Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Before I return to my scheduled Olympic knitting...

I'm thinking about Arans...

Not for me, my DH (dear husband this week) has requested that I knit him an Aran sweater. My husband requests many things from me; a more frugal approach to household finances, the occasional bit of lamb for supper, clean socks and underwear in his drawers (not necessarily at the same time), and that I not use my minivan as a waste recepticle. Until now, I have never felt compelled to accomodate any of these requests.

But the Aran sweater is different.

For starters, it is a knitted object and as DH has pointed out, with only a bit of whinging, I do knit for everyone else in the family except him. (insert violin music and puppy-eyes) In fairness, he is a rather good sport about turning a blind eye to credit card charges from "fluffy-sounding" shops and rarely points out that the volume of space occupied by my current stash is more than 50% the size of my first Toronto apartment.

And, unlike most garments that I might knit for DH, an Aran sweater is something he would actually wear. He currently wears a blue hand-me-down Aran previously owned by his father, that is getting a little worn and never did fit quite perfectly.

I picked up a white Aran cardigan at the thrift store ($4 - it was part of DH's Halloween costume...don't ask) and DH has since decided that a white Aran is just what his wardrobe needs.

I've never knit an Aran before, but I'm up for a challenge! Just a few questions for anyone who might read this blog...

Do you have a favorite sweater design or designer?

Anything (style or designer-wise)I should avoid?

Any great yarn recommendations?

Other tips or trick?

Thanks in advance!


At 8:56 AM, Blogger Aven said...

I *love* knitting arans. Love, love, love it. Personally, I've used Paton's Aran wool for mine -- and been very pleased with it. (Note -- not Aran Style, which is part acrylic -- the 100% wool Aran weight). It's not the fanciest yarn out there, but if you want natural-coloured, sturdy, aran weight wool, with great definition, I'd heartily recommend it. And it doesn't have the pilling problem of Paton's Classic. Also, of course, it's pretty cheap.

Patons also has quite a few aran pattern booklets -- I've made a couple from those booklets, and they're lovely. Clear pattern writing and instructions, and nice final product.

I know I sound like a Patons rep here, but I really do just like the yarn!

Good luck!

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Mme. Defarge said...

You will only do this once so you might as well make it heirloom quality. Look at Alice Starmore's Aran patterns. Na Craga is one of my favorites. Her yarn is pricy and easy to find substitutes for.


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