I’m reading Alice Starmore’s Aran Knitting at the moment. If you are keen on cables, I highly recommend this book.
A lovely Raveler from France who got in contact with me a while ago mentioned this book when we were exchanging ideas on what she could knit with possum yarn. I’ve had it in mind ever since, and have finally laid my sticky fingers on a copy. I’m so glad I did! Thank you Dominique!
Aran Knitting examines the history of Aran and Aran knitting and helps to dispel many of the myths surrounding it. I’m thoroughly enjoying reading it.
Alice Starmore is a genius with cables. There’s a very enticing pattern in it… Eala Bhan.
This pattern makes my heart go bumpity bump extra fast. It’s so pretty!!! I simply have to knit it! Even if the prospect of knitting an entire cabled sweater in 3mm needles is rather daunting.
Of course, the question now is: What yarn should I use?
I’ve decided that I really need to make a bit more of a dent in the yarn I already have rather than go out and buy more. Surely there must be something in my yarn collection that I could use?
Digging in my yarn collection is always a most enjoyable experience. Sylvia (my daughter) was lying on the bed watching me while I happily pulled various yarns out of their cubby and examined them for potential.
“Mother, what are you doing?”
“I’m looking for a suitable yarn for this project.” (Indicating Eala Bhan lying open on the floor next to me).
“But you’re not finished your other projects yet! You haven’t finished my sock!” she squeaked in a tone of rising panic.
“I know! [feeling guilty]. But I just have to work out what I’m going to use for this project so that I can get started on it as soon as I finish a couple of the projects on the table.”
“How can you do that? It’s like going off in the middle of baking something to look at other recipes to see what else you can make!”
[Uncomfortable wiggle]. “Yes, but this pattern is haunting me! I’ve got to know if I can knit it using yarn from my stash!”
A sigh of utmost disapproval issues from pursed lips and she walked away, muttering things about attention deficit and overly creative minds… hehe.
I continued my hunt.
The yarn mentioned in the pattern is Alice Starmore’s own Hebridean 2 ply – a sport weight yarn that knits to a tension of 27 stitches x 40 rows on 3mm needles.
While it’s quite easy to get a yarn to knit to 27 stitches on 3mm needles, it’s less easy to find a yarn that will squeeze 40 rows into 10cm. So far, I’ve swatched four separate yarns and none of them match the tension exactly.
However, the yarn that I really, really, want to use is Zealana’s Kiwi in fingering weight.
Its tension is 27 stitches x 35 rows on 3mm needles, incidentally the closest match I’ve got so far. It’s got that swing and drape that I want in this project to counter the extensive cabling. Plus it will be lovely and soft which means I could wear Eala Bhan against the skin.
I’m wondering if I could just fudge the length. I think I might just have to do a larger swatch and see what happens… the need to knit this is killing me.