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BEST OF CRAFTS
Puttin' On the Knits
Knitty Gritty
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  • Introduction to Aran Knitting
  • Introduction to Aran Knitting
    From "Knitty Gritty"
    episode DKNG-205


    Aran knitting (sometimes referred to as fisherman knitting) is thought by many to be an ancient form of family identification, but it actually had its beginnings among the inhabitants of the Aran Islands in the early 20th century. While most often associated with sweaters, this technique of working combinations of stitches and patterns in a solid color (usually white) can also be used to beautiful effect in an afghan. On today's episode of Knitty Gritty, Vickie Howell's guest is Janet Szabo, the editor of Twists and Turns newsletter and an authority on Aran knitting.
    Photo

    Aran afghan

    Photo

    Aran afghan -- detail.


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    PHOTO

    Cable needles come in a variety of shapes; the style a knitter uses is a matter of personal preference.
    Knit-O-Meter Rating: Advanced.

    Materials (for lap-robe-size afghan [16 squares])
    11 skeins (2,200 yards) Plymouth Encore worsted yarn (75 percent acrylic / 25 percent wool)
    U.S. size 7 (4.5 mm) 16" circular or 14" straight needles (knitter's preference)
    Cable needle
    Tapestry needle

    Note: Remember that many yarns are seasonal and could be discontinued. If the specific yarn called for is not available, purchase a substitution yarn that comes closest to the specified gauge in your pattern. And be sure to make that all-important swatch to see whether the yarn works for your particular pattern.

    Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows = 4" over stockinette stitch on size 7 (4.5 mm) needles.

    Note: Each square is designed to have five rows of garter stitch followed by 72 rows of pattern stitch, ending with five rows of garter stitch. If you follow the directions for each square exactly and don't rely on your tape measure to determine its size, your squares will all come out exactly the same size and will be easy to seam together. All squares begin with the long-tail cast-on.

    Abbreviations
    K Knit.
    P Purl.
    P3 tog Purl three sts together.
    2/2 RC (2/2 Right Cross) Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold at back, k2, then k2 from cable needle.
    2/2 LC (2/2 Left Cross) Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold at front, k2, then k2 from cable needle.
    2/2 RPC (2/2 Right Purl Cross) Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold at back, k2, then p2 from cable needle.
    2/2 LPC (2/2 Left Purl Cross) Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold at front, p2, then k2 from cable needle.
    2/1 RC (2/1 Right Cross) Slip next st to cable needle and hold at back, k2, then k1 from cable needle.
    2/1 RPC (2/1 Right Purl Cross) Slip next st to cable needle and hold at back, k2, then p1 from cable needle.
    2/1 LPC (2/1 Left Purl Cross) Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold at front, p1, then k2 from cable needle.

    Cables

    Knitted cables look intricate and complicated, but they are actually achieved by slipping certain stitches to a cable needle and knitting them out of turn, resulting in a twisted design. The main thing to keep in mind is that if you want a cable to twist to the right, you hold the stitches to the back of your knitting; conversely, if you want it to twist to the left, you hold the stitches to the front. Note that whenever you knit cables, you must increase the number of stitches before beginning the panel. Increasing helps compensate for the tendency of cables to draw up the yarn; without increases, cabling would produce ripples in the finished piece.

    PHOTO

    Rope cable (to see a step-by-step demo of the Rope and Horseshoe cables, click on the video link below)...
     Media
    Watch The Video
    Rope Cables Afghan Square

    Using Plymouth's Encore worsted and size 7 (4.5 mm) 16" circular needles, cast on 60 sts. Work 5 rows garter stitch (knit every row), increasing 5 sts evenly across last row (65 sts).

    Keeping first and last three sts of each row in garter stitch, work patt across center 59 sts as foll:

    Rows 1 and 3 (WS): K3, [p4, k3] eight times.
    Row 2: P3, [k4, p3] eight times.
    Row 4: P3, [2/2 RC, p3] eight times.

    Rep rows 1-4 a total of 18 times. Discontinue cable pattern and work 5 rows of garter stitch, decreasing 5 sts evenly across first row of garter stitch (60 sts). Bind off loosely.

    PHOTO

    Horseshoe cable (right cross)
    PHOTO

    Horseshoe cable (left cross)
    Horseshoe Cable Afghan Square

    Using Plymouth's Encore Worsted and size 7 (4.5 mm) 16" circular needles, cast on 60 sts. Work 5 rows garter stitch (knit every row), increasing 10 sts evenly across last row (70 sts).

    Keeping first and last three sts of each row in garter stitch, work patt across center 64 sts as foll:

    Row 1 and all WS rows: [K4, p8] five times, k4.
    Row 2: [P4, 2/2 RC, 2/2 LC] five times, p4.
    Rows 4 and 6: [P4, k8] five times, p4.

    Rep rows 1-6 a total of 12 times. Discontinue cable pattern and work 5 rows of garter stitch, decreasing 10 sts evenly across first row of garter stitch (60 sts). Bind off loosely.


    RESOURCES :

    Plymouth Yarn Company’s Encore Worsted yarn
    Plymouth Yarn Company
    Website: www.plymouthyarn.com


    GUESTS :
    Janet Szabo
    Knitting expert
    Big Sky Knitting Designs
    Website: www.BigSkyKnitting.com
    E-mail: Janet@BigSkyKnitting.com

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