Warm and Cosy Arans
We love aran-weight yarns: they are usually soft and squishy, with more of a bounce than DKs. They work up quickly and produce a fabric that is warm and cosy without being too heavy. So we've been inspired to share some of our selection of aran-weight yarns and a couple of projects that might inspire you too.
Drops Big Merino
One of our favourites is Drops Big Merino. It's 100% soft merino wool at a fabulous price - £3.10 for 50g. It's machine washable too, so it's suitable for any garments or accessories, even for babies.
Sirdar Jewelspun Aran
A beautiful variegated yarn inspired by handspun yarns. Jewelspun comes in big 200g balls. All the colourways are delightful and the colours merge and change subtly with some barber-polling. It's 100% Acrylic and so is easy to care for. Use it for accessories, like our shawl below, or mix and match the colours for larger garments.
Stylecraft Special Aran
New to us, is Stylecraft Special Aran. It's made from the same hard-wearing and colourful fibre as Stylecraft Special DK, but in aran weight. We are loving it so far, it's lovely and soft and easy to care for. It's very affordable too at £2.40 for 100g.
Praze-n-Beeble crochet shawl
Those of you who know our fabulous crochet teacher, Diana Bensted, will have seen her wearing some of her delightful crochet shawls around the shop. One of our favourites is Praze-n-Beeble - a shallow shawl or scarf with bobbles all along one edge - very glam! It's easy to make, so easy Deb has made 3 over the last couple of months, and very more-ish, obviously.
It can be made up in just about any weight of yarn. I've seen fabulous versions in both 4-ply (see above) and super chunky. Deb's, however, were made in Sirdar Jewelspun Aran.
We have the printed pattern available in the shop, or you could buy a digital version from Diana's Ravelry page
Simple Boxes Cowl (Knitted - full pattern)
We love mosaic knitting and mosaic crochet and with this weekend's snow Deb was reminded how comforting a woolly cowl can be. They are light to wear but having the back of your neck covered makes you feel warm all over, somehow.
So she grabbed a couple of balls of Stylecraft Special Aran and came up with this simple pattern. With two balls you can make 2 cowls, mirror images of each other. Or you could stash dive and use up some leftovers. You could use a different contrast colour for the middle section, for example, or you could use a variegated yarn as the contrast. Go mad, make it your ow! But, above all, have fun with it!
knit, purl, knitting in the round, slipped stitches
- 2 contrasting balls of Stylecraft Special Aran - 196 metres to 100g - (we used Duck Egg - shade 1820, and Midnight - shade 1011)
You'll also need
- 5mm circular knitting needle, or double-pointed needles.
- 1 stitch marker (or piece of contrasting yarn)
- tapestry needle for weaving in ends
- Slip all stitches as if you were to purl the stitch, holding yarn at the back of your work. Video help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U38NFi4blQ
- Carry the yarn (MC or CC) not in use at the back of the work - no need to cut and rejoin.)
- Slip your marker from left to right needle as you meet it.
- K - knit
- P - purl
- MC - main colour
- CC - contrast colour
- s1wyib - slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn held at the back of the work
With MC, cast on 120 stitches and join to work in the round, taking care not to twist your work. Use a marker to show the beginning of the round.
Work 6 rounds of 2 x 2 rib (i.e. *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round)
Rounds 1 & 2: with MC - knit
Round 3: with CC - *k1, s1wyib, k5, s1wyib; repeat from * to end of round
Round 4: with CC - *p1, s1wyib, p5, s1wyib; repeat from * to end of round
Rounds 5 & 6: with MC - *k2, s1wyib, k3, s1wyib, k1; repeat from * to end of round
Round 7: with CC - *k3, s1wyib, k1, s1wyib, k2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 8: with CC - *p3, s1wyib, p1, s1wyib, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Rounds 9 & 10: with MC - as rounds 5 & 6
Rounds 11 & 12: with CC - as rounds 3 & 4
Here we'll work 4 rounds of stocking stitch, followed by 7 garter stitch stripes, followed by more stocking stitch.
Rounds 13 - 17: with MC - knit
Round 18: with MC - purl
Round 19: with CC - knit
Round 20: with CC - purl
Round 21: with MC - knit
Rounds 22: with MC - purl
Repeat rounds 19-22 until you have 4 garter stitch ridges in MC and 3 in CC.
Rounds 31-34: with MC - knit.
Mosaic section repeated
Rounds 35-44: Work the mosaic section once more
Rounds 45-48: with MC - knit
With MC - work 6 rounds of 2 x 2 rib.
Cast off loosely in pattern.
Weave in the ends and enjoy your work!