Pattern Review: Lights Up Cardigan

Pattern by Wool and the Gang

I made mine in...

Size: 1

Yarn: Knit Picks Cot Lin and Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK

Needle size: 5.0mm

Is this not the happiest rainbow cardigan you have ever seen??? I am so proud of this piece. Patchwork cardigans trended after Harry Styles wore a luxury piece made by JW Anderson. Wool and the Gang jumped on the bandwagon and designed this pattern, aptly named the Lights Up Cardigan.

Although this is marked as an intermediate pattern on their website, I truly think this is beginner-friendly because of how well written and detailed the pattern is. Here's what you will learn in this pattern:

  • Stockinette stitch

  • Attaching on a new colour/ball of yarn

  • Mattress stitch (invisible horizontal and vertical seam)

  • 1x1 Rib stitch

  • SSK and k2tog

  • Buttonhole making

The recommended Alpachino Merino yarn would have roasted me alive in the tropical climate of Singapore, so my first task was to look for a plant based fibre that had a bright colour palette. Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK was the perfect choice (seriously, check out their full colour palette, it's a dream to own it all). I already had many balls of this yarn in stash because I regularly use them for amigurumi! They hold up well and are lovely to work with. I did not want to limit myself to 6 colours as the pattern calls for, so I supplemented with some Knit Picks CotLin that I had in stash that were of a similar weight.

For my gauge, I wanted something kind of chunky because it looks more playful, which suits this design. Holding two strands of DK together created a fabric that was squishy, yet not too thick.

This pattern is particularly amenable to modification because of its piece-wise construction. You knit up long panels of 4 colours, then mattress stitch it all together. Based on my gauge swatch, I recalculated everything for a different gauge.

Stitching up panels was more fun than expected and made the whole project less daunting as you only focused on each panel one at a time. However, the more advanced knitter could totally modify the pattern for intarsia, eliminating the need for seaming and weaving in ends.

The pattern was easy to follow as the construction was relatively simple. However, there are two things I think could be improved on.

First, the instructions on how to make buttonholes were unclear, especially on how to cast on stitches in the middle of knitting. The resulting buttonhole was also not aesthetically pleasing. I ended up following cottonandcloud's instructions on crochet cast-on buttonholes, which resulted in a beautiful and neat buttonhole.

There were also no instructions on how to sew on buttons! This I found particularly egregious, because a beginner knitter cannot be assumed to know how to sew! I followed Alexis Winslow's guide on sewing a button to hand knits. My buttons ended up looking very professionally attached, thanks to her.

Other than that, I loved making my Lights Up Cardigan! The pattern is free at the moment, but that is temporary, so download it while you can!