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Friday, September 19, 2014

Knitting Book Review: Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore

Cables are on my mind.. I'm waiting for a shipment of yarn to stitch up a scarf for a calendar for Mr. Hugzzz who has a blog called "It takes balls to knit!". (Yes, I will mention other blogs lol). I can't wait to work on the cables!

    What are cables? Cables can be defined as stitches that are moved around the knitted (or sometimes crocheted) fabric with a stitch holder and are held in relief to develop a pattern. It can look like this:

    In my house, one of the foremost experts in knitting cables is Alice Starmore and she wrote the book I'm discussing today called "Aran Knitting". That is not to say there are not other books that are as useful, there absolutely are. But this one is the one I started with as a goal and I've knitted two sweaters out of it so I have some good pictures to show you.


   This is the St. Enda pullover/sweater I knit for my husband.

   Funny side story, there is a myth that goes around the knitting world about the "boyfriend sweater". It goes that once you knit a sweater for your boyfriend/husband, they will split up for you (sounds greedy doesn't it? :P). Well, I finished this sweater for my husband in 2013, only took 2 and a half months, and he's still sticking around haha.

This is my unfinished St. Brigid sweater.. I'm having trouble with the neckline and will probably change it from the original pattern. But the rest of it is so beautiful, love that pattern!.

   Those are two examples that I have knitted up of the type of patterns in this book. Beautiful things, and not as hard as you would think (minus the neckline I can't get right in St. Brigid lol). So the plus side of this book would be that the patterns seem to work and the pictures are very clear, which is always nice, believe me. There is a section about the history of aran sweaters in the first part of the book, which is fun, and a section of cables of all different types, which was very nice to knit up from for Knit in Public Day back in June.

   Some of the few downsides would be that the yarn they suggest you use in all of the patterns is only available through Scotland and is very expensive. I used Berroco Vintage, a wool/acrylic mix for both of these sweaters. So I had to swatch.. which I hate to do. I mean HATE! Swatching is when you take a portion of the pattern and knit it up in a square to measure. This way you use the needles that you need to use in order to get the size you want. If I had used the needles suggested, since I knit (and crochet) loose it would have been a tent lol.

   Until later, my friends! Back to knitting and crocheting hats, scarves and mittens (oh my!). Go like my Facebook page and say hi!

Jen Riley
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