Crochet this Free Easy Lacy Cardigan for Summer 

Hello my maker friend! It is time for another free crochet pattern. The Sunset Cove Shrug is a free lacy crochet cardigan pattern that is beginner friendly and perfect for warmer weather. 

What I love most about this design is how it uses a chain mesh stitch creating a lacy shell. Worked primarily in chains, this cardigan is a quick project! With minimal instructions and simple construction, this is a great beginner crochet cardigan pattern. 

About the Sunset Cove Shrug

This free lacy crochet cardigan pattern was the first cardigan that I ever made and one of my first five garments that I designed. I cannot believe how long ago this was made! But it is still one of my favorite pieces and most worn. 

The sunset cove shrug was made to cover my insecurities when my wife and in-laws came to visit me in Hawaii and were coming to town and had mainly one thing on their minds: BEACH. Days before their arrival I finished the first shrug. 

I was quite pleased with it and it served its main purpose of giving me that confidence walking around on the beach without feeling too exposed. After spending time in it I felt like there was something off. It would slide off my shoulder and pull down longer than I had wanted it to.

I soon felt like the only thing I liked about the prototype was how I made the cuff around my wrist and the beautiful lace detail. Nevertheless, the shrug took well to social media and I eventually had an order for a custom-made shrug. Now I do not usually make custom orders anymore but since this was my wife’s friend I was more than happy to make it 🙂 this also gave me the opportunity to correct the flaws in the shrug as I remade it.

I was determined to fix the fit of the shrug as having it slide off the shoulder was the main issue I experienced with my prototype. After doing so I worked on forming a sleeve portion because adjusting the length had compromised the width. It was so frustrating! This is where I learned the valuable lesson of simply taking a break. Despite deadlines, we must always remember that if under stress and pressure we are less productive. I took a break and rest for a while, sure enough, a solution came and I was able to finish the shrug just as how I envisioned it to be!

easy lacy crochet cardigan pattern for free

Construction of this lacy crochet cardigan

When designing this cardigan I was aiming for something like an airy piece that I could use as a swimsuit cover up or a summer cardigan. Like I mentioned, This was one of my first garment designs so it was made with very simple construction . I did not want to deal with front and back panel and having a shoulder seam. I do not even think I was ready for that type of construction at my skill level at the time. So this cardigan is made using a cocoon cardigan method where you simply make a square or rectangle and make a diamond to make and seam the arm areas closed

For this design, we add on rows to make long sleeves which helps the cardigan sit nicely on the shoulders without falling. Minimal seaming is involved with this cardigan and it uses basic stitches, made  entirely of just double crochet and chain stitches creating a beautiful drape and lace stitch.


For this lacy cardigan, I used Lion Brand Yarn’s 24/7 Cotton. This yarn absorbs water really well making it great for summer sweat and beach days! 24/7 cotton is great for accessories and heavy wear and tear items and is a heavy duty cotton yarn. I used it to make my Tara Tote which has already been through several adventures and washes!

The 24/7 Cotton line comes in several color options and in both worsted and dk weight options. This yarn is always my summer go to yarn and I have been using them every single year. 

In my opinion, cotton yarn is the best yarn you could use for summer crochet cardigans, especially beach coverups. The beautiful thing about working with cotton yarn aside from its durability is how well stitches are defined. Cotton yarn typically does not have a lot of fuzziness or what we like to call “halo”. This makes it the perfect type of yarn for a lacy design with intricate stitches. 

A great alternative to this yarn is pima cotton and Paintbox Yarn’s Cotton DK. I wrote this post talking all about Paintbox Yarn’s Cotton DK going through everything from price point to usage. 

Getting started with your free lacy crochet cardigan pattern

I have made a couple of lacy cardigans and beach coverups. This one is the perfect cardigan for summer months! 


  1. 4.0mm crochet hook size (I used Furls Crochet Streamline)
  2. Light worsted weight yarn or level 3 yarn weight (Pattern used Lion Brand’s 24/7 yarn which is a classified as a level 4 but on the thin side) approximately 1,000 yards for XS/S; 1,040 yards for M, 1,120 yards for L/XL
  3. Scissors
  4. Yarn needle
  5. Stitch counter (optional)


Ch – chain

Dc – double crochet

Sc – Single crochet

Dc2tog – double crochet two together

St – stitch

R – row

Gauge: do not forget to make your gauge swatch

Double crochet: 16st by 8rows = 4”x4” 

Lace stitch pattern: 6 spaces by 12rows = 4”x4”

Special notes:

  1. Pattern is done in rows, turn after each row
  2. It is a good habit to count stitches and spaces frequently you can use stitch markers to help keep track of your progress and spaces
  3. You may adjust the length of the shrug by adding on to the lace portion
  4. Photo above is a size small pictured on a 5.1” female with a bust of 34 and weight of 125lbs
  5. Photos are provided throughout the premium pattern to help you through your Sunset Cove Shrug Journey
  6. ​The pattern is written in sizes S (M, L)
  7. For multiple rep rows, the final st count reflects the st count for the last row
free lacy crochet cardigan pattern for beginners

Free Lacy Crochet Cardigan Pattern

It’s time to make the cardigan! If you want the ad free premium pattern for your stash and to follow along, be sure to get the PDF pattern here.

Border and Body

For this portion, you are essentially crocheting a long rectangle the first and last 3 rows are double crochet all throughout and the portion in between is a mesh chain stitch If you want a longer cardigan, add more mesh rows. 

You are working on the border

Ch 154 (160, 172) +1

R1: dc in third ch from hook (this counts as your first and second st), dc in next ch and in each ch down the row (154, 160, 172 st)

R2-3: ch 2 (serves as first dc) dc in next stitch all the way down the row. (154 160 172 st)

You are now going to start the lace portion and body of the shrug

R4: *ch 3, skip two st, sc in next st. Repeat from * to end of the row. This should leave you with 51 (53, 57) spaces

R5: *ch 3, sc into the next space. Repeat from * to end of the row and sc into second ch from row below to finish

working row. (51, 53, 57 spaces)

You are now going to work on the border again

R6-101(103, 105): repeat row 5 (51, 53, 57 spaces)

You are now working on the border again

R102 (104, 106): ch 2 (this serves as first st), *2dc into space, dc into sc. Repeat from * to end of the row (154, 160, 172 st)

R103 (105, 107): ch 2, dc in next 153 (159, 171) st (154, 160, 172 st)

R104 (106, 108): repeat R103 (105, 107).  (154 160 172 st)

Fasten off.’


Lay your piece flat and guide the corners of the rectangle to the centre, the double crocheted border should be meeting and facing each other along the midline of the laid piece creating a diamond shape. 

Seam from border until roughly 10 inches from end. This should count 13 spaces from end of fold on one side


For this portion you are going to add short sleeves on to the armhole opening. The directions are for all sizes – repeat on both arms

Attach yarn to the open end where you left 10 inches. You are now going to add on to this end and start shaping the wrist portion.

Please note, you are working in rows, not rounds. Turn work after every row.

R1: *ch 3, sc into space. Repeat from *around hole until back around opening (26 spaces) TURN

R2: *ch 3, ch into the next space. Repeat from * to end of the row and sc into second ch from row below to

finish working row (26 spaces)

R3-14: repeat R2 (26 spaces per row)

At this moment try to test if you are pleased with the length of this sleeve. You can adjust as desired.

R15: ch 2, 2 dc into each space (ch and 52 dc)

R16: ch 2, *dc, dc, dc2tog. Repeat from * until end of row (ch and 39 dc)

R17: ch 2, *dc, dc2tog. Repeat from * until end of row (ch and 26 dc)

R18-21: ch 2, dc in each st to end of the row (ch and 26 dc per row)

Fasten off with a long tail and seam up sides of arm to meet the initial seam you made earlier.

Related post: Free Crochet Pattern – Cameron Coverup

Time to enjoy your new lace cardigan

Want to try out some patterns? Make sure to check out all of my beginner friendly patterns here where you can find garments, amigurumi, and accessories.

Want to see more crochet beach coverups?

That’s all for now my maker friend! Remember, never miss a stitch by subscribing to my newsletter. See you next time!



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