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Wash's aran - for the love of firefly and knitting (jayne hats!) [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
for the love of firefly and knitting (jayne hats!)

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Wash's aran [Dec. 30th, 2005|10:15 am]
for the love of firefly and knitting (jayne hats!)


[mood |curiouscurious]

So a friend of mine and I were deconstructing Wash's aran sweater last night in e-mail.

Feel free to play along at home using these source images:


Known characteristics of Wash's aran:
- Large four strand plait on a flatter background stitch.
- One twist on each side, about a hand's breadth from the plait, just outside of the collar.
- This is framed by what looks like trinity/blackberry stitch.
- There is a space of that flat, plain stitch along the sides of the body of the sweater.
- The body of the sweater looks to be knit in the flat and seamed.
- The sleeves each have a single lattice on a flatter background stitch.
- The flat stitch and lattice are framed again by a thin braid, just like the body.
- The undersides of the sleeves are done in trinity/blackberry stitch.
- The collar is ribbed (almost certainly on smaller needles) and added later.

- The sleeves may be knit in the round.
- The sleeves look like they are probably set, not drop sleeves.
- The collar looks like it's folded over and stitched down instead of bound off at the top.

- Waistband
- Cuffs

- That flat background stitch looks kind of purl-y to be stockinette, but I am having trouble with the idea that it's garter stitch. Could it just be an illusion because he's wearing a dark shirt underneath? Could it be the "wrong side" of the stockinette?

I'm thinking about trying my hand at putting together a pattern, but that's a bit above my present skill level. I figured I'd put this out there for discussion and tearing apart because a bunch of heads is better than one sometimes.

[User Picture]From: valkyrwench
2005-12-30 04:56 pm (UTC)
1. If the body is knit flat, the sleeves are probably not knit in the round.
2. While not precisely dropped sleeves, they are not set-in, either - too flat at the top for set-in sleeves.
3. The coller is definitely folded over and stitched down.
4. The flat stitch is purled (i.e. the wrong side of stockinette stitch)
5. Waistband and cuffs for a true Aran are probably twisted rib.

Good eye :)
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[User Picture]From: bodlon
2005-12-30 05:00 pm (UTC)
1. Drat. I loathe seaming. Heh.
2. Hm. Do you know of a good source to find out more about these kinds of sleeves? Or would I do well to improvise using a traditional aran pattern?
3. Yay!
4. Ooh. Good call.
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[User Picture]From: valkyrwench
2005-12-30 05:04 pm (UTC)
1. Blackberry/trinity stitch is a cinch to seam, though
2. Try the traditional Aran pattern. Technically, I suppose, they are dropped sleeves, but the body's a little more fitted around the shoulders than I'm used to seeing in a true drop-sleeve Aran.

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[User Picture]From: bodlon
2005-12-30 05:06 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: bodlon
2005-12-30 07:18 pm (UTC)
So I'm looking at the sleeves/side of the sweater, and I'm really thinking they must be set in somehow. The hint is that block of blackberry/trinity stitch ending and going back to purl along the side edge.

If the body were rectangular, as it would usually be for a drop sleeve, that change wouldn't have to happen, would it?
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[User Picture]From: valkyrwench
2005-12-30 07:23 pm (UTC)
As close as I can tell, the Trinity stitch is the body, the purl section is part of the sleeve. If it was set in, that line bewteen the Trinity stitch and the purl wouldn't be as straight as it is.
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[User Picture]From: bodlon
2005-12-30 08:09 pm (UTC)
But there seems to be a seam running down under the arm...
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[User Picture]From: valkyrwench
2005-12-30 08:31 pm (UTC)
That just means it wasn't knit in the round. Drop sleeved garments will still have a seam down the side of the sweater and the sleeve, unless it's knit in the round.
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[User Picture]From: bodlon
2005-12-30 08:35 pm (UTC)
Ah. Okay. Usually, when I think drop sleeve, I think a sleeve that is just a tube that comes out at a right angle from a rectangle. I never thought to give it little legs. Clever. :)
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[User Picture]From: valkyrwench
2005-12-30 08:39 pm (UTC)
Clearly, you are seeing something there that I'm missing. I see a seam on the side of the sweater - the underpart of the sleeve isn't visible to me at all. Legs?
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[User Picture]From: bodlon
2005-12-30 08:52 pm (UTC)
Right. I'm trying to figure out how that part of the sweater is part of the sleeve. The only way that makes sense is that there would be strips (the "little legs") that would be seamed together and straight up the sweater before stitched to the body.

Am I misunderstanding you?
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[User Picture]From: valkyrwench
2005-12-30 09:04 pm (UTC)
That part of the sweater is part of the body. I'm thinking that there is somewhat of a decrease in the upper part of the body, but not necessarily the shaping that there would be for a set-in sleeve.
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[User Picture]From: bodlon
2005-12-30 09:06 pm (UTC)
Ah! Okay. That makes more sense now. *blushes*
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[User Picture]From: valkyrwench
2005-12-30 09:08 pm (UTC)
I wasn't explaining clearly - not your fault at all.
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[User Picture]From: jennnlee
2005-12-30 04:59 pm (UTC)
That flat background stitch looks kind of purl-y to be stockinette, but I am having trouble with the idea that it's garter stitch. Could it just be an illusion because he's wearing a dark shirt underneath? Could it be the "wrong side" of the stockinette?

Yeah, it looks like the purl side of stockinette to me. Isn't that generally what you do as a background to a cable? I'm no expert on cables, though I've done some.

Holy COW is that a busy sweater.
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[User Picture]From: bodlon
2005-12-30 05:02 pm (UTC)
You should see some of the stuff over at http://www.clanarans.com/ca/catalog/ if you think this is busy. Crazy symbolic knitting. :)
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[User Picture]From: jennnlee
2005-12-30 05:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I haven't really gotten into Aran knitting yet. Just done a couple vests and hats with cables, although I am working on Eris right now. I'm currently drifting toward socks and lace, but I expect to swing back toward Arans later. :-)
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[User Picture]From: bodlon
2005-12-30 05:07 pm (UTC)
That's really lovely.

I just finished my first cabled project (a scarf) a while back, and feel really happy and comfortable with them now. There's a hoodie (Mariah?) over on Knitty that's got my interest, but part of me just wants to go crazy with some fisherman's wool and give this a shot.
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[User Picture]From: jennnlee
2005-12-30 05:12 pm (UTC)
It would definitely be a worthy pursuit. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: heraldis
2005-12-31 07:57 pm (UTC)
Hi, just found you mad lot with the same interests as me ;)

In hope of helping, I've done some more screen caps which might be able to add information (or not)

They should be at:


but I don't know if I've got my flikr account sorted right or not, so let me know if you see anything!
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[User Picture]From: bodlon
2006-01-03 01:17 am (UTC)
I only just got a chance to look at these. Awesome!

With some effort, I may be able to put something together for this...
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[User Picture]From: secretlifeof_em
2006-01-03 12:17 am (UTC)
i'm in trouble now, the boy just looked over my shoulder and said "ooh! make me that!" should stuck to the hat post ;)
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-01-27 05:00 am (UTC)

Another tidbit of info.

I did a bit of digging and found the email for the lady in charge of the Firefly wardrobe. Told her what we were interested in. After about two weeks this is the reply I recieved:

the orginal sweater was taken from fox general
wardrobe and may have been made for the orgianl aliens
good luck

Hope this helps!
baast from craftster
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