[ SOA Project Index ] [ Esther's Knitting Page ]

Son Of A.R.A.N. Project Prologue

Copyright 1999 Janet Szabo. All rights reserved.

Well, a lot of people have expressed their preferences, and they boil down to two things: So, we shall indeed do a top-down Aran. I've been going back and forth about the idea of raglan sleeves, though, and I'm hesitating to commit to them for a couple of reasons, the main one being that it's easier to make raglan decreases as you work from the bottom up than to make raglan increases when you work from the top down. It's not the increases themselves that are the problem, it's working the increased stitches into the overall cable design. When you're working from the bottom up, the cable patterns are already there. Working from the top down, you have to "create" the cable patterns out of the increased stitches. While this is not difficult it is tricky to do it in a cyberspace project like this because I am not sitting next to each of you while you are knitting. I think that it is tricky enough that we would probably lose some people along the way. There are some newbies who want to participate in this and I don't want them to feel overwhelmed by having to keep track of increases and cable patterns right away.

But I would like to do one in the future -- perhaps next fall -- because that is exactly the kind of cardigan I would like to make for myself to wear around the house. I can see it in my head.

A Word About Steeks : A few have expressed interest in working this with steeks, and a few of you have expressed anxiety about steeks. One of the things I try very hard not to be is dogmatic -- I try not to go around saying, "Thou shalt do this in thy knitting" or "Thou shalt not do that in thy knitting." I have found that in knitting there are usually 50 ways to get the desired end result. Some of them are better than others, but none of them is "wrong." (Or at least, very few of them are.)

Having said that, I am now going to offer My Opinion Regarding Steeks. I am not convinced of their usefulness in working Arans, unless it is to avoid completely the possibility of having to work a wrong-side row. Every Aran I have ever seen steeked had very bulky and unattractive facings where the steek had been cut open. In a Fair Isle sweater, I would steek without hesitation! I don't like working purl rows with two colors. Steeking is not going to prevent you from having to work purl stitches in an Aran, however. However, if you like steeks and want to work them in this sweater, by all means go ahead and do so! All I'm saying is that I won't make it a requirement of the design (we can write it as an option into the final pattern, certainly). And no one should feel embarrased or self-conscious if they like steeks or don't like them. Personal preference reigns in my knitting universe. :-))

So may I suggest that we do a top-down Aran with slightly set-in square sleeves? This style alleviates the problem of the Dreaded Dropped Shoulder Seam that makes me look more well-endowed than I already am. Again, as with everything in life, there are a bunch of different ways to do this. My favorite way is to knit saddles for each shoulder (and we can make them optional if you don't like them), knit the front down to the base of the armhole, the back down to the base of the armhole, then the body and sleeves downward in the round. There will be some back-and-forth knitting, but we can eliminate ALL seams a la Barbara Walker if you will trust me. :-))) I think that a design such as this will incorporate the majority of everyone's wishes and desires, yet still be easy enough for the first-time Aran knitter.

So if you are all with me on this, watch for SOA Part 1: Measurements For Everyone (Fluffies Included!)

Oh, and for those of you who want to make a cardigan instead of a pullover, not a problem! We can do that, too.


Last Updated: April 12, 1999
Page maintained by: Esther S. Bozak, ebozak@cs.oswego.edu
URL: http://www.cs.oswego.edu/~ebozak/knit/soa/prologue.html