The Bee Garden: An Aran Sweater

One of the hobbies I picked up to occupy my nervous hands, which always have to be doing something, and that would be constructive instead of destructive, is knitting. Right now I have about 20 projects going and have been dragging my feet to finish. The only thing that gets me to finish a project is a deadline. I don’t just mean a deadline like, oh I’d better finish this by the end of the year or by Jan. 15. I mean that I only really ever finish something if (1) it’s a gift and has to be done near the date of the celebration (because I can’t often finish by a person’s birthday or by Christmas, and if I’m way late then I’ll wait till the next year, or the next), or (2) I really want to wear or use something on a particular occasion or season.

My friend Steven, whose knitting blog Bitches Get Stitches I follow, always tries to knit a sweater to wear for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck every October. I thought, hey, I’ve been meaning to make myself a sweater for years (the only ones I’ve knitted were two for my dh and one rather ugly thing that I wore last year to Rhinebeck), and so I decided to start an aran sweater (with some red wool I got at a yarn swap and then used to make a horrible sweater dress that was completely impractical).

Hybrid sweater from Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern — custom fitted, because dh just loves his tops TIGHT.

The Dude Sweater

The only sweater a guy would ever ask his significant other to knit: The Dude (a brilliant pattern someone copied from The Big Lebowski)

The dumbest knitted dress ever before it got frogged

We watch quite a few documentaries on netflix, and over the past couple of years we’ve gotten into things about food and farming, like King Corn or Food Inc., or like today’s installment, Vanishing of the Bees. I am certain that when I become a farmer (because today is one of those days that I am sure that I will be), I am going to keep bees. To show my love for both plants and bees, I used plant- and bee-inspired cables for my aran sweater.

The sleeve I started recently, using off-center trellis from Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns

Back of the sleeve, using wave of honey pattern

The front of the sweater body, using trellis with moss stitch

Back of sweater body, with honeycomb pattern

The only thing now is to finish the sleeves and attach them and knit up to the collar. Unfortunately, I did not read the whole Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern all the way through, and she’s telling me to baste and cut and sew, and there is no way I am doing that! I am planning to try to do a seamless finish, like a raglan, but I am not sure how that will work with the cable patterns. The decreasing of the body will inevitably affect the cables, and I don’t know what will happen.

Knitters, any suggestions?


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