Aran Knitting Projects - Too Much Choice!

I love an Aran jumper. They are a lot of work, but the effort is always worthwhile. Over the years I've knitted Aran jumpers for my dad and cardigans for my gran. I've got my eye on a couple of patterns and half a dozen yarns to knit for myself. I can't make up my mind!

The best Aran patterns tend to be Sirdar, in my opinion. I also really like bold, solid colours and so find the Hayfield Bonus Aran with Wool has the best selection. However, King Cole have recently added some vintage, solid shades to their Fashion Aran range and they are very tempting. 

I have two favourite sweater patterns at the moment:

Image of cover of Sirdar knitting pattern 9465 featuring a man and a woman wearing hand knitted Aran sweaters. One in a dark blue and the other in a natural shade

Sirdar knitting pattern 9465. Comes in adult sizes with one design that can be created in a range of colours. The two contrasting colours in the pattern show how the pattern can look different depending on whether you go for neutral or bold, colourful tones. Buy 

Image of cover of Sirdar knitting pattern 9219 featuring a selection of Aran sweaters modelled by a woman (round neck), man (v neck) and child (collar) all hand knitted in a neutral Aran yarn

Sirdar knitting pattern 9219. The same cable panel is knitted on all three sweaters but the different collars and lengths make them all look different. These are all knitted in traditional Aran colours, but I think they would look just as good in bold, modern colours. Buy

And the yarns I want to try are:

Swatch of Hayfield Bonus Aran with wool yarn in purple  Hayfield Bonus Aran with Wool, purple. Buy
Swatch of Hayfield Bonus Aran with wool yarn in bright mustard  Hayfield Bonus Aran with Wool, mustard. Buy
Swatch of Hayfield Bonus Aran with wool yarn in deep red  Hayfield Bonus Aran with Wool, deep red. Buy
Image of swatch of King Cole Fashion Aran in antique gold, a slightly muted shade of mustard  King Cole Fashion Aran with Wool, antique gold. Buy
Image of swatch of King Cole Fashion Aran with Wool in Thunder, a shade of dark grey  King Cole Fashion Aran with Wool, Thunder. Buy

There's not much to choose between the Mustard and the Antique Gold except that the mustard is brighter and less muted than the gold. 

The beauty of Aran patterns, particularly sweaters is that, despite the image on the pattern cover, they are usually unisex designs. Often they use different collar designs to create points of difference on the same basic design, but this just opens up more choice. It also lets you knit his and hers, or the same basic design for the whole family.

Image of cover of Sirdar knitting pattern 8167 showing an Aran sweater with a round neck hand knitted in red and modelled by a man, and a hooded version in light blue modelled by a young boy
Sirdar knitting pattern 8167. Buy

Aran yarn can be very versatile and an Aran sweater doesn't have to be a cablefest, labour of love. There are some beautiful, simple patterns that use Aran wool for more bulk and warmth, but they don't have all the intricate cabling of a traditional sweater. I've got James C Brett pattern 222 and his Aztec Aran yarn with Alpaca in red looked out and ready to put on the needles.

Image of cover of James C Brett knitting pattern 222, a simple Aran sweater with no cable design and knitted in red Aran yarn
Image of the end view of a ball of James C Brett Aztec Aran with Alpaca in redImage of swatch of James C Brett Aztec Aran with Alpaca in red
I would love to have a go at Sirdar 10082 but I'm too scared - my stranded knitting is not up to it and I fear I would make a mess. It is something to aspired to!
Image of cover of Sirdar knitting pattern 10082. An Aran sweater with a Fair Isle-style yoke. Knitted in dark grey with the yoke pattern in mustard

And, a final point on Aran knitting patterns is that they are often ageless. Sometimes the raglan seam can date a pattern, and there are lots of contemporary designs around. But, it can be fun breathing new life into an old favourite, or raiding your granny's pattern box for inspiration. 


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