Because I get to “meet” so many people who in the past have been lurkers!
And it is, after all, National De-Lurking Week.
The 22,000th comment was left by Dene. Woo-hoo!
Dene wins this:
Four skeins of KnitPicks laceweight “Shimmer” in a pretty blue.
Some Aran Questions
There was a question in the comments (though I now can’t find it, of course, so I don’t know who asked it) about how easy it is to size down arans.
It can be pretty easy. Look at my Halcyon Aran in its uncompleted state:
(Please excuse the large furry ass in the photo.)
All the cable patterns are pretty close together, flanking the center large cable. The different sizes are achieved by the number of “plain” stitches on either side of the front and back, and of course on the sleeves.
I’ve made other arans that have more plain stitches in-between the cable motifs, and the number of plain stitches between each motif varied for the different sizes.
For pretty much every aran I’ve made, the cables themselves do not vary in the different sizes, only the “spacer” stitches. (I know I’ve seen at least one that had varying cables, but can’t put my finger on it now).
I’m doing Mariah from Knitty in Elann’s Sierra Aran, and cabling without a cable needle is just killing me with this yarn! I have had no trouble doing it with 100% wools, but the 20% alpaca content makes the yarn just a bit too slippery. Since you’ve made the most incredible cabled sweaters I’ve ever seen, I was wondering if you have any advice on cabling without a cable needle when using slippery yarns.
Are you using metal or wood needles? I highly recommend using wood needles with slippery yarns — the wood “grabs” a little and keeps the yarn in place better.
If you are still having too much trouble with slippage, you might wanna go ahead and use that cable needle. It might make things go faster in the long run!
My question has to do with yarn – how do you know if a yarn will be good for knitting an aran sweater with? Do you have any favorite brands? Yarn choices are always the hardest for me.
You, of course, want a yarn that has good stitch definition. Nothing nubby or loopy or too fuzzy. And you want a mostly solid color. Heathered yarn is great, but variegated yarn will obsure your cables.
That reminds me of an encounter I had in a lys eons ago. I was buying yarn for an aran and had selected a nice heathered blue. As it happened, the author of a knitting book was in the shop that day, signing copies of her book (which was the reason I went to the shop in the first place). I had met her when she was doing research for her book and she actually remembered me. We were chatting a bit and she asked me what I was going to do with the yarn I had selected. I told her it was for a Starmore aran and she said to me “Why on earth would you buy that plain yarn when you could knit it out of something like this?” And she picked up a skein of a wildly variegated blue/purple yarn.
I was surprised that it wouldn’t occur to her that the yarn was totally inappropriate for an aran.
Anyhow . . . favorite yarns?
I’ve made a number of Starmore Arans that called for Scottish Heather out of Brown Sheep Naturespun Worsted. I love this yarn — cheap, huge palette of colors, and it’s worn very well over the years.
For Starmore Arans that called for Bainin I would substitute Bovidae Farm’s fisherman weight wool — lovely stuff and a great aran yarn! Bovidae Farm sadly does not have a website, but a Google search on their name will get you their contact info.
I used Peace Fleece for one of the Starmore St. Endas that I knitted. Very nice.
And I love the Virtualyarns 3-ply Hebridean that I knitted my last Inishmore from. Love, love, love.
Mary in Maine asked:
Now that you are getting through the sleeves for Halcyon, what will your next project be?? I don’t want to sound demanding (I’ll apologize up front), but when will we see Torino? The Olympic Games begin next month!!
Yup, nearing the finish line on this aran — it’ll be done by early next week, methinks. Sorry — Torino is not next. Torino is in stash and I’ve no immediate plans to knit it.
Next will be one of my own designs that I’m working out. At 8 sts/inch. Here’s the yarn:
Does Lucy ever try to undo your projects? She seems to be the truly perfect cat.
Lucy is, of course, perfect in every way.
Seriously, though, she is very good about leaving my knitting alone — apart from lying on it now and then.
Her worst habit, I think, is her fondness for chewing on plastic bags. She will hunt them out and start chewing on a corner. Over the holidays I gave her a large piece of bubble wrap to play with and she was in kitty heaven!
Lucy did look like SuperCat wearing her little sleeve cape yesterday. But I don’t think I’ll be knitting her a special SuperCat cape any time in the near future.
But here’s her deepest secret revealed:
She likes to dress up and pretend she’s a bride!