An open-front cardigan knit top-down and seamlessly with simultaneous set-in sleeves. (One side of each pocket does need to be stitched down.) The body and sleeves are trimmed in garter stitch, which conceals the large front pockets. The sample shown was knit in two colors, but the sweater can also be knit in one.

This cardigan is constructed using Barbara Walker’s method of knitting the sleeve caps along with the upper body. To make it a bit easier to navigate that area with all the different increase rates, a pdf with single-page worksheets for each size is included with line-by-line instructions and stitch counts that can be used if desired. You only need to print the page for your size.

Skills required: long-tail cast-on, backwards-loop cast-on, knitted-on or cable cast-on, picking up stitches, increasing, decreasing, stitching down pocket lining

Choose a size that gives you the amount of ease you prefer - 0 to 5 cm of ease is recommended. Shown modeled with about 5 cm of positive ease.

Sizes available (actual garment measurement at bust with front bands overlapping, in cm): 75.5, (83, 92.5, 100, 107), {114.5, 122, 129, 136.5}

Gauge: 22 stitches and 31 rows to 10 cm in blocked stockinette; 22 stitches to 10 cm of blocked garter stitch

Note: Though conversions to the metric system have been made on this page for your convenience, the pattern itself uses American measurements.


  • Knitting pattern for minimalist cardigan
  • Schematic and worksheet with line-by-line instructions and stitch counts included
  • Suitable for intermediate knitters

Materials you need at home:

  • Approximately 1150, (1255, 1395, 1505, 1620), {1740, 1850, 1980, 2090} m of sport weight yarn: 735, (795, 890, 955, 1025), {1100, 1165, 1245, 1310} m of MC and 415, (460, 505, 550, 595), {640, 685, 735, 780} m of CC. Sample was knit in Cascade 220 sport (100% wool)
  • Two 3.5 mm/US 4 circular needles, or size needed to obtain stockinette gauge
  • 3.25 mm/US 3 needles, or size needed to obtain garter stitch gauge. You will need a long circular for the front bands
  • Needles to work the sleeves in your preferred method in both of your gauge sizes
  • Stitch markers
  • Tape measure
  • Waste yarn for holding sleeve and pocket lining stitches
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends and stitching down pocket lining
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Laura Aylor

If ‘knitting designer’ had been one of the job choices for those aptitude tests they give you in high school, I wouldn’t have spent so many years trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. My best subject in high school was math; my best classes in college were logic, drawing, and a commercial art class. After careers in computer programming/analysis and child-rearing, knit design snuck up on me, but I think it’s the perfect use of my odd skill set! I love every step of the process, from figuring out how to actually make what I’ve envisioned to putting the finishing touches on a pattern, not to mention all the knitting that comes in between!

I also love reading and hiking and spending time on Brier Island in Nova Scotia every summer.

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