Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Question about the Dagmara Berztiss square

Hi all,
My name is Andrea and I live in Argentina. I've been lurking for a while, but now I would appreciate your help with a question about the Dagmara Berztiss square.
One of the instructions for the square is to "decrease 4" ("DEC 4): With yarn in front, sl 3, *pass 2nd st on RH needle over first (center) st, sl center st back to LH needle and pass 2nd st over it*, sl center st back to RH needle; rep from * to * once more, p center st. My first question is, do you think I should slip those first 3 stitches knitwise or purlwise? Also, to any of you who have knit this square, do you get a hole as a result of the decrease? I made a few tries and got a hole, but I don't see one in the pictures, so I assume I'm doing something wrong, and I may have more questions later!
Thanks for any help,

Monday, August 28, 2006

New addition to blog

Hi everybody,

I'm new to this blog (actually new to any blog). I ordered the pattern to the "Great American Aran Afghan" last week, after discovering it in an old copy of "Knitter's Magazine". Reading all the entries here has been very entertaining and has made me wanting to start the project as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there is one small hitch: I need to finish my current project first (see picture), which is a Aran sweater for a friend who is 6 foot 5! I'm working on the front of the body right now and can't wait to start with the shoulder straps, as I have never used this technique before. The pattern is from knitpicks (link to pattern).
I have been knitting since I was 6 years old and I'm always on the lookout for new challenges. This aran afghan seems to be quite up my alley, since every square is different, which should keep my interest. Thank you all for your tips and tricks, joining this at a later stage definitely has it's advantages.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I finally finished my afghan last weekend, but have been too busy to post about it until now. I must say, it feels like the end of a marathon! That's thirty squares and twenty-two feet of border there. For those wondering about its size, it's a (very late) wedding present for my sister and brother-in-law, and I wanted them to be able to snuggle under it together.

It actually took less yarn than I thought; only 23 balls of the Encore (I had bought 25, and have been terrified for the last year that that wasn't enough). More details about the finished afghan here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

question about cast ons, bind offs and seaming and bugs on square one

Hello everyone. I am new and have a couple of questions if anyone would care to comment.
First, on the backside (WS) of the afghan, would it look bad if all the seams are not done the same way? To whit: I plan to use a provisional cast on for the bottom edge of "normal" squares that aren't somehow stitched or otherwise constructed (ones that are knitted normally from bottom up rather than put together or with borders). The top edge, normally a bindoff will be left "live" to seam with bottom edge of another swatch via 3 needle bindoff method. Side to side seams will be done with normal mattress stitch. These 2 seams will appear quite different on the back. I would prefer the back to appear as pristine as possible.

Apropos of the first published square in Knitters, "Kisses and Hugs, Spiders and Bugs": I see a bug on the spiderweb. I don't know if it is the "big" bug or not as I cannot see any other bug on the swatch. I plan to by the pattern in book form instead of using the magazine but don't have it yet. Perhaps in the book it is more clearly pictured? Is the other bug up on the leaf at top left? Looks like it might be.

Thanks for any help and any other hints on pitfalls or suggestions for working this thing. I am having an utter blast knitting the spider square! I love this thing. I am very comfortable with Aran knitting so this is not a problem. I would just love to hear of any experiences and good advice anyone has to give so as to avoid problems ahead of time!

Thanks very much!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Seaming lessons

I just started sewing all the squares together last weekend (no,they're not all done yet--got 27.5 out of 30 done) and have been learning some lessons in the process.

Lesson 1: Always slip the first stitch of each row when knitting an entire square, and never do when you're knitting a section of a square (like the border on Kathleen T. Carty or the center on Betty Salpekar). OK, I don't actually know if this is a hard-and-fast rule, but the squares where I conscientiously slipped the first stitch seam up beautifully, with the ridges appearing unbroken across the two squares. And when I attempted to do the same thing on the sections they came out like crap. Might just be me though. =)

Lesson 2: When the ridges on both squares run perpendicular to the seam, use a "ladder stitch" on the FRONT side of the work (see "Assembly" diagram on the last page of Knitter's School in the back of the book for a picture of what I'm calling "ladder stitch"). When the ridges on both squares run parallel to the seam, use an overcast stitch through the FULL THICKNESS of the squares. My first bunch of parallel seams look terrible because I was trying to only seam on the front side. And, finally, when one block runs parallel and the other is perpendicular--err, make it up. I tended to use overcast on those too, and it looks fine, but some experiments with half-and-half suggest that might be the way to go.

Hopefully this'll save some of you a little bit of stress with the seaming.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sumner Square

I've been working on the square designed by Judy Sumner, and it appears to be far smaller than the other squares I've made. I know my gauge hasn't changed, and it actually isn't that far off on width, but it seems as though it will be much too short. Has anyone else made this square and experienced something similar? I suppose I could add extra rows in between the spider on the bottom right and the web on the top right.

getting started

poking thru the knitter's 2000 fall issue i stumbled upon the 1st 4 blocks of this afghan. i am in awe. gorgeous! have ordered the pattern and am waiting for it anxiously! question? yarn to use.... considering lion brand's fisherman's wool. any comments or suggestions??? open to anything. would like to keep the afghan in cream, off white, etc.

browsing thru pics of some of the completed afghans. such talent! i hope someday to post a pic of my completed afghan.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Two squares completed

I've finished two GAAA squares in the past couple of weeks; they were great fun to knit. This one was designed by Ginger Smith and had a very interesting construction: knit up the first column, pick up stitches along the side, knit up the second column while decreasing away the picked up stitches, and so on. I like the way it turned out.

This square was designed by Marian Tabler; it's called "Tipsy Cables." I really like the shape of the cables; it's very unique.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Denim Afghan pictures

Finished denim afghan

At long last, I finished the afghan! Fedexed it to my granddaughter who loves it. Learned SO much while doing it. Although I considered myself an experienced knitter, I was humbled numerous times while doing the project‚ …and loved every minute of it.
One thing I did wrong, perhaps no one will know but me. I substituted 3 of the pillow squares for those in the original afghan. After I was done I laid all the squares out using my judgment so the bobbles, "pictures", mitered and vertical squares, etc., were evenly distributed. Then I decided to try it using the original order. That's the way I ended up assembling it, only to realize when I was all done that I had the two tree squares right next to each other. Should have followed my original (better) judgment.
One final note about yarn snobbery. I said in my initial post that I had misgivings about using Red Heart yarn (yeah, Wal-Mart carries it, so it can't be any good.) Well, after I finished the afghan I ordered more of it to do myself a sweater. So there you are.
Thanks for the Blog‚ …I enjoyed living through it with all of you!
Now on to the next project!

Friday, March 03, 2006

First Finished Square!

I finally finished by Julia H. Levy block the other day. I'm really happy with how it came out. It was my first time blocking anything and it wasn't nearly as daunting as I thought it might be. I'm still amazed at how much blocking does to really finish off your square though. Here is a picture of my square:

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I have a closer detail picture and the saga of making this block (it took four tries) on my blog if you would like to check them out.

I'm loving making this afghan already though. :)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Introduction and a Question

Hi everyone! I've been signed up for this blog for a while now though I (finally) just started my afghan. Had to finish up a few projects and save up for the yarn. Better late than never I guess. :) My name is April and I've been knitting for a little over two years now. I haven't tackled a knitting project of this size before but I wanted a challenge.

My question though has to do with blocking. I've never actually had to block anything before and I'm wondering how much of a differance it makes to the squares. I'm about halfway through the Julie H. Levy square and I'm noticing some of my stitches are a bit larger than others. Also, some areas where the cables join the background are a tad loose. Will I be able to tighten this up when I block? Also can you shape the cables to get the nice points like it has in the picture when you block? I'm not sure if I should just rip it out and start over or if these are just minor things that blocking will fix. Lastly...if I try blocking it and it doesn't fix these things can you frog and re-knit yarn that's been blocked or will it effect the wool to much? I'm using Knitpicks Wool of the Andeas in natural if that helps.

Nice to meet you all and can't wait to see more pictures of your afghans. Also thanks in advance to anyone who can help out with my questions.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Levy, Adams & Smith squares are completed

Since my firtst posting in November '05 I have finished the Julie Levy, Carol Adams & Ginger Smith squares. To date I enjoyed knitting on the Ginger Smith square due to the way the square is created. My next square on my list is the Hanna Burns square. Pictures of completed squares are posted on my online photo album at Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, January 20, 2006


After knitting my way through the Steelers vs Colts game, 5 episodes of Babylon 5, You've got Mail and Australian Open my Great American Aran Afghan was completed very late last night. It has been 13 months, 17 skeins of Cascade, numerous hours and been great fun most of the time. Here is a picture from late last night hence the bad quality, it will be replaced by a better one later.

Here is a better picture of the squares before the border.

I really enjoyed this project and been in a happy mood all day. A group of Danish knitters just started an Afghan along and several are knitting GAAA. FYI some have had problems getting the pattern, it seems to be out of print now.
It will be a while before I use white wool again, unless it is homespun, and I have signed up for a cabling without a cable needle class. Oh yes, I have to sew the squares for a baby afghan together next week ;-)

Monday, January 16, 2006

My Last Square

Finally, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I very early on in the project decided to design my own square. There are several squares in the book that do not appeal to me. Moreover, I wanted something personal as well. Initially, it was just going to be a "normal" square with cables found in various knitting books. Later on I decided somehow to incorporate my name or initials as well as the year in that square, to date and sign my work. However, that would just be too obvious with latin letters. The intricate cables in aran knitting have many similarities to the decorations on jewellery, weapons and stones from the Viking Age. So I chose runes (Futhark alphabet), a tribute to my Danish heritage. I have employed the Faith, Love and Hope charts from the Sever square with my runes.

The upper line reads Ulla and the lower MMVI (2006), a more discret way of signing ones work. I used the pattern charts and translation in Elsebeth Lavolds "Vikingemonster i Stickar" (Viking Patterns for Knitting?). I think there may be an English translation, it is not the book featuring silky wool. Visit the designers viking knit home page for more information. I am going to start knitting the border tonight.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Blocking and finishing?

It is time to give an update, but first a questions:

I am comtemplating crocheting the squares together instead of sewing, would that be possible?

The Salpekar square is one tough one. I really like the square except there is too much finishing and ends to weave in for my taste. It was a challenge.

Campbell, 3rd time is a charm, the first attempt ended with the cast on being 4 inch too short, the 2nd went well except I joined the cast on twisted. You will get a very cool Moebius square, unfortunately unsuitable for an afghan. For picture see my blog on Jan 5th.

Two more squares remain, well they are actually knitted and currently being blocked, but it is too dark to post pictures. Thus, it is time for blocking the other 18 squares and knitting the border... I am using a 2x4 foot cork board (floor tile?) from Target as a blocking board. It allows me to block 4-6 squares at a time.

To Ulla

Great American Aran Afghan Along

Ulla, If you happen to read this, is it the Cascade 220 Superwash wool that you are using for the afghan?? It seems it is machine washable so would wear well.
I am still searching for the pattern book!

Cheers, Jean

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Denim squares

Here at last are some of the squares I've completed in the denim yarn. I'm now in the middle of the Salpekar square, my last if I have counted correctly. I have also finished the cable border (18' long…awesome!) Still haven't conquered my phobia of grafting. But I am saving the 3 pieces that need grafting and if I haven't figured it out by the time I finish everything else I'll trot over to my friendly knitting store and ask for coaching.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bad KnitAlonger!

I haven't posted in ages!! shame on me! I will admit that I put the afghan down for a bit. But I have been working on it for the last couple of weeks. I'm on my 3rd last block now, the Carty block. LOVED knitting that block :)

The last two that I've picked to do are the Smith block and the Rainey block.

I'm thinking I may widen the afghan by a column and do up the last 4 blocks and then design a block of my own. We'll see.

The only block that I've had trouble with so far is the Salpekar block! I've tried to start it once already and failed ... I think I will try that one again. Going to look through the archives and see if any of you posted about this block. If you have any hints for me .... please please please comment *lol*

No pics of my blocks ... I'm cameraless for a couple more weeks :(

Happy Knitting!

Squares 13 to 16

Happy New Year.
I have just returned from 2 weeks visting my parents in Denmark and have had time to knit another 3 squares. Well, the first square is Georgia Vincent and was knitted in November in part during a trip to the Bay Area. It is classified as one of the 5 difficult ones. I did not find it very challenging.

The next square is designed by Ginger Smith and was fun to knit. Each pattern section is knitted separately and attached to the neighbour as you knit. It was nice to get some variation.

The Kathleen T Carty was the most challenging square so far. The design is brilliant and uses short rows to create the corners of the frame. Moreover, the assembling and grafting is tedious, but worth the effort.

Finally, the Barbara McIntire square one of the most beautiful, true aran squares in the book. It is one of my favourites.

I had time to knit a square or two more, but ran out of yarn and did not bring the right needles, doooooh!
A Danish online group has launched an afghan along for this year, quite a few are knitting the GAAA. Thus, 2006 may actually be the year I finish GAAA. I have decided not to buy any yarn before I have finished the afghan. Moreover, a certain, purple mermaid is trying to get my attention.

Next up, maybe the Betty Salpeka square?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I am so glad to find other people who love this Afghan. I have only knitted two squares but I am looking forward to knitting more. I have knitted Carol Adams and Dana Hurt. I believe I want to try Barbara McIntire's square anybody want to take this on with me?