The Great American Aran Afghan

Do you like Aran knitting & beautiful cables?
Are you up for a challenge?

Let me be an enabler and introduce you to The Great American Aran Afghan (aka GAAA)! The 24 square patterns were originally introduced back in 2000 and 2001 as a contest in Knitter’s Magazine. I’m ready to finally get working continuously on this project (thank you stash busters). I had a few people ask me about it so I thought I’d share my info with everyone!

We have a knit-along here currently with 36 members from all over the world (some have already finished). At the knit-along site there’s helpful links for places to buy the pattern, photos of the afghan on the web and links to member blogs for inspiration. If you want to see a completed afghan the first place winner has hers here

The pattern calls for Plymouth Encore yarn but members have used all sorts of different kinds of yarn in various colors. This will be the most beautiful family heirloom you’ll ever make.

Ok - that’s my sales pitch. If you would like to join please follow the instructions on the knit-along site or just send me a PM. You don’t need a blog to join but it is nice if you have a link to share with pictures (or you can just post your pictures right on the KAL site).

I blame/thank Silver for inspiring me to start this project. She completed hers eons ago and it’s just lovely!

thud that is simply stunning!

I would love to join you, but I’m in the middle of Lizard Ridge right now. I will bookmark the site to join soon though! Those squares are simply amazing!

I completely agree! The cables are just amazing and I’ve learned so much!

I made one combining squares from both the Great American Aran Afghan and the Great American Afghan. :happydance: I used colors to match my living room and it turned out great. I haven’t completed the edging cause I thought I’d use 3 colors :rollseyes: and socks have taken over my knitting. I still use it during the winter though.

Let me just say that you will be a master knitter when you are finished. It was lots of fun and very challenging to make it.

I encourage everyone who wants to learn new stitches to try this.



Silver made this. Go to her website and see!

It looks like it’s impossible but if you break it down by square and just look at one row at a time it’s very doable!

Plus, non-knitters just gush about how amazing it looks and how difficult it would be to make. This is one project that DH said is staying with us - in fact he’s the one who told me to buy the pattern and all the yarn for it.

I would love to make this. If I think of each square as a project it is doable as usually there is more than a few on the needles at a time. Now to save up for the pattern and yarn.

Is it ok to ask how much yarn this will take? I am trying to figure a budget for it

I am a cable addict and would love to join in! Sending PM…

Where can you get the pattern?

Absolutely! Here are all the specs:

The pattern calls for 20 balls of Plymouth Encore (80% acrylic, 20% wool) 3.5 oz (100g); 200 yds (180m); 9 wraps per inch; #256 Aran color, and approx 1 ball per square.

Gauge is 19 sts and 26 rows to 4" over stockinette stitch using size 4.5mm (US7) needles

Knitting needles are sizes 5-8 (3.74mm-5mm)

The best part is that this is an afghan so gauge is not as important as with something that’s going to be worn. You can definitely find cheaper yarns at Micheals/JoAnns/AC Moore/Hobby Lobby using these specs as your guide. I think most worsted weight yarns would work just fine.

The pattern can be purchased for about $12.95 from these sites:
The Needle Arts Book Shop - scroll about half way down
Stitches Market
KCG Trading - UK source, scroll half way dwon

Let me know if any other questions come up! I’m so excited to be finally working on this again and to share my obsession. My second square is almost finished and the cables are just beautiful!

I cannot express how beautiful that is. But oh, the work it would take! :passedout:

I will defenitly keep this in mind to make for my home someday. Maybe in like 2 years from now I can make it to give me a chance to grow as a knitter (seeing as I only have about 2 months knitting) and save up for it.

I think stirsmommy has the right idea. If you think of each square as it’s own little project it’s not as intimidating. I purchased all of the yarn for this over a year ago. Now I’m just going to try to knit a square in between other projects. It will get done eventually - but then again I’m a process knitter and not a project knitter. I think if I only worked on this project until it was done I probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I am now.

You can also get the GAAA book from the library for free! That’s my favorite sourse for patterns. The way I see it, the library holds all my favorite patterns and whenever I want one I just go and get it! You can also get it here:

and on ebay

But the best place is to support your local bookseller

Great point feministmama!

BTW-I finished my second square last night and it is by far my favorite. I should have a new picture up on my blog within the hour!

I think I joined that knit along…would love HELP with square 50 - Susan Rainey’s mini sweater. When I do Chbart C, Row 2 (P3tog, inc 2 etc) I end up with 13 sts instead of 15. Any suggestions? Thank you so much.

I have started on the Susan Rainey square…mini sweater front is almost done; and have started the Carol Adams square…don’t like to be bored, so with these two I now have about 5 projects on-needle…LOL. Rainey square really is quite easy, I think, so far. My plan is to do the Rainey square, 9 others twice, plus 1 for 20 squares. I figure once I do a square, the second time will be EASY and fun. Thanks to all who answered my questions.

I have this pattern book (is that what you would call it?) but I’m in no way ready to even try it! When I am ready, I hope there is a group like this still going! I also would like to do the GAA. Maybe some day…