How to Make a Gigantic DIY Chunky Knit Cardigan By Doing Slip Knots

Nima Fatima
by Nima Fatima
3 Materials
5 Hours

We all know that chunky knitting is great for blankets and such, but today I decided to do a different project - a DIY chunky knit cardigan. Even if you’re not that into knitting, this oversized chunky knit cardigan is pretty straightforward. Let's get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Chenille yarn
  • Measuring tape
  • Sweater as a guide
Tracing a sweater for measurements

1. Take measurements

Grab a sweater that fits you well, and take its measurements. 

Chunky knit cardigan pattern

You need these measurements to make the panels of the cardigan. See above for reference.

Tip: Choose the best yarn for your budget, since you want your chunky knit cardigan to last long. Invest in a yarn that has structure to it. 

How to make a chunky knit cardigan

2. Knot the back panel

Right, let’s get into the fun part! I worked on my back panel first, and I suggest you do the same. We're actually going to be knotting, rather than knitting!

Making a slip knot

First, make a slip knot.

Knotting yarn to make a chunky knit cardigan

Wrap the yarn around your fingers, pull through twice, and then you have a slip knot. 

Chunky knit cardigan DIY

Now, take the dangling string, pull it through the knot, and make a loop that’s the same size as the first knot. 

Making an oversized chunky knit cardigan

Repeat this process until you get to your desired length.

Measuring the knots as you go along

Keeping measuring, so you don’t knit too little or too much. 

Looping through the existing knots

Now, feed the dangling yarn through each gap of the chain you just knitted, creating more loops as you go along. 

Creating a knitting pattern with knots

Once you get to the end, repeat the process going back the other way. What you’re essentially doing is looping through the existing loops and building them up. 

Knotting with different colored yarn

If you want two colors (or more), start looping the newly colored yarn on the existing loops. Be sure to keep the first piece of dangling yarn out the way (don’t cut it). 

Finishing the knit panel

Repeat the looping process until you get to your desired length. To close it up at the top, simply grab the last two loops and insert your dangling yarn through them. 

How to finish a knitted panel

Once inserted, create another loop on end. 

Making a DIY chunky knit cardigan

Pull the new loop at the end, and connect it to the next loop. Then, pull the string through to create a new loop. 

Knitting and knotting a chunky knit cardigan

Repeat the process to create a chain. Once you get to the end, snip off the excess and pull it through the last loop. 

Leaving the ends dangling

Tip: You can leave all these strings dangling for now. 

Knotting an oversized chunky knit cardigan

3. Knot the front panel

After successfully knotting the back panel, go ahead and do the two front panels the same way. You can also use your back panel as a guide and do it side by side for better reference. 

Making the sleeves for the chunky knit cardi

4. Make the sleeves

Start off with a slip knot to make the sleeve, and make the same chain as you did with the other chunky knit cardigan pieces. 

Now, measure the chain around your wrist. If it fits, great; if it’s too big, undo some loops, and of course, if it’s small, add a few more loops. 

Tip: You want it slightly loose but not too loose, so it falls down your hand. 

Knotting sleeves for the chunky knit cardigan

Pull the little end tail through the last loop and carry on creating and building upward loops ( same process as the back panel referenced above). The only difference here is, you’re doing it in a circle. 

Making cuffs for the sleeves

Repeat the same process of creating loops over and over again until you get to your desired sleeve length.

Tip: If you try the sleeves on, don’t put it all the way up to your shoulder as they’ll come out too long. 

Finishing the sleeveson the cardigan

Now, cast off the sleeve by feeding the yarn through the loops.

Attaching the panels together

5. Attach the panels

Now, it’s time to attach the panels. Make sure that the panels are the wrong sides out. 

Inserting sleeves into the cardigan panels

Insert your sleeve too, as you need to make sure you don’t close the upper area. 

Knotting the cardigan panels together

Starting with a slip knot, find the last bottom loop of each panel, and feed your slip knot through both loops.

Knitting the panels together

Then, take the slip knot up to the following two loops and feed your dangling yarn all the way through both loops and the slip knot. Then, pull it out. 

Assembling the DIY chunky knit cardigan

Repeat the process and make your way up the DIY chunky knit cardigan until you get to the sleeve part. 

Knitting the sleeves to the cardigan

Now, using the last open loop, continue looping through both layers of the front side panel and the top edge of the sleeve. 

Knotting the sleeve to the cardigan

Also, repeat the same on the bottom of the sleeve and attach it to the back panel. 

Assembling the oversized chunky knit cardigan

Attach the top edge of the front panel to the back. 

DIY chunky knit cardigan

DIY chunky knit cardigan tutorial

Here’s the reveal! So, although this chunky knit cardigan didn’t come out as planned, I’m still proud of myself for completing this project when I’ve never knitted before. I won’t leave the house in this, but It’s still super warm and cozy to wear at home.

In the future, I highly suggest not using yarn as thick as mine and doing a tighter knit so that the DIY chunky knit cardigan doesn’t come out as big.

Thanks for joining me, and I hope you took some inspiration on the dos and don’ts of knitting a chunky knit cardigan- sometimes it’s best to learn from others’ mistakes!

Suggested materials:
  • Chenille yarn
  • Measuring tape
  • Sweater as a guide

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Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • Mbj29439383 Mbj29439383 on Dec 25, 2021

    Thank you for this insightful post! I I think you are wonderful for letting us know what not to do, with suggestions for HOW to do it next time( I hope that makes sense). I would like to try to make one.

  • Emily Emily on Nov 12, 2023

    Omg! Thank you thank you thank you lovely lady! I have been desperately searching and skimming through Google, pintrest, etsy, etc. For a free, simple, jumbo chenille yarn, crochet sweater/cardigan; and alas, you have saved me!! I'm using your pattern, right this instant! Thank you so again and again!!