January Aran Sweater

No, I haven’t given up on the Aran sweater!

Instead, I’ve been busy designing my sweater taking pieces from EZ’s Aran Sweater and Gladys Thompson’s Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans.

On the Road Again with my Christmas Thumbies. Thanks Santa!

I’ve fallen in love with this sweater in featured in Thompson’s historic archive of Fishermen’s Sweaters.

I believe this may have been Elizabeth Zimmermann’s inspiration for her Aran. It uses the same fishtrap motif placed in center front rather than EZ’s placement on either side of center front. I’m not going to steak to make this a cardigan so I will try this center placement. I also love the tree of life used for the edgings.
So I started practicing this pretty basic tree pattern from Thompson’s book. The pattern was written out as if to knit back & forth. So I just continued on my original stockinette gauge swatch.

That was my first mistake. My 2nd mistake was that I tried this out in the dwindling light of the car.

Tidbit: when practice a new pattern swatch in the round or speed swatch so you are always looking at the front of your work so you can read your work more clearly.

As you can see I made several mistakes. Then I decided this was crazy why am I killing myself trying to figure this out back and forth when I knew I was going to work this project on the round?
So I scrapped this for another time when I had better light and more common sense.

This Fall I was fortunate to take some amazing workshops:

  • Melissa Leapman’s Celtic Cables
  • Jared Flood’s Koolhaas Crashcourse and Shetland Colorwork

So I tried out some tips that I picked up from them.
I tested out the tree of life pattern again using the speed swatch technique so that I could quickly test out the pattern while always working on the front. I also made a chart of the tree of life stitch using Leapman’s notation. That and a little more daylight and pattern made much more sense to me.

Now I have decided to try EZ’s suggestion of a hat/swatch.  This should help me to determine if I am ready to commit to the various stitch patterns. EZ was kind enough to write out the fishtrap instructions as well as provide an easy to follow chart. This is going to be a very long project and I’m still trying to decide if love my yarn choice.

Anyone have a suitable yarn recommendation? Please leave a comment.

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