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Aran Sweater Design Paperback – March 31, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Aran Sweater Design
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  • Cables: The Basics
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Total price: $74.59
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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the time I saw my first Aran design (which happened to be an afghan), I knew that I had found my home in the crocheting and knitting community. I am one of the growing number of men who greatly enjoys both knitting and crocheting, though developing skills in knitted Aran work is something relatively new to me. Janet's book on Cables and this one are two of the finest I have ever seen when it comes to detailed instruction. I am very pleased to have purchased both books, and even more pleased to know that their content is going to teach me pretty much everything I want to know when it comes to this style of knitting. --Amazon.com

About the Author

Janet Szabo is a nationally-known knitting designer, author, and teacher. Her designs have appeared in Knitter's Magazine, Cast On, KnittingNow, The Complete Knitting Collection, and currently in Twists and Turns, the Newsletter for Lovers of Cable Knitting, a 20-page quarterly newsletter which she edits and publishes. Janet is also the author of "The 'I Hate to Finish Sweaters' Guide to Finishing Sweaters." "Aran Sweater Design" is a completely new edition of her book "Handbook of Aran Sweater Design."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Big Sky Knitting Designs (March 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976802503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976802501
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is instructional. It is not a collection of cute patterns with glamorous pictures. It is rather a workshop. If you read this book and practice every different part, by the end you will master Aran Sweater Design like a profesional. The book is black and white for the most part with easy, detailed explanations and drawings. At the end there are 3 or 4 patterns, one Aran Vest, two different types of pullovers and a cardigan.(There is a color picture of each project) I personally can't wait to start knitting one of the pullovers which is very elegant. The author is also the editor of a Pattern Newsletter for Aran Knitting by subscription called Twist and Turns. You can learn more about how to subscribe in her website. I highly recommend that you laminate this book with transparent adesive plastic as the paper cover gets easily scratched in that way it is going to keep looking like new through the years. And believe me, you are going to want to keep it that long.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book because it's one of the relatively few on the market that help me make my OWN sweater - instead of forcing me to follow somebody else's pattern. It contains a wealth of technical information, starting with yarn construction and other materials needed, continuing with a classification of the stitches used for Arans (without describing them in detail - this book is NOT a stitch dictionary.) The next chapter is about "Creating a Design" - how to use the cables - which ones work well together and why and how to put them together. Then there's some useful tips (for better bobbles, for example). This general technical part (most of which is useful for any Aran design, not just sweaters) takes 65 pages.

The second part is about sweater construction methods - bottom-up (in the round and flat), top-down (body first, neckband first) - general and for each of the following sleeve types: dropped-shoulder, peasant sleeves, set-in sleeves, raglan sleeves, vests, t-sleeves, and finally wide-saddle Arans. This part takes 58 pages.

Finally, there's four written-out patterns (vest, peasant-sleeve pullover, set-in sleeve pullover and raglan cardigan) on 20 pages (cable patterns are charted and written out). A list of recommended books and software, a measurement sheet, a key of symbols to the charts and an index complete the book.

If you are looking for sweater patterns to follow, this is not the book for you. But if you have some experience (if you've never knitted a sweater before, get Jacqueline Fee's "Sweater Workshop" first), want to do your own Aran but don't quite know how, then this book is perfect.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I asked myself how many knitting books a person needs. As it turns out, probably not all that many. But if you have even the most cursory interest in sweater design, you do need this book. I've been knitting for 25 years, and I'm astonished at how much this book has taught me. Helpful close-up photos and the author's light, conversational tone will make you feel like you have her sitting right next to you. As the author is the one selling the book on Amazon, it arrived autographed, which I thought was a nice touch, and would make it a particularly nice gift for any knitters you know.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So I got this book for her birthday and she is excited to try every pattern in the book. Of course, her first project is one of the toughest (the cover pattern). Nightly, I hear her swearing at having made a mistake, lost count or misread some instruction, yet she tells me she is so glad I bought the book for her. I don't understand...maybe cable sweaters are delightful torture for some people. She thinks it is a great resource and has learned a lot from reading the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great for designing your own Aran sweater. It explains the background of Aran sweater design and offers many patterns to use/incorporate into a sweater. So many 'newer' knitting books are full of fluff, but for any serious knitter, this should belong on your bookshelf.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book - which has very pretty pictures and lots of information about putting different patterns together - BUT the key missing ingredient is that no where in the book is there any information on how to create all the various types of cables and stitches she pictures. You CANNOT create your own sweater based solely on this book. You'd have to buy books on how to make cables, etc and how to construct a sweater pattern. . .
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Format: Paperback
This book tells you simply everything you need to know to put together an Aran sweater.

It starts by examining the construction of traditional sweaters, the kind of yarn that is ideal-important, basic beginnings. Then it discusses different kinds of cables-honeycombs, diamonds, braids ... what makes them different from each other. But then it gets really good-it talks about how you put them TOGETHER. Proportions. Row-counts. Frequency of repeats. Reasons some cables look better with certain cables rather than others. This entire section is masterful.

Next, the book examines the different constructions-saddle-shoulders, top-down, bottom-up, raglans, set-in sleeves, and so on, along with tips you need to know. This is followed by in-depth detail about how to actually KNIT a sweater in whatever shape you might want.

There are a handful of fully-designed sweaters at the back. They're perfectly nice, attractive and all, but to me, they are not the point of the book. The object of the book is for you to be able to design your own Aran ... why follow someone else's pattern?

Honestly, there isn't a technique that I can think of that's not in here-not that you're likely to need, anyway. The style is entirely accessible and readable-it feels like having a good friend sitting next to you, helping you along. It does not get bogged down with technical jargon, but it doesn't dumb-down anything.

My one complaint? There are no cable patterns in the book, which I think is an odd lapse. Since the book is giving you all the tools you need to knit your own Aran, why are there no cable stitches to see you on your way? I understand that the object is to concentrate on the construction, and that there's no way you could have all the cable stitches you might want.
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