theraineysisters knitting and so much more

February 4, 2007

Great American Aran Afghan

Filed under: — lv2knit @ 9:37 pm

From Susan

Here is my finished Great American Aran Afghan.  I used Cascade 220 instead of Encore.  Cascade 220 is 100% wool, but extremely soft.  They don’t call it merino, but it sure feels like it.  I found that the quality of my knitting was much better using the wool yarn — and I prefer wool to other fibers — especially those that are man-made.

I knitted every square as each Knitters Issue came out.  I also blocked each square individually as I finished it.  It made them look so much nicer — I hated to look at them all “blobby” before blocking.

My sweater square came out in the last issue, with the construction details and border (designed by Rick Mondragon).  I had the pattern for the final square obviously, so I finished the afghan except for the border before the last issue appeared.  I did not have enough yarn to do the pattern as Rick designed it, so I opted for a simple eyelet border (pattern link after the individual squares).  Sewing them together was of course part of the challenge!


Here are pictures of the individual squares listed by the designer’s name:

Ada Fenick Square — this square is so beautiful.

Ann McCauley Square — my aversion to bobbles did not prevent me from knitting this square “as is.”

Ann Strong Square — the seed stitch is very pretty here.

Barbara Selesnick Square — this square is another with lots of sentimental meaning.  I really had trouble hitting the gauge here and had to add an entire pattern repeat.

Betty Salpekar Square— the most difficult square.  Betty, what were you thinking?  Betty uses some techniques that should be banned!

Carol Adams Square — this simple looking square is very cool because it is reversible!

Dagmara Berztiss Square — this one was fun, but my gauge was again the culprit and caused me to do extra mental work with adjustments.

Dana Hurt Square — nothing notable to mention here except that the center cable of this square is identical to that of the Barbara McIntire Square (which came out later), so I knitted this one and made a substitution for the McIntire Square (sorry, Barbara).

Georgia Vincent Square — people who know me know I have a thing about large bobbles — I do not like them on my knitting.  I removed the bobbles here and on the Jay Campbell Square.

Ginette Belanger Square — this is a lovely square, but whenever I look at it I think of the Movie “Aliens.”  I’m sorry Ginette!

Ginger Smith Square — Ginger designed this to be knit in strips, joining each strip to the next as you go.  An interesting technique, but I opted to do it all in one piece.

Hanna Burns Square — I had to add a lot of knitting to this square!

Janet Martin Square — by far, my favorite square to knit!  I loved the fish.  The only thing I changed was the direction of the cable twist — real rope twists the opposite way.

Jay Campbell Square — bobble aversion alive and well with this square.

Judy Sumner Square — this square was fun to do.  The trouble I had was doing the “web.” For some reason I had to rip it out a couple of times.  The bugs were fun, but I was a little grossed out by them.  They blend into the whole afghan so they aren’t as gross.

Julie Levy Square — this was the first square I completed.  I knitted it first in Encore (the company gave me 20 skeins as part of my “winnings”), but it didn’t look that great.  Someone in my knitting group said, “Why don’t you knit it out of something else?”  Yeah, why don’t I?  So I re-knit this square in Cascade 220.

Kathleen Carty Square — this square was the first of the really difficult ones.  Its construction is unusual and you need to do some intricate grafting.

Marian Tabler Square — the original instructions for this had an error, but I did not notice: I just followed the pattern in the knitting, not the written page and so mine worked out.  I assume they corrected the instructions in the book.

Meredith Morioka Square — I misread the instructions and used too large a needle size.  My square was HUGE!  All my other squares are a bit smaller (11″ instead of 12″).  This square was 13″ so I never thought it would fit right in the afghan.  I did not feel like re-knitting it, so I left it as is.  It worked okay.

Patt Tanton Hewitt Square — this square was difficult, too: you need three dpns in some places and it is very bulky.  It is very attractive.

Susan Rainey St. Brigid Square (substitution) — this is the square I substituted for the Barbara McIntire Square.  My inspiration is an A St*rm*re design and elements of Barbara’s square.

Susan Rainey Winning Sweater Square — my sister told me I could win if I entered my aran sweater idea.  She was right!  I started out with a different approach, but was led to this.  I won 20 skeins of Encore, a year of Knitters, 5 books (I gave Sally two of them), and $500.  It felt like I won an Oscar!

Suzanne Atkinson Square — the squares that are representational were the most fun to knit!

Vicki Sever Square — The Breast Cancer Square.  This square took second place and I felt bad that my square had so little sentiment.  This square represents the hope and faith of the cancer survivor, and the love of family and friends.  I had to add both sts and rows to get to the correct size.

This link will take you to the posts for this project.  All of the posts were written post hoc, as I was not blogging back then.  It describes the surgery I needed to do to fix a hole :(.

The next link will take you to the directions I wrote up for the eyelet edging I used on the afghan:

Great American Afghan Eyelet Edging Pattern


  1. Wow. Amazing. I love the idea of an afghan with lots of different squares. Do you use it? Beautiful work and I love the cream color too.

    Comment by Lisa — February 8, 2007 @ 11:15 am

  2. Too funny…I bought that book last year cuz I loved the sweater square.

    Comment by wendy — February 10, 2007 @ 1:28 am

  3. I really have to dig that pattern book out! I too fell in love with the sweater but the project got put aside for other things. How much of the Cascade 220 did you use? Would you have been tempted to use the Superwash Cascade 220?? I love your border, prefer it actually.

    Comment by niteowl — April 2, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

  4. I want to know if you have instructions for the framed ladder pattern. I am making an afghan and it calls for this pattern Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thank You Ruth Wright(

    Comment by Ruth Wright — April 13, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

  5. Thanks for posting your GAAA experience and photos! It’s such an encouragement to those like myself that have just begun the project. If you have a moment, would you answer a question for me? I’m wondering if you used a provisional cast-on, and if you would recommend it for this project. Thanks! (

    Comment by Nicole Irizarry — April 19, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

  6. Hunt Valley Cashmere in Baltimore has a GAAA square of the month club. Can you imagine – an entire afghan in cashmere? I’m actually considering it….

    Comment by Mary — May 12, 2007 @ 2:31 pm

  7. Your afghan is stunning!!!! I love your choice of yarn, and how well you put all of the squares together. I hope that you enjoyed knitting my square as much as I enjoyed creating it.

    Happy Knitting,

    Barbara Selesnick
    Keep It Simple Designs

    Comment by Barbara Selesnick — May 12, 2007 @ 11:08 pm

  8. Apart from my cat I don’t know when I’ve seen anything more beautiful!

    Comment by Sue — June 4, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

  9. What a beautuful piece of work you have created. I have been looking for the past week instructions for framed ladder stitch that appears to have been omitted in a fisherman aran rug that I hope to make as a wedding gift
    and by chance came across your lovely rug. It was worth all the searching just to see such a fine work of art!
    If you could possibly help me with my framed ladder stitch off the knitting on the net site for fisherman aran I would be most grateful.

    Comment by Chess — June 8, 2007 @ 1:32 am

  10. Came across your website when I was looking to see if anyone has done the Georgia Vincent square without the bobbles (I do not like them either). Your afghan is absolutely beautiful! Our knitting shop is doing a square a month from the book and am looking forward to doing your square. I do like how you did the Georgia square, but have a question. Did you just end with the 8 stitches and run the tail through them? I also opted not to use the Encore, but am using Berroco Pure Merino (100% extra fine merino) in a lovely shade of green. It cost me more, but love the feel of it and it makes the cables and designs really pop. I also like your edging and may use it. Congrats on winning, look forward to other designs by you.

    Audi, PA

    Comment by Audi — June 17, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

  11. Your afghan is absolutely exquisite!! I’m sure you’re very proud of it, as well you should be! And the block you designed is one of my favorites! TOO CUTE!

    Comment by Alana - Knit Wit — August 9, 2007 @ 10:28 am

  12. That is the most beautiful afghan I’ve ever seen. What an accomplishment! Congratulations!

    Comment by Cassie — August 9, 2007 @ 11:00 am

  13. That is amazing! What an accomplishment – you should be very proud!

    Comment by elizabeth — August 10, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

  14. That is beautiful. What an heirloom. I can’t think of anything to say that hasn’t been said – just wanted to echo the well deserved praise!!

    Comment by Soo — September 2, 2007 @ 11:24 am

  15. I just finished the Ann Strong square. I noticed that your picture and my square differed in the center stitches. The pattern called for “C” in the middle (which could get confusing), but you repeated “B”. After looking at the results, I think I prefer yours to the original.

    Great work!!

    Comment by Mary Ann — September 10, 2007 @ 1:15 pm

  16. Very nice! I hesitate to make items this large because I have no idea how I’d launder it. How do you plan to wash it?

    Comment by kellistarr — September 16, 2007 @ 4:44 am

  17. Beautiful, do not know when I will finish mine, just did my first two this week end.
    Happy knitting!

    Comment by Hanne — October 2, 2007 @ 12:27 am

  18. What in the world is a berztiss square??? and How do you people pronounce it.. Cuz people always get my lastname wrong

    Comment by Jen Berztiss — October 14, 2007 @ 4:14 am

  19. I have just found out about Aran Afghans, and really want to knit one for my expected grandchild. Please please, where does on go to find the instructions for these absolutely beautiful squares?
    Any suggestions gratefully received

    Comment by Beth — October 14, 2007 @ 4:42 am

  20. Your Afgan is beautiful. I started mine 5 years ago, but had to put it aside for a while. I picked it up again and started on the Dana Hurt square. I can’t seem to be able to do the two side lacy patterns. I have no idea what I am doing wrong.

    Comment by Joyce Becker — October 16, 2007 @ 10:30 am

  21. This is super lovely!  What a super thing! We at Cascade tip our hat to you! Please contact me!!! Cheers,Helen

    Comment by helen n — December 5, 2007 @ 2:49 pm

  22. I have recently started this afghan and am supervising a support group for it at my LYS. Your remarks on each square are so helpful! Thanks! I am using Cascade 220 Superwash and am so glad I opted for wool since the squares I have completed so far are blocking beautifully.

    Comment by Lana — February 12, 2008 @ 6:18 pm

  23. You are such accomplished knitters! Congratulations on completing the GAAA. I have already finished 16 squares, but at the moment, I am struggling with the one by Suzanne Atkinson. Did you find the pattern to be correct?

    I am also wondering if you blocked all your squares before you assembled them. I know a woman who didn’t and hers seemed to be just fine.

    Comment by Madeleine Carteron — February 15, 2008 @ 2:02 am

  24. Hello! I love your beautiful afghan. Thanks for putting it for everyone to see. I am new to this blogging thing and I have found your site accidently and never even realized that there were such places around. So, I am excited about many things. I also have begun this afghan this month and have knitted 3 squares and have used Plymouth, Encore yarn. I am knitting it for a dear friend of mine. we went out a few monthsa ago and she picked out her yarn and she chose to use several colors of yarn in several pastel colors. I plan on using several squares and the border to unify the whole afghan. I have a long way to go but I already have planned on making one for another dear friend and (4) for my kids and their families. Sooo I have a lot to accomplish and I have loved seeing your knitted work and reading your comments and will love to see whether you block your pieces first or when you have sewn it all together. I love these patterns and I also found several squares in the Great American Afghan that I want to knit as well to add to the Aran Afghan. Write with any advice PLEASE!!Carole

    Comment by Carole Clifford — March 12, 2008 @ 11:35 pm

  25. wow. What a masterpiece… totally stunning.

    Comment by monica — March 23, 2008 @ 4:29 am

  26. What beautiful work! I have all my squares finished and am in the process of putting them together. I have 3 strips of 5 sewn together, and have one left to sew on the last strip before sewing the stips together. Then I saw the St. Brigid’s square. I love it. Have you offered the instructions anywhere? I would love to add that to my afghan. Kindly let me know.
    Your square was like dessert. The reward for finishing all the other squares. Once again it is just beautiful. Thanks you.

    Comment by Maryanne — March 31, 2008 @ 11:29 am

  27. Wow! I just loved your “St. Brigid’s” square! I am still working on the Great American Aran Afghan. As Mary Ann commented , Have you offered the instructions on how to make this square? I would also love to add this beautiful square to my afghan!! Please let me know if you could provide the instructions. I just love reading your website about all the wonderful projects you two sisters accomplish! Thanks so much!

    Comment by Gwen Arthur — April 20, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

  28. Thanks first for sharing your notes on the GAAA. 25 skeins of Cascade 220 in natural on its’ way; excess for pillows! After years of reading knit blogs and doing a bit of cable work, I determined that Cascade 220 gives me the best bang for my buck much to the dismay of my knit instructor. I’m seriously thinking of contacting Cascade for one of their company mugs to take to knit class with me! Bobbles are fun but not on my knits; glad you mentioned your mods. Also enjoyed reading ’bout your winnings. Congrats!

    Comment by travelita — April 23, 2008 @ 7:37 am

  29. That is absolutely stunning! I’m thinking of starting this project and would love to know approximately how long it took you to complete it?

    Comment by lynn893 — July 4, 2008 @ 11:06 pm

  30. Hello, I have now completed 8 squares in the GAAA. The only problem I have encountered thus far is with Marian Tabler’s square. I have been unsuccessful in locating a corrected version of the pattern. My web search found your site’s reference to an error in the pattern.

    Any clues on locating a corrected version of the pattern?

    Many thanks,

    Barbara Button
    Canberra, Australia

    Comment by Barbara Button — July 13, 2008 @ 7:42 pm

  31. Where can I purchase the instructions for the afghan? I live in Ontario, Canada.

    Deanna Hodgins

    Comment by Deanna Hodgins — October 29, 2008 @ 7:49 pm

  32. how can i purchase this pattern

    Comment by gloria jessome — November 24, 2008 @ 4:03 pm

  33. I, too, would like to know where to purchase the patterns. I’ve done 2 other “square” afghans but the squares are not as lovely as these. These patterns will give me a change on the 2 remaining afghans I need to do for my girls.

    Comment by Jane Baier — November 24, 2008 @ 6:32 pm

  34. Your sweater square is definitely the most unusual one of all. I love it and I am glad it won first prize.

    Comment by sandrajean — November 29, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

  35. You can buy the GAAA book at

    Comment by sandrajean — November 29, 2008 @ 4:53 pm

  36. Your Afghan is so beautiful! And I really love your sweater square! ^_^ I’m a beginner in knitting and I know I have no patience to make the Afghan completely, but I plan to make this square as cover of pillow for my bed! ^_^

    Comment by Kitty — December 4, 2008 @ 11:07 pm

  37. ok, I know I’m tired, but am I missing the link to the directions to knit each of these squares?

    Comment by Starr — December 17, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

  38. It is magnificent. How long for every square? Stupid question! It is too beautiful. May I show your photo and put in link with your blog? Really extraordinary.

    Comment by Fine Bessot — February 14, 2009 @ 6:35 am

  39. waouh il est magnifique, extrémement beau, bravo quel superbe travail

    Comment by MISSMARIE — February 18, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

  40. Absolutely beautiful, I would like to make this for a dear friend where can I get a pattern ???? thanks

    Comment by rachel stevens — February 22, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

  41. Is there anybody that can help me with the pattern?

    Comment by Norway — February 24, 2009 @ 4:29 am

  42. What beautiful work! I love the eyelet border. I am knitting this afghan too and I think I will use your border instead of the one in the pattern book. Very beautiful!!

    Comment by Carole Roncetti — March 2, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

  43. Your afghan is wonderful…

    I’m from Quebec and I’d like to do this great american afghan, can you told me where I can have the book?

    Sorry for my english and thanks a lot!


    Comment by Manon Couture — March 15, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

  44. Amazing and beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the squares! I love your St. Brigid’s square! I am going to start knitting this tomorrow with my knitting group. Do you offer your St. Brigid cable pattern?? I’d love to incorporate it!!!

    Comment by noel — March 20, 2009 @ 9:10 am

  45. Does anyone know how I might be able to contact Suzanne Atkinson? I started one of her projects and lost the last page of the directions and can’t find it any where. I’m hoping she might be able to help.


    Comment by Patty Kexel — April 1, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

  46. Thanks for the info you have shared about your beautiful GAAA……I am on my 6th square and still struggling w/ the gauge……Did you try for the same gauge on every square or just guesstimate?…..because I am still getting different sized squares……….Thank you for any advice you could share…….

    Comment by Nancy Janzen — April 19, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

  47. You did a GREAT JOB on this afghan!! (Great American Aran Afghan) I have the pattern & hope to knit it in the future. Perhaps I will use the same yarn you did.

    Comment by Regina DeVos — April 21, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

  48. Did you perhaps find any errors in the Ada Fenick square of the Great American Aran Afghan? (row 41 or 42 maybe?) I own a yarn shop and am teaching the GAAA (one square per month) and this square is not coming out correctly. The class is scheduled for May 16th and I am beginning to panic. Any help would be appreciated. Love your website.

    Comment by Linda Lucente — April 25, 2009 @ 10:31 pm

  49. Bonjour. Ce plaid est absolument fabuleux. Pouvez-vous m’adresser les explications. Merci. Friendly, Janine BAULE dite Darnaga

    Comment by BAULE — June 28, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

  50. The Cascade 220 actually is Merino. It says it on the heathered color labels but not on the solids. I talked to the folks at Cascade and they assured me they were the exact same fiber. They just didn’t, for whatever reason, label the solids “merino”. Seems like a serious oversight to me. I sell it daily as a merino wool.

    Comment by Leslie Adrian — July 9, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

  51. Anyone still looking for the pattern can find it on Ebay or Amazon by doing a search for the Great American Aran Afghan.

    Comment by Liz Yaw — August 18, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

  52. Hola, estoy buscando la revista The Great American Aran Afghan en Europe.Please Help me!!!
    Cristiane Rebola

    Comment by CRISTIANE REBOLA — August 28, 2009 @ 3:45 am

  53. Thank you so much for photographing each square. I was looking at the pattern and wondered if it’s something I should start, but needed to see the complexity of the project. After viewing your great work, I’ll be putting it off for a while, I have some lace shawls to finish first. I’ll add this to my knitting queue.

    Happy Knitting

    Comment by Marlene Collins — November 9, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

  54. je suis très ineresser à faire ce plaid mais je ne sais pas où trouver les modèles pourriez vous me dire ou je les trouver .merci du coeur de l’italie lecce

    Comment by teresa — November 20, 2009 @ 10:46 am

  55. Thank you for your reply. I would like to know what color choice and # Susan used in the Cascade 220 yarn for her Great Amercian Aran Afghan. Her work looks like it’s out of this world. I do knit and I am sure going to give this my all. I know it is a lot of work so I want to use whatever yarn makes the finished product. Were you able to use the same needles for the tension turnout? Did you have good luck with tension in all the blocks or did some cause frustration? I want to ask all questions before I begin so thank you for your patience. Have a nice day.

    Comment by wendy — January 27, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

  56. I know this seems like a naive question but where to get the patterns for the squares similar to the ones in your afghan?

    Comment by Amy Bourne — January 28, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

  57. What do you mean that you “had to add a lot of knitting to this square” by Hanna Burns, the one that is suppose to represent DNA and some form of Christianity. I am knitting this now and going according to the pattern and have not added anything and yours seems to have an additonal pattern of thee DNA rows, etc. Did you want it bigger. I am using a size 6 needle instead of the 8 it stated to use and it is coming out the size I want (I’m going to place in the Great American Afghan in place of another square I did not care for.) I really enjoyed seeing your pieces individually and sewn together.

    Comment by Harriet Hogan — February 15, 2010 @ 11:28 am

  58. Hi there, I just found this site and I am inspired to pick up knitting again. I want to do this afghan as the ones I made when my kids were little are shredded! Your knitting is so even and I worry about my tension variation. I just ordered the book off amazon. Do you know where I can read about this project? It sounds exciting and I absolutely LOVE your square! Thanks!

    Comment by Julie McCann — February 21, 2010 @ 2:56 am

  59. Hi, I have completed The Great American Afghan and now ready to put a border on it. Do you have a pattern for the eyelet border you put on yours and/or instructions as to how to do it. I am wondering if you knitted the border and then sewed it on or did your pick up stitches as you went or picked up all stitches all the way around somehow or another and then knitted it.

    Comment by H. Hogan — April 5, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

  60. Hi, what number of Cascade white yarn did you use? I have seen 3 different numbers. I have on hand Cascade #871, but there are 3 others numbers that I saw which were #8505, 910A, 817, and then 871. Also, how many skeins of yarn did it take? Thanks.

    Comment by H.Hogan — April 6, 2010 @ 11:43 am

  61. Can you please tell me if there is a correction in the Great American Afghan Barbara Selesnick square? Chart A, Row 3, P1, yo, P1. I am losing a stitch there. I may not be understanding the yo. I thought it is when you just wrap your yarn across the needle but that would only give you 2 stitches to work with. Thank so much, kathy brewington

    Comment by Kathy Brewington — April 8, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

  62. Hi, I am knitting your winning square which is the sweater placed on a knitted square. I am wondering about the directions for the sleeves. Your directions say to knit pattern from beginning for 3 3/4 inches and then start decrease. That seems way too short comparing it to your picture. Actually, it seems to me the directions for the sleeves in general is vague as when you increase a stitch then that throws the pattern off so somehow or another the instructions should read different when you make an increase. I just made sure I was doing the double-seed stitch so it would come out correct. Thanks for any clarifications you may extend to me.

    Comment by H. Hogan — June 2, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

  63. I just loved the patterns in your afghan, can you tell where I can the same patterns?

    Thank you,

    Mary Lee

    Comment by Mary Lee — July 18, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

  64. Bonjour,

    Je ne parle pas bien anglais, mais comment me procurer les explications de cet afghan qui est magnifique. je serai très fière de pouvoir le réaliser
    En vous remerciant d’avance

    Comment by franje — August 25, 2010 @ 9:13 am

  65. Bonjour Franje,

    Je ne parle pas bien le français! Vous pouvez acheter le livre de modèles et il est appelé ‘The Great American Afghan’ publié par Knitter’s Magazine (ISBN-13 978-189376217-6 ou 189376217-3). Essayez le website pour Knitter’s Magazine ou vous pouvez commander auprès d’un libraire ‘online’ comme Bonne chance!

    Comment by Sydney Passey — August 31, 2010 @ 5:40 am

  66. I have made 2 of these and I am still having trouble getting all the squares to be the same size. How did you do it?

    Comment by Lindalee — October 30, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  67. This is so beautiful! Your square is so cool…I am not surprised that you won.

    Comment by John Ross — January 21, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  68. Hi. Is it possible for me to purchase the patterns for the Great
    American Afgan pictured on your website? Also, where did you purchase the yarn?

    Comment by Susan Faibisoff — February 5, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  69. Hello,
    I just found you great blog because I want to begin the great aran american afghan and I was looking for some ideas for the yarn to use.
    I saw you knitted Cascade 220. Could you please tell me how much skeins you bought or I should buy to knit my aghan and could you also tell me the size of your needles ?
    Thanks a lot for your answers.
    Sincerely yours
    Helene, From Paris, France

    Comment by LN — February 15, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  70. I have started the Great American Aran Afghan and love your pattern. I bought the book, and am having trouble with Carol Adams pattern. The cables look terrible, directions say to Sl 4 to cn, hold to front, k2, p2, [k2p2]from cn. The cables don’t look knitted they are bumpy. Do you know if there were any corrections on this pattern? I don’t know who to contact since I bought the pattern from JoAnn fabrics. Your afghan is georgous!!!! Thanks for your help.

    Comment by Annette Nelson — March 14, 2011 @ 2:04 am

  71. Since you have finished knitting this beautiful afghan, I have a question about the design knitted by Jay Campbell.
    I am not understanding why his square is knitted in the round. Please provide information on how his square is knitted and it’s construction.

    Thank you much
    Gail Wells

    Comment by Gail Wells — March 14, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  72. wow, beautiful! i am inspired to purchase the book 🙂 are the block patterns written out or presented as charts? thanks!

    Comment by Monica — May 11, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

  73. I can’t figure out the sweater sleeve……Do you have a guide?? Help????/

    Comment by Vernelda — August 7, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  74. I am so glad I found you blog or site, whatever it is, its great
    my question is : I would like to know how you block you squares or others knits ?
    hope you get back on for your answers lolll Thanks a lot

    Comment by Marion — August 22, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

  75. I was wondering if I might be able to get a copy of the fish square pattern? I’m making a nautical theme blanket as a gift from Hawaii and that is a great fish pattern!

    Comment by Eileen — November 16, 2011 @ 6:48 am

  76. I have just started The Great American Aran Afghan. I am having trouble with some of the patterns.
    For example, in the Janet Martin square, what does it mean when there are squares blacked out in the chart and it says “no stitches exist in these areas of the chart”? If you could help me out, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

    Comment by Sylvia — November 26, 2011 @ 11:47 am

  77. Sylvia (76.) those are put there so that the rows on the chart stay consistent. You don’t have to do anything, just skip them (unless told otherwise)

    You posted on November 26, 2011 so I will presume you really don’t need my explanation. 😉

    Comment by Marny — July 28, 2012 @ 7:33 am

  78. Bonjour,
    Cette couverture est tout à fait splendide. Je l’ai moi même commencée mais je bloque sur le carré de JUDY SUMMER plus précisément je ne sais pas quoi faire de la maille qui reste lorsque l’on a fini le corps du crabe (bug)
    ma question est sûrement bêbête mais…….si quelqu’un peut m’aider ce serait sympa
    merci d’avance

    Comment by berthoud — September 18, 2012 @ 5:16 am

  79. I think this may be the most beautiful afghan I have ever seen. I can’t imagine the hours of work that went into this. Congratulations on such a wonderful project.

    Comment by Barbara — October 14, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

  80. I am blocking my squares as I go along and I blocked one to hard so it is kind of flat. Do you have any suggestions for bringing it back to life. Also, I had trouble working the cable on the border so I am using an edging I found that is a leaf and picks up some of the leaf patterns in the afghan. Your afghan is beautiful. I am using about ten or twelve from the Aran book and the rest from a sampler book I have.

    Comment by Abbi Schaefer — November 4, 2012 @ 8:50 am

  81. Am on my 2nd afghan and chose- (the All Am Aran- after not knitting for a number of years.( I had no trouble with the Sampler Afghan) It is easier for me and I prefer to write out the designs all the way across as square. On Hanna Burns’ Square, the in other words directions- Is each row written as it is to be knitted from right to left? I. E. Row 1- start with K 1 tbl Row 2- start K 2 ? I used the Pat arrangement on page 33. Have checked my pattern several times against what is printed but keep finding a purl stitch where I believe a knit belongs. I find no errata for this pattern. HELP ! Thanks Barbara

    Comment by Barbara Chadwick — November 20, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

  82. I am getting ready to start the GAAA and read through all of your comments concerning the afghan. By the way, your afghan is absolutely gorgeous. If only mine turns out as beautiful. And I think you convinced me to use the superwash. Anyway, where are the answers to the questions that were submitted? I want every bit of info I can get before I start, since this is a huge project.


    Comment by Jan Klassovity — February 3, 2013 @ 11:36 am

  83. This afghan is amazing! Where can I find the printed pattern for each of the squares???

    Comment by judy — August 24, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

  84. Hello
    Wonderful work you’ve done. Simply amazing.
    I might buy the book – my question: Are the squares explained in charts or in words only?
    I need the charts – my english is not good enough.

    Comment by Andrea — October 26, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

  85. I bought the book because this afghan resonates with me on many levels.

    However, no, I have not even started it – beyond just oogling every picture.

    Today, 31January2014, I have printed out your border pattern – just in case. 😉

    It took me 2 tries to get the 3rd edition of Lion Brand’s Baby Tree of Life – and it was great fun even with the frogging. If I can do that, I believe the GAAA will be fun, too. Just have to get started, methinks.

    How many other knitters procrastinate, even when something is so beautiful?

    Comment by Marny CA — January 31, 2014 @ 7:38 pm

  86. J’aimerais désespérément me procurer le livre mais ne peut y arriver, vous serait-il possible de me faire parvenir les modèles.


    Comment by Pierrette Truchon — March 2, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

  87. I’m very interested in knitting The Great American Aran Afghan. I have some questions for the group. 1. I would like to knit this afghan in BABY ALPACA. I found Plymouth Brand has an alpaca that was very,very soft. Has anyone used the yarn? I’m looking for durability, softness and no pilling. Also has anyone knitted the afghan in strips rather than individual squared? I hate sewing together and am trying to lesses the chore by making strips. It also seems each square is a different size. How do the squares line up? Can this be solved by adding a boarder around Eric square to make them of equal size? Thanks all for any and all help.

    Comment by Jane — January 31, 2015 @ 11:00 am

  88. Could you tell me where, or send me the pattern, for the Judy Summer square from the Great American Aran Quilt? I’ve looked all over for it and can’t find it. Thank you. Jane

    Comment by Jane Schaff — February 5, 2015 @ 7:11 pm

  89. This is beautiful! Im just starting and was wondering if I should use provisional cast on for all of the squares. Any guidance?

    Comment by VLite — March 11, 2015 @ 7:36 pm

  90. Help. I am trying to knit Betty Salpekar’s square . I cannot. Understand special instructions A.
    I figured out invisible cast. Any tips might help.

    Comment by Jody — May 11, 2015 @ 7:18 pm

  91. I have started on your square of the GAA – so cute! However I’m having trouble with chart C on row 2. I keep ending up with only 13 stitches (should be 15). So I haven’t gotten to row 4 yet, but don’t understand how that will work across 15 stitches, either. Do you know what I might be doing wrong?

    Comment by Beth — October 10, 2015 @ 12:27 pm

  92. Knitting was something my mom and I shared together even though we 1500 miles apart. When my mom passed away, I lost my heart for knitting and started cross-stitching instead. Fast forward several years…Sally and I were part of the same message board community, and I was so inspired by her beautiful work that I decided to give it a go again. One project that she posted was The Great American Aran Afghan. I fell in love with it, and decided that I needed to knit again. I’ve been working on the project on and off for at two or three years working other projects in between. I am now on my last square–the Betty Salpekar square. Yikes! I consider myself an intermediate knitter and this one almost made me give up. I hate not being able to do something, so with the help of YouTube, I finally did my first mitered corner today. I wish I had blocked each square as I went along because the the clean-up work is a little daunting. I love the edging around your blanket so I might do that instead of the cable that is in the pattern. I’ll see when I have it all sown together. I almost messed up your square. My sweater didn’t fit exactly–not sure what I did wrong–a bit too large to lay on the angle. I just placed it a bit differently on the background square.

    If Sally reads this post, this is EmeraldEyes. 🙂

    Comment by Susanne Raksnis — January 6, 2016 @ 8:49 pm

  93. I know this was a long time ago – I’m making the Georgia Vincent square – and at row 26 running into trouble – I don’t seem to have enough stitches to decrease 2 – the row reads: K1, [k4,(yo, Dec2)three times, yo,k4, S2KP2]
    If you know of corrections, is there a site to check?
    Many thanks.
    Deb Weddle

    Comment by Deb Weddle — March 29, 2017 @ 10:41 am

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