Help! Help! I Need a Pattern

Mr. O’Kitten has (repeatedly) asked me to knit him a sweater. An Irish cableknit pullover sweater. Like the above. The pattern for this one
might as well be in Greek (no chart). But I do like that the guy in the photo looks a bit like an aging Colm Meaney.

So anyway, I’m looking for an Aran cable pattern for a men’s pullover. Something kind of like the above (although maybe a bit less complicated). I can cable, and have followed cable charts before. I actually love cable, and aran patterns are so gorgeous.

Course, I’ve never actually constructed an entire sweater. But I'm very brave. And very good at following directions.

Here’s a good example of what I’d like to do. This is the sweater my grandmother made me when I was little. She was a very good knitter.

Although of course it’s a cardigan, and very small. Too bad, because otherwise it’d be perfect for Mr. O’Kitten.

I thought long and hard about trying to spin yarn for said sweater, but I just don’t think my hand-spinning skills are up to making such a great deal of yarn yet, and I think the cables would look nicer with something a tad more consistent than what I can spin. (What Mr. O’K really wanted, at first, was a Graty-llama sweater...)

But I would like to make something kind of cool for the man who got me sheep for Xmas.

So if you have any suggestions pattern-wise, I’m all ears. I don’t object to buying a pattern, but would really prefer not to splurge on an entire book. Extra points if it’s some wacky vintage Celtic pattern...of course, I have to be able to interpret the instructions so if they’re in Gaelic I’m out of luck (minus points in that case). And I’m not like Sev, I don’t specialize in reading ancient patterns written in Ye Olde English on lambskin or papyrus and then knitting them up with microscopic whalebone needles.

Thanks for any help y’all can offer the hapless O’Kitten!


Barbara-Kay said...

Berroco Knit Bits newsletter has free aran sweater patterns posted. Send me your email addy to: bkseiver@yahoo.com, and I can click on the "email this to a friend" link and get it to you. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

That pattern for that sweater is a little hard to read. I would've rewritten it to kind of understand it. Well, I did a little bit of searching and found these that are kind of similar.

Easy Aran cable unisex pullover: http://www.straw.com/cpy/patterns/cameo-cable-unisex.html

Family of cabled sweaters: http://cache.lionbrand.com/patterns/kwetq-familyOfSweaters.html?noImages=0

The family of cabled sweaters has a turtleneck on it, but you can make just a regular collar on it if you want. Hope that helps a bit.

Chris said...

Hmm, I think I might have some arans among me funkadelic "vintage" pattern books - but they'll have that weird vintage fit that doesn't work so well these days!

Hollyeqq said...

Sorry, can't help you on the pattern thing, cause I don't use them. But then I don't make sweaters either. I have done cabling and I kind of winged it and it turned out great. I read an article about five years ago about a lady who makes up her own cabling and it was amazing. It had a different flow than the patterns. Tell me how it goes.

But I would suggest to spin your own yarn in a soft tan/brown alpaca to make one of those sweaters. Alpaca is so easy to spin smooth and you can get it for $35.00 a pound or less from an alpaca farm. You are going to spend that on store bought yarn anyway. If you haven't already, alpaca is great to spin - and it looks great at a worsted/medium weight. It has such beautiful colors too. Their browns are the best around and since they aren't dyed, they wash up great.
Just a thought.

Obsidian Kitten said...

Thanks you guys! That Lion Brand pattern is rly nice, p&n!

Holly, you may have just inspired me to actually try spinning the yarn myself after all. Graty's llama fleece is very soft, quite like alpaca, much of it white-offwhite. I could even blend it with the bag of white Icelandic lambswool from Thorn that Laura brought last week when the sheep arrived. (I could even add some of the merino-ramboullet I have from my aunt and uncle, that would just need to be cleaned first)



Anonymous said...

i have a pattern book from the 70's (not too ancient but old enough to be retro cool)... i could take a look & scan some for you if you're interested? had a lot of men's sweaters... all different skill levels

mrspao said...

That is a lovely idea - I have only tackled the cables on Fetchings so I can't help. Good luck with it!

ladylinoleum said...

Don't worry, constructing sweaters (even the Aran variety) is simple. Just think of it as 4 rectangles that you have to sew up. Easy peasy. You'll be fine. If you can make cables you can make a entire Aran sweater.

Oh, and I wanted to tell you that I did finally join the Sci Fi Kal! Thanks for reminding me!

Adding you to my bloglines my dear...

Obsidian Kitten said...

You guys should check out ladylinoleum's Gollum Hat:

That Lion's Brand pattern that p&n found ("Family of Cabled Sweaters) is rly nice; also one of the Barocco patterns. It's called Poonam and is a women's pattern but I think could rly be unisex. The chest goes up to 52" and the length is certainly easy enough to adjust. It's not fitted so does anyone see any problem making that kind of a sweater for a guy instead?

Thx so much for y'alls help!

Carrie K said...

There's a Sci Fi KAL?

I was going to suggest picking up a cable pattern book - the Barbara Walker one is $30 maybe? and designing one for your handspun yarn but I can look through my ancient mags and see what I can find.

Obsidian Kitten said...

ok, i found a book in the KnitPicks catalogue that i want. it's called Aran Sweater Designs by Janet Szabo:

Oh, btw, she has a blog too:

Anyway, I didn't really want to splurge on a book but it looks like this would be the book I need. Hm.

Pretty ambitious for someone who's never actually assembled a sweater, but I figure spouse darn well better be happy with it if I'm going to make one, and of course he's all "well, i like this cable but not that one, knotwork is nice here but not here, and can't you do the sleeves like this instead of that?" lol

Obsidian Kitten said...

oh yeah, and SciFi KAL is here:


Fun for the entire galaxy!

Glaistig said...

I am knitting (trying to knit?!) an Aran tee right now and the posters above have given a lot of great sites which I will be filing away for future reference.

I so love the way classic cream Aran sweaters look. And your grandmother's sweater is just exquisite. Frankly, I think knitting one will be an absolute breeze for you. Speaking only as a very inexperienced beginner Aran knitter, so far, I find that inserting lifelines at key points has aided me greatly. I can't wait to see what you knit up.

"Aging Colm Meaney" He does! He really does!

Obsidian Kitten said...

you guys are so great with all the suggestions! thank you!

that idea about the lifelines is pretty smart... =)

and i never (ok, almost never) knit without a row counter. i figure that should come in pretty handy too.

check out the pretty lil braided cable scarf pattern i found up above (3 jan post)--yeah, okay, so i'm practicing by making something fo myself...lol