geekin' on yarn, parenting, & whatever else comes up.

Aranmor Archive



July 2006



Cycles, Circles, and Aranmor

Written by , Posted in Aranmor, Bloggy Blatherings, Fotoposts, Holidaze, Knitting Knatterings

So I dug through the scary-front-closet-of-Doooooom the other day, so as to unearth the long-neglected beginnings of Aranmor for my husband.

Begun initially for a potential Christmas gift, I had to realize my own limitations and working style, and I said perhaps I’d have it just in time for his mid-August birthday!

It appears that I will have to amend that to Please-Knitting-Goddesses-Let-Me-Finish-This-Damn-Thing-By-Giftmas!?!

Current pictures this evening; Here’s where I was before:


I’d only gone a bit more than halfway through one center motif repeat of the back before setting it aside in frustration before. I’ve now approximately doubled that progress and a bit, having since completed one center motif and halfway through another.

Still, I do love the yarn and the patterning; had to re-teach myself how to cable without a cable needle, and that helps make this sweater nice to knit on rather than a nightmare.



December 2005




Written by , Posted in Aranmor

Because that’s how it feels — there’s so much LESS of this sweater than there should be!

Here’s my progress so far –



Just a couple of left and right shots of the whole progress, there…despite the lack of actual cm’s knit, that’s actually an awful lot of work in there! At least, that’s how I console myself, when I look at Wendy’s blog and see her completing sweaters like this in under two weeks…~facepalm~

Chances of completing this before Christmas:  Practically Nil.

How’s the betting pool? 🙂



November 2005



The Joys of Learning!

Written by , Posted in Aranmor, Knitting Knatterings

Yesterday, my husband and I stayed home all day to clean up and generally try to get some time together.

(Our little girl, alas, came down with ANOTHER fever, though mild, so
we ended up spending lots of time curled up in blankets with her,
instead. I don’t know what the deal is, there, but I’m completely over
it and would love for her pediatrician to give me a different answer
than a shrug and "kids get colds". Now, this is somewhat unfair to the
pediatrician, who DID give us antibiotics during week two of her "cold"
last week, because she’d also developed an ear infection. The supposed
ten days of antibiotics only lasted seven days, however, and now she’s
suddenly got a fever again. Not a happy Mama.

But, as I am wont to do, I digress. 🙂 Thanks for being patient with me as I ramble on. )

Anyway, so when Sophie fell asleep finally, he watched me putter around
and stare at Sophie a lot, whereupon he said, "You look fidgety. Are
you okay? Restless, maybe?"

So I hemmed and hawed and allowed as how perhaps I was feeling a bit
restless, but I didn’t know what, precisely, to do about it.

So what did my Sainted Husband say to me?

"Why don’t you go over to Knit Happens for a bit, hang out and stuff?"

I love that man.

So, I took myself off to the happy place for some knitting therapy, and boy did I ever hit the jackpot! Firstly, I had to return an agonizingly large amount of Noro yarn, because my dad didn’t like either the colorway OR the sweater I’d planned to make him. Argh. Back to the drawing board there, thanks. But once the returning of the yarn was done, I could no longer procrastinate — it was time to pull out my husband’s Christmas-turning-quickly-into-an-August-birthday-present Alice Starmore sweater, Aranmor.

What I *thought* I was going to do was to rip back roughly seven rows, to fix another of those damnned wonky mistake rows. I never showed you pictures of those, but I do have them! So, here we go:

This is what I spent all three hours (!) learning from the Divine Miss Shelley, all for the price of a Gingerbread Latte, at Knit Happens yesterday, and I am going to try, despite the lack of decent photos, to show you what I learned.

Subject at hand: Dropping down stitches to fix mistakes in cables.

(I also learned cabling without a cable needle, which R0xx0rs my $0xx0rs, but which I did not attempt to document in photos, as that’s already well covered with considerably more skill over on Wendy’s blog…this was just the "in-person show-me" I needed to "get it")

Disclaimer: These photos were taken this evening in crappy light, so I made them black and white to try and assist you to see the magic I learned. (also doctored them for contrast & brightness somewhat in Photoshop, again for better visibility)

Here was the wonky bit:
Fixingcableswonky1I don’t know if you can see it instantly, as I could, since you’re not the perfectionist-in-denial that I am, nor are you the one who knitted that monstrosity, but it’s glaring to me — about three rows down, there is a row in which I did something seriously wonky. I have no idea what precisely I did, but three charts in that row had a wonky bit just like that. I think I must have read the twist directions incorrectly or something, but whatever it was, was wonky.

So, here’s how Shelley taught me to fix such things without ripping back all those rows:

First, you drop down the number of rows it takes you to reach the wonky row, plus one if you feel you need the room. In this case, I only dropped down to rip out the section of the row that was wonky — two rows under the working row currently on the needles:

Fixingcables_inprogress_1When you’re ripping down your rows for the section you’re fixing, I found it useful to place a stitch-saver on the left-hand needle. (For me,  I knit English/Throw the yarn, so for me the left needle is my least-active needle, holding stitches to-be-worked by the active right-hand needle. )

I then used my tiniest circular needle — an addi natura bamboo 12" US size 2 — to pick up the stitches now on the working row; this is the row we ripped down to.

The next photo is the wrong side of the work once the stitches have been ripped down for the section you’re repairing, and picked up onto a spare needle.

Fixingcables_inprogress2I can’t think of any particular reason you’d have to use a spare needle if you felt like simply picking the floating stitches up onto your left-hand needle, other than that it would feel a bit odd, being two or more rows off from your initial working row; for me, it made sense to have the extra needle on there for the first row of repair.

Okay, so you’ve ripped down to the wonky row and OUT DAMNNED WONKINESS, OUT! Then you saved the floating stitches that remained for that row. You now have those two rows’ worth of yarn floating across the back of your work, like so:

Fixingcables_wrongsideFixingcables_wrongside2So here’s your wrong side. The actual working yarn, that is to say the yarn that’s still attached to the ball/skein/yarncake, is the upper-most yarn.

The part that was the key "OH! OMG, that totally makes sense!" moment for me was when Shelley pointed out that, when repairing those wonky rows, you use the floating yarn strands as your "working yarn" for that row.

Therefore, you want to select the lower-most strand, or float, to utilize as your working yarn. I hope this following photo makes it more clear –

There are, from bottom to top,  one, two, three strands seen there under my index finger, and you’re looking at the wrong side of the work. Okay, so, to begin, we’re going to grab that third strand, and use that just as though we were in the middle of the row in question, and that strand were our actual working yarn.

Now the part where I had to think: This is now two rows below the row I’d been working before setting out on this adventure. SO, in this case the section I was fixing was on row fifteen, and I’d ripped down two rows. Therefore, I followed the chart for row thirteen in order to re-do this row properly. To wit:

Fixingcables_workingneedleAgain, forgive the crappiness of the photo, but that’s the fixing in actual process.

Basically you work the charts just as you did when you were in those rows, but reverse any symbol actions to reflect the side you’re working on — in other words, for me, I ripped back on the right side of the work, so for row fourteen, which would have been a wrong-side row, I had to knit purls, knit through the back loop instead of purling through the back loop, etc.

When all was said and done, GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY! It’s FIXED!!

Fixingcables_fixedOh, and the cable that Shelley was teaching me on? I haven’t got a picture of it in its wonky state, but I have got a photo of it after we completed the fix. Those loose stitches will tighten up over the next couple of rows of knitting, and with a bit of help after the front is finished if necessary.

All I can say is, Shelley, you are a Goddess amongst women. (and Marley is incredibly cute, too!)