You mention it’s easy to downsize Aran sweaters – easy for you, maybe – but how about upsizing them? I have trouble finding even men’s sweater patterns big enough to fit me, let alone something for very Rubinesque ladies like me. Any tips?
Do the opposite of what I suggested for downsizing: add some spacer stitches in-between the cable motifs, and on either side of the sweater.
OK, here’s my problem. (Blush) I can’t wear wool. I can knit with it but feel terminally scratchy, shivery, and unbearable wearing it, even over a t-shirt. So, I knit with cotton, often Rowan calmer, 1824, or whatever’s interesting online or at my LYS. Can you imagine making an Aran out of cotton? Any alternative suggestions?
Rowan Calmer works very well for cabled designs. You could definitely use that — great stitch definition.
If you wanna make cables from cotton, I’d say in general to go for a cotton blend — a yarn that has something added that will give it some elasticity.
Anyone else have any specific suggestions of yarns for Penny?
Since you mentioned Peace Fleece I have a question/comment. I purchased some for a sweater for DH. It has a considerable amount of dirt/dry grass/stuff in it–what the Peace Fleece folks call ‘veg’ and talk like it’s perfectly normal and acceptable. I pick it out as I knit–slowing the process and making it less than fun. I see so many comments about how folks love Peace Fleece, but I’m not so enchanted. Did yours have ‘veg’ and if so what did you do about it if anything?
I last used Peace Fleece in the late 1990s — I think I made that St. Enda in 1998. I don’t remember there being a lot of vm in the Peace Fleece, but it was quite a while (and many sweaters ago) so I can’t say for sure.
However, the Harrisville Flax & Wool that I used for the Halcyon Aran has the most vm I’ve ever seen in a yarn, bar none. What did I do? I picked a lot of it out as I was knitting.
Bits of straw in yarn don’t bother me in the least. If they are soft, I’ll leave them in the yarn. But a lot of the stuff in this yarn was like tiny hard twigs — stuff that would definitely poke you while you were wearing the sweater, so I pulled all the hard bits out as I knitted.
I noticed earlier this week at my lunchtime knitting group that after knitting with this yarn for half an hour, there were little bits of straw and dust all over the table in front of me.
Don’t get me wrong — I really like this yarn. I don’t mind fishing out bits of straw while I knit and I never have. On their website, Harrisville describes it thusly:
A single ply yarn with a loft spun twist that is warm and wonderfully lightweight.
But a word of warning — it’s easy to break the yarn. Well, not so much break, as pull apart. I accidentally did that once during the knitting of this sweater. Not while executing a cable twist, but by pulling on the yarn from the ball when I hadn’t realized I’d sat on it. It didn’t take much pressure to make the yarn just come apart.
Because of this, it occurred to me that this yarn would be totally unsuitable for sewing the garment together. Repeatedly pulling on it with a tapestry needle? Yeah, not so much. So I’m using a much finer wool to sew it together — Rauma Finullgarn. I’m using black — the yarn for the sweater is a very dark green, so that none of the green yarns I had laying around seemed dark enough.
Here’s the saddle, sewn very firmly with the Finullgarn in backstitch:
And here’s the finished sweater.
And the ubiquitous sweater-in-the-mirror shot:
And, of course, the ubiquitous Miss Lucy!