Q: Can you name this afghan from Knitters Magazine?
A: The Great American Aran Afghan
It started out as a contest in the summer of 1999. Sister Sally kept telling me that my idea would win, and even though I didn’t believe her, I entered the contest anyway. The first squares came out in the Winter, 2000 issue, which hit the newsstands in fall of 1999. Because I had not heard anything one way or another, I assumed my square had not been chosen. Au contraire. I had actually won the contest. Sally was right again! I found out that I won when 20 skeins of Encore yarn was delivered to my doorstep in a large Kellogg’s Raisin Bran box — “Knitters” did not contact me until a few weeks later.
I was not going to make the afghan, but everyone in my knitting group (which had just started at the time) told me I had to make it, and that they would all make one, too. Note to self: don’t believe everything you hear at knitting group! I’m still the only one who finished — mine is made out of Cascade 220:
The Mini-Sweater square is mine:
My favorite square to knit was the Janet Martin Fish-in-Net Square:
This is ancient history, so why do I bring it up now? I found a large hole in the thing! Major bummer. And, what caused the hole is still to be determined. There are no visible signs of vermin, but??????
I am going to try to fix it. Wish me luck.
Jump Ahead in Time Several Hours
The hole is gone.
And though it looks like a perfect repair, I did indeed cheat. Miraculous as seems (and if you knew my house and my “organization methodology” you would know that the word miraculous is not used lightly), I found both the leftover yarn I used for the edging AND the instructions I had written out for myself. So, I re-knit the entire bottom eyelet edge. I did not want a crummy-looking repair job on this because it was SO MUCH WORK!!!!!!! Really, one of the biggest projects of my knitting career.
The original pattern edge was created by Rick Mondragon, Knitters Magazine Editor, and took 3.5 skeins of yarn. It is a lovely braided edge that goes around the entire afghan, but I did not want to add that much weight, plus I did not have enough yarn in the right dye lot. As you can see, my edging is a much simpler style. I have placed it under “Free Patterns” if you ever consider making this project. I used all 24 squares in my afghan, whereas in Knitters they held out four squares and made two pillows.
Though a lot of work, you really learn a lot about cables, gauge and intricate grafting. Now can I go out and knit?