HOW TO Crochet a Sweater Even Though You’re A Beginner

Janne Kleivset
Last Updated
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This blog post is for any crochet beginners that doesn’t know how to crochet a sweater.

It’s also for anyone who feels like crocheting a sweater is a reach & that’s it’s so complex that you would never accomplish it.

Good news, I’m going to teach you step-by-step how easy it can be.

This isn’t a sweater crochet pattern, but a great tutorial for the steps to take to decide on a first crochet pullover pattern.

HOW TO Crochet a Sweater Even Though You’re A BeginnerPin Pin

Beliefs About Crocheting Sweaters

When you learn crochet you often start by learning the most basic crochet stitches, like chain stitches, single crochet stitch, double crochet stitches and treble crochet, then you will move on to more difficult stitch patterns.

Beginner crocheters also get going on some crochet projects within the beginner skill level, those are often small crochet projects that doesn’t really excite you.

If you fall in love with crochet you stick to what you know, & continue making those smaller projects month after month & then months turn into years.

But you could have stepped out of you comfort zone much earlier & gotten better self esteem when it comes to crochet earlier too!

That’s why I’m teaching you how to crochet a sweater today, because after making a crochet garment for yourself, you break down barriers & will more easily step into bigger crochet projects with an open mind!

motu sweater crochet pattern design how to crochet a sweater Pin

What Types Of Crochet Sweaters Are Good To Start With?

When you do start crocheting sweaters for the first time, I would recommend that you start with a sweater that’s easy to make.

The biggest reason for that is that I believe that starting out with a fairly simple crochet sweater, makes it easy to finish & don’t give up. Next you’ll also have one sweater on your “I’ve made that” list, & can step into the next challenge faster.

Because if you’d like a steep learning curve, making a lot & challenging yourself for each project is a must.

So what’s those easy crochet sweaters?

  1. It should have skill level beginner or easy.
  2. It should contain mostly basic crochet stitches.
  3. It shouldn’t have too many increases or decreases.
  4. If it has increases or decreases it should be basic ones.
  5. It should be made up of easy shapes, like squares/rectangles & trapezes.

But isn’t it too hard?

No, I’ll definitely say no! Because making a crochet sweater doesn’t have to be more complex that crocheting rectangle shaped pieces like blankets .

If you think about making a dishcloth, you might immediately think that’s the easiest thing in the world. The same goes for squares for blankets. Even if i throw in the whole blanket you might say it’s beginner friendly & easy.

But learning how to crochet a sweater aren’t that different. Because often times if you do make sweaters that are made in 4 parts, 1 for the front panel, 1 for the back panel & 2 for the sleeve panels, all of these can be made with just simple shapes.

You’ll have 1 rectangle for the front, 1 rectangle for the back panel, or slightly shaped rectangles. Then there’s the option between shaped & unshaped arms, where the crochet sleeves can be rectangles or trapezes.

If you think about it like that it certainly doesn’t seem that hard?

But I Can’t Read Crochet Pattern, So Sweater Crochet Patterns Aren’t For Me!

Well, once more I’d have to disagree with you. Because learning to read crochet patterns is such a valuable skill for any crocheter, so I’d definitely set of time to learn reading crochet patterns.

But you might believe that crochet patterns for sweaters are much more complex than for other patterns. My answer is “Yes” & “No”.

“Yes” goes for the most complex crochet sweaters, that you find within skill levels intermediate & advanced.

“No” goes for beginner friendly crochet sweaters, that you find within skill levels beginner & easy. Because they aren’t much different that patterns for simple washcloths.

Finally all crochet patterns have the same objective – telling you exactly what to do to make what you see in the picture!

Lacy Cotton Women's Bundle saltus sweater crochet pattern Pin
Saltus Sweater (Click picture to learn more)

Tools and Materials You Will Need To Crochet A Sweater

To crochet sweater crochet patterns there are some materials needed such as:

On each of the linked crochet patterns you can find specific yarn suggestions and crochet hook sizes. If you need to substitute yarn, here’s a guide to substituting yarn when crocheting.

Depending on the season, the yarn you choose for your crochet garment may vary. Pick a wool yarn or acrylic blend for the cold season. Cotton yarn, bamboo and linen are great for summer!

How To Crochet A Sweater – Step By Step

So after changing how you view the challenge of learning how to a crochet sweater, I’m sure you’re definitely not as scared as you where when you started reading this post.

If you’re ready to jump into making your first crochet sweater (or one of your first), I’m going to teach you the first steps you’ll have to take.

  1. Start  by finding a crochet pattern you’d like to make + the yarn for It
  2. Read every part of the crochet pattern carefully
  3. Make a test square & decide on size
  4. Follow the instructions step by step & don’t be frustrated if you have to frog.
  5. Assemble all the pieces of your sweater.
  6. Weave In Ends

Related: Why a Gauge Swatch is Important when Crocheting a Garment

Related: How to Join Yarn: 4 ways

HOW TO Crochet a Sweater Even Though You’re A Beginner Pin

Step 1 – Finding A Crochet Pattern + Yarn

The first step is to find a sweater crochet pattern you’d like to make. The easiest option when making your first crochet sweater is to find a crochet pattern that suggests a yarn that you can get your hands on. That means it’s much easier for you to follow the pattern & you don’t have to make any adjustments for it.

Make sure you grab enough skeins of yarn.

The crochet pattern should be within skill level beginner or at the highest easy skill level. It shouldn’t contain any fancy stitches, but easy basic crochet stitches, which makes it easier to follow.

Choose a crochet pattern with simple construction, rather than a pattern with increases or decreases. Finally it’s easiest to start with a sweater crochet pattern that contains easy shapes, like rectangles, squares & trapezes.

Note: Some crochet raglan garments worked from the top down with a yoke may be a great second crochet garment to try.

Choose a yarn thickness of worsted weight yarn or thicker, so it in the end is a quicker crochet pattern than with thinner yarns.

In that case you will also have a bigger mm crochet hook size, which makes the stitches easier to see.

Related: 3 Beginner Friendly Crochet Garments – That Easily Can be Your first

Related: How to Choose Yarn for Crochet Garments

Resources: Cardigan Crochet Patterns + Sweater Crochet Patterns

how to crochet a sweater trio sweater crochet pattern design Pin

Step 2 – Read The Crochet Pattern Carefully

After you’ve grabbed your crochet pattern & yarn, but before you dive into crocheting it, I’d suggest you start by reading through your crochet pattern carefully.

Make sure you understan every single detail & familiarize yourself with what’s to come.

It’s better to discover something before you start, than to realize you’ve made a mistake because you thought you where crocheting one part, but was actually on another part.

Set of this time, because it’s worth it in the long run.

Set of time to understand the crochet abbreviations, as knowing them for the basic crochet stitches and techniques saves you time in the long run. Examples are repeat (rep), space (sp), skip (sk), slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc) and double crochet (dc).

Related: Reading Crochet Patterns Guide – With FREE workbook

Related: Learn to Read Crochet Charts – With FREE workbook

how to crochet a sweater Joy of Motion Crochet pic 4 Pin

Step 3 – Make A Test Square And Decide On Size

The next step of learning how to crochet a sweater is to make a test square. The reason why you do this is to check if your gauge fit’s the crochet patterns gauge. If it’s a 100 % match, you’re lucky & doesn’t have to make any changes.

If you gauge doesn’t match, you can try to go up or down in crochet hook size to see if it matches then.

After getting the gauge right, you can check the measurements included in the pattern, to see what size would fit you. Remember to think about ease, so you don’t make a sweater that’s to fitted or too loose.

If you don’t know how to choose size when crocheting a garment follow the steps in the linked free tutorial. It shows you what measurements you need to know, such as bust measurements.

HOW TO Crochet a Sweater Even Though You’re A Beginner Pin

Step 4 – Follow The Instructions + Don’t Get Frustrated

On the 4th step of learning how to crochet a sweater it is time to start following the instructions & start crocheting. This is a time where you need to be patient & try not to get frustrated.

If the pattern has the features I talked about in step 1, there’s a good chance you won’t get frustrated at all. However sometimes, to succeed, you’ll need to go through a challenge.

Be prepared to frog or rip out what you’re making a few times to make it perfect. It’s worth it.

Resource: Woman’s Garment Size Calculator

how to crochet a sweater densus sweater crochet pattern design Pin

Step 5 – Assemble All The Pieces of Your Sweater

The next step of learning how to crochet a sweater is to assemble all the pieces of your sweater. You’ve got to options right now.

  1. Sew it together with a needle, using the whip stitch (video tutorial).
  2. Crochet it together with a crochet hook.

Make sure you have the right side facing against each other and the wrong side out when you seam the pieces together.

My personal favorite is to use slip stitches to crochet sweaters together. It’s easy to control when you’re a newbie & easier to line up the sweater, so it gets properly attached.

With 4 piece sweaters with 1 front and 1 back panel and 2 sleeves. You will have shoulder seams, side seams and underarm seams.

This step will of course be skipped if you choose to crochet a seamless garment, such as the Top Down Raglan Cardigan.

However, for a garment such as the Cable Crochet Sweater, pictured below, there will be some seaming.

Or if you are crocheting a pattern like the Granny Square Sweater, you can use the Join As You Go Method.

HOW TO Crochet a Sweater Even Though You’re A Beginner Pin

Step 6 – Weave In Ends

The final step of learning how to crochet a sweater is to weave in ends.

You can also do this throughout the process of crocheting the garment or use one of the 4 Join Yarn Methods.

However there will be yarn tails after assembling the garment.

Related: How To Save Hours Weaving in Ends

Resource: Free Yarn Calculators

Free Easy Crochet Sweater Patterns for Beginners

Below is a list easy crochet sweater projects to start with when learning how to crochet a sweater, most of them has sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL and 5XL.

You can also find ad-free PDF versions of most of my crochet patterns on Etsy and in my crochet pattern shop. Or find free crochet patterns for sweaters on the blog.

I really hope you enjoyed this blog post on how to crochet a sweater.

Janne Kleivset

Janne Kleivset

Founder, Crochet Pattern Designer & Owner of Joy of Motion Crochet.

Janne has helped millions of crocheters find their next crochet project with more than 250 free crochet patterns and 110 crochet tutorials on her blog.

With more than two decades of crochet experience, and crochet designing since 2011, she's been featured on multiple prominent sites such as Lion Brand Yarn, in crochet magazines and the OML "Make" book.

Learn more about Janne.


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