There is a great deal of yarn to be knitted ….

…. and so I have three lovely projects to tell you about.

For the last three years I have knitted my mother a cardigan for her birthday at the end of November, and she’s loved picking the pattern and the yarn and watching her present grow, but this year, because I nearly lost her in the spring I had to let go of that tradition.

That told me that it was time for the Man of the House to have the classic Aran sweater he’s been wanting for a while.

He knew that he wanted the classic, cream Aran colour, and I gave him a range of pattens to choose from. I showed him Alice Starmore Books, Rowan magazines, and a few others that I’d bookmarked on Ravelry. He said ‘maybe’ to one or two, but in the end he said that what he really wanted was one like the one my mum knitted for my dad ….

When my father died my mother shrank that sweater in the washing machine so the she could wear it. She was very proud of that jumper, and I still have it, draped over the back of her chair.


(Mine is above and my mother’s is below.)

Isn’t it strange the way things work out? My mother is delighted that I’m knitting ‘her’ pattern, and though I would have liked something more modern and more intricate, I like the classic elements in this pattern, and I like that the pattern is very intuitive.

One month on, the back is nearly done, and I’m on schedule have a sweater finished for Christmas.

In between times, I’m knitting Heike from Rowan 56 for me. I needed some simple knitting, for odd moments when I didn’t want to get into Aran knitting. This is very simple, but the colour-blocking makes it interesting. I had two colour, in Rowan Scottish Tweed, from a project that never happened, and so I just had to buy the third colour. In Rowan Felted Tweed, which I’ve been wanting to try.


Progress has been rapid – when I was knitting small things with odd balls of wool earlier in the year I forgot how quickly plain sweater pieces in worsted/ aran weight knitted up.

So it’s goodbye to my little knitting resolution bags for now – but not forever.

I wasn’t looking for a third project, but I found one that was irresistable.

A Kaffe Fasset Mystery Knitalong!!!

I love his work and I’ve wanted to get back into colour-work.

There are three possible projects and four suggested colourways – I’m going for the cushion in the brown colourway. The clues will arrive every ten days, starting 1st October and finishing a week before Christamas, and I need to knit two 7.5″ squares each time.


(I’ve no idea how the colours will work together, but I trust Kaffe Fassett!)

I think it can be done, with a little more knitting time as the nights draw in. And maybe a few more audiobooks and a few less paper books.

I’m thinking my mother will enjoy watching the squares mount up, and the finished cushion will make a lovely Christmas present for her.

That all adds up to a lot of knitting, but I’m looking forward to it, because I can’t help feeling that the pieces have fallen into place beautifully.

13 responses

  1. What lovely amounts of knitting Jane – and how very impressive the Aran is. It’s so wonderful that your kind of carrying on a family tradition with it. My mother knitted us all Aran and Fair Isle jumpers when we were young and I always so admired her talent at it. She can’t knit any more because of arthritic fingers, and I can only handle the most basic of knitting – but luckily my middle daughter has inherited the talent and is knitting me a lovely scarf!

    • There are so any ladies of the our mothers’ generation who knitted or crocheted or sewed, and still love the craft. Knitting and knitting magazines create so much interest at my mother’s nursing home, and I’m so glad that I started young and kept going.

  2. That Aran pattern was the first Aran jumper I ever knitted! How strange to see it again. I can’t knit large Aran jumpers these days as I have ‘old lady’ joints and the weight as your knitting gets bigger makes my hands ache even more but I used to love making them. If your pattern book has a picture of an Aran coat on the back I knitted that for a friend’s mother! It got so heavy I ended up sitting on the floor to finish knitting the fronts and back!

    Love the idea of the Kaffe Fasset project. You will keep us posted I hope.

    • Yes, I have the picture of the Aran coat – what a wonderful thing to create. I knitted the hat and gauntlets twice – once for myself and once for a friend – when I was at school before moving on to knitting sweaters.

      I will post about the Kaffe Fasset project along the way and when it’s complete.

  3. That’s some impressive knitting. And what a lovely tradition as well

    Silly question about the Kaffe Fasset project – do you have to pay for the patterns?

  4. This was a lovely post! I’m getting through my very first cardigan (bottom up w buttonband knit at same time & almost done with second sleeve, so then it’s just the raglan bit), but I already bought white yarn for an aran cardigan. 😀 How lovely that you’re reknitting your mother’s sweater: it looks beautiful, as does yours. I love the classic look of it too.

  5. Oh, they have! I hope you’ll share your KF project…I’ve always loved looking at his work, and wish I was enough of a knitter to do some. I have stitched a couple of his needlepoint designs.

  6. Oh Jane, I am fairly accomplished as a knitter but can’t imagine tackling a proper Aran sweater. I bow to your talents! And you are just the loveliest of daughters to knit your mum a sweater for her birthday.

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