a mental block this morning, but for the life of me I cannot figure out the sizing and how you arrived at the bust measurements of 40, 48, etc. if the model has a 33” bust and has a positive ease of 3”, how does that match those numbers? So I am a 38” bust, 5’ tall , would I pick the M/L size and if so, could you explain how that is calculated? Sorry for being so lame.. 😩

    1. Hi Colleen! This cardigan is designed to have 0-6″ of positive ease, rounded to the nearest size, depending on how you like it to fit! So with a 33″ bust, 6 inches of positive ease is 39″, rounded up just slightly would be 40″. With a 38″ bust, you are between sizes so could really go either way, if you want it more snug you could make the 40″ bust. Personally though, I would make the 48″ bust size! Since its made completely using granny squares it is a bit ‘boxy’ and doesn’t have as many size options as a regular cardigan, but I think that’s what makes it so cute and vintage looking! Generally sizes increase by 4″ between sizes but since these granny squares are 4″, the sweater needs to increase by 8″ to allow for an additional square column at both the front and the back as sizes increase. I hope that helps! Let me know if you still have questions!

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