When you think summer, you generally do not think of knitting. This is a real struggle both Kailey and I have run into in our respective yarn crafts. This means when I find a pattern for the warmer months, I have to test it out!

Free patterns can be a real tough area to navigate. Generally, they aren’t as thoroughly tested as paid patterns. They also can be unclear at times, or just downright mystifying, leaving you to figure out key details yourself.

I consider myself a proper connoisseur of free patterns. I have struggled through some terribly written patterns, and found some real golden treasures. Almost all the patterns I have used in the past 3 years are free ones, so I definitely have some experience to share. Today I am writing about my experience making the Watermelon baby hat and cardigan by Stitchylinda Designs.

I will be giving a score out of 5 for each area: legibility of the pattern, standardization of pattern measurement, and cuteness of finished project. Now the hat and cardigan are separate patterns, but I’m lumping them together as they do make a set.

For my set I used a US 5 needle (I’ve been preferring metal lately for the speed) and Lion Brand 24/7 Worsted Mercerized Cotton in Red and Grass.

Legibility of pattern

In terms of how clear the pattern is and how detailed the instruction, these patterns are definitely not the worst I’ve come across. Both the hat and cardigan are fairly simple designs, just done in adorable colors. The patterns themselves are very clearly written and abbreviations are clearly defined. I love that for the baby hat she gives you the guidelines and formula for if you want to make it larger or smaller!

I started with the cardigan, not the hat. What the designer mentions in the hat pattern but not the cardigan, is that the dk yarn used was basically a light worsted weight. This meant that when I thought I was making mine slightly bigger using worsted weight yarn, I was actually just making the normal size (0-3 months). This disparity is definitely due to my tight tension and US 5 needles instead of a 6, but I do wish she had put that information on both patterns instead of just one.

Legibility – 4.7/5

Standardization of pattern measurement

Now it is a good thing I currently have a baby that fits in 3 month clothing, because 28 rows after increases was not enough length for my tension (to be fair she did say knit to desired length and said she did 28). I ended up doing about 38 rows and still had to aggressively block it to get to my desired length. Overall no complaints though!

Standardization – 4.7/5 (Because I went up a yarn size and down a needle size and it still ended up roughly the right measurements)

cuteness of finished project

I don’t know if words can even begin to describe how adorable this set turned out! I have definitely struggled with some patterns getting them as cute as they should be. This set is hard to make look bad! I tried the hat on my son to check sizing and I couldn’t handle the cuteness!

Cuteness – 10/5 (Too cute for the scoring scale!)

Needless to say from this review, is that I love this pattern! My one complaint is that it only comes in size 0-3 months. However, I am determined to figure out how to make both patterns in larger sizes!

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