Wednesday, May 02, 2007

So Where Was I?

Oh yeah, the Husband's aran. One fine day while we were out with out the kidlets(they were all in school, and the Husband had the day off), we were running errands. One of the stops was the library which happens to be a short mile or so from the yarn store. I dragged him there, under vehement protests of course, to pick out the yarn for his sweater. I think he didn't want to go there, because it wasn't, well, macho like a hardware store. (Insert manly grunting here.)

I wanted him to go, because I didn't want a repeat of the last sweater I had knit then ripped for him. In that instance, he picked out the stitch pattern but not the yarn(soft enough to be knit into undies, Malabrigo). He liked the softness factor, but he didn't care for the color.

The Husband settled on a yarn that is exclusive to the yarn store. Actually, I picked out the yarn, he just chose the color. It's Yarn Source Sol in grey. It's 100% wool, 100 grams per skein(approximately 220 yards) for $4.50 per skein. in a worsted weight. I think this yarn is excellent. It's nice and soft, and I've had no problems with splitting. It's a good utility yarn at a good price. Christine has lots of fantastic colors. Go on over to her online shop and check it out.

Now that I had the yarn, there was no excuse not to swatch. Besides, I was so excited to be working on something other than the #$% samurai hats, I actually wanted to swatch! For those of you that have an allergic reaction to swatching - get over it!(She says in her motherly "I'm tired of putting up with your nonsense" voice.)

To determine how many stitches to cast on for the Husband's aran, I swatched each panel and measured the width. For example, the diamond pattern panel with moss stitch in the center of the diamonds is worked over 25 stitches and it measured at 4.5" in width. The celtic knot is worked over 28 stitches and measured 4.5"

By adding up the measurements of each panel including the 4 cables I was using to separate each panel, that gave me the width of moss stitch I would need at either side to make up for half of the circumference of the aran(30"). I figured that I would need 5.75" of moss stitch on either side of the seam, which worked out to 26 stitches. I'm putting a lot of ease in this sweater, because the Husband likes them big and he will be able to hide his weapon and badge under it(policemen never go out in public unarmed and they don't like to advertise the fact that they are armed).

I know, I've been rambling, but here's how it worked out...I need a total of 162 stitches for 1/2 of the body.(I chose not to do this in the round so I could have the stability of seams, and I knew that it would be easier for me to keep my place in the pattern if I was only working on half of the sweater at one time.) So my pattern is:

26 stitches of moss stitch,

8 stitches for a 6 stitch right cable(this includes a rev stocking stitch on either side of the cable),

25 stitches for the diamond pattern,

8 stitches for a 6 stitch right cable,

28 stitches for the celtic knot pattern,

8 stitches for a left cable,

25 stitches for the diamond pattern,

8 stitches for a left cable,

and 26 stitches for moss stitch.

Using the EPS, I cast on 10% fewer stitches for the ribbing(2x2 for 2"), increased 16 stitches on the next row in purl stitch(making this the wrong side), and I'm off to the races! I increased in purl so the stitches would recede to the wrong side and that row wouldn't be noticable in the big scheme of things. I could have increased on the last row of ribbing, but quite frankly I didn't think of it. I also added a selvedge stitch to each side to make it easier to seam.

After all that, I think you deserve a picture.

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