An Aran for Ken

The cables look a little messy, but nothing a good blocking won't cure later.

The cables look a little messy, but nothing a good blocking won’t cure later.

That’s technically not the title of the project I’m working on, but if you were to look in my copy of Jane Austen Knits 2011, that’s exactly what you’d see. My husband drew a neat little line through the name “Frederick” and added his own.

I haven’t worked on this sweater in months. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it. I just ended up really busy this year making things for other people. As I mentioned in an early post, I’ve finally hit a lull, which inspired me to pull this WIP down off the shelf.

I’m so glad I did, too. I love cabling. I think it’s one of my favorite knitting techniques. An Aran for Frederick has these gorgeous, intricate, twisting cables that wind their way all the way up the body of the sweater. Even the sleeves are covered in cables.

My experience with cables before this was fairly limited. A couple years ago, in a failed attempt to get into knitting, I knit my aunt a cabled scarf and then tried to knit a cable blanket. The cables in both of these were 5×5, which is pretty big, at least for me. I’ve done a couple other projects with cables, but those were also very basic and fairly large cables. The sweater I’m knitting now has very small cables, which I think are not only faster but also easier.

Speaking of faster, there’s one tip in the notes section of this pattern that really has made the whole project much easier, and it’s the first tip. “Cabling without a cable needle is brilliant.” I remember setting the magazine down and thinking, “How on earth do you knit cables with out a cable needle?” It’s so easy!

And voilà! The sweater suddenly became easier and faster to knit.

I’m now a couple inches shy of finishing the main body. Next are the sleeves. As this is my very first sweater, I’m a little nervous about this next part, but I’m ready to get started. I should finish the body either tonight or early tomorrow. I’m excited to see how much I can finish this weekend. With some work, I might just get this sweater done before the yarn arrives for my last two deadline projects.

Are you ready for the weekend? What projects will you be working on?

13 thoughts on “An Aran for Ken

  1. I hope to work on a new pidge scarf this weekend as well as getting some cross stitching in. I watched the video you posted about knitting a cable without a cable needle, and I must say I would probably feel more comfortable using the cable needle. Too much finagling stitches and I would probably lose them. At least on the cable needle I know they are secure until I am ready to knit them. Your “Ken” sweater is looking awesome! All of those wonderful cables winding all around just screams warm, comfy sweater.

  2. Those cables are gorgeous! I’d be SO intimidated to tackle them, though!

    I agree, cabling without that pesky extra needle is much faster. It’s a life saver!

  3. Even in their unblocked state, the cables look delicious, and I’m glad you heeded my note to cable without a cable needle. Can’t wait to see the FO on Ken (and love that he marked up the magazine)! Happy knitting 🙂

  4. I hate to point this out, and you may have already seen it, but you have a miss crossed cable up towards the top. The loop on the top left center panel is on top instead of underneath. The piece is just gorgeous!

  5. That looks very complicated, even without a cable needle. I love cabling with a cable needle, but find I can only manage it if it’s a 2×2 cable.

  6. Thank you for showing me how to knit cable without a cable needle. I had no idea it was possible. This will make it much faster when I next knit cable.

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