My First Aran Sweater....Any Advice?

I’m about to start DH’s fisherman’s Aran sweater. He bought me a book with Aran stitches and I’m waiting for it to arrive now. I’ve never worked without a pattern, so I’m totally winging it, but confident. I’ve swatched and swatched.

I know I’ll hit some bumps along the way, so I’ll probably be posting again…:lol:…but does anyone have any advice on the outset?

I’ll be doing seed stitch on the sides and bottom of the sleeves. Simple cables in front, back and sleeves…or is that too much??? Should the front and back look the same or should the back be simpler? I looked around on Ravelry for ideas and everyone photographs the front but never the back.

I’ll be making it in acryllid (Hobby Lobby’s ‘I Love This Yarn’:roll:…DH’s choice, I couldn’t change his mind). It IS quite nice for Acryllic though.:shock:

This is the book, BTW…in case anyone has used it:

I don’t think your choices will be too hard. My advice would be to draw yourself out a diagram that shows where each pattern repeats so you can line them up. Or print out the charts and tape them together. So, for example, if one pattern has a four row repeat and one has an eight row repeat, you can see where the individual lines would line up/cross over.

Which book are you getting?

Thanks. I’m starting with the sleeves first, as a “swatch” but also because DH is on a diet :slight_smile: I’m most worried about the sleeves…and should I do raglan or not?

That’s an awesome book! I have it. In fact, I was hoping you’d say that was the one, because it actually has some information in it on designing your own sweater and some suggestions on combinations of the various cables for sweaters. I would do a drop shoulder to start with, simply because it’s easier to design, and for your first sweater, you’ll probably just want to concentrate on the various pattern stitches. Just my 2 cents.

I think traditional Arans were done top down with saddle shoulders (you can carry the cable down the centre of the sleeve from the shoulder that way), but I did mine the bottom up, sew it up, set in sleeves kinda way. The front and bask of mine is the same, but you could do the back plain if you want to keep it less fussy - I just get bored doing the same thing over and over so cables on both sides held my interest.
I am a crap photographer, but here’s mine if it helps

Very nice! Thanks for the photo.:hug: Looks great! I will do mine bottom up because I want to make sure it fits him, also, when you do top down it’s more of a temptation to do the ribbing early to finish up I think :wink:

What yarn did you use? Looks like it has flecks of color. I like that.

It was Tivoli Woolblend Aran 400 which is spun in Ireland, it has small multicoloured flecks in it, the lady in the wool shop suggested it might be more interesting than plain cream

Since I’ll be doing mine from the bottom up, I figured I’d do it seemless (in the round). Any ideas or reasons why I should not?

Because I knit and purl at different tensions whenever I do cables they look slightly pulled to one side, this looked worse when I did it in the round, but that’s my personal pronblem! :wink:
No reason not to otherwise, the original ones from Aran islands were knit in the round top down with large DPNs.

Hi, Ariel! :waving:

My best advice on this is to thoroughly do your prep work, as Marria suggested, so that you’re completely familiar with the pattern before you start.

Then, once you’ve got it all mapped out ----- RELAX! Just enjoy the adventure and all the wonderful twists and turns you’ll experience along the way. Use whatever you can that will help you keep your place - stitch markers, life lines, row counters, etc. - so that you can make this first experience a wonderful one.

Good luck to you and let us know how it’s going!

Happy Aran knitting!

Ruthie :knitting:

The only worry I have right now is about gauge and how much the cables might alter that. In other words, if it’s 9st/inch in stockinette, do I need to take that into consideration? I’ve done a big swatch, I guess I can figure it out from that.

My book is on backorder :tap: I can’t wait to start!

Very often with cabled sweaters, the pattern has you add a couple of stitches where the cables will be and take them away when you’re done with the cable. This makes up for the difference in tension.
If you decide to work in the round, remember that you’ll be working the right side only, so you’ll have to reverse the stitches and the order of the stitches on the ‘wrong-side’ rounds. This usually isn’t an issue since you knit the knits and purl the purls in most cases, but sometimes it’s hard to remember which row you’re on. Or I should say [I]I [/I]have that problem.
While you’re waiting for your book, take a look at the free patterns around the web and you can get a general feel for increasing for cables and such.

Oh!! Something I can answer!!! :woot: Ok, the Aran sweater is the whole reason I am teaching myself to knit. Long story short, mom makes them, been promising me once since I was 10. I’m 35… still no sweater.Figure I can learn to knit and make it myself by the time she gets around to it… Anywho… all the ones I have seen her do only have cables in the front. And looking at how the seed stitch looks when done I am pretty sure that’s the main stitch for the majority of it if my memory is correct. Good luck with that and please let me know how it turns out!!

I don’t know anything about Aran sweaters, well other than seeing a few pictures with the intricate cables.

I did read that someone around this forum though doing a baby sweater was an easy way to start, perhaps you could try the design idea on a sweater for a teddy bear. Then tease your DH by giving him the bear modeling the sweater. :roflhard:


Great idea! AND the teddy will be fashionable!

Athena, we should start a KA for this now so they’ll be ready by winter eh?!?:x:

I finished my Aran, with the help of this book.
Aran Sweater Design by Janet Szabo. I did not use a pattern.
wrote out in design I wanted, must do swatches of all the different cables and stitches used, also when doing the rib keep in mind the cable pattern and rib so it will blend in with the pattern, hope this makes sense.Cables draw the knitting in so have to measure each swatch. Book also tells you about cable splay, which is good to know.
Hope this is helpful. Happy knitting and Happy New Year.

personally, I hate making cables! Two needles are tough enough - never mind three! So, for my men, I tend to keep the back simple seed stitch - saves on endless cabling. And cable up the front and sleeves, the part most people see and appreciate. Seed stitch is used as a filler around my cable panels.

I also tend to work top-down, dunno why… personal preference, I suppose. I love saddle shoulders, but have yet to perfect them. I use a universal pattern generator for raglan pullovers and a stitch dictionary for the cables & designs I want to incorporate. And yes, I keep very close track of the math and use the tar-nation (okie word) out of stitch markers!

I think I’ve found my next knitting book. I’m determined to do a sweater for my DH as I’ve noticed his wardrobe is lacking. I’ve got some yarn that is way soft (made Christmas stockings from it) Premier Serenity Chunky Weight. I’m going to decide on the color soon.

Thanks for pointing my project list in a great direction.

I personally can’t stand the look of a sweater elaborate in the front and plain in the back.The only time I don’t mind is if the front just has a thin yo, vertical pattern or something on each side on a woman’s cardigan, but that’s an entirely different sweater :slight_smile: