Sunday, 12 July 2015

Agatha 2.0 for OAL 2015

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm participating in #OAL2015 (outfit-along 2015). Here is the cardigan I made to match my dress!

I made another Agatha cardigan (a lovely design by Andi Satterlund); you can see my first one here.

Because I started this project when I was busy at uni and I didn't feel I had time to plan it out, I made some dumb mistakes.

First of all, sit down because I'm going to shock you. I did NOT swatch for this project. Unprecedented for a religious swatcher such as myself! I just cast on, thinking "my gauge will probably be the same". Well it wasn't, and after knitting a little bit of the back, I compared it to my first Agatha and could see it was too big. No big deal; I just ripped it out and started with a size smaller needle! I guess I just live on the edge these days. Lol!

Here is a comparison of my first cast on (too big) compared to my second.

As I become a more experienced knitter I seem to get more and more reckless. Frogging barely fazes me anymore (though I take the opportunity for a hearty grumble). This wool is actually frogged from an old project (a jersey blogged here)!! Yes, I decided that I'd get more wear and enjoyment out of it as a cardigan. Not to mention, FREE WOOL! Hah!

If I had bothered to read my notes on my previous Agatha, that would have helped.
I ended up making the EXACT same mistake I'd made on the sleeves the first time. Hah! Proof my brain works in the same way it used to. I accidentally did some of the lace decreases going the wrong direction on the sleeves. AGAIN. lol!

Anyway, after knitting about a third of the sleeve, I started to recall the fact that I felt the sleeves were snug on my first one, and I'd chosen a size DOWN from that. Hmm, to start again or not? I hate these kind of decisions... I seem to have a history of bad sleeve choices! Seriously, on my current project, I've restarted the sleeve 3 times. Ugh. Anyway, after trying it on I decided it was okay, and it would probably loosen up a bit with blocking. This WAS partly my laziness talking.

Anyway, I knitted to about 3/4 and then had to admit it was too tight. I knew it would just annoy me.

Froggy old sleeve.

One mod I made to the pattern this time was to bring the inner neck point in. I find the wide neck on Agatha a bit weird for a cardigan so did a bit of fiddling with the pattern. Agatha is knit top-down starting with the shoulders. So I started with four MORE stitches for each shoulder, but increased four less for each side of the neckline. This meant I had the same amount of stitches as the pattern by the time the neckline was complete. I did have to start the lace a bit earlier but it turned out to be pretty minimal fuss. I just counted back the rows to make sure my lace was at the same place (row-wise) as the pattern's at the centre front neckline. That probably makes NO sense.

And then I go and show off my neckline by completely covering it with a collar.

Moving on, another mod was lengthening it past the waist and changing the waist shaping to reflect that. My shaping actually goes out again a little bit after the waist and is less drastic than the original pattern. The original pattern has bizarrely steep decreases in the body and sleeves, and I suspect this is to make the converging lines of the ribs look dramatic. I was happy to sacrifice that though.

Again, I then proceeded to neglect to get any photos of me wearing it that really show off the side decreases. Oops

The same extreme shaping is found in the sleeves. I decided to space these out more, and also do less decreases so it was less tight at the wrist.

Look how extreme the first sleeve is! Mine slopes gently. And again, I should have gotten a finished pic of it, but you get the idea lol....sorry!
Here's a picture I call "why you SHOULD block":

See how much more nice, flat, and open my finished dark purple Agatha is? My lilac one is pre-block here and it looks much less pretty. This picture also shows my waist decreases and increases located on the sides of the lilac garment.

I sewed ribbon to the button bands to stablise them and stop them from stretching and pulling.

I often find it hard to find matching ribbon, but I totally lucked out with this adorable polka dot ribbon from Made on Marion, a local craft store! I try to support local whenever possible instead of soulless big-box stores. Sorry, didn't mean to preach there.

Honestly, it's not as flattering totally buttoned up. It makes my boobs look kinda saggy or something, but this is probably more a function of my horrible bra situation than anything else. TMI? Yeah that's probably TMI, but us sewing bloggers are all frank when it comes to garments :P

I like it best partially done up. And I hope to make a bra that is nicer one day. Lol. I even have some of the supplies!

I think I'll definitely enjoy this cardigan more than in its previous life as a jersey. Thanks Andi and Lauren for hosting the event. If you didn't already know, Lauren is a sewing idol of mine and Andi is a knitting design hero! You guys both RULE! Thanks for being mega-inspiring!!

I'm really pleased with my outfit, and I can't wait to see everyone else's lovely garment combos! :D

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