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 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