Great American Aran Afghan Squares

The Great American Aran Afghan pattern book

Why Did I Make This?

I had lots of time on my hands because I had just moved to a new city.  I was in the city doing some moving related admin, probably going to sign up for Medicare.  I had some time on my hands so I was wandering about the shops.  I thought “I’m close to Morris and Sons, why don’t I look for something to knit.”  I was idly looking at the shelf of pattern magazines and saw The Great American Afghan pattern book.  I always like the idea of knitting squares which remind me of the granny squares I made when I learnt to knit.  I also thought about how beautifully my grey aran blanket had turned out.

What Planning Did I Do?

I didn’t do any planning I went to the shop on impulse and ended up coming away with a new project.

What Did I Buy?

  • The Great American Afghan booklet
  • 18 balls of Morris and Sons Norway 10 ply in cream.  The book says 1 ball per square for 20 squares but I thought there would likely be some left over from each square (which there was for the 5 squares I knitted).
  • Knit Pro 4.5 mm needles.  My store of needles was still in the container on the way from New Zealand
  • 4.5 mm cable needles

 

How Did It turn Out?

I started with Hanna Burns DNA square.  I had a couple of false starts trying to work the DNA strand.  On the 3rd go I got that right, I still had some trouble with the central cable but I didn’t feel like starting again.  I really liked the mirror symmetry of the DNA band.

Hanna Burns DNA Aran afghan square

Hanna Burns DNA square 

I then went on to make an easy square by Meredith Morioko.  It was easy enough that I only had one go. It turned out OK but quite a lot bigger than the DNA square.  I wasn’t too worried about it because the pattern book said that this would happen.

Due to the nature of the various patterns, all squares may not block to 12″ square.  Although we first thought it would present a challenge when we were sewing the squares together, we found that the process of joining the squares helps to average out any difference in size,

Meredith Morioko Aran afghan square

Meredith Morioko Aran afghan square

The next square I did by Dana Hurt ended up being quite skinny and tall.

Dana Hart Aran afghan square

Dana Hurt Aran afghan square

My next square was the Barbara Mcintire Saxon Braid Cable,  I really enjoyed knitting this cable and it seemed to turn out quite well.  It was again a different size.

Barbara McIntire Saxon braid cable Aran afghan square

Barbara Mcintire Saxon Braid Cable

By now I had knitted most of the straightforward cables in the book.  I either had to do something with a tricky technique or a more pictorial cable.  I started to realise I didn’t like most of the picture squares.  I thought I’ll try the Barbara Selesnick Locket Square.  In the end I didn’t like it too much, the locket pattern looks a bit like a failed heart shape.  Knitted to the size in the book it was much smaller than the other four squares.

Barbara Selesnick locket Aran afghan square

Barbara Selesnick locket Aran afghan square

Why Didn’t I Finish This?

After I finished the locket square I wasn’t sure which square to knit next.  I kind of put the project away and stopped.  When I next felt like knitting I got all the squares out and looked at them again.  They were really different sizes:

Completed afghan squares

These are all supposed to be 12″ squares

I thought “I’m not enjoying this, it doesn’t look good and I have no enthusiasm for trying another square.”  So I started looking on Ravelry for one piece aran blanket patterns that I could use the yarn for.

 

 

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