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suziehomemaker
07-18-2007, 11:05 AM
Do you like Aran knitting & beautiful cables?
Are you up for a challenge?

Let me be an enabler and introduce you to The Great American Aran Afghan (aka GAAA)! The 24 square patterns were originally introduced back in 2000 and 2001 as a contest in Knitter's Magazine. I'm ready to finally get working continuously on this project (thank you stash busters). I had a few people ask me about it so I thought I'd share my info with everyone!

We have a knit-along here (http://aranafghanalong.blogspot.com/) currently with 36 members from all over the world (some have already finished). At the knit-along site there's helpful links for places to buy the pattern, photos of the afghan on the web and links to member blogs for inspiration. If you want to see a completed afghan the first place winner has hers here (http://theraineysisters.com/?page_id=319)

The pattern calls for Plymouth Encore yarn but members have used all sorts of different kinds of yarn in various colors. This will be the most beautiful family heirloom you'll ever make.

Ok - that's my sales pitch. If you would like to join please follow the instructions on the knit-along site or just send me a PM. You don't need a blog to join but it is nice if you have a link to share with pictures (or you can just post your pictures right on the KAL site).

I blame/thank Silver for inspiring me to start this project. She completed hers eons ago and it's just lovely!

dakatzmeow
07-18-2007, 11:25 AM
*thud* that is simply stunning!

brookehanna
07-18-2007, 12:26 PM
I would love to join you, but I'm in the middle of Lizard Ridge right now. I will bookmark the site to join soon though! Those squares are simply amazing!

suziehomemaker
07-18-2007, 02:06 PM
I completely agree! The cables are just amazing and I've learned so much!

1to1
07-18-2007, 02:09 PM
I made one combining squares from both the Great American Aran Afghan and the Great American Afghan. :happydance: I used colors to match my living room and it turned out great. I haven't completed the edging cause I thought I'd use 3 colors :rollseyes: and socks have taken over my knitting. I still use it during the winter though.

Let me just say that you will be a master knitter when you are finished. It was lots of fun and very challenging to make it.

I encourage everyone who wants to learn new stitches to try this.

GinnyG
07-18-2007, 02:34 PM
:passedout:

BEAUTIFUL but OH MY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

feministmama
07-18-2007, 04:33 PM
Silver made this. Go to her website and see!

suziehomemaker
07-18-2007, 04:42 PM
It looks like it's impossible but if you break it down by square and just look at one row at a time it's very doable!

Plus, non-knitters just gush about how amazing it looks and how difficult it would be to make. This is one project that DH said is staying with us - in fact he's the one who told me to buy the pattern and all the yarn for it.

stirsmommy
07-18-2007, 04:44 PM
I would love to make this. If I think of each square as a project it is doable as usually there is more than a few on the needles at a time. Now to save up for the pattern and yarn.

stirsmommy
07-18-2007, 05:04 PM
Is it ok to ask how much yarn this will take? I am trying to figure a budget for it
Thanks

Carrie218
07-18-2007, 05:10 PM
I am a cable addict and would love to join in! Sending PM...

Belphoebe
07-18-2007, 08:49 PM
Where can you get the pattern?

suziehomemaker
07-19-2007, 09:04 AM
Absolutely! Here are all the specs:

The pattern calls for 20 balls of Plymouth Encore (80% acrylic, 20% wool) 3.5 oz (100g); 200 yds (180m); 9 wraps per inch; #256 Aran color, and approx 1 ball per square.

Gauge is 19 sts and 26 rows to 4" over stockinette stitch using size 4.5mm (US7) needles

Knitting needles are sizes 5-8 (3.74mm-5mm)


The best part is that this is an afghan so gauge is not as important as with something that's going to be worn. You can definitely find cheaper yarns at Micheals/JoAnns/AC Moore/Hobby Lobby using these specs as your guide. I think most worsted weight yarns would work just fine.

The pattern can be purchased for about $12.95 from these sites:
The Needle Arts Book Shop (http://www.needleartsbookshop.com/knitting_books/knittitb.html) - scroll about half way down
Stitches Market (http://www.stitchesmarket.com/xcart/customer/product.php?productid=6462&cat=214&page=3)
KCG Trading (http://www.kcgtrading.com/books.php?letter=G) - UK source, scroll half way dwon
Websters (http://www.yarnatwebsters.com/book_knit_e-g.html#g)
Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Great-American-Aran-Afghan/dp/1893762173)

Let me know if any other questions come up! I'm so excited to be finally working on this again and to share my obsession. My second square is almost finished and the cables are just beautiful!

KT120
07-19-2007, 10:02 AM
I cannot express how beautiful that is. But oh, the work it would take! :passedout:

I will defenitly keep this in mind to make for my home someday. Maybe in like 2 years from now I can make it to give me a chance to grow as a knitter (seeing as I only have about 2 months knitting) and save up for it.

suziehomemaker
07-19-2007, 10:09 AM
I think stirsmommy has the right idea. If you think of each square as it's own little project it's not as intimidating. I purchased all of the yarn for this over a year ago. Now I'm just going to try to knit a square in between other projects. It will get done eventually - but then again I'm a process knitter and not a project knitter. I think if I only worked on this project until it was done I probably wouldn't enjoy it as much as I am now.

feministmama
07-19-2007, 11:13 AM
You can also get the GAAA book from the library for free! That's my favorite sourse for patterns. The way I see it, the library holds all my favorite patterns and whenever I want one I just go and get it! You can also get it here:

http://www.powells.com/biblio/66-9781893762176-1

and on ebay

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=83930&item=250142363268

But the best place is to support your local bookseller

suziehomemaker
07-20-2007, 10:12 AM
Great point feministmama!

BTW-I finished my second square last night and it is by far my favorite. I should have a new picture up on my blog within the hour!

Rubyjane
05-18-2008, 10:38 AM
I think I joined that knit along...would love HELP with square 50 - Susan Rainey's mini sweater. When I do Chbart C, Row 2 (P3tog, inc 2 etc) I end up with 13 sts instead of 15. Any suggestions? Thank you so much.

Rubyjane
05-23-2008, 09:33 AM
I have started on the Susan Rainey square...mini sweater front is almost done; and have started the Carol Adams square..don't like to be bored, so with these two I now have about 5 projects on-needle...LOL. Rainey square really is quite easy, I think, so far. My plan is to do the Rainey square, 9 others twice, plus 1 for 20 squares. I figure once I do a square, the second time will be EASY and fun. Thanks to all who answered my questions.

Ronda
05-23-2008, 09:40 AM
I have this pattern book (is that what you would call it?) but I'm in no way ready to even try it! When I am ready, I hope there is a group like this still going! I also would like to do the GAA. Maybe some day...

threesmom
05-23-2008, 11:19 AM
That is just amazing! I can sort of see myself working on it over the next ... maybe 10 years? Maybe not that long ... But how incredible a thing to pass down. I'm going to think about this. Thanks for posting!

suziehomemaker
05-27-2008, 01:56 PM
By the way, we have a group now on Ravelry for GAAA knitters. Here's the link: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/gaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

The discussion board is very lively!

suziehomemaker
05-27-2008, 02:03 PM
I have started on the Susan Rainey square...mini sweater front is almost done; and have started the Carol Adams square..don't like to be bored, so with these two I now have about 5 projects on-needle...LOL. Rainey square really is quite easy, I think, so far. My plan is to do the Rainey square, 9 others twice, plus 1 for 20 squares. I figure once I do a square, the second time will be EASY and fun. Thanks to all who answered my questions.

Are you in Ravelry yet? I would suggest posting your question to the group because there are several people there that have made that square. They might be able to help. I haven't attempted that one yet . . .

aprilbetty
05-28-2008, 01:29 PM
This afghan is gorgeous! I ordered the book this morning. I got it for 12.89 + shipping at Amazon. I checked Barnes & Noble, and they only had used copies for $58 - $100! I plan for this to be a long term project -- especially since I will probably knit two of them -- one for each dd.

suziehomemaker
05-28-2008, 01:59 PM
I'm glad you got it at a good price. I was trying to help someone find the pattern a couple weeks ago and Amazon's cheapest was over $40!

aprilbetty
06-01-2008, 10:56 AM
I'm glad you got it at a good price. I was trying to help someone find the pattern a couple weeks ago and Amazon's cheapest was over $40!
I got the book yesterday, and it is amazing! I can see why some people make Excel spreadsheets to keep up with their progress. My book is the 5th printing, and I think that all corrections have been incorporated into the patterns. I am still checking this out, though. Just have to buy the yarn, and then I will get started and join the KAL's.

Debbie
06-01-2008, 09:13 PM
A 72 year old widow in my knitting guild met a 72 year old widower who was teaching a class she was taking at the college here. They fell in love and got married ... we each made a square and gave them the afghan at a knitting themed party/ shower :) One of the ladies put it together and put an amazing border on it.
I made the fish square and LEARNED SO MUCH ! I had never done cables and even though it was one of the harder choices, I LOVED the fish. See my notes and charts and color coded hen scratching!
This pix is before it is completely put together .. I can't seem to find the party pictures right now ... but the theme of the party was "Knit Two Together" :)

Belphoebe
06-01-2008, 09:43 PM
I love that shower theme! I'm sure they will cheris the afghan as they cherish each other. :aww:

suziehomemaker
06-02-2008, 08:28 AM
That is such a great story!

HollyP
06-02-2008, 10:39 AM
If anyone sees the book (or wants to sell it to me) for a good price let me know. I love this afghan but cannot see spending over $40 for the pattern. I saw one yesterday for $125. I mean that is just ridiculous!

Debbie that is such a sweet story!

suziehomemaker
06-02-2008, 10:43 AM
Did you try StitchesMarket.com? Here's the link for the book at $12.95: http://www.stitchesmarket.com/xcart/customer/product.php?productid=6462&cat=214&page=3

aprilbetty
06-02-2008, 10:51 AM
If anyone sees the book (or wants to sell it to me) for a good price let me know. I love this afghan but cannot see spending over $40 for the pattern. I saw one yesterday for $125. I mean that is just ridiculous!

Debbie that is such a sweet story!
I got my copy for $12.95 + postage through Amazon. It came from Decherd Needleworks in Tennessee, in record time. I have since looked up their webpage and it is:
http://www.decherdneedleworks.com/servlet/StoreFront
I'm sure you can order it directly from them. I have decided to use Lion Wool-ease yarn. I bought just 6 balls to start with, and have decided to knit the Barbara McIntire square first.

krismorales
06-02-2008, 12:12 PM
I just ordered the book from the above stitchesmarket link...I think it ended up at about $15.50 with shipping.... that was easy and the least expensive place I have seen. They also have a yarn kit if you want to take a quick way out

kellee0302
06-02-2008, 12:27 PM
They have this pattern in paperback at amazon.com for 12.95 and 11.89 for used plus S&H. Give a look there. I just checked it and that was there today. I got mine here used and the book is like brand new.

Cinnaminn
06-02-2008, 02:18 PM
You should be able to order the book online here for $12.95 + s/h:
http://www.stitchesmarket.com/xcart/customer/product.php?productid=6462&cat=214&page=3
or try The Web·sters in Ashland, OR (http://www.yarnatwebsters.com/book_knit_e-g.html#g)

Or if you want, you can try calling one of these stores in MI to see if they have it in stock/available for purchase - I think most of them have an 800 number to call toll-free:
Threadbear Fibre Arts in Lansing, MI (http://www.threadbearfiberarts.com/)
City Knitting in Grand Rapids, MI (http://www.city-knitting.com/)
Clever Ewe in Ada, MI (http://www.cleverewe.com/)
Rae's Yarn Boutique in Lansing, MI (http://www.raesyarnboutique.com/)

HTH! :knitting:

Squeekie
06-03-2008, 12:28 PM
OK! OK! I can't take it anymore!! I just ordered it!

Seriously, I can't wait for it to get here! I'm going on vacation the week of June 23rd and decided to that I could work on a square or two then. I like the thought of a particular square reminding me of a vacation. Who knows, the way I sometimes knit it could remind me of vacations for years to come, LOL.

HollyP
06-03-2008, 01:29 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the links I honestly couldn't find any that cheaply when I googled. Weird! I just ordered from Stitches Market. :woot:
I can't wait to get started!!

suziehomemaker
06-03-2008, 01:49 PM
It's probably already been mentioned but since there are new people getting started I thought I would share a couple helpful hints again:

1. Photocopy the charts and color code whenever possible. That preparation makes it so much easier & faster to knit. Some people have had their pattern books spiral bound or lamenated. I haven't had the needs yet but it sounds like a good way to keep the book in good shape.
2. Use sitcky notes to keep place of where you are on each chart. The Knit Picks chart keeper is a big help for me too.
3. You'll need a way to keep track of rows on multiple charts. The Knit Picks fancy row counter is awesome since it does 3 at a time.
4. Make sure you have enough yarn if you're going to knit the cabled border. We've heard that it uses a ton of yarn. There are other variations out there for borders that use less yarn just in case.
Feel free to join the KAL or the Ravelry group as well!

Cinnaminn
06-03-2008, 03:36 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the links I honestly couldn't find any that cheaply when I googled. Weird! I just ordered from Stitches Market. :woot:
I can't wait to get started!!

YW! I'm glad it helped.

You might want to take a look at my page here (http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/cinnaminn_s/mycrafts01.html) where I started gathering info about the GAAA book along with the others. I've also been adding helpful hints and suggestions about making the afghan as I find them (and/or think of them). I also have an Excel spreadsheet that I made to use as an index for the GAAA afghan book & you can use it to keep track of your progress of the squares - it may also come in handy if/when shopping for the right size(s) of knitting needles. You can dl the spreadsheet as an .xls file if you have Excel or you can get a pic of the page (.jpg file) to use if you don't have Excel.

HTH! :knitting:

aprilbetty
06-04-2008, 10:20 AM
YW! I'm glad it helped.

I also have an Excel spreadsheet that I made to use as an index for the GAAA afghan book & you can use it to keep track of your progress of the squares - it may also come in handy if/when shopping for the right size(s) of knitting needles. You can dl the spreadsheet as an .xls file if you have Excel or you can get a pic of the page (.jpg file) to use if you don't have Excel.

HTH! :knitting:
I downloaded the spreadsheet, and it has saved me so much time. Thanks so much. My first square is Barbara McIntire's, and it is quite easy -- but looks so complicated. I am using charts for the very first time, and find it so much easier than the written words.

Cinnaminn
06-04-2008, 02:48 PM
I downloaded the spreadsheet, and it has saved me so much time. Thanks so much. My first square is Barbara McIntire's, and it is quite easy -- but looks so complicated. I am using charts for the very first time, and find it so much easier than the written words.

YW! I know I've found it very helpful/useful myself since I made it.

FYI - if you haven't done it yet, you may want to make sure to use lifelines (http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/cinnaminn_s/mycrafts01.html#lifeline) while making the squares. I didn't know what they were until I joined Ravelry and found out about them. I'm using them in my current WIP square (Marian Tabler's Tipsy Cables) and they definitely have saved me some time/frustration when I've had to do some frogging to correct some mistakes I made in different rows.

HTH! :knitting:

Cinnaminn
06-06-2008, 12:27 AM
Just thought I would let everyone know that I re-did some pages at my site and added a special page just for GAAA Helps, Hints, & Links (http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/cinnaminn_s/gaaa1.html) for anyone wanting to take a look at it.

HTH! :knitting:

HollyP
06-06-2008, 09:52 AM
Thanks again Cinnamin! I've just book marked your page. I know I will be referring to it a lot once I get my pattern.

lynn893
07-04-2008, 11:56 PM
I think I'll check out my local library tomorrow, and if not there, I'll check the wool store down the street.

This looks like something I'd really get into!

Thanks for all the info!
:woohoo:

marjs7
01-17-2012, 08:58 PM
I'm on my 11th square (Marian Tabler's) of my GAAA and what a challenge. I'm curious to know the best way to follow (interpret) the patterns. You'd laugh to know how I finally decided the "best" (maybe not) way for me. My introduction to the pattern was that someone had typed out the Rows in a very complicated and for me confusing way. I'm nowhere near an expert knitter, in fact, very green. I'm doing my squares (which have a few mistakes) in varied autumn colors. It'll be pretty when completed in spite of the mistakes, but I'd like to continue mistake free. I think I could do that with some hints and insight as to best "read" the patterns. What I'm doing now: I've cut out copies of the charts and placed them on a magnetic board along with symbols, definitions of cables, etc., and row diagram. Then, of course, to remember WS and RS direction and dark/light squares (P or K) according to direction. Whew! It's a brain teaser, but I'm struggling through. Any suggestions???

sampson001
01-18-2012, 06:21 AM
Do you like Aran knitting & beautiful cables?
Are you up for a challenge?

Let me be an enabler and introduce you to The Great American Aran Afghan (aka GAAA)! The 24 square patterns were originally introduced back in 2000 and 2001 as a contest in Knitter's Magazine. I'm ready to finally get working continuously on this project (thank you stash busters). I had a few people ask me about it so I thought I'd share my info with everyone!

We have a knit-along here (http://aranafghanalong.blogspot.com/) currently with 36 members from all over the world (some have already finished). At the knit-along site there's helpful links for places to buy the pattern, photos of the afghan on the web and links to member blogs for inspiration. If you want to see a completed afghan the first place winner has hers here (http://theraineysisters.com/?page_id=319)

The pattern calls for Plymouth Encore yarn but members have used all sorts of different kinds of yarn in various colors. This will be the most beautiful family heirloom you'll ever make.

Ok - that's my sales pitch. If you would like to join please follow the instructions on the knit-along site or just send me a PM. You don't need a blog to join but it is nice if you have a link to share with pictures (or you can just post your pictures right on the KAL site).

I blame/thank Silver for inspiring me to start this project. She completed hers eons ago and it's just lovely!

What a great idea, I purchased the pattern for this last year and because I live in Australia I couldn't get it posted here to I posted it to my daughters house in Alaska and when the next person from Oz visited her they bought it home for me. I have knitted six squares now, I am having a problem handling the different size blocks, not all 12". I have undone and reknitted one block because it was just so much bigger.

It is a lovely Afgan and am enjoying knitting the squares.

salmonmac
01-18-2012, 06:59 AM
Using the magnetic board with a bar to mark your place in the pattern is a good idea. (I use sticky notes to keep my place in a chart, same concept.) If it would help you can also highlight or use a colored pencil to mark the same type cables etc. Mark them with the same color in the symbols table, too That usually makes charts easier to read at a glance.

Hollyb
01-24-2012, 06:08 AM
Wow that is so beautiful. I am sitting here now with my very first samples of knitting, I would love one day to be able to make something as beautiful andcomplex as that. I have so much to learn but it is so exciting!

lenaznap
01-25-2012, 02:29 AM
This looks amazing. I know I won't be making it this year, but it has landed in my mental queue.

I'm working on an aran "square" I found on ravelry now that may end up in some sort of blanket at some point. I'm mostly making it to practice cables, and I started it with the intent of frogging later, but I'm using needles 1mm larger than the pattern calls for (I thought it would be easier to practice cables with looser stitches) and it is coming out with a much better drape than I imagined and I want to use it for something. It almost certainly will turn into some sort of rectangle instead of a square because the square in the photo in ravelry is actually square but doesn't end symmetrically and I know that will bother me.

This is the first pattern I've done with multiple charts of different row counts, and it takes some getting used to. I ended up making an index card with the row numbers and corresponding chart row for each chart so I don't go nuts.

It sure is fun. I'm sure making the GAAA someday will be moreso and very interesting. Maybe next year.

Have fun guys!