bigrich5885's picture

well... it's been ordered. The Great American Aran Afghan book should be arriving around the 18th of this month. Now I just have to decide what yarn to use, and what color to do it in. I want it to be "heirloom quality", but don't want to go through bankruptcy just to knit an afghan. One thing I will not compromise on though is this - no 100% acrylics (sorry red heart)! The "traditional" part of me says to just use off-white/ecru, but part of me is saying "break the mold and do it in a a pretty sage green".
* Sidenote - I like to knit with yarn in shades of green.
I know it might sound like an "unnecessary step", but I'm thinking about knitting a "trial run" square in scrap yarn for the more complicated patterns, just so I don't end up frogging my "good yarn" 100 times. I also think it will be easier to knit the second time around knowing where the complicated parts are!


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I recommend Plymouth

I recommend Plymouth "Encore". It comes in a variety of colors and is a nice wool/acrylic blend that is easy to launder. It knits up very nicely and has good stitch definition and isn't a yarn that will bust your budget. Our Open Knitting group has used it for a couple of baby afghans and I really enjoyed working with it and how it came out. Hope you have fun with the Aran Afghan...some of the blocks are really tricky so your idea to use scrap yarn to work out the rough spots is very commendable. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Drumpointer here again. I

Drumpointer here again.
I take your point on the feel of acrylic.
You don't like working with it and of course it is not as blockable as a natural fiber. I concede there are drawbacks to synthetics.
On the point of not using it much, well if it is wool you have to consider moth damage. YIKES. I said it. Yes, moths.
I didn't know a thing about moths until I started to knit and experienced the heartbreak of moth holes.
That said, I have an afghan I made out of Chester Farms worsted weight wool, which is a very natural wool from a farm in Staunton, Virginia and now known as Cestari, that I've had thrown over a couch and used for years and am amazed that nothing has eaten it (yet)
And it is holding up beautifully. Still looks as good as the day I finished it and it is in use all the time in the winter months.

I always knit unfamiliar

I always knit unfamiliar patterns in scrap yarn. Always.
I like to think that everything I do shows the best quality of workmanship that I am capable of and that means doing all of my homework. Even though I am very experienced (25+ years of compulsive knitting) I find that tried and true techniques look different in different yarns, at different gauges, in different stitch patterns.
On acrylics. Well, not all acrylics are equal. It sounds like you want this piece to last. Nothing lasts like synthetics. I would urge you to not exclude acrylics and or acrylic blends out of hand.
Also, I too love shades of green and hope you make yours a shade of green that you like.
Now the real challenge is joining the motifs.
Boy do I hate that.
Cheers and good luck.

Bill's picture

I just finished working on a

I just finished working on a group project afghan using Alice Starmore's Bainin...a beautiful wool from Scotland. We did it in the off white...but there are several other beautiful colours.
Great stitch definition...and lovely to knit with.
You can see the yarn at VirtualYarns.com.

MMario's picture

Don't knock good acrylics

Don't knock good acrylics for afghans. I know afghans that have been in daily use for close to 50 years that just keep on going - and they are acrylic. And when an afghan gets USED - acrylics are so much easier to take care of.

bigrich5885's picture

Thanks for the input. Hope

Thanks for the input. Hope my post didn't come across as being a "yarn snob", as I know acrylic has its good points (the biggest of which you mentioned, easy to take care of/washability) <--- is that even a word? I don't really intend to use this afghan, it's going to be basically thrown across the arm of one of the sofas in a living room that sees minimal use. Going to make it for "show" more than anything. The biggest reason why I don't want to make this afghan in an acrylic is that I really don't like knitting with the stuff. To me it seems scratchy and I can't seem to make it look good like I can with a natural fiber. It would be less expensive though!