Archive for the ‘Aran Coat’ Category

Happy 100th Birthday!!!!

There is so much to say about this great lady I could write for hours but I’ll just let her ingenious patterns speak for me. 

(from the top, Aran Coat, Hand to Hand Pullover, New Zealand  Sweater and Saddle Shoulder Sweater)

(February Baby Sweater, Baby Surprise Jacket)

(Baby Surprise Snowsuit)

Thank you for your inspiration, your guidance, and your fearlessness in the face of cables, lace and life itself.

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Stick a fork in it, she’s done.  Right before I left for camp I’d been on an emotional roller coaster ride with this thing.  Loving it, then feeling like I totally screwed it up, then loving it again.  But after “show and tell” at camp, it’s definitely love.

I can’t tell you how excited and nervous I was when it was my turn.  One of my fellow campers Therese took the following three pictures.  You can see her entire camp album here.  I’m so grateful to have this pictures.   A 1,000 thank yous Therese.   You may think I’m a silly groupie but when you’re guru is offering counsel and praise…who wouldn’t be. 

One major issue with the coat is the hood. I love hoods but most of my attempts don’t quite work (yet this doesn’t stop me from attempting).  This one is no exception.  In a word, it’s too big.   I thought about tucking it in and tacking it down which I did so you would get a better “effect” of what the hood was intended to look like.  Meg said I should steek it and weave the ends together.  Cricket will do as she is told.


Can you stand it? That’s Meg Swansen examining my coat…holy crap.

How am I still standing?

It a big person who can post such an unflattering/raw picture of herself.  But it so perfectly captures how I was feeling…excited, nervous, honored, proud, humbled and just a bit freaked out.

Love the front.   I thought the sleeves were too long but actually I like them that length.  I always like my sleeves long.

When it’s laying flat against my back and the two cable “lines”  line up.  It takes my breath away…

This was one of my favorite parts to knit the epaulet/shoulder saddle.  I highly recommend learning to knit back backwards, it saved me so much time and energy.  Turning it at the end of each row of 6 stitches would have been ridiculous.

Here’s another feature I love.  The all purpose “duct tape of knitting” (to quote Meg), the Icord “shoulder holder”.  It was amazing how much of a difference this feature made.  It not only rounded out the shoulders but it strengthened the entire coat.  Like putting in a support beam in a house.  It ran from one shoulder to the other on the inside of the coat so the sleeves wouldn’t drag from the weight.

Almost forget a closeup of the buttons/band.  This picture was taken post-camp, thanks for modeling Carolyn (and for taking the coat off and giving it back).


Definitely love…..

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Great Weekend

Hope everyone had a happy, relaxing and safe 4th of July weekend. I wanted to get a post up for the 4th but it just didn’t happen. I actually spent that evening downtown at 60th Street and York Ave watching fireworks with some very generous members of the NYPD, YFD and some of the wonderful families residing at Ronald McDonald House. It was a very special evening.

Things at casa de ETG were peaceful, snuggly and productive. DH had Saturday AND Sunday off. It was heaven. We saw Wall-E. What a sweet, funny, perfect movie. I can’t wait to see it again. Pixar did it again.

I did some baking. There were two (half dead, as my mum would say) bananas in my fruit basket just begging to be bread. Chocolate Chip and Walnut…I got the recipe from an old “tea bread” book I’ve had forever.

The DH has recently developed allergies that’s why only one with nuts.

And what do we have here…..I think that’s an Aran Coat….I’m about 2 inches from finishing the hood and we’re off the land of steeks. I”ll be heading down to my parents place where Mum has a Singer with my name on it. I’ve thought about doing crocheted steeks but I want this puppy secure when the scissors get to it.

And yes, I know the sleeves look a bit long…and they are…I managed to try the coat on and they reach just a tiny bit past my finger tips. Not too big of a deal. But now I am happy I didn’t put in the snow cuff because I may end up turning a hem. It actually looked really good when I played with it.

I’ve been watching the Knitting Around (dvd) and I can’t imagine knitting this coat without having that reference. It was all that was in my dvd player all weekend. Working that epaulet/shoulder saddle by knitting back backwards…that would have so sucked without being able to see Meg do it.

So I’m watching and knitting as she’s steeking the hood when my eye catches something. All this time I thought the cable running up the back of the hood had been changed at the neck. So that’s what I did but then I saw that it hadn’t changed. I don’t know what made me see it this time and not the other 20 times I’d reviewed that section. So what do I do after I said shit…alot…I went for a swim in the frog pond.

A few of the cables are a bit loose on the edges but overall, a good job. That took about an hour, with a 15 minute break to fix my ipod which suddenly decided to freeze. I had a double freak out moment. Not my sweater and the ipod at the same time….

Anyway, disaster averted. I continue…and can’t wait to pull out the shears….

Actually I would rather have skin grafted to my gums (which I had done last year) then put scissors to this…but I can do it right, I can do it……I feel a bit faint… must lie down. I have done it before but never on something that meant this much.

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I’m Here…

…just knitting, knitting, knitting…I’ll have some pictures in another day or so.  All the pieces of the coat are joined and I’m almost to the saddle shoulder shaping.  I’m so in love with this project, it’s like having a friend to hang out with.  Is that nuts?  Usually at this point in a project I’m sick of it…Not this time.  My only complaint, if I had to say I have one, was pushing around 240 stitches and wrestling with this thing.  There’s no question…she’s heavy.  It got better after all the sleeve decreases were done but…

My finger is getting just a litte bit sore over here.

I’ve also been glued to my Ipod.  Per the suggestion of Jessica and Erin I’m hooked on On Chesil Beach.  Audiobooks and knitting, a perfect combination….


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…stands for “working on my Aran Coat in the Air Conditioning”.  It’s too bloody hot to go out and camp is rapidly approaching.

Just one more repeat of the sheepfold and the body will be done.

You wouldn’t think it would be so hard but it took about 3 attempts for me to be satisfied with incorporating the increases into the sleeve patterns.  There were many trips to the frog pond on this one.

But look at that, I love how it looks.  The center cable was not in the original design but in the spirit of Elizabeth I’m making it my own.

The only problem is, the way it feels today makes me wonder if and when it will ever be cold enough to wear it.   This girl is getting heavy…

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Do you remember the scene in the movie Contact when Jodi Foster is strapped into the seat of the “transport” and “Houston” tells her to check her camera?  Then once her “ride” through space starts she is steadfast and diligent about maintaining contact via her camera and voice recorder so she can document everything that happens.  Now did you notice, even during the moments when she is being tossed this way and that and she’s trying to hold on for dear life, she never stops talking and recording…

Well let me tell ya…getting this sleeve and snow cuff to work has had me holding on…to my needles (all four sets), my yarn (2 balls, 1 single strand, the other double), my camera (so I can doc-u-ment everything) and all my stitches.

So let’s begin….

I started with 42 stitches on the sleeve, working the pattern accordingly and increasing to 44.  On the snow cuff I started with 36 stitches and worked a k2p2 rib for about 10 rows, then changed to stockinette, also increasing on the cuff to 44 stitches.   Once I had the same number of stitches on each I started to join.  The interesting thing was figuring the rate of increase so every thing would line up and a bit of the cuff would show.  This is all done for you in the original pattern but again with my coat there is the different gauge/yarn factor.  Which is of course the reason we knit EZ patterns…part of the fun is figuring this all out…



Doesn’t that look like a nice, simple, zen inducing piece of knitting.  Are you counting all those needles? 

If you take a close look at the picture below…you’ll notice what Meg called a snow cuff on the lighter of the two coats.  This wonderful little feature is optional of course but I thought is was so key to the entire coat I couldn’t leave it out.


So as I said above, I knit the snow cuff and the coat sleeve separately and here I’ve started to join them.


I’ve got the size 11 needles in the front, the size 10 needles in the back and I’m knitting the cuff and sleeve stitches together onto the 11s.


Knitting the knit stitches together was easy, just like a 3 needle bind off.


Then I had to purl, so I moved the single strand knit stitch (of the cuff) on to the larger needle, then purled them together.  It was much cleaner then trying to purl off the back and front needles are the same time.


Here’s the really fun part…working the sheepfold cable in pattern while knitting the two sets of stitches together.

Again, I moved the stitches to the front needles and cabled accordingly.  Elizabeth demos the basic cable and Meg demos the joining/cabling on the DVD.  I really can’t imagine knitting this coat without it.  Of course I understand the book but seeing it done is so helpful and time saving.


And here we have separation….HOUSTON WE HAVE ” ? ” SEPARATION…(I can’t remember exactly what they say and have I not seen a 100 movies where this phrase is used, AGH!!)



 There’s the snow cuff, in place and with no pulling, twisting or tugging..

Isn’t that a thing of beauty?  I can’t tell you how excited I am right now.  I just had to stop and post this immediately not only to share but because it’s a bit late and I desperately wanted to remember what the hell I just did.


When I said I had the sleeves on needles I did but I’ve ripped them out about 3 times since then…It was worth it.  When it works it’s such a great feeling….

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