I am so happy with the color of this sweater! The funny thing is that Kim pointed the color out to me. I have two traditional Arans already – one pullover and one cardigan. So I wanted to use a color but I was completely at a loss. I have autumn coloring so that set the parameters. But, I already have plenty of green, chocolate brown and orange sweaters and jackets. I knew that I needed to choose a relatively light color so that the cables would look good. I took my Wool of the Andes color card to the Knit Picks department seeking advice. That’s when Kim pointed out Wheat. It doesn’t look that impressive on the card but you see that it is working up nicely. This sweater is going to look good with everything. You should see it next to my turquoise turtleneck!
I think I need to explain the Excel spreadsheet a bit more. Before we get started, let me tell you that the whole thing did not take very long. Particularly when you think about how much time you save not having to keep finding your place among a bunch of different instructions or fixing mistakes because you got confused.
The reason I did the Excel spreadsheet was that I was using three different books for my cable instructions. If I were following someone else’s instructions everything would be coordinated in advance. Ok, Excel spreadsheets are made of vertical columns and horizontal rows (or in my case I like to think of them as rounds).
I started with the columns. One column for every single section of the sweater.
1st Column – Steek (5) *number in paraenthesis represents the number of stitches used.
2nd Column – Rice Stitch (8) This is one of the spacer sections between the cables
3rd Column – Right Front Weave (26)
4th Column – Rice Stitch (8)
5th Column – Underarm Stitches (6) These are different because I want to keep them in stockinette stitch to make it easy to cut for the sleeves later
6th Column – Rice Stitch (4)
7th Column – Right Back Weave (16)
8th Column – Rice Stitch (4)
9th Column – Center Back Weave (34)
10th Column – Rice Stitch (4)
11th Column – Left Back Weave (16)
12th Column – Rice Stitch (4)
13th Column – Underarm Stitches (6)
14th Column – Rice Stitch (8)
15th Column – Left Front Weave (26)
16th Column – Rice Stitch (8) After these stitches I am back to my steek stitches and I start the next round (row)
Remember that when you choose cables, it makes life a lot easier if the have a common denominator in terms of the row repeats. My smallest cable is 16 rounds and the large cable on the back is 32 rounds. That means one complete repeat of the entire group of cables is 32 rounds. So I marked 32 rows as Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, etc.
Now I had a excel box (or cell) for every section of my sweater and for every round. I dealt with one column at a time. In other words, one set of instructions. The Right Front Weave, for example. Type in the 1st row instructions in the appropriate box. The Front Weave takes 16 rows so once I type in the 16 row instructions, I can copy them for the second 16 row instructions. Then I can copy the entire 32 cells and paste then into the section for the Left Front Weave. You can do this for all the Rice Stitch areas as well. You can see how setting up this spreadsheet doesn’t take very long.
I went on to add color for alternating rows to make them easier to read. You can see where I noted a couple of changes with pen but it still is very easy to follow. This weekend, I’ll be continuing my Aran adventure.