Agnes: The Ultimate in Big, Cozy, Warm Sweaters

img_1834The Agnes Sweater in Quince & Co. Puffin was one of my 1+1+1 Project goals for this quarter and just before departing for our Yellowstone trip last month, I decided to cast on for this sweater. Not a lightweight, compact sweater that would travel easily, but a bulky weight sweater. Yes, knowing full well I’d be driving halfway across the country in a compact car with 4 people, one large dog, and a whole lot of cold weather gear, I thought, “Yeah, a bulky sweater for the trip. Perfect.”

I won’t lie, the size aspect was less than desirable. It made me a little more smooshed than I had to be and complicated getting in and out of the car, but the knitting itself could not have been better.

img_1881I started a couple days before we left so that I was past the raglan increases by the time we hit the road.

img_1884The stockinette body was perfect for the road and before the end of the day I was already at the ribbing on the bottom hem.

I spun for the better part of my free time during the vacation, but the sleeves were pretty quick…

img_2104And they were finished a day before we would get home. It was at this point that I paused. All I had left were the pockets, but I had sizing concerns. Unfortunately, this pattern did not include guidance on the ease. You know, when patterns will say something like, “sample shown in size 36″ with 4″ positive ease” or whatever the case may be — this pattern did not include that info, so there was a bit of guesswork on my part. I wanted a relaxed fit so the questions was exactly how much positive ease to give myself.

To further complicate things, I’ve lost 3″ off my circumference in the past few months, forcing me to kind of reacquaint myself with how to size sweaters for myself properly. When I started the sweater, my bust measurement was around 38″ and I worried that the 40.5″ size would be a little more snug than the big cozy sweater I wanted, so I opted to err on the side of caution with the 44″ and allow myself to knit with a slightly tighter gauge. I’ve dropped a little over 20lbs overall, but that’s slowed considerably as I’ve neared my goal and started to shift focus more on fitness and less on weight loss. I thought the¬† +/- 6″ ease would be right about where I wanted it.

And then I lost another inch. Whoops! Talk about great problems to have! In any case, I got home and tried it on and looked at it in the full-length mirror and asked Mr. Knitting Sarah for his thoughts and I decided to just add the pockets and call it a wrap.

This was just going to be a nice big, roomy, cozy sweater.

on2And that’s exactly what I have. As you can see I overshot a bit with the sleeves, too. This is something I often do just because there’s nothing I dislike more than sleeves that are just a tiny bit short. I like my wrists covered when I’m making winter sweaters. Plus, this way I have the option of having them partially cover my hands when I’m chilly or fold them back I’m warmer. I wore this sweater last week on a field day with the kiddos which involved a short hike and a tour of the State Historical Museum. It was warmish outside, so I just layered this sweater with my light raincoat to keep the wind out and I was perfectly comfortable.

agnes close upThe pockets — which I knit in Quince & Co. Osprey in the Bird’s Egg colorway — are a really cute detail, but I’ll admit that they are on the small side when it comes to actual utilitarian quality. I wouldn’t change them because you don’t really want pockets that can be weighed down on the front of your nice cozy sweater anyway, but I also am under no illusion that they’ll be super handy in day to day use.

I found the pattern was written very well. Easy to understand and simple in design, especially when you consider the bulky weight¬† I think it would lend itself well to newbie sweater knitters or those who are just looking for a quick, easy sweater. It was my first time working with Quince & Co.’s Puffin and I will admit that I really enjoyed it. It’s exquisitely soft and quite strong for a single. I will definitely be using it again. In fact, thanks to the fact that I always buy extra when I purchase sweater quantities, I think I have just enough to make Pam Allen’s State Street Cowl with my leftovers. My next Puffin project is already set!

This sweater not only traveled many miles with me — literally — it’s been quite the journey just in how it came to be. I’m happy to say, however, that with all the twists, turns, and doubts that went into this sweater, now that it’s 100% complete and officially in my wardrobe, it’s a certainly a new favorite, a staple. The ultimate in big, cozy, warm sweaters — Agnes, I’m so happy to have you!