Toddler Cardigan Knitting Patterns – How To Get The Best Fit

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Toddler Cardigan Knitting Patterns – Does a four year old actually wear a size 4 cardigan? Not likely…

Toddler sweaters and cardigans are quick and just plain fun to knit but these days, kids grow like good weeds! Height and weight will also affect the size your child wears. Don’t forget that the “4” actually comes in two sizes:

  • A Toddler 4
  • The Regular size 4

I love decorative buttons!  Design the entire cardigan, including the color, to match any style from this decorative button collection.  Trucks, trains and aeroplanes for boys – flowers, butterflies and cats for girls.  Attach the buttons with the sweater yarn finishing off with a knot on the top of the button!

None of the fancy button designs mentioned above fall into the “wizard wear” category but a Hogwarts® style cardigan for little students can be made to look a little less severe while still easily identified as being a young wizard student. 🙂

Do I Pick Toddler Cardigan Knitting Patterns Or One Labeled In A Child’s Size?

The toddler size 4 will probably fit a 2-3 year old and your 3-4 year old will most likely fit into a regular size 4 or 5.

Our twin elves wore a size 6-7 at age 4 1/2 because they were tall for their age.

A few years ago, I would knit a size 6 for the twins, adjusting the cardigan body and sleeve length. The past 6 years have done nothing to slow down their growth.

Recent measurements for one of the boys – now 5’8″ – put him in a Man’s Size 36. Yikes!   He enjoys his new status as model for several knitwear designs.


Cardigans are basically outerwear, designed to be worn layered over other garments such as turtlenecks or long sleeved shirts.

Be sure to compare your child’s actual measurements to those of the standard/average measurements for a 4T and a size 5 AND to the measurements provided with your knitting pattern.

Measurements for the 4T  are:

Full Chest = 23 inches;
Hips = 23.5 inches;
Shoulder width = 10.25 inches;
Arm length = 13 3/4 inches.

These are actual measurements not those of the cardigan.

The cardigan is knit to the following finished measurements:

  • Full chest/hip = 25 1/2 inches;
  • Sleeve length = 13 3/4 inches;
  • Finished cardigan length =  14 3/4 to 15 inches.

Knit it as long as required.  How long do I knit it? Long enough to cover their behind.

Why Pick A Child’s Size 5?

The Child’s 5 measurements are:

Full chest = 24 inches;
Hips = 24 1/2 inches;
Shoulder width = 10 1/2 inches;
Arm length = 15 inches.

These are actual measurements not those of the cardigan.

Knit the cardigan to the following finished measurements:

  • Chest/hip = 26 inches;
  • Sleeve length = 15 inches
  • Finished cardigan length = 15 1/2 to 16 inches.

Sleeve and body length can be adjusted for a perfect fit by adding several rows just before the underarm shaping.

More about Toddler Sweater Masurements!

Toddler Cardigan Knitting Patterns

The Wizard Wear Collection For Children

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  • […] more about Toddler cardigan knitting patterns and the difference between a Size 4T and a regular Child’s size […]

  • Hi Sue!

    Thank you for the kind words. Our very first custom made knits were for children so we have quite a bit of experience where those measurements are concerned.

    If you need specific measurement information, be sure to contact us. We’ll be happy to help in any way we can.

  • Sue Barry says:

    Thank you – What a neat blog. Extremely helpful for a great grandma who doesn’t get to see her great grandchildren as often as I want.

    Thank you so much. Couldn’t believe I found this site by Googling measurements for Childs size 3 sweater .

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