How to Make a Cardigan Using Learn Swatches

Ready to dive into the world of knitting but don’t know where to start? Love all the textures and patterns that you can create but are clueless how? This project is perfect for you as you will learn how to knit heaps of stitch patterns and put them to use in a blanket bag or cardigan!

Step 1: First things first, you will need to go to the Learn section where you can access hundreds of stitch patterns, all entirely free. The patterns are for small square swatches and are grouped into categories. You will need to knit around 50 of these, and the best part you choose which ones. They can be easy, a little more difficult, and you can even choose your colours.


Once you have knitted them, the next thing to do is block them. Fill a basin with lukewarm water, add a drop of detergent and soak the swatches for around 10 minutes. Once done, evenly stretch the swatches and lay them flat to dry. This will create a neat and flat finish.

Step 2: Next, arrange the swatches to make up components. We recommend a back made up of 4x5 swatches, two fronts 2x4 swatches, and two sleeves 7 swatches laid in a tapering shape. Sew the swatches together to form the components. Next, join the front and back components at the shoulder. Attach the sleeve aligning the centre with the shoulder seam. Finally close the sleeve and side seams.

Step 3: Next you need to add a cuff to the sleeves. Pick up and knit every 3 in 4 stitches horizontally around the cuff, we chose a bold contrasting colour. To create a balloon sleeve, you will need to decrease approximately one third of stitches on the second row, this will create a tighter cuff. Complete the cuff using a rib stitch, K1, P1. Remember to cast off in rib so that the cuff remains stretchy. You can make the cuff as deep or as subtle as you like.

Step 4: For the bottom hem you will need to pick up and knit the stiches, we also knit this in black. Pick up every 3 of 4 stitches around the bottom to create a balloon puff effect. Knit the hem in rib, K1, P1 and continue to required length. Remember to cast off in rib so that the cuff remains stretchy.

Step 5: Next up is the button band. This component is knit separately and then attached. Choose how wide you would like it to be and cast on. We started with a similar width to the hem and tapered it at the neck. To determine where you’d like the button holes, hold the button band against the cardigan, choose where you’d like to align them and space the holes consistently. You can create a button hole by on the first row casting off a few stitches (depending the size of your button), on the second row you then need to cast back on the stitches and continue knitting. Once complete sew the button band to the cardigan.

Step 6: Finally all that is left to do is sew the buttons to the cardigan. And that’s it! You’ll now look swish and can show off all you’re amazing new skills in each swatch on your cardigan.

You can find a more detailed pattern here:

But that’s not all you can make with the Learn swatches, why not make a matching bag!

Step 1: Very similarly you will need to knit around 24 swatches, and arrange them into components. The front and back of the back are made from 3x3 swatches and the sides 1x3. Sew the swatches together to form the components. Arrange these into a net, with the base at the centre and each component to one side. Knit a base piece by casting on the width of swatch and continue until it is 3 swatches long before sewing to bag. Finally fold up and sew the sides together to form the bag.

Step 2: To knit a rim, pick up and knit stitches from around the opening, and knit a few rows. Cast off using the I-Cord method to create a sturdy edge, leaving stitches at each of the sides to use for the strap. Knit the strap from one side to the other and finish with a three needle bind off.

Step 3: Now the cats out the bag all that’s left is to enjoy! You can also create things like a simple blanket of any sizing simply by joining the swatches together or even cushion covers or more! Let us know what you create by tagging @hello_knit_it in social media

You can find a more detailed pattern here: