This is Agatha, an Andi Satterlund knitting pattern. It's the second (adult-sized) cardigan I ever made, and definitely the first time I attempted anything this complicated. It's an unblogged make that I completed in May 2014, but I thought I'd blog about it now as it was a bit of a 'eureka' moment and sparked a year of intensified knitting!
I had managed to make one cardigan before from the February Lady Sweater pattern but it took me 18 months to complete! Inspired by Lladybird who took on Agatha for her first cardigan I thought I'd give it a try and cast on. Gahhh! Establishing the pattern was so tricky I thought it might break my brain. Once I got past the first 20 or so rows it got easier and I managed to knit the whole thing up in 2 and 1/2 months.
I knitted it in Hayfield Bonus Aran in 'Spruce' (ravelry notes here). I like this yarn because for a beginner like me (who never knows if a garment's going to turn out well) it's cheap to buy but still has some wool content so it feels nice to knit and to wear.
My Agatha is not perfect by any means, and I learnt a lot knitting it. The lace pattern was impossible (for me at least) to memorise so I had to keep the instructions close by at all times. I knit a Small and followed the pattern except for the sleeve cuffs. I wanted long sleeves that would sit over my hands rather than the turned back cuffs specified in the pattern, but that was an easy enough adjustment to make.
Things I really like about this cardi...
- The lace pattern is awesome!
- The colour of the yarn is lovely. These photos don't really do it justice but it's a jewel-like emerald colour with lots of variation of shade within it. It works really well with the lace pattern.
- I like the long sleeves - my other knitted cardies have 3/4 length and it's nice to have a cosier option. Also the lace pattern is really showcased on the sleeves.
- The buttons. I used a selection of vintage glass buttons - similar sizes but different designs - that look great against the colour of the wool and the lacework.
- I made it! Making it has given me the confidence to try other projects that I wouldn't have attempted before.
Things I'm not so happy with...
- The length/fit. Although it fits very much as the pattern is intended, this style of cardi is both a bit on the short side, and a bit close fitting for my taste. I wouldn't normally wear it done up like this. I think if I made it again I might cut down on some of the decreases and add at least an inch to the length.
- The scoop neck. Although it looks lovely when the cardigan is done up, when worn undone the neck flops around a bit because the scoop is so low. Since I normally wear it like this it does get a bit annoying.
- The bind off. I used a slightly stretchy bind off at the waist (it was so long ago I don't remember which one), but I should have used Jeny's Suprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. The negative ease in this pattern means you really do need the extra elasticity because the hem will need to stretch out when you do the cardigan up.
- The buttons! Although I love them I'm wondering whether to take them off this cardi and save them for another project as the weight of them adds to the tendency of the scoop neck to flop around. Boo!
Despite any niggles though, this cardi does get a lot of wear and I love it. It will always be the cardi that made me realise that if I just keep following the pattern and plugging away I can actually make (and finish) something wonderful!