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Knit this short-sleeve lace cardigan for a spring wardrobe staple. The empire waist is flattering and touches such as a lace collar and button closure make this a quality piece. This cardigan knitting pattern is for intermediate knitters and could be knitted in any color yarn you'd like.  This would be the perfect sweater to wear with a tank and jeans or use it to keep warm when you're wearing a fun sun dress.  Great for spring and summer, this knit sweater is a fashion staple for girls of all ages.

Knit Lace Cardigan


  • 6 (7, 9, 10, 11) balls RED HEART® “Eco-Cotton Blend” yarn in Moss
  • 4.5 mm [US 7] circular needle, 36” long
  • 3.75 mm [US F-5]
  • Stitch markers
  • stitch holders
  • 2 buttons 1” diameter
  • Yarn needle


Directions are for size X-Small. Changes for sizes Small, Medium, Large and X-Large are in parentheses.

  • Finished Bust: 32 (36, 40, 44, 47)”
  • Finished Length: 17½ (18½, 19½, 20½, 21½)”


Gauge: 19 sts = 4”; 32 rows = 4” in garter stitch. CHECK YOUR GAUGE. Use any size hook to obtain the gauge.


Special Abbreviations:

  • Sk2p: Slip 1 st, k2tog, pass slip st over,
  • Ssk: Slip 2 sts purlwise to right needle, insert point of left needle through front of sts, k2tog through back loop.


Cardigan is worked back and forth in rows in one piece to armholes. Sleeves are joined to Body stitches to work Raglan shaping. Circular needle is used to accommodate the large number of stitches.

Lace Stitch (multiple of 6 sts + 4)

  • Row 1 (Right Side): K2, *yo, sk2p, yo, k3; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k2.
  • Row 2: Purl.
  • Row 3: K2, *k3, yo, sk2p, yo; repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2.
  • Row 4: Purl.
  • Repeat Rows 1-4 for Lace stitch.

Sleeve (Make 2)

  1. Cast on 52 (58, 64, 70, 76) sts.
  2. Knit 5 rows.
  3. Beginning with Row 1, work Rows 1-3 of Lace stitch.
  4. Change to garter stitch and work until piece measures 2½ (3, 3, 3½, 3½)” from beginning, end with a wrong side row.

Shape Armhole

  1. Bind off 3 (4, 5, 6, 7) sts at beginning of next 2 rows – 46 (50, 54, 58, 62) sts.
  2. Slip sts to a stitch holder for Raglan shaping.


  1. Cast on 154 (172, 190, 208, 226) sts.
  2. Knit 5 rows.

Next Row (Right Side)

  1. K3, beginning with Row 1, work in Lace stitch to last 3 sts, k3.
  2. Keeping first and last 3 sts in garter st and center sts in Lace stitch, work until piece measures 9½ (10, 10½, 11, 11½)” from beginning, end with a right side row. Work garter st across all sts and work for 3½” more, end with a right side row.

Shape Armholes

  1. Next Row (Wrong Side): K36 (40, 44, 48, 52) for Left Front, bind off 6 (8, 10, 12, 14) sts, k70 (76, 82, 88, 94) sts for Back, bind off 6 (8, 10, 12, 14) sts, k36 (40, 44, 48, 52) sts for Right Front.

Shape Raglan

  1. Next Row (Right Side): K36 (40, 44, 48, 52) sts of Right Front, place marker, k46 (50, 54, 58, 62) sts from Sleeve stitch holder, place marker, k70 (76, 82, 88, 94) sts of Back, place marker, k46 (50, 54, 58, 62) sts from Sleeve stitch holder, place marker, k36 (40, 44, 48, 52) sts of Left Front – 234 (256, 278, 300, 322) sts.
  2. Knit 1 row.
  3. Decrease Row (Right Side): K2tog, *knit to 2 sts before marker, ssk, k2tog; repeat from * 3 more times, knit to last 2 sts, ssk – 224 (246, 268, 290, 312) sts; 10 sts decreased.
  4. Working in garter st, repeat Decrease Row every other row 16 (18, 20, 22, 24) more times – 64 (66, 68, 70, 72) sts.
  5. Knit 1 row
  6. Decrease Row: K2tog, ssk, *knit to 2 sts before marker, ssk, k2tog; repeat from * 2 more times – 56 (58, 60, 62, 64) sts; 8 sts decreased.
  7. Knit 1 row.
  8. Bind off.


  1. With wrong side facing, join yarn at beginning of Neck shaping on Left Front Neck, pick up and knit 130 (136, 142, 148, 154) sts evenly around Neck edge.
  2. Next Row (Wrong Side): K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3.
  3. Next Row: K3, beginning with Row 1, work Lace stitch to last 3 sts, k3.
  4. Keeping first and last 3 sts in garter st and center sts in Lace stitch, work until Collar measures 3” from beginning, end with a right side row.
  5. Knit 4 rows.
  6. Bind off knitwise.
  7. Sew Sleeve and underarm seams.
  8. With crochet hook, make 2 chains, each 2” long, leaving long ends.
  9. Fold chains in half and using ends, sew chains to Right Front for button loops, one at beginning of Neck shaping and second at beginning of garter st. Sew buttons on Left Front opposite button loops.
  10. Weave in ends.


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This is an adorable cardigan. I can even make this for the colder weather and wear it as an additional layer. I am not crazy about the way it is written since it begins with the sleeves but you don't have to knit it like that. I find with these free patterns it is wise to do a gauge test first. I do like the pattern. Thank you.

Is this in double or 4ply, also are the balls 50grams or 100 grams.

This yarn was discontinued, you may still be able to find some. It is an aran weight or 10 ply, it only came in 85g balls which is 3 ozs @145yds. per skein, its a 75% cotton and 25% acrylic blend. I went through miles of this yarn before I could no longer get, I used TLC cotton plus as a replacement for a couple years until they discontinued that also. Hope this helps someone, happy knitting.

I started this cardigan in an xtra small. It came out HUGE, would have fit an xtra large. I had to rip the whole thing out with the bottom part about half done. I am sick over this. It looks like such a cute sweater. I am going to try it again using 50 fewer stitches and see where that leaves me. Anyone else with this size problem?

I am in a quandary and I hope someone can help me. I've made this sweater and I'm at the point where I'm to begin the collar. The directions say with wrong side facing, pick up and knit 136 stitches, but the very next row is supposed to be a wrong side row. I'm stymied, please help!

I think that because the collar folds over, the stitches you picked up on the wrong side are now, for the collar, on the right side. The pattern is just making that clear. Hope this helps! It's such a cute cardigan!

I had the same problem. Finally decided the purl row should be done on the RIGHT SIDE. I am going to pick up and knit the stitches on the wrong side, purl on the RIGHT SIDE, then work the lace pattern on the WRONG SIDE so that when I flip the collar over onto the right side, the correct side of the lace pattern would show. I've started the collar pattern three times, so I hope I am doing it right this time. I love the sweater.

This would be beautiful on my tiny, trendy daughter. Thinking about making it in a different color for her Autumn birthday.


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