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Return of the Arans

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Having wrapped up ends on the Cascade Skye Cardigan (and a number of other small things), I've been toying with what to work on "next." Every night, I start moaning about not having anything major (a sweater-worthy project) actively on my needles that I can sit down and pick up when I get a free moment - or when I need to destress. I've made numerous trips to the basement, returning each time with various skeins of yarn bought in years past that I'd be interested in working with now. The problem is, I don't have a specific pattern in mind for any of these yarns. So, I've rummaged through a number of pattern books, and looked and re-looked at my stash of winter Rowan magazine issues from years past. There are several things that have caught my eye. Unfortunately, nothing that's caught my eye matches up with the yarn that I'm contemplating.

So, back to square one...

But not really.

In the course of the last month, I've gone through a number of Vera Bradley bags in my closet. They all contain projects in varying stages of completion - or random collections of yarn. One of those bags contains the doomed-to-be-frogged Philosopher's Wool cardigan. I'm not up for the frogging of all that work yet though!

matthew sweaterAnother of the bags contained what I termed my "Family of Arans" when I first started them in 2002 (or at least I think it was then). I hoped to make myself, my partner, and my son coordinating arans of my own design for the holiday season. I did make and finish my son's. It's pictured here at right.

At the time, I also started my own Aran. But, I guess life and work got in the way, and I never got it done. Having rediscovered it this year, I was amazed at how "much" I had actually finished on it. But, alas, it looks huge, and I'm not wearing (or knitting) "huge" anymore. Still, the Aran lying in the bag next to my bed has been tugging at my consciousness for the last few days. So, I got it out today and applied a tape measure. It's big - but not as big as it looks. It'll be roomy - but that's not necessarily bad for an aran.

I also pulled out the notebook with all my notes in it from that project. It took a bit of deciphering, but all in all, the notes are very well done, I must admit. All the sizing info is there, the aran charts are written out in matched up repeats that make them easy to follow, and I even wrote out all directions for the front and sleeves ahead of time (sigh of relief). So, I've got a perfect map for picking up this sweater (even two years later) and seeing it (hopefully) to conclusion. (Of course, I did intend this to be a "family" of arans. And now the family includes yet one more little boy!)

my sweaterMy only dilemma now is whether or not to convert it to a cardigan. I'm almost done with the back (that's what's shown here). When I first designed this, I designed it as a pullover - and I picked cables accordingly. The reality, however, is that I prefer to make and wear cardigans - mostly because it seems they get more use. In this case, I know I'd love it as a cardigan. But I can really "picture" it as a sweater, too. Haven't totally decided yet what I really want this sweater to "be."

The next step... got to dig in the hallway closet and see if the rest of the yarn is still there (which is where I remember putting the rest of that color, as well as the same yarn in Charcoal and a Slate Blue for sweaters for my son back when I first ordered it). If it's not there, I'm off on a virtual search to see if they still "make" this colorway. Seems likely though.

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