Aran Afghan WIP

Work continues on the Great American Aran Afghan, and I’m on my third square.  I’m finding that this is (so far) tremendously interesting.  I’ve finally learned to read cable charts without constantly referring to the stitch definition, and the small size of each piece (relative to, say, an entire afghan) makes it very easy to carry around.  It’s delightful to watch the pattern appear quickly.

Neither of the two squares are finished as pictured.  The one on the left was knit “around” and the center is picked up and knit with decreases – something like a cap.  The problem is, I didn’t have the correct size DPNs for the center section.  I tried to use circular needles, but that didn’t work.  So, I set it aside, (ordered size 6 HiyaHiya DPNs) and started the next square (on the right).

Aran Afghan WIP 06-12-2014 (Large)

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Skills-Builder: Great American Aran Afghan

A dear and long-time friend is getting married in February.  My customary wedding gift is a hand-knit afghan, and for this good friend, I wanted to “kick it up a notch” and knit a very special afghan.

I chose The Great American Aran Afghan, which is part of the Great American Afghan series by XRX Publishing.  There are several in this series, and it seems to be a contest along a theme, and the winning entries are included in the published book.

Yarn is as recommended in the book:  Encore (75% acrylic – 25% wool) from Plymouth Yarn Company.  The model is knit in natural or white, but I chose Oatmeal as a more neutral color.

The afghan is a series of “sampler-like” squares which are knit together and then a border knit around the perimeter.

The squares are extremely challenging!  I’m glad it’s knit a square at a time; I don’t think I would be able to cope if I had to knit something as challenging as this with a large “afghan-in-progress” on my lap.

Below is my first completed square – I think it’s likely the easiest in the book.  My friend’s wedding is in February.   For a 24-square afghan, that’s about 4 squares a month, with a month left for assembling and binding.  Wish me luck!

Great American Aran Afghan SQ1 06-01-2014 (Large)

Braided Beanie – Skills Project

Green in time for March!

I doubt that I will get this done while the weather is still cold (although, with the “polar vortex” weather we’ve had, you never know).  I have been working on it when I need a break from other projects.  I can only tolerate going ’round and ’round with socks for so long before I need something else to do.

This is a project to work on two skills – cabling and picking up stitches.  The Celtic cable brim is knit first, and then the stitches for the crown are picked up.

I would like to do more with Celtic cables – I like the look of them – and this is a good project to practice.  It’s also good practice in reading charts (not pictured).  I prefer charts to “written out” instructions, but the cable changes are so varied, it’s a challenge to keep track.

Braided Brim Beanie, from Creative Knitting, Winter, 2013.  I’m not sure about the yarn – it was in my stash and had no yarn band.

Braided Beanie WIP 02-20-2014 copy (Large)