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Old 03-25-2008, 09:45 PM   #1
Valkyrie
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The Great American Aran Afghan
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
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:49 PM   #2
Rubyjane
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Please tell me what the Great American Aran Afghan is...I'd love to look at it and then maybe help you out.
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:04 PM   #3
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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/...productid=6462

Thanks again.
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:06 PM   #4
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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!
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:13 AM   #5
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I can't help being a newbie knitter as well. But I applaud you for wanting to take this on. I'm sure once you start to figure it out, you will get it. We all have to start somewhere, right?
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:22 AM   #6
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I've made it! 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.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:22 AM   #7
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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
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:36 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:07 AM   #9
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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...

Val, I think it's great that you jumped into this project and I can't wait to see your afghan!!
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:50 PM   #10
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Thank you so much.

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

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.
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