In The Garden Cardigan- Blog Post
Below you will find the step-by-step picture tutorial for making the In The Garden Cardigan. If you’re looking for the FREE pattern, you can find that here. You can also get the inexpensive PDF from Etsy shop here or our Ravelry shop here.
Since this is a panel construction garment, we will begin by making the back and 2 front panels. This is the perfect time to pick out that next Netflix binge-worthy show (yay for multitasking! 🥳) because all 3 panels are worked pretty much the same and once you start, the stitch pattern is so easy to keep going with!
You will begin with the ribbing that runs across the bottom of each panel and work your way up. The ribbing is worked as half double crochets worked into the back loops only.
Just make sure to track how many rows you’re working, because this step goes by surprisingly quick! Once you have all the rows needed for the panel, you will turn your ribbing lengthwise and begin to pick up single crochet stitches in each row across.
For the front and back panels, you will start by picking up one single crochet in the first row, and then 2 single crochets in each remaining row (effectively doubling the amount of stitches you have).
From here the fun begins! You will start the “flower garden” stitch of alternating shell and V stitches. To work this stitch pattern you will begin by chaining 4 to start the first leg of your first V stitch. After making your first V stitch, you will skip 3 and work a shell stitch. From here the pattern repeats of working a V stitch, skipping 3, working a shell stitch and skipping 3 more, all the way across.
Depending on the size you are making you will either end this row with a half shell (or just 3 double crochet stitches in the last), or end in a V stitch.
Then the following row will either start with a chain 3, and double crochet 2 into the first chain 1 space in the first V stitch, or it will start with a chain 3 and double crochet in the first stitch.
The shell stitch, v stitch pattern will repeat across this row, by working every shell stitch into the chain 1 space from the v stitch of the previous row, and every v stitch in the center most double crochet of the shell stitch from the previous row.
From here on out, its a simple matter of repeating this process in every row across (working shell stitches into the V stitches from the previous row and V stitches in the shell stitches from the previous row) until you have enough rows for the size you are making.
Please keep in mind that this pattern is meant to be worn oversized and long. I am 5’7 with a 38″ bust and am wearing a medium size in this picture. If you would like yours to be shorter, feel free to decrease the amount of rows worked. Likewise, if you want yours to be longer, increase the amount of rows worked, just make sure you work the same amount of rows for both the back and front panels.
We had a tester even make hers crop length, and it turned out gorgeous! (make sure you’re following us on Instagram to see all tester versions of our patterns.)
Once the front and back panels are completed, you will move on to making the sleeves. I opted to make the sleeves in the round, rather than flat to decrease the seaming later on. You know, because who wants to spend time seaming, when they could be crocheting their next project instead. 😬
The sleeves will start the same as the front and back panels, by working the ribbing first. Once the length needed for the wrists is complete, you will work a series of slip stitches between the last row and foundation row to create a cylinder of the ribbing.
When picking up the stitches around the top of the ribbing, you will need to pick up more than just the 2 stitches in each row around. Since the difference between the wrist circumference and the upper arm circumference is so great, you will need to make a more drastic increase here. I have not done all the nitty-gritty math (sorry, not sorry) for this, so you will need to increase as evenly as possible around for your size.
The best way to figure out an approximate for how to increase here would be to divide the number of stitches from this round by the amount of rows you had from your wrist cuff. This will tell you approximately how many stitches you will need to pick up in each row around, and you can adjust this closer to the end of the round if your numbers are not matching up just right.
Once the foundation is set, we will begin the shell, V stitch design. Since we are working in the round, I was able to break up the first shell stitch on some sizes, so that your sleeve will appear seamless, but with the other sizes, the numbers didn’t work out so nicely, so you’ll just continue alternating the rows between starting with a shell stitch and starting with a V stitch.
If your size starts with the shell, you will begin by working a half shell (a chain 3, and 2 double crochets), and then proceed with alternating the V and shell stitch around. Once you get to the end of this round, you will work 2 more double crochets into the base of your starting chain 3 and then slip stitch into the top of your chain 3, which will complete this shell for a seamless look.
For the alternate sizes, you will start with the V stitch, working a chain 4, followed by a double crochet in the first single crochet stitch. Again, you will repeat the process of repeating the V stitch followed by the shell stitch all the way around, but you will end this round with a half shell (3 double crochets) into the last stitch, and join by working a slip stitch into the top of the starting chain 4.
From here, all sizes will begin with alternating V stitches and shell stitches, working up until you have enough rounds for the length needed in your size.
A lot of factors play into how long you will want your sleeves to be. If you’re working with heavy or more stretchy yarn, you may want to consider working less rounds than the pattern indicates. Likewise, if you have shorter sleeves or want sleeves that rest just above your wrists, you may want to decrease the rounds worked. I have done my best to get the best fit possible, but every body is different, so I recommend seaming up your front and back panels before fastening off your first sleeve. Then tac your sleeve in place with safety pins as you get close to the rounds indicated in the pattern and try on your cardigan. If it’s seeming like the sleeves will be too long or short for your preference, work less or more rounds accordingly.
Once your sleeves are both complete, we will make the pockets. As mentioned above, I have given you 2 pocket patterns to work with. For a more unique look, you can follow the Petal Perfect granny square pattern, which will result in a beautiful design, but smaller space and more holes. Still works perfect with my iPhone 8+, but you may prefer the functionality and size of the classic pocket pattern more. Either way, the pockets work up fast and I just love the look they give to this cardigan.
To make the petal perfect granny square pocket, I have linked to our video tutorial of making that square. While that tutorial shows how to make the pocket in multiple colors, feel free to ignore the color change indicators and just make yours in one color, as I have. If you would prefer a picture tutorial, you can also find that here on our Petal Perfect Blog Post!
Once the granny square is complete, you will first need to slip stitch to the closest corner in before adding the ribbing.
Now you can add the ribbing across the top. I did this by adding as I went (again, for less seaming later on). If you’re unfamiliar with this technique, I have linked to a helpful tutorial on our pattern page. But essentially, you will work the rows in the back loops only, as we did for the panels (just single crochets instead of half double), but we will slip stitch 2 into the square at the end of every other row.
After your pockets are complete, the fun begins (and to clarify- I say this with total sarcasm 😐 ) and we get to assemble it all. Side note- but does anyone else take wayyyyy longer to assemble crochet goodies then they do to actually crochet them? 😂
ANYWHO… assembly. You will begin with seaming the front panels to the back panel. The front panels should lay directly on top of the back panel on either end (there will be a slight opening in the center for the opening and neck). Seam up the top running across the last rows first, to join at the shoulders using the mattress stitch (or seaming method of choice) and fasten off.
Next, you will seam up the sides. I recommend first measuring out the armhole opening, and placing a stitch marker at the bottom of the hole, so that you can see where you will be seaming to. Then starting at the bottom (by the ribbing) and working up towards the arm hole opening, you will again mattress stitch (or use seaming method of choice) and fasten off.
Here is when you will want to double check that sleeve length. Put the cardigan on and safety pin the sleeves in place and rip out or add rows as needed for your best comfort. Once that’s all squared away, you can seam the sleeves on, fasten off and weave in all ends.
Last, is to add on the pockets. Lay pockets on top of each front panel approximately 2 rows above ribbing, and 2 shell stitches in from the opening of the cardigan. Using those long tails, mattress stitch in place, fasten off and weave in all ends.
I had one tester go in and work a series of two rows of single crochets around the front and neck opening, which offered a beautiful and more completed look, but this is totally optional and I did not include it in the final pattern.
And that’s all there is to it! I hope you enjoyed making this cardigan as much as I did, and love wearing it even more! Made one of your own? We’d love to see it! Don’t forget to share in the comments below or with us on social media! 😄