Aran Cable Stitches

Aran_Cables

This book is going very slowly, but this week I feel like I made headway. I got through the text heavy ┬áspeculations on when Aran Knitting actually started. In the end in the final speculation Alice believes that the reality is that the first ’40s and ’50s – much later than anyone else dared to say. By the time I got through it, I’m not sure that I really care anymore. Aran Knitting is still interesting to many knitters – especially those who buy this book!

So from there I went on to Aran Patterns – Yeah! All the stitch pattern photos were knit in Alice Starmore Bainin (an Aran weight wool). It’s actually a really good yarn for the stitch pattern which appear crisp and stand out well from the reverse stockinette background. The light plum color photographed very well. Actually better than off-white and definitely better than a dark shade.

This is a meaty section – from page 52 through page 99. A great reference library for cable lovers.

I thought I knew lots about cables, but I did learn more than I thought I would from the book. For me, this is the most important factor in my own personal “keep or lose” in book reviews.

First, There is a good chart key, although the actual symbols are not ones that I see generally used in US publications. I give Alice good marks on including excellent illustrations/drawings of how to create various cables beginning with the simplest cable crossings.

Alice covers many cable variations from double cables to diamond shapes cable formations filled with bobbles, seed stitch, and twisted stitches. The honeycomb panels – I hate. The plaited cables – I love. The surprise was the openwork patterns.

What did I learn?

1) A problem I’ve often had is to figure out what row to actual make a cross. The drawing of “counting rows between cable crosses” shown from the back of the work makes so much sense. Why didn’t I ever think of that before?

2) A good tip – decrease stitches before binding off so that the bind off does flare out.

No, I’m not quite done with this book. In my next post I’ll talk about the designs shown in the book. I want to look at the original book to see if there are any new ones added. As we say in publishing – tk (to come)!

 

Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore

PrincessMitts

AranKnitting

Na_Craga

Here’s the checklist –
1) Finished the Princess Mitts – check!
2) Reading At Knit’s End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee – check! (not finished)
3) Found a new book – check!

In reading Stephanie’s book of essays, I realized that I need to do it in bits a few pages at a time. The witty Stephanie has to be absorbed in small snatches!

That being said, I found a book that hasn’t even made it to the shelf yet. Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore – New & Expanded Edition book was a Stitches East purchase in November. Ok, Ok so I’m not obsessive about organizing my books. That’s half of why I’m doing the blog to see if I can get any of the books out of my library.

Why Aran Knitting? Why Alice Starmore?

I love the history so I really want to read Alice’s take on the subject. I’ve heard a bit of her thoughts over the years, but a refresher couldn’t hurt.

I also love Aran patterns (to knit that is). I’ve already picked out my favorite. I’ve had it in my mind to knit my niece and her husband (of Irish heritage) plus kids Irish Knits. I could start with the Na Craga pullover for her. I know – call me crazy! A bit ambitious for sure. In this lifetime??