Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I think/hope the swatching for the Aran cable sweater is finally done.
It turned out nothing like I thought it would. Most of my Arans are
made with fairly heavy cables such as the one centered on the blue
sweater below.

Ever since purchasing Annie Maloney's book on cable design "The Cable
Knitting Handbook" I've been more or less obsessed with putting some
of her cables into a sweater. I found myself drawn to the lighter,
airy type of cables. No 61 is a diamond shape with many tiny
crossings. I nested three of them so they offset each other and then
knit a test swatch in off white Briggs & Little Regal, a heavy DK
weight. Next I worked on adding side cables and kept coming back to
No 28 which is a more open diamond shape but with the same tiny
crossings. Not able to leave well enough alone, I added the center
portion of No 74 to both sides of the No 28 and put a two stitch rope
on each side. The line up was 1 purl, rope,1 purl, 74, 1 purl,28,1
purl, 74, 1 purl, rope, 1 purl. Of course this was starting to look
both pretty busy and pretty wide especially in the Regal DK. More
swatching with a rust colored Halcyon Victorian sport weight. I don't
really like swatching but having finally made a sweater than fit me
perfectly using Janet Szabo's FLAK method, I knew to swatch each
individual cable or cable group or pay the consequences. Janet teaches
how to make the sweater actually fit!

Finally decided to lay the cable swatches on top of the blue FLAK I
wear a lot. Out went the No 74s or there would have been no plainer
side stitches to give the eye a rest.

In the photo, the No 74 with rope cables is on the right with the
three No 61s in the center. Picture the No 74 on the left and
that takes up most of the fabric width. On the blue FLAK, I ran a
cable down from the underarm to waist and might end up doing this with
the partial No 74. The No 28 swatch isn't wasted since it will end up
as a saddle. Last piece of the puzzle will be graphing out on a
photocopy of the 61s exactly where the neck stitches will have to be
added to get to the start of the front body. Sounds complicated but it
really isn't. Janet's blog is at , the
pattern is under Downloads. The small cost of the FLAK pattern is
worth every penny.

More discussion on this sweater is on the Ravelry group Annie Maloney
& Friends -

Interesting exercise and one I've worked on quite a bit and really
want to get knitting on it. However there is still work already on the
needles. Oregon Autumn, the fair isle, is two inches down on the first
sleeve. Fulmar has the body joined onto a big circular. Poor Shirt
Tail Hemmed pullover still sits in her canvas bag.


junie said...

I love the cream swatch (looks like a sweater front already). The nestled diamonds are airy. What would this look like as an all over pattern?

It is delightful and fresh! Fairy Diamonds.

Great job my friend.

Panhandle Jane said...

I also love the cream swatch. You are an inspiration!