Thursday, October 1, 2015

FO: Agatha Cardigan

Get ready for a photo dump, guys, cause this project was a long time coming :) I finally finished my Agatha Cardigan!
I started knitting this on December 27th of 2014 and I only just got it finished. I blame Florida - I was doing ok (picking up and putting down a few times) until March when it started to warm up and I had no desire to knit a long sleeved wool sweater in 90 degree weather. I set it aside in hopes of cooler climes, and while those lower temps have not hit here in the slightest the heat has let off from "I'm never exiting my air conditioned home" to "at least it's not so humid at night" and apparently that was enough for me. I got on a big sweater finishing kick after all my other summer sweaters and this was next in line. I forced myself to finish this before I could start another (and I already have 2 new projects ready to go), so I managed to pick this back up at the end of August with just past the armhole separation knit on the body and I finished it by September 24th. Not too shabby :)
This is the Agatha pattern by Andi Satterlund, making this my 6th sweater pattern I've made from her patterns. What can I say - I hate doing math, lol, and I've figured out how to make her patterns fit me so the math portion is basically null and void at this point. I've always wanted to make this sweater since seeing Lauren's Blagatha several years ago. At the time I had just learned to knit and knew it would be too complicated for me, so I never bought the pattern waiting until my skills improved. Then last year when I participated in the Marion Knit Along, my prize for finishing my sweater was a pattern from Andi of my choice :) I was thrilled and knew exactly which one I would get - Agatha. I had to wait until after Christmas to start, but as you can see I barely made it past that deadline and began 2 days later.
I used some yarn I picked up for a sweet deal from Craftsy before Christmas - Cascade 220 Superwash Quatro in the Lupin colorway. Usually I'm not a big fan of variegated or multi colored yarns, but this one has just a very subtle twist of 3 similar colors giving a very neat look. That's one of the reasons the sweater was so hard to photograph - those little flecks to the sweater are actually the color variation. I will say though - I almost got heat stroke taking these photos! Public Service Announcement: Worsted weight wool is warm stuff! I had to knock my AC down to 70 degrees and aim a fan right at me, lol. Hopefully I am able to wear this here. I have heard that this winter should be colder than normal, so I am definitely ready. (by the way I hate that derpy photo of me with my hair back, but I wanted to show the neckline. Just for the record ...)
I really enjoyed this pattern even though I am an English knitter and all that back and forth-ing with the ridges got a little annoying. Normally I hate ribbing, but there seemed to be just enough stitches between the switching between knit and purl to not make me want to stop working on it. I love many aspects of the design - the side shaping is so cool how the ridges just merge into each other, and of course I love the lace - but my favorite part of this sweater has got to be the sleeve lace. It looks like staggered leaves and I just love this simple touch.
The sleeves are finished with long cuffs (which make it even hotter, lol). I love this in theory, but they didn't come out quite like I hoped in my version. The ribbed section of the cuff is 4.5" long and you are supposed to just fold it in half - as you can see they are folded back much farther on me (the entire 4.5" in fact). I didn't really think about checking the sleeve length while knitting them (dumb mistake), but without the cuffs as well as before blocking they seemed like they were going to be a good length. They must have stretched out quite a bit in blocking because they are WAY too long now. I look like a Whoo from Dr. Seuss with them unrolled. The only thing I can think of is my drying method I used when blocking: since this is superwash yarn, I soaked it in a bowl with Eucalan and then put it through a rinse and spin cycle in the washer, so I think the centrifugal force of the washer stretched them out. It's not a huge deal since I think I can probably fix this if I block the sweater again, but I seriously can't be bothered at the moment, lol. So I will just have very long cuffs this winter, or if my hands are cold I can just unroll them and have built in mittens :)
I did make my usual changes to the pattern. I knitted the Size Large for the bust and sleeves, but I eased up to the Extra Large for the waist. I've done this a few times now, and I'm starting to think I will go back to just a straight size Large in the future. It's certainly not that my waist has shrunk, but I think now that I'm not knitting so tightly and the fact that wool is so stretchy combines to make it a little too loose. I noticed this particularly on my Sunshower Cardigan - after wearing it a few times the waist is noticeably too big now) . Thanks to the recovery of wool, it's not an issue on this sweater but I think I'll give it a try next time around (which will be in just a few days, lol). The other change I made was to lengthen the sweater by about 2.5 inches at the waist. I have a long torso and I had plenty of this yarn so I wasn't worried about running out. I really like the length on this and it ends right at my natural waist. The only hang up with adding this length was that it made the button hole spacing out of whack. I had to do a little math and either have the buttons spaced out more (only using 6 for the whole thing) or doing way more (11) which is what I did. It wasn't hard to figure out, so I just had to make sure they were evenly spaced.
As per my usual obsession, I put petersham ribbon button bands on theis sweater. I really love this finish, and I completely lucked out with having enough black ribbon in my stash left over from my Emelie. I had 1" left over. I also lucked out with having enough buttons in the right size which was REALLY lucky because I typically don't have that many of any of the buttons in my stash. I think that may change next time I have the opportunity to get more buttons on the cheap since I've been making more items that take larger amounts of buttons (I plan on working out McCall's 6696 next and making a slew of shirt dresses - yay buttons!) Because of my black buttons, I went with the black ribbon and I'm really pleased that you can't see the black at all from the front.
Some close up details: Ah, I do love a petersham button band :) I actually had to borrow my mother's sewing machine to make the button holes since my foot is hanging up. It worked out in the end though. I do love how the buttons look - they are faceted black plastic ovals with little black crystals around the outer rim. I think they make the sweater look a smidge more dressy, so that will go with how I probably will wear this most of the time. And I couldn't resist showing a close up of the back lace. Plus you can see the little color variation a little better in these shots.
And I had to include a photo of it open since it will be worn like this a lot. I also really like the little outfit I made for the photos. The sweater looks really cute with my Melissa skirt :)
So there you have it - my Agatha cardigan :) I know that I will use this pattern in the future (maybe with a cotton yarn and with shorter sleeves) and I seriously can't wait until it's not a health risk to wear this out in public, ha ha. Bring on the cool weather! I know you northerners are cursing the impending winter, but as a pale Floridian I wait for this time all. year. long. Yay, sweaters!

Yarn: 4.5 skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash Quatro in the Lupin colorway - $21.00
Pattern: Agatha by Andi Satterlund - Free (given as KAL participation prize)
Notions: 1 yard of 1" wide black rayon petersham ribbon - $3.00, 11 black plastic buttons - $3.00
Time: On and off for 9 months
Total Cost: $27.00


  1. What a fabulous Cardigan, I love everything about it, especially the colour and the button band! (Anna at, longtime reader, firsttime commenter)

    1. Thanks so much, Anna :) I love the color too and I'm always ridiculously happy with the button bands like this. I show everyone who compliments it in public, lol. Thanks so much for your comment!


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