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Chunky Cardigan Knitting Patterns


Klara Nilsson | Updated on December 21, 2022

When it comes to the latest trends in knitwear, chunky cardigans are back – and they plan to stay. What better way to join in than to knit one up yourself?

Bulky knitted cardigans aren’t just fashionable either, they’re super easy to knit. You’ve seen Harry Styles rocking one, now it’s your turn!

So how do you get started?

In this list, we’ve hand-picked the best chunky cardigan knitting patterns out there. They’re worked up with super chunky yarn, big stitches, and large needles, so you can blast through them in a matter of days – even if you’re a complete beginner.

Most of the cardigan knitting patterns we’ve recommended here use a simple combination of knit and purl stitches along with some basic shaping techniques. That means they’re perfect if you’re a beginner looking to practice the basics and still create something you actually want to wear.

For more experienced knitters, we’ve also included some patterns with more advanced techniques including intarsia, cables, and some more obscure stitch types.

We’ve deliberately included patterns with different construction techniques too, so you can knit your cardigan flat with straight needles or in the round with circular needles instead – whichever method you’re most comfortable with.

You’ll find modern, stylish designs with and without buttons, pockets, and hoods. Many of these patterns are designed to be oversized for that classic slouchy look, but you can easily adapt them to make it shorter and go for a cropped look instead.

Note: If You’re Knitting Your First Cardigan

If you’re a beginner looking for an easy chunky knit cardigan pattern, here’s what to look out for:
  • The easiest patterns are knitted in flat panels and then seamed together.
  • Projects using bulkier yarn (i.e. heavier yarn weights) usually require bigger needles, which results in bigger stitches. These are typically easier and faster to knit.
  • Try and start with a design that mainly uses a simple stitch pattern like stockinette stitch.
  • If you struggle to maintain the correct knitting gauge, opt for an oversized or slouchy cardigan knitting pattern, as the fit will be more forgiving.
  • It’s generally easier to knit a cardigan without buttons. If you do pick a pattern that includes buttons, you’ll need to purchase them separately. We recommend searching on Etsy, KnitPicks, or Loop Knitting for some affordable options.

22 Chunky & Oversized Cardigan Knitting Patterns

Cancel your plans: it’s time to get started. The following patterns will teach you how to knit a gorgeous chunky cardigan that’s on trend and quick to work up. They’re super simple and ideal for beginners working through their first few projects.

These patterns are the very best that indie designers and big knitting brands have to offer. They’re everything that good cozy knitwear is about: soft, squishy, and accessible to everyone!

1. “Need to Have” Cardigan Knitting Pattern

Need to Have Chunky Cardigan Knitting Pattern
Price$10.03/£8.43
Techniques RequiredN/A – See Pattern
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s Website“Need to Have” Cardigan – BrendaMadeThis on Etsy

We’re a big fan of this pattern designer, and cardigans are her specialty! Her shop includes plenty of options, but the “Need to Have” cardigan is her easiest and most classic design.

It’s made with up to 8 balls of super chunky wool and designed with an oversized, slouchy fit that (as the name suggests) you won’t want to take off. It’s constructed seamlessly and includes instructions for 6 different sizes.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 15/10mm Circular Needles
US Size 19/15mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight200g = 80m (Super Chunky)
Yarn Quantity5-8 Balls

2. “Let’s Boogie” Raglan Cardigan

Let's Boogie Raglan Cardigan Knitting Pattern
Price$8.00/£6.73
Techniques RequiredLong-tail Cast-On
Stockinette Stitch
1×1 Ribbing
Suggested YarnWish – Drops Yarn
Designer’s Website“Let’s Boogie” Cardigan – ahoneyknits on Etsy

Another basic option, this pattern from ahoneyknits uses worsted weight yarn and two pairs of circular needles to work up a chunky knitted cardigan with a classic slouchy fit.

You’ll find step-by-step instructions and photo tutorials to walk you through the top-down knitting process from start to finish, with options to customize your sleeves too!

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 11/8mm Circular Needles
US Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
Yarn WeightAran/Worsted Weight
Yarn Quantity6-8 Skeins

3. “Six Little Flowers” Cardigan

Six Little Flowers Cardigan
Price$7.20/£6.05
Techniques RequiredDouble Knitting
Raglan Knitting
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s Website“Six Little Flowers” Cardigan – UmaKnitsShop on Etsy

Knitted using two strands of bulky yarn simultaneously, the “Six Little Flowers” cardigan is a quick pattern that makes for a great, beginner-friendly introduction to raglan and top-down knitting.

It’s worked up seamlessly with a button band and three quarter length sleeves, along with the choice to add on embroidered flowers once you’ve finished knitting.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeN/A – See Pattern
Yarn WeightBulky Weight
Yarn QuantityN/A – See Pattern

4. Cardigan “No. 5”

Inspired by 1980s fashion, “Cardigan No.5” is a classic, sophisticated cardigan pattern with a tight and feminine fit. Knit in the stretchy brioche stitch with two strands of yarn, it’s worked from the top-down and doesn’t require any seaming or sewing at the end.

For a more oversized fit, it’s recommended to knit one or two sizes above your normal size.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 8/5mm Circular Needles
US Size 4/3.5mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight25g = 225m (Yarn A)
50g = 125m (Yarn B)
Yarn Quantity100g-125g
300g-500g

5. The “Cannady” Chunky Oversized Cardigan

The Cannady Oversized Cardigan Pattern
Price$5.00/£4.20
Techniques RequiredStockinette Stitch
Shaping
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s WebsiteThe “Cannady” Cardigan – MMadisonMarie on Etsy

Worked up using basic stitches and shaping, the “Cannady” cardigan is super chunky, oversized, and easy to knit. The pattern includes instructions for two sizes and will work up quickly, so you’ll have a new wardrobe staple in no time.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
Yarn WeightSuper Bulky
Yarn QuantityN/A – See Pattern

6. “Nina’s Cardigan”

Ninas Cardigan Knitting Pattern
Price$7.89/£6.63
Techniques RequiredCable Knitting
Suggested YarnPetite Wool – We Are Knitters
Designer’s Website“Nina’s Cardigan” – PastelPurlsStudio on Etsy

“Nina’s Cardigan” is knitted from the bottom up on 8mm circular needles. It’s designed with a tight fit, beautiful chunky cables, and a cropped silhouette that you can wear on both smart and casual occasions. It’s best suited to confident knitters who enjoy cable knitting, but ambitious beginners can give it a try too!

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 11/8mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight100g = 140m
Yarn QuantityN/A – See Pattern

7. “Debutanten” Cardigan by Spektakelstrik

Debutanten Cardigan
Price$5.64/£4.74
Techniques RequiredN/A – See Pattern
Suggested YarnKos – Sandnes Garn
Designer’s Website“Debutanten” Cardigan – Spektakelstrik

Spektakelstrik is a Danish knitting designer that we just can’t get enough of. The “Debutanten” cardigan is no different from their other work: it’s modern, relatively chunky, and stylish with a classic “preppy” look. The pattern is worked with two strands of yarn at once and includes instructions for 6 sizes.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 11/8mm Circular Needles
US Size 10/6mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight50g = 150m
Yarn Quantity450g-550g

8. “Marshmallow” Chunky Hooded Cardigan

Marshmallow Chunky Hooded Cardigan Pattern
Price$10.03/£8.43
Techniques RequiredN/A – See Pattern
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s Website“Marshmallow” Cardigan – BrendaMadeThis on Etsy

The “Marshmallow” cardigan is about as chunky as it gets. If you want a big cozy cardigan with that gorgeous “squishy” texture, this is the knitting pattern for you. It’s very beginner-friendly and it’s even hooded, too!

This cardigan is designed to be super oversized and slouchy, but you can easily modify the length for a cropped look instead. The pattern is worked up seamlessly with super bulky wool and big stitches, with instructions for six different sizes.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 15/10mm Circular Needles
US Size 19/15mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight200g = 80m (Super Chunky)
Yarn Quantity7-10 Balls

9. “Button It Up” Beginner’s Cardigan Pattern

Button It Up Cardigan Knitting Pattern for Beginners
Price$8.77/£7.37
Techniques RequiredKnit & Purl Stitches
Basic Shaping
Suggested YarnSuper Chunky Yarn – Lauren Aston Designs
Designer’s Website“Button It Up” Cardigan – Lauren Aston Designs

Another easy knitted cardigan pattern, this option from Lauren Aston Designs is simple, stylish, and perfect for beginners. It uses a basic combination of knits and purls along with some shaping to create a chunky knit cardigan with buttons and pockets.

The pattern includes detailed knitting instructions and should take you less than 10 hours to make, depending on your skill level.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight200g = 130m
Yarn Quantity550g-800g

10. “My Spring Cardigan” Knitting Pattern

My Spring Cardigan Pattern
Price$6.36/£5.35
Techniques RequiredStockinette Stitch
Suggested YarnBaby Alpaca Air – Garnhimmelen
Ingenua Mohair – Katia
Designer’s Website“My Spring Cardigan” – KnitbySiv on Etsy

This cozy striped cardigan is designed with gorgeous balloon sleeves and no buttons to create this effortless Scandinavian look. Available in two sizes, it’s worked up using two strands of yarn held together along with two pairs of circular needles.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 15/10mm Circular Needles
US Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight50g = 110m (Yarn A)
50g = 140m (Yarn B)
Yarn Quantity100g (Yarn A)
100g (Yarn B)

11. “Tutti Frutti” Cardigan

Tutti Frutti Womens Cardigan Pattern
Price$5.64/£4.74
Techniques RequiredStockinette Stitch
Rib Stitch
Suggested YarnHip Wool – HipKnitShop
Hip Mohair – HipKnitShop
Designer’s Website“Tutti Frutti” Cardigan – HipKnitShop

Also available as a knitting kit, this cute oversized cardigan knitting pattern from Hip Knit Shop will have you looking cozy and colorful this winter season. Worked from top to bottom using mohair and wool, it’s a simple pattern with a baggy fit and balloon arms – easy and fun to knit!

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 10.5/7mm Circular Needles
US Size 10/6mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight50g = 80m (Yarn A)
50g = 105m (Yarn B)
Yarn Quantity10-13 Balls (Yarn A)
4-6 Balls (Yarn B)

12. The “MonsterAF” Chunky Knit Cardigan

The MonsterAF Chunky Knit Cardigan Pattern
Price$11.03/£9.27
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Stockinette Stitch
Rib Stitch
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s WebsiteThe “Monsteraf” Chunky Cardigan – BrendaMadeThis on Etsy

Our final pick from BrendaMadeThis, the “MonsterAF” is an oversized, chunky knit cardigan pattern that’s constructed seamlessly in the round. It’s designed with a beautiful monstera leaf pattern that’s created using intarsia.

Best suited to intermediate or advanced level knitters, it’s made with super chunky yarn and big needles for that cozy, squishy feel!

For more colorful patterns, you can also take a look at our collection of top knitting patterns that use intarsia.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 15/10mm Circular Needles
US Size 19/15mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight200g = 80m (Super Chunky)
Yarn Quantity3-5 Skeins (Color A)
3 Skeins (Color B)
0.5 Skeins (Color C)

13. “Oooooo Cardi” by Pickles

Oooooo Cardi Pattern
Price$5.28/£4.44
Techniques RequiredRib Stitch
Suggested YarnPickles Cozy – Pickles
Designer’s Website“Oooooo Cardi” – Pickles

Pickles is a Norwegian knitting brand with its own super soft Peruvian yarn. Worked from the bottom up in rib stitch, this pattern uses up to 550g of that yarn to create a comfortable, airy cardigan that you can wear all year round.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 10.5/7mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight50g = 110m
Yarn Quantity450g-550g

14. “Oli” Chunky Cardigan Knitting Pattern

Oli Cardigan Knitting Pattern
Price$10.00/£8.41
Techniques RequiredStockinette Stitch
Decreases
Knitting in the Round
Suggested YarnCrazy Sexy Wool – Wool and the Gang
Designer’s Website“Oli” Cardigan – KarasKnitEng on Etsy

Want to knit a bulky cardigan, but need to keep it simple? The “Oli” cardigan is the place to start! It’s got big baggy sleeves, an oversized fit, and it’s constructed seamlessly using nothing but stockinette stitch, chunky yarn, and some decreases.

It’s an easy pattern that’s great for absolute beginners, but if you have any trouble you can find a full tutorial to follow along on YouTube, too.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 18/15mm Circular Needles
US Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight200g = 80m
Yarn Quantity 4-8 Skeins

15. “Malibu” Chunky Knit Cardigan Pattern

Malibu Chunky Cardigan
Price$6.42/£5.40
Techniques RequiredN/A – See Pattern
Suggested YarnWool Ease Thick & Quick – Lion Brand
Designer’s Website“Malibu” Chunky Knit Cardigan – LoveCrafts

Knitted on 10mm and 12mm needles, this popular LoveCrafts pattern is chunky, oversized, and spongy. It requires knowledge of basic knitting techniques and some simple colorwork, but there are detailed instructions in the downloadable pattern to take you through it step-by-step, even if you’re a complete beginner!

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 15/10mm Circular Needles
US Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight170g = 97m
Yarn QuantityN/A – See Pattern

16. “Got to Be Real” Cardigan

Got to Be Real Cardigan
Price$6.89/£5.79
Techniques RequiredKnit & Purl Stitches
Mattress Stitch
Caterpillar Stitch
Increasing & Decreasing
Suggested YarnCrazy Sexy Wool – Wool and the Gang
Scrap Yarn
Designer’s Website“Got to Be Real” Cardigan – JessieAlsoKnits on Etsy

Designed with a slightly cropped fit, this cardigan pattern uses a unique twist on the caterpillar stitch to create this colorful disco design! You’ll need up to 7 skeins of super chunky yarn and approximately 550g of colored scrap yarn to work it up.

The main body of the cardigan is constructed in 5 individual panels, all of which are knitted flat and then sewn together using the mattress stitch.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight200g = 80m
Yarn Quantity5-7 Skeins (Main Color)
440g-560g (Contrasting Color)

17. Chunky “Bomber Jacket” Cardigan

Chunky Bomber Jacket Pattern
Price$5.64/£4.74
Techniques RequiredStockinette Stitch
Brioche Stitch
Suggested YarnHip Wool – HipKnitShop
Designer’s WebsiteChunky “Bomber Jacket” Cardigan – Witre Design

Worked back and forth using a combination of stockinette and brioche stitch, this cardigan is thick, stretchy, and super comfortable to wear. Best suited to intermediate knitters, you’ll need to be comfortable working with positive ease and double knitting to work it up.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 8/5mm Circular Needles
US Size 15/10mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight50g = 80m
Yarn Quantity550g-1150g

18. “Serene” Chunky Cardigan Pattern

Serene Chunky Knit Cardigan Pattern
Price$5.04/£4.24
Techniques RequiredStockinette Stitch
Rib Stitch
Sewing
Suggested YarnCrazy Sexy Wool – Wool and the Gang
Designer’s Website“Serene” Chunky Cardigan – LoveCrafts

You can knit this big, extra-bulky cardigan from LoveCrafts in just a few days. The body is worked in two separate panels on straight needles, while the sleeves are worked from the top down, also on straight needles. These pieces are then sewn together at the end to complete your project.

The chunky yarn, baggy silhouette, and textured rib stitch means you won’t have any trouble getting the final cardigan to fit, either – it’ll work for all shapes and sizes!

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeN/A – See Pattern
Yarn Weight200g = 80m
Yarn QuantityN/A – See Pattern

19. “Lights Up” Cardigan Pattern (Harry Styles Cardigan)

Light Up Cardigan
Price$0.00 (Free)
Techniques RequiredStockinette Stitch
Rib Stitch
Suggested YarnAlpachino Merino – Wool and the Gang
Designer’s WebsiteThe “Lights Up” Cardigan – Wool and the Gang

Ready to rock your inner Harry Styles? This free knitted cardigan pattern is the way to go. Wool and the Gang’s “Lights Up” cardigan is knitted patchwork-style using panels of stockinette stitch and a decorative rib stitch trim. It’ll require two pairs of circular needles and up to 13 balls of merino wool, but the pattern won’t cost you a cent!

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 10.5/6.5mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight100g = 100m
Yarn Quantity11-13 Balls

20. Bi-Color Chunky Oversized Cardigan

Chunky Oversized Bi-Color Cardigan
Price$7.52/£6.32
Techniques RequiredRib Stitch
Stockinette Stitch
Moss Stitch
Suggested YarnCheeky Chunky Yarn – Wool Couture
Designer’s WebsiteChunky Oversized Cardigan – AnxiousGirlKnits on Etsy

Shaped like a jacket but squishy like a cardigan, this oversized pattern is colorful, customizable, and beginner-friendly. It’s designed to have a straight fit and uses stockinette stitch for the body and moss stitch for the sleeves.

This produces a thick, spongy texture that will keep your arms warm in those chilly colder months. You’ll need two different colors of super chunky yarn and some imagination to pick your colorway.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
US Size 15/10mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight200g = 130m
Yarn Quantity325m-455m (Color A)
325m-455m (Color B)

21. The “Big” Cardigan

The Big Cardigan Pattern
Price$6.55/£5.51
Techniques RequiredKnit & Purl Stitches
Slanted Decreasing
Suggested YarnSnow – DROPS
Designer’s WebsiteThe “Big” Cardigan – Hanishken on Etsy

Simple but effective, the “Big” cardigan uses just knit and purl stitches to create a lovely chunky texture you’ll want to wrap yourself up in and never leave. With instructions and measurements for 5 sizes, it’s an easy knitting pattern that you can complete with some bulky yarn and knowledge of the basic techniques in knitting.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 13/9mm Circular Needles
US Size 13/9mm Double Pointed Needles
US Size 11/8mm Double Pointed Needles
Yarn Weight50g = 50m
Yarn Quantity700g-850g

22. The “Oversized” Cardigan by Lovebird Knitwear

The Oversized Cardigan Knitting Pattern
Price$8.85/£7.44
Techniques RequiredN/A – See Pattern
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s WebsiteThe “Oversized” Cardigan – Lovebird Knitwear on Etsy

Last but by no means least, this pattern is another beginner-friendly option that’s knitted using two types of needle and some super chunky yarn. The body is worked from the bottom up using straight needles, while the sleeves are knitted in the round. That means you get to practice both types of knitting in one go, but don’t worry – you won’t even break a sweat!

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle SizeUS Size 17/12mm Straight & Circular Needles
US Size 19/15mm Straight & Circular Needles
Yarn WeightSuper Chunky (14 ply)
Yarn QuantityN/A – See Pattern

Knitting a Cardigan: What You Need to Know

It’s relatively easy to knit a cardigan, even if you’re an absolute beginner. In fact, you can work up a basic cardigan using only the foundational skills in knitting: casting-on to your needles, knit and purl stitches, and binding off.

Luckily, chunky cardigans are the easiest type of cardigan to knit. If you’re just starting out, the bulky yarn and big needles will make it much easier to keep track of your stitchwork and finish your project reasonably quickly.

Almost all of the patterns we’ve recommended here fit this description; they use super chunky yarn and knitting needles that are 10mm in diameter or larger. Generally speaking, the bigger the yarn and needles, the easier the cardigan pattern will be.

How Do You Actually Knit a Cardigan?

Most knitted cardigans are constructed in one of two ways. They’re either knitted flat in separate panels and then seamed together, or knitted seamlessly on circular needles in a continuous tubular shape.

In most cases, it’s easier to knit your cardigan flat in separate panels and then seam them together at the end of the project. This allows you to work the front, back, and sleeves individually in easy rectangular sections.

Even if you choose to knit your cardigan in the round, it’s common to work the sleeves separately from the body and then attach them later on.

Of course, exactly how you knit your cardigan and how difficult this process is will depend on the complexity of the knitting pattern you’ve chosen. Simple chunky cardigans in traditional or oversized shapes will follow the general rules outlined above, but more complicated designs can vary quite a bit, especially if there’s colorwork, cables, or positive ease involved.

How Long Will It Take, and What Materials Do You Need?

Once again, the time it takes to finish knitting your cardigan heavily depends on the pattern you’re following. Patterns that use super bulky yarns, for example, will work up much faster than bulky or worsted weight equivalents. That’s why big, chunky knitted blanket kits are so popular amongst beginners.

If you’re a relatively experienced knitter, you can knit a chunky cardigan in less than a week. This assumes you’re working on a relatively easy pattern and you spend approximately 25 hours knitting, spread across 7 days.

If you’re knitting the cardigan in panels, try to set aside roughly 5-6 hours for each part of the body, and around 4 hours for each sleeve.

Based on the patterns we recommend in this list, you’ll need between 8 and 12 balls of super chunky wool to complete your cardigan. However, if you’re working on an oversized, cabled, or heavily-textured design, it’s likely you’ll need more.

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