PDA

View Full Version : The Great American Aran Afghan


Valkyrie
03-25-2008, 09:45 PM
Hi
I am a new member and this is a bit embarrassing to post, I taught myself knitting a bit over a year ago, I've been sticking to the simple stuff, scarves and basic knit and purl afghans and dabbled with sock knitting with circulars.

About 3 week ago I made the knitpicks cable bag. That was my first time doing cables and I was very apprehensive(ok terrified) of tackling them, but it was so easy, they came out so great, I was very proud of myself.

Soon I found the Great American Aran Afghan booklet and fell in love, and since cables were so easy to do, I jumped in with both feet, got the yarn and got ready to make a masterpiece.

Well now I feel like a complete idiot, I don't even know how to read the pattern. I don't know what ridges are and can't make sense of the charts, their scheme in the pattern or even how to put chart A and B together.

I am totally confused and hours trying to decipher the pattern have been unsuccessful.

Help please?

Val

Rubyjane
03-25-2008, 10:49 PM
Please tell me what the Great American Aran Afghan is...I'd love to look at it and then maybe help you out.

Valkyrie
03-25-2008, 11:04 PM
Thanks for trying to help

I knew it was too ambitious, but I saw it and common sense went out the window.

Here is what it looks like
http://theraineysisters.com/?page_id=319

And this is the booklet
http://www.stitchesmarket.com/xcart/customer/product.php?productid=6462

Thanks again.

Belphoebe
03-25-2008, 11:06 PM
My LYS is going to be having a class featuring that afghan. The owner is on knittinghelp with the username of tmsl. I'm sure she would be willing to help you! Her name is Laura and she is GREAT!

tokmom
03-26-2008, 01:13 AM
I can't help being a newbie knitter as well. But I applaud you for wanting to take this on.:yay: I'm sure once you start to figure it out, you will get it. :thumbsup: We all have to start somewhere, right?:mrgreen: :hug:

Silver
03-26-2008, 07:22 AM
I've made it! (http://www.cometosilver.com/knit/gaaa/) I'd be happy to help if I can! :)

When it says work 3 ridges, they mean knit every row until there are 3 ridges made by knitting garter stitch. So like on the Julie H Levy square (2nd square in the book), it says "Work 3 ridges, inc 28 sts evenly across last (RS) row."

So cast on, and knit a row. Turn your work, and knit a row again. Keep turning and knitting until there are 3 ridges on the right side and increase on the last right side row.

Keep in mind that these "ridges" are only the borders for the squares. They don't have to be precisely correct. Just do them the same for all your squares, so take notes when you start your first square. Cast on the same way, and knit the same number of rows for the squares.

Now, regarding reading the pattern. Each pattern is both written out and charted. Pick which way you like, and use those directions. You don't have to use both the text and the charts.

So again, using Julie's square as an example, after you do the ridges and increase to 76 sts, it says "Beg Charts A and B: Row 1 (WS) K3, work 17 sts [of] Chart A, Chart B over 36 sts, 17 sts Chart A, K3. Cont in pats as established keeping 3 sts each side in garter st...". Refer over to the next page where it says "In other words", and look at the directions for Chart A. Start as you were told, K3 (knit 3 sts), then follow row 1 of Chart A, and only row 1. Then knit row 1 of Chart B (only row 1), and knit row 1 of Chart A again. Knit 3 stitches (these are the garter stitch stitches for the borders), and turn. Row 1 of your square is done.

Continue like this knitting 3 sts for your border, then a row of chart A, a row of chart B, a row of chart A again and K3 for your border.

It helps to place a stitch marker between each change in pattern like K3, place a stitch marker, K row 1 of Chart A, place stitch marker, row 1 of chart B, stitch marker, row 1 of chart A, stitch marker, K3. Do this for ALL the squares because it helps to remind you that when you come to a stitch marker, you need to change to another pattern.

It also helps tremendously to use a row counter for both chart A and chart B since they have a different number of rows. Or a note pad, or however you keep track of rows. I used a red row counter for one, and a blue for the other and just kept track of which was which.

Ok, so you're probably a little overwhelmed right now. Maybe this will help. This afghan still is one of my all time favorite projects. It is very challenging. Some squares are way harder than others. But you will learn techniques that you've never dreamed of, and end up with a breathtaking heirloom afghan. Take one square at a time. Don't think about how many squares there are to make. Just do em one at a time and take your time.

Good luck! Don't hesitate to ask more questions if you need help! Keep them in this thread instead of PM, so it can be a learning tool for anyone who wants to knit this afghan. :)

mwhite
03-26-2008, 08:22 AM
OMG! What a beautiful piece! When I saw "Great American Afghan", I assumed it was another red, white and blue and I'm not too hot on Americana. But, I was dead wrong! It is so full of challenges and learning... would love to make this! One square at a time? Doesn't sound too bad at all. Thanks for sharing! Mary

Silver
03-26-2008, 08:36 AM
Thank you! Yep, this is the "Aran" afghan. There is a Great American Afghan too, but it's not in red white and blue either. Besides, you can always use your own yarn color choices. :)

dustinac
03-26-2008, 09:07 AM
:inlove: so pretty, Silver!!

My LYS is buying the books now and going to have a class this fall...I'm going to take it because I think that is the only way I will finish it, having to make them before the next class...otherwise I would get to sidetracked...:teehee:

Val, I think it's great that you jumped into this project and I can't wait to see your afghan!! :yay:

Valkyrie
03-26-2008, 02:50 PM
Thank you so much.:muah:

Silver, I am going to follow your advice exactly and I am going to start it today.

I'll probably be back with a gazillion questions, I tend to over think and complicate things more than they have to be.

I am glad you all understand why my common sense went out the window.

I am in love:heart:

Silver, on average how long did it take you to make each square?

Thanks again everyone, it's hard learning everything on my own with no one to share or can even understand the knitting madness.:knitting:

Silver
03-26-2008, 03:24 PM
I don't know how long each square took, but I'd guess a square a week or every 3 or 4 days or so. (I take my time when knitting.) But the whole afghan took me 6 months from start to finish.

There are 24 squares, and you only use 20 for the afghan, so pick out the 4 that you don't want to knit, and knit all the rest. (The one with the little sweater on it is my favorite!) Of course, you can knit the other 4 too, the book suggests making them into pillows, but I just didn't knit them.

Happy to help! Don't worry about asking too many questions, just be patient if I don't hop on right away and answer. But you can always slide me an email too to poke me, if you need an answer quickly. :teehee:

tmsl
03-27-2008, 04:57 PM
Sorry, but I just saw this or I would have tried to help. Silver has you on your way though and you will have an heirloom when you are done. Good for you for tackeling a challenging project. You will have learned sooooo much when you are through with this.

Good luck!!!

Laura

Hallegold
03-27-2008, 06:04 PM
My LYS offers a class, which I took, and currently I have 10 squares done.

Adding my two cents: Be sure to do a guage before beginning so that all of your squares will be pretty much the same size. The gauge in the book is on a US 7 and my guage turned out to be on a US 8 so that meant I had to go up one size for all other suggested needles.

Also, on the first page of the book at the bottom, it tells you which are the five easiest squares. I would begin with one of those five squares. This will help to build your confidence. :happydance: The Betty Salpekar square is the most difficult--I believe it's because she made her instructions so awful to follow.

I'm knitting mine in Malabrigo in the Pollen color and it's going to be lovely. Good luck!

bailsmom
03-27-2008, 10:48 PM
Thank you so much.:muah:

Silver, I am going to follow your advice exactly and I am going to start it today.

I'll probably be back with a gazillion questions, I tend to over think and complicate things more than they have to be.

I am glad you all understand why my common sense went out the window.

I am in love:heart:

Silver, on average how long did it take you to make each square?

Thanks again everyone, it's hard learning everything on my own with no one to share or can even understand the knitting madness.:knitting:


Dear Lord! I do the exact same thing!! Isn't it annoying?? :teehee: My life would sure be a lot simpler if I didn't do this. :wall:

For me, if I read something with instructions I then read it over and over and over and by doing this I somehow seem to add more things to it than what it says to do. And then it's like, "oh hell no, this is insane" and then I walk away for a while and come back and read it again and it's like, "Oh, duh, I can do that". :teehee:

Good luck with it! It's a BEAUTIFUL afghan, I may even try it myself. Thanks for sharing. :hug:

Valkyrie
03-28-2008, 01:54 AM
Arrghhhhhh

I am going to have to wait, I bought size 7 needles and my gauge is an 8.

So now I have to buy needles.

I am not good at waiting :pout:

mathwizard
03-28-2008, 07:20 AM
WOW!!!!:cheering: I :woot:think I will tackle a knitted afghan and that pattern is awesome. I think a square every 2 or 3 weeks should get it done for me. Thanks for posting about learning to knit and this afghan!!!!!:inlove:

Rubyjane
04-08-2008, 09:52 AM
I fell in LOVE with the afghan, and knowing how much help there is out in Knitville, I ordered it! There is actually a blog on it, and an errata sheet! Just looking it over and planning which square to start first. I appreciate all your comments on it, Silver...its already been a help

Karina
04-08-2008, 10:10 AM
Rubyjane please post links to blog and errata sheet. Thanks

Nobones
04-08-2008, 10:45 AM
Wow :heart: I have completely fallen in love with this. I would love to make it, but is it an available pattern here in the UK?

KnittingNat
04-08-2008, 11:59 AM
Wow :heart: I have completely fallen in love with this. I would love to make it, but is it an available pattern here in the UK?

It's a book by itself, you can order it on amazon.co.uk (http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss_w_h_?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=great+american+aran+afghan&x=0&y=0).

Rubyjane
05-18-2008, 10:16 AM
Re the errata sheet, I CAN'T FIND IT...ARGH!!!
Still looking, so will post when I find it.

Rubyjane
05-23-2008, 09:37 AM
The blog is at : http://aranafghanalong.blogspot.com/. Can't find the errat sheet tho...apologies. I have started the Mini Sweater square..its really quite easy..once I got past my initial panic phase. Also have started Carol Adams' square. My plan is to make 9 squares twice, plus the mini sweater and one other. So nice to be part of a forum/blog for this lovely project.

Karina
05-23-2008, 07:26 PM
Thanks Rubyjane, I just ordered the book today so should be here next week. how much yarn does this afghan use. I have 4 skeins of Cascade Eco wool I could use would that be enough?

Karina
05-23-2008, 07:29 PM
Valkyrie how is your first square going? did you get your needles

Limey
05-23-2008, 07:36 PM
Hi

This might not be the best time to be asking this - but can anyone please explain why the word 'Afghan' is used for a blanket?

It's one of those questions that keep jumping up at you and you never get around to asking ...but it's driving me nuts now ....

Ellie

evona
05-23-2008, 11:28 PM
Hi

This might not be the best time to be asking this - but can anyone please explain why the word 'Afghan' is used for a blanket?

It's one of those questions that keep jumping up at you and you never get around to asking ...but it's driving me nuts now ....

Ellie

This is from Wikipedia so take it with however much salt you so choose; however:

In terms of etymology, it is likely that the wraps or shawls that came to be called afghans were originally patterned after textiles from the Middle East region. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, afghan "wrap, shawl" dates from 1833.

Rubyjane
05-24-2008, 08:47 AM
Karina...4 skeins will not be enough. From what I've read from other knitters who have done this, it takes about 1 skein or just under for each square. I'm on my first square, and I can see it will come close to using the whole skein. LOL...I'm buying my yarn one skein at a time right now. Using Encore in Ecru.

Limey, an afghan is smaller than a blanket and frequently are decorative as well as useful. May be other differences, but that's just my POV.

Rubyjane
05-24-2008, 08:50 AM
Errata sheet can be found at the aranafghanalong.blog.com site...its listed on the right hand side in teeny, tiny print. Do ALL knitters wear glasses? The errors were corrected in the copy I got, but this is good to have anyways.

bailsmom
07-27-2008, 10:22 PM
Hi there, I am starting my second square and was hoping someone would see this thread and help me out.

I've finished the body and am starting the right sleeve. I'm not sure how much I can post about this pattern since it isn't free, so I'm not sure what to write. I'll try this, basically when it says to Beg charts A & B: Row 1. I get the first sentence of working the 12 sts, but after that I get completely lost. From what they write it seems like I don't need to do Chart C, which makes no sense because then you don't get the purled row after you do the cable in chart B.

This makes no sense unless you have the book. Can anyone help me? Can anyone tell me how much I can type without doing something illegal here?? Please?

dreamsherl
07-27-2008, 11:17 PM
My LYS had been out of the book for over a month. I checked every week when I went in for my knitting get together. Well is was there waiting for me on Tuesday. We should all do a KAL.

Ingrid
07-28-2008, 12:02 AM
Hi there, I am starting my second square and was hoping someone would see this thread and help me out.

I've finished the body and am starting the right sleeve. I'm not sure how much I can post about this pattern since it isn't free, so I'm not sure what to write. I'll try this, basically when it says to Beg charts A & B: Row 1. I get the first sentence of working the 12 sts, but after that I get completely lost. From what they write it seems like I don't need to do Chart C, which makes no sense because then you don't get the purled row after you do the cable in chart B.

This makes no sense unless you have the book. Can anyone help me? Can anyone tell me how much I can type without doing something illegal here?? Please?

I gotcha in your other post. But basically, for anyone else who's wondering, the shaded stitches in the chart are the purls.

yukonellie
07-28-2008, 03:38 AM
Hi
I am a new member and this is a bit embarrassing to post, I taught myself knitting a bit over a year ago, I've been sticking to the simple stuff, scarves and basic knit and purl afghans and dabbled with sock knitting with circulars.

About 3 week ago I made the knitpicks cable bag. That was my first time doing cables and I was very apprehensive(ok terrified) of tackling them, but it was so easy, they came out so great, I was very proud of myself.

Soon I found the Great American Aran Afghan booklet and fell in love, and since cables were so easy to do, I jumped in with both feet, got the yarn and got ready to make a masterpiece.

Well now I feel like a complete idiot, I don't even know how to read the pattern. I don't know what ridges are and can't make sense of the charts, their scheme in the pattern or even how to put chart A and B together.

I am totally confused and hours trying to decipher the pattern have been unsuccessful.

Help please?

Val
I am using 8 squares of this afghan to make a sweater for my husband. Even though I have been knitting for years, the charts can be confusing. I take the time to write out each pattern row using the "other words" description so that line by line I can follow each stitch. It may seem very time consuming but in the end, the squares look just like the picture!

Happy Knitting, yukonellie

Ellen58
03-20-2011, 08:58 AM
Hi,

I've just joined and am searching for help on doing the Georgia Vincent suare in the GAAA. I've started it several times, downloaded corrections and even contacted the publisher for help but somthing is simply not working. each time I start, i get a little further (all the way to round 9 today!) but again somthing is not right. Has anyone created alternative instructions or have any insghts on how to conquer this square?

RuthieinMaryland
03-24-2011, 05:05 PM
Hi! :waving:

One of the things that has helped me greatly when I've been tackling an intricate project with intricate patterns is to "re-write" the pattern rows, in full, on individual index cards. I break down the pattern and write it up with each segment of that row on a separate line. Placing markers between the sections on the actual knitting would tell you when to move to the next line on your card.

Not only has this helped me to get an overview of the whole pattern and gain familiarity and understanding BEFORE I've tackled it, but by putting each row on a separate index card I can use them to flip through as I knit, putting the finished row card behind the stack of cards. Then I have the row I'm working on right on top where it needs to be.

Also, be aware that not all patterns are created equal. Some are written in such a complex way that they can be very difficult to grasp. If you come across one of these then writing the pattern out line by line on index cards gives you at least a fighting chance of being able to complete it.

It's all too easy, which I know from experience, to want to throw the whole mess across the room and go on to another pattern! But, patience pays off.

And particularly on the complex patterns you might want to check out the video section for one on how to use a lifeline. It's simple, easy and can save you some serious swearing if you have to rip back. Putting a lifeline at the beginning of each pattern repeat, for instance, limits the number of rows you've got to pull out if your knitting train runs off the tracks! :)

And take heart - loving the project is 90% of the battle. Your enthusiasm for what you're tackling, even when you've hit a speed bump, will help you have an incredible learning experience and a wonderful completed project!

Good luck and please let us know how it's going!

Happy knitting,

Ruthie :clink:

Ellen58
03-24-2011, 05:58 PM
Hi! :waving:

One of the things that has helped me greatly when I've been tackling an intricate project with intricate patterns is to "re-write" the pattern rows, in full, on individual index cards. I break down the pattern and write it up with each segment of that row on a separate line. Placing markers between the sections on the actual knitting would tell you when to move to the next line on your card.

Not only has this helped me to get an overview of the whole pattern and gain familiarity and understanding BEFORE I've tackled it, but by putting each row on a separate index card I can use them to flip through as I knit, putting the finished row card behind the stack of cards. Then I have the row I'm working on right on top where it needs to be.

Also, be aware that not all patterns are created equal. Some are written in such a complex way that they can be very difficult to grasp. If you come across one of these then writing the pattern out line by line on index cards gives you at least a fighting chance of being able to complete it.

It's all too easy, which I know from experience, to want to throw the whole mess across the room and go on to another pattern! But, patience pays off.

And particularly on the complex patterns you might want to check out the video section for one on how to use a lifeline. It's simple, easy and can save you some serious swearing if you have to rip back. Putting a lifeline at the beginning of each pattern repeat, for instance, limits the number of rows you've got to pull out if your knitting train runs off the tracks! :)

And take heart - loving the project is 90% of the battle. Your enthusiasm for what you're tackling, even when you've hit a speed bump, will help you have an incredible learning experience and a wonderful completed project!

Good luck and please let us know how it's going!

Happy knitting,

Ruthie :clink:
Thanks. I've always ended up creating my own directions and thought I has this one figured out but alas not.