Knitting Kennedy's Colorful Styles Cardigan

You've heard of tribute bands, but have you ever heard of a tribute knitting pattern?  ...You have now!

My niece has always been one of my biggest knitting supporters.  She is super creative and is always full of ideas.  ...And her latest was quite a challenge!  

I got about 2 whole pictures in a "can you knit this?" text.

Now...before we get too far...I was halfway through the project when I discovered the actual designer, JW Anderson, has released the legitimate free knitting pattern for his Colourblock Patchwork Cardigan. So, I highly suggest you check it out here!  

Had I seen this in the beginning, I would have definitely just gone with this headache-free version.  However, I did happily note that it was made of chunky yarn (and I could have doubled), but I used vintage worsted yarn that I bought from a retired knitter long ago (and...I wouldn't have had enough to double the yarn, because I already had to fill in with some new buys, as it was).  So, anyway...I definitely saved money...annnnndddddd...we all know my creative spirit enjoyed the challenge.  Plus, I have a little something special (and fun) to share with you!  So, here is my "Colorful Styles" tribute to JD Anderson's Colourblock Patchwork Cardigan, designed for Harry Styles.

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Materials:

US Size 8 needles (I prefer long circulars and knit back and forth)

US Size 10 needles

Yarn (I used worsted weight, vintage yarn.  However, I was able to substitute with Red Heart and Impeccable by Loops and Threads, which are comparable weights.)

2-3 skeins Red

1-2 skeins Black

1 skein Green

1 skein Yellow

1 skein Orange

1 skein Light Blue


Stitch and Color Instructions:

I opted to go with basic stitches and not attempt to match them exactly to the picture, which was difficult to see.  So, for -

  • Yellow and Orange, I cast on 22 stitches.  I used seed stitch:

            Row 1: *K1, P1* repeat * to * to end of row

            Row 2: *P1, K1* repeat * to * to end of row

    ...and I knit for 24 rows.

**For the two blocks in the front neckline (yellow and orange squares on my color work pattern), I reduced a stitch every other row on the neckline side starting at row 10.  However, I noticed it drapes a little off the shoulders.  Were I to try again, I would recommend starting the decrease at row 16 or so...

  • Red and Green, I cast on 22 stitches.  I used garter stitch:

            Knit every row, front and back side

    ...and I knit for 36 rows.

  •     Black and Red/Black Patterned Stitch (R/B), I cast on 22 stitches.  I used stockinette stitch:
            Knit front row.  

            Purl back row.

    ...and I knit for 24 rows.

Here is the color work pattern for the black/red square.  CO and Bind off in black.  Don't forget to knit bottom up.  Read knit side right to left, purl side left to right.  The first color row is a knit.

















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































I later found out the original was a pattern called houndstooth.  You can find that version by clicking here.

I opted to knit each little square, aiming for a 5 x 5 gauge.  (Please note the genius designer, who reduced sewing time by knitting rows!!)


Here are my left sleeve/right sleeve color combinations:

Right Sleeve

Green

Orange

Red

Black/Red

Green

Orange

Green

Yellow

Black/Red


Left Sleeve

Black

Green 

Red

Orange

Black/Red

Green

Red

Green 

Yellow


Here are my front left and front right combinations:

Right Front

Red

Yellow

Yellow

Black

Green

Orange

Black/Red

Green

Red

Orange


Left Front

Orange

Red

Red

Orange

Green

Yellow

Black

Black/Red

Yellow

Green



Here are my back side combinations (Well...this is slightly modified.  I originally had an extra row I eventually had to omit.  Then, I rearranged a bit. I did the same on the sleeves.  As it turns out, the sweater is supposed to be a little sloppy and oversized, but when my friend commented on the "freakishly" elongated sleeves, I knew I needed to reign it in a bit. So...this pattern should work better):

Back

Red

Yellow

Orange

Yellow

Red

Yellow

Black/Red

Black

Red

Green

Black/Red

Black

Red

Orange

Black

Red

Green

Black

Black/Red

Yellow

Black 

Orange

Yellow

Red

Black/Red

As I knit each square, I was careful to leave longer tails for sewing in.  As I was sewing, I was less careful.  I wanted the look to be hand-knit, and while I generally try to sew in colors discreetly...this time, I wanted them to show.  It was nice to not have to be so tense and perfectionist...and I just think it looks adorable!  Love the color, love the style.  (My daughter even said it looks "Preme," and from what I can gather, that is a good thing.) ;)



Once I had each section of squares sewn together (sleeves, fronts and back), I took to sewing together the garment. 


And then for the borders... this was one heck of a project!  I started with the cuffs.  I ended up using a single rib stitch (K1, P1 across) with a slightly finer red yarn (vintage).  I used size 8 double point needles and completed the cuffs in the round, though, if I were to go back...I might considering adding the cuffs before sewing and knitting them flat.  Flat is easier, I think.  I carefully picked up each stitch and double checked to have an even amount of stitches and the same amount per sleeve (70).  Then, I knit in single rib for about 2 1/2 in.


I followed the same strategy with the bottom cuff.  I used a long circular attachment on my size 8 needles and picked up the entire front and back together, knitting in single rib for about 2 1/2 in.  I didn't count...it was too overwhelming an amount.  I just made sure the amount of stitches were even to make the single rib easier.



Next, I added the button and button-hole band.  It is knit in a contrasting light blue collar, and I think it really adds a nice appeal.  I knit this band before the collar, because I wanted the collar to attach to it, as well.  For the button-hole band, I picked up 78 stitches, using the larger needles and the blue yarn.  I knit 8 rows in garter stitch, on the 9th row, I bound off one stitch at stitches 6, 16, 30, 44, 58, and 72.  I cast on above each stitch on the next row.  Then, I continued in garter stitch for 6 rows before binding off.  

For the button-side band, I picked up 78 stitches and knit 14 rows in garter before binding off.

Lastly, I created the collar.  Using the red yarn and larger needles, I picked up 20 stitches along the right band and front, 48 stitches along the back and 20 stitches along the left front and band.  I knit in single rib for about 8 inches (until I liked the flop-over fold), before binding off.

After a great deal of sewing in ends, and a whole heck of a lot of trial and error, I was finally pleased to present to Kennedy, her Colorful Styles Cardigan for her 25th birthday.



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