Monday, February 4, 2013

Aran Cable Obsession

My Aran Aidez Sweater Pre-Blocking
You're going to quickly realize, reading this blog, that I am a person who gets really enthralled with something and basically eats, sleeps and breathes it until I've assimilated everything there is to be found about it into my being. (Yes, that was a Star Trek reference. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool sci-fi geek.) Well, the obsession of the month is Aran cables.

It happened innocently enough. I was on Ravelry browsing through the "hot right now" patterns. Aidez has been on there forever. It's a beautiful sweater, but the lattice cables didn't grab me, and the pattern was knit in pieces. I thought that maybe I would get around to converting it to seamless one day, and perhaps plopping in a cable pattern that I liked better. Then I was perusing the finished projects and fell upon a LOVELY one that had done all the changes for me. And the user even did a write-up on her blog for how she did it.

I had to cast-on. Right. Then. Luckily I had some knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky Bare from my learning to dye days lying around in the studio. As I sat and knit, I felt connected to my Scottish and Irish ancestors in a very profound way. I felt like I was back in my Gram's living room all those years ago when she taught me how to knit. I felt peace. Normally I am a product knitter but with this I slowed down. I savored every stitch, and I took incredible joy from watching the main cable pattern develop as the rows grew.

I'm not going to lie. Cabling requires some attention. But truly, once you get the feel for the cables and how often the smaller ones have to be crossed, the only part of this sweater that requires any real concentration is the right side of the large cable at the center back.

It also helps that I learned to cable without a cable needle. I think if I had tried to knit this sweater using a cable needle it might have ended up stabbed in my eye. Or someone else's. Unless I am doing some ridiculously large cable, I will never go back. I have done 4/4 cables with this method with no problems.

I learned from the video below. There are different methods out there, but this is the one that works for me.

After I had my son take some photos, I soaked my new fav sweater in some eucalan, spun it out in my spin dryer, then put it into the dryer for about 8 minutes on extra low heat to full/felt the yarn very gently. It is now drying on a sweater rack. I am one very, very happy knitter today. I think my ancestors would be proud.

Now I'm learning everything I can about designing with cables because I'm that in love with them. I want to make all the cable things. More on that in another post.

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