Mobile Menu IconMenu
Free Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Elaine Phillips

Top-Down Raglan Summer Lace Cardigan

Difficulty level: *** Intermediate

Free Cardigan Knitting Pattern

This is a Top-Down Raglan Summer Lace Cardigan pattern, the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe. Made with either linen or cotton yarn, this cardigan is both light and breathable, making it perfect for those warm summer days. Worked from the top-down, back and forth without seams, this pattern is easy to follow and creates a seamless finish. The lace pattern is simple and adds a touch of elegance to this already beautiful cardigan. The sleeves are worked in rounds without seams, giving them a professional look. Get ready to stay cool and stylish with this Top-Down Raglan Summer Lace Cardigan!

Sizes: S [M, L, XL, 2X, 3X]

Chest: 36 [40, 44, 48, 52, 56] inches (90 [100, 110, 120, 130, 140] cm)

Materials: Rowan (affiliate link) Creative Linen DK weight yarn (50% Cotton, 50% Linen) 219 yards (200 meters) / 100 gr, color 621 Natural - 4 (4, 4, 5, 5, 6) skeins
stitch markers

Needles: circular US 6 (4.0 mm) OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN GAUGE

16 sts x 21 rows = 4" x 4" (10 cm x 10 cm) in lace pattern

Skills Required/Techniques Used:
-Knit & purl, cast on & bind off
-Provisional cast on
-Increasing, decreasing
-Working in the round on circular needles
-Working from charts

k – knit
p - purl
k2tog - knit 2 together (right-slanting decrease)
ssk – slip, slip, knit (slip both sts knitwise one by one, then knit them together, left-slanting decrease)
co - cast on
yo - yarn over
RS - right side
WS - wrong side
pu&k - pick up and knit
dpn – double-pointed needles
M1 (Make 1 increase) - I used the increase described by Elizabeth Zimmerman: Make a backward loop over the right-hand needle and in the next row knit (purl) it as a regular stitch.
pm – place marker
sm – slip marker

Pattern notes

Lace Pattern in rows: multiple of 4
Row 1: k2, yo, ssk
Row 2: purl
Row 3: k2, k2tog, yo
Row 4: purl
Repeat from row 1.

Lace Pattern in rounds for sleeves:
Round 1: k2, yo, ssk
Round 2: knit
Round 3: k2, k2tog, yo
Round 4: knit
Repeat from round 1.

1x1 Ribbing: multiple of 2

*k1, p1. Repeat from * across.

Selvedge Stitches
The 1st and the last stitches of the pattern are selvedge stitches.
selvedge stitches are used to make the edges of the work even and smooth.
In this pattern I slip the first stitch as if to knit and purl the last stitch.

Raglan increase is worked as follows: work to a marker, yo, sm, k1 (raglan st), yo. Please note, that raglan sts are marked in orange in Back, Left and Front charts.


The cardigan is worked from top to bottom, back and forth without seams. The sleeves are worked in rounds without seams.

Provisional cast on 50 [50, 54, 54, 54, 58] sts.

Set-up row (WS): k1, p1 (right front), p1 (raglan st), pm, p10 (right sleeve), p1 (raglan st), pm, p22 [22, 26, 26, 26, 30] sts (back), p1, (raglan st), pm, p10 (left sleeve), p1 (raglan st), pm, p1 (left front), p1.

Work neckline and raglan increases as well as lace pattern from the charts.

Next row (RS): work row 1 of Left Front chart to marker, yo, sm, k1 (raglan st), work row 1 of Sleeve chart to marker, yo, sm, work row 1 of Back chart, working 4-st pattern repeat 2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4) more times, work to marker, yo, sm, k1, work row 1 of Sleeve chart to marker, yo, sm, work row 1 of Right Front chart to end.

Row 2 and all even rows (WS): sl1, purl to end.

Continue to follow the Back Chart for 44 (50, 52, 58, 64, 66) rows. Follow the Sleeve Chart for 32 (34, 40, 46, 48, 50) rows, then continue as established, without increases. Follow the Left Front Chart and Right Front Chart for 44 (50, 52, 58, 64, 66) rows for raglan increases.

AT THE SAME TIME, to shape the V-neck, work the increases at the beginning and the end of the row in every 4th row 11 (11, 13, 13, 12, 14) times.

Stitch count before division for sleeves: 224 (240, 264, 288, 302, 316) sts.

Divide for sleeves

Row 45 (51, 53, 59, 65, 67) (RS): Work left front sts, transfer left sleeve sts to a length of yarn, cast on 6 (8, 10, 12, 15, 17) sts with single cast on, work back sts, transfer right sleeve sts to a length of yarn, cast on 6 (8, 10, 12, 15, 17) sts with single cast on and work right front stitches.

Next row and all even rows purl.

Work the bodice as established to desired length. Work 8-12 rows in 1x1 ribbing. Cast off.


Sleeves are worked in rounds.

Transfer sleeve sts from the yarn to the needles and pick up 6 (8, 10, 12, 15, 17) sts over the underarm sts.

Round 1: continue to work lace pattern, knit picked-up sts.

Round 2 and all even rounds knit.

Rounds 3, 5, 7 and 9 like round 1.

To shape the sleeve decrease the picked-up sts. To shape the sleeve work k3tog at the center of the picked up sts in every 4th round. Work sleeve to desired length.

Work 8 rounds of 1x1 ribbing. Cast off.

Button Band:

Unravel the provisional cast on and transfer the sts to circular needles.

Holding the working piece with the right side to you, pick up sts along the right front edge on the second pair of circular needles. Knit the next 50 [50, 54, 54, 54, 58] sts. Pick up sts along the left front edge.

Work 3 rows in 1:1 ribbing.

Row 4 (the edge of the right front): work 8 sts, k2 tog, yo, *work 10 sts, k2 tog, yo - rep from * 5 times for buttonholes.

Rows 5-8: work 1x1 ribbing.

Bind off.

Sew 6 buttons to the left button band.


Pattern was updated on July 10, 2018

Left Front CHart

Click image to enlarge

Sleeve Chart

Click image to enlarge

Back Chart

Click image to enlarge

Right Front Chart

Click image to enlarge

Download PDF  


There are 50 total comments on this article.

Leave a comment about the article.
Poster: Elaine Phillips
April 16, 2013

Ssk - slip, slip, knit, this is the left-leaning decrease.
Poster: Elaine Phillips
June 11, 2013

They are sweater measurements
Poster: Elaine Phillips
July 31, 2013

If the row is not mentioned, then you are not supposed to make a decrease, just knit.
Poster: Elaine Phillips
July 31, 2013

Yes, you can knit the sleeves to any desired length.
Poster: Elaine Phillips
August 1, 2013

Yes, this is for all sizes.
Poster: Elaine Phillips
August 19, 2013

Repeat 2 times, means total of 2 times.
Poster: Elaine Phillips
August 19, 2013

The lace pattern repeat is 4 sts. You are casting on 10 sts for each sleeve. That means that you have to work 2 pattern repeats (4+4=8) and 2 more sts. Total is 10.

The purpose of the graph is to show how to handle the increases at the raglan lines, how to incorporate these stitches into a lace pattern. Since the increases are the same for all raglan lines, this graph can be used for sleeves as well as for back and fronts.

Sleeves are worked in rounds without seams, that is why the even rows are knit. See pattern notes at the beginning of the pattern.

There are 2 repeats of the pattern in the rows 1, 3 and 5, please check the pattern.

For the rows beyond row 7, please see the chart.
Poster: Helen MInick
August 25, 2013

The chart isn't big enough to see or read. I don't understand where to increase on the fronts.
Poster: Helen Minick
August 26, 2013

Is the chart for the back only or where?
I don't understand.
Poster: Jessica-Jean
September 10, 2013

If you look through the previous twenty-odd comments, your questions will be answered.
View All Comments (50)

If you liked this pattern, you might also like:

Chanel Summer Cardigan

Summer Night Short-Sleeve Raglan Henley

Dulcet Silk Sweater

Browse Similar Items by Category:

Patterns:Knit >> Cardigans and Jackets
Difficulty Level:3-Intermediate
Size:2X, 3X, L, M, S, XL,
Yarn Weight:DK
Yarn Brand:Rowan

Mailing List
Enter your e-mail to receive new patterns:

Mailing List
Enter your e-mail to receive announcements of new free patterns:

Or follow us using: