Thursday, 5 January 2012

A project .....

Calling all knitters out there - assistance may (will) be required!

I think I need a project to see me through the winter, although this particular project has the potential to run and run. I’ve decided to take up knitting again. I used to knit quite a lot, although it must be said, never terribly well. Anyway, in 1983 I found a pattern in a magazine for an beautiful Aran sweater which Tim persuaded his mother to knit for me. How I loved that sweater, but it has long since been consigned to the Oxfam shop.

Anyway,  when I was sorting through piles of stuff, ready for when we downsize in the UK - no plans, but we are so overrun that it will take YEARS to be in a position to do so - I found the pattern!

My project ideas have caused a variety of responses amongst my friends. Corrie laughed, Sue was encouraging, although rather sceptical, Lisa offered to help, Maureen has knitted Aran before and Sally has done nearly of the stitches. Liz, on the other hand was convinced that I could do it. So convinced that when she left to live in France at the end of last term she bought me a present ...

Everything I’ll need to knit an Aran sweater, including the wool and the knitting bag! I wonder why she’s  included a much easier pattern???

No matter, I’m starting with that one first! Watch this space


  1. Gaynor, if you need any hints, tips, etc.... just ask Pauline... my cardigan "Cuddle" she knitted for me is an Aran pattern... and she's done others.

  2. SweetpeainFrance5 January 2012 at 09:38

    OH YESSSSSS.. Go for it! I also have a ball of wool and a pattern to make a crocheted hat for granddaughter... when is the ?
    Knitting and crochet are so meditative and occupying! Wonderful. Thinking of you on the ski run wearing it next winter!

  3. What is it about knitting and us "ex pats"?? I've been looking out my knitting needles too, but my plan is the mole hill to your Everest. You can view the pattern at
    As you can see from the link, rather than doing an Aran sweater, I'm doing a tea-cosy!! Does that say something for my ambitions and expectations, do you think??

    The word verification is Prean... that's what I'll be doing if I ever finish the tea-cosy!

  4. You're on your own for this one! I can't knit, do needlepoint or crochet and only sew when there is absolutely NO alternative!! Sewing maching inherited from my mum is in the barn [and has been there since we moved here]

  5. Knitting is wonderfully therapeutic, especially if accompanied by radio 4!
    I admire you doing an Arun jumper. I wouldn't.I'll do anything at all to a simple pattern; redesign it,add stripes amalgamate two patterns but it's all straightforward knitting.

  6. Knitting is getting quite fashinable in the UK and you can get some really fancy wools. Aran patterns grow very easily - thick wool and a nice repeating pattern. That first one is lovely but looks more scandinavian than Aran to me. I made one of those in the 80s. You'll have to work the front from a template row by row - I'd love a go at that! Let me know if you get stuck. Pauline

  7. Tim and Pauline,
    Thanks for the offers of help. I'll probably bring my knitting when we visit in February and come for a master class!

  8. Pauline,
    I'll photocopy the pattern of the wheatsheaf sweater, which is already a photocopy and will gladly send you a copy. Then you can practise (or is it practice?)or make one for yourself!

  9. Hi Elizabeth,

    I've checked out the link and it's a very fine tea cosy indeed. I think I'd like to make one!

  10. Antoinette,

    My sewing is poor, in fact Tim is very, very much better so I leave it to him. Q.E.D.!!

  11. Mandy,

    There's a lot of skill in what you can do so I expect you could follow a more complicated pattern.

    Only time(and this blog) will tell whether I can ...

  12. Sweetpea,

    Thanks for the encouragement. Good luck with the crochet!

  13. I am useless at knitting and I don't even enjoy it. Ask me to crochet a dress or anything in crochet and I will take it on. Thanks so much for the lovely email card. Have fun and good luck. Diane

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Speaking as the owner of the world's largest collection of half-knitted jumpers all I can say of luck !!

    Actually my best ever knitting project was an Aran jumper - it's easier to do than it looks and knits up very quickly, so I'm sure you will be fine with this one.

  16. The last thing that I tried to knit is still partly finished in my knitting, bag but you have given me itchy fingers!

    Good luck with the sweater.

  17. Diane,

    I'll know where to come if this knitting project is a failure and i decide to take up crochet!

  18. Hi jean,


    I only hope I can live up to your optimism!!

  19. Cheshire wife,

    Thank you. Let me know how your itchy fingers get on!

    You'll have a bit more time now that you've retired ....

  20. I would love to knit or crochet, but I think it requires steadier hands and more patience than I have. Wishing you the best of luck! -Lola from Et tu, Tofu.

  21. Hi Lola,

    Good to 'meet' you.
    I think I may need steadier hands when it comes to the more complicated yolk and neck area!

    There are really simple patterns that you could start with.

  22. Hi Gaynor

    I have looked for the pattern for this sweater for ages. I used to have a magazine with this pattern - from '84 I think. At that time, my knitting level was quite low. I would really like to make this sweater and finally found the pattern in French, but I'm Danish and I find it a bit hard to follow. I have gotten used to following English knitting patterns, so that is what I'm currently looking for. Would you like to swap with the French equivalent?

    Elisabeth (keeping her fingers crossed)

  23. Hi Gaynor

    Do you mean to say that you actually have the Aran Wheatsheaf Sweater pattern? I used to have it in '84. My knitting skills were not good enough at the time. Now they are, and I can't find the pattern any more. Found it in French though, but find it a bit difficult. (I prefer Danish, but can manage in English.)