Friday, May 07, 2010

GAAA Great American Aran Afghan Finale

Pattern: Great American Aran Afghan booklet
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool (worsted weight)
Needles: US Size 8
Previous entries: First postSquares One to Six, Seven to Twelve, Twelve to Seventeen, Pre-edging
Cast on: February 18, 2009
Cast off: April 19, 2010
Finished size: 59inx88in, about 5ft x 7ft

It's been great fun being with this project for 14 months. There are twenty four squares in the booklet and I knitted every one of them, in the right order. Some of the squares were quite hard, even for me who consider myself a well-experienced cable knitter and willing to take on challenges.

The patterns call for different sizes needles, and I was lazy and only used size 8, so the squares were all different sizes. I believe the biggest one was about 14x14. After all the squares were done, I added the first round of black borders to make them all the same size. Some needed more and some less, some were rectangles and the borders made them into squares.

Arranging the squares was a lot of fun. I brought them to the South Bay Knitters winter retreat and had my friends help me. During the assembly I had to knit up more borders on the ones turned out too small or too short, and just knitted right onto their neighbors. I could have done a better job calculating gauge, sizing, etc., but I rather like the unevenness. It’s more art than math.
The final big cable braid all around took me a few more weeks. First I knitted a seven foot long braid by itself, sewed it onto the afghan, then knitted the rest right on. It was a very unportable project but kept me nice and warm every night while I worked on it.
When all was done, I wanted to take some good pictures to reflect the largeness and overall gorgeousness of this afghan. I wanted natural light, and I wanted some place large. I thought about putting it on the lawn with sheets or towels under it, but I’d have to climb on a ladder to take the pictures and be the neighborhood monkey for the rest of my life.
Earlier this week I had to visit my mom in Carmel, so I brought the afghan with me to stop at my favorite coastal area, the West Cliff in Santa Cruz. There is plenty of natural light, and the blankie looks rather pretty and petite against the Pacific Ocean. A lot of climbing involved in the photo session, up and down the rocks and trail, tumbling in the flowers, but it's all worthwhile.

Now some highlight of its past.
Yarn by my bedside.

Square one by Judy Sumner.

A tangled mess.

Group diagnosis at the retreat.


knittinwolf said...

That blanket is the photos too! Great job! Happy Mother's Day Weekend!:)

Sue said...

The afghan turned out to be gorgeous. I'm about to start a similar one, the breast cancer one by Nicki Epstein. I want to make it for my best friend who is a breast cancer survivor. I'll be blogging about it in a couple days.