Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Purple Aran Sweater Finished

I designed this aran cabled sweater pattern myself using an excel spreadsheet. I find that in a spreadsheet it is easier to 'draw' a pattern and copy it to see what it will look like repeated with other patterns. It also made it easy for me to make a chart to knit off of. The central pattern came from a book I have, which I have yet to successfully make a sweater from. In fact the book had an error in the cable pattern and after one repeat of it, I had to rip back out and start over again to get the pattern right.

I knit this sweater in the round, starting from the bottom. I did a few decreases in the purl sections, but decided not to increase again after the waist. I knit to where the arms come in and then set the body aside.

For the arms, I knew I wanted a cable running up the shoulder and that I wanted the rest to be in seed stitch, mirroring the seed stitch on the side of the body. I puzzled for a while about how I was going to make the increases to get the change from the wrist measurement to the upper arm measurement while keeping in the 2 x 2 seed stitch pattern. Usually these increases are done under the arm where seams are usually placed. However this would be in the middle of the seed stitch and make it difficult to keep up the pattern. I decided to do my increases on either side of the cable. I kept a row of knit stitches on either side of the cable and did my increases on the outside of it. This way, my increases could always be what would come in the next part of the pattern. It worked very well and I'm pleased with they way the sleeves came out.
When I joined the sleeves to the body and began the raglan decreases, I started to do some fudging. I wasn't ready for the outermost cable to disappear half way up the arm, so I did decreases in the shoulder area instead. Then I decreased the cable stitches closer to the end of the raglan decreases. This caused my raglan line to not be quite straight. When I finished the raglan decreases, I did a few short rows across the back to raise the neckline of the back of the sweater.

I finished the sweater exactly two months after I started it. I was very pleased with the process and I think I'll be making a raglan of my own design again. I liked the challenge and the success of seeing my own design realized.
After washing the sweater, the wool softened up a lot. It took two days to dry and now it will be ready when cooler weather sets in (or in the case that summer heat never arrives).

Knit on size 7 needles (5 for the ribbing at edge)
5 skeins of Bartlett yarn
Started 4/18/09
Finished 6/17/09


debilewis said...

I am impressed! The designing process sounds interesting. You are an amazing, creative and inventive person. I am grateful my son married you! Debi

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a sweater! This may be my favorite I've seen you post here, and to think you designed it yourself. - Meredith