Here it is: Aidez by Cirilia Rose. This is a really big moment in my knitting this year. I’ve done complicated cables before, but never this complicated while so much of my brain was on hiatus. In working on this, I made some choices, some of which may prove to be unwise.
The first decision was to knit the body in one piece. That was a no-brainer, straight-up, brilliant idea. I borrowed all of Allyson’s (of The sweatshop of Love) advice and her charts. I will never regret this.
The next decision was to use Brava bulky yarn because I felt wool couldn’t be justified in my budget at that time, but sale Brava could. This may prove unwise. It was certainly affordable, but it has a thick springiness to it that doesn’t allow for the drape I’d like. Also, this was a monumental knit. Doesn’t that deserve real wool? I’ve since read online that the location of Brava’s production has changed and many knitters don’t like the feel of the new version. I must have some from the older batch, because I feel no oiliness or scratchiness as I knit. It’s not wool, but it is the nicest 100% acrylic I’ve ever felt. There were also no knots in my skeins.
My last big decision involved letting go. When I got to the last bit of seaming, I realized the backs of my sleeves were sewn together at slightly different heights along the back of the body. The seams end up at the same place along the collar and there’s no strange puckers anywhere, so I think it’s just a quirk of picking up a little more here instead of a little more there. It didn’t affect the fit at all and no one I know will ever notice. (Do you see it, below?) Anyway, I decided to let it go. It was knit in Brava, right?
The details: Otherwise, it was all about following directions. I used size 7 bamboo needles and 7 skeins of Brava to knit the size small. It came out a bit larger due to gauge discrepancies, plus I knit it longer on purpose.
I taped all of my charts, including Allyson’s monster chart, into one giant sheet of paper. I found it much easier to have all the directions and my little row count hash marks in the same place. I find myself wanting to keep it for posterity, a little jewel for my children to stumble upon when I’m long gone. After finding it, they’ll realize I was secretly a genius all those years.
If I knit it again I’ll probably keep the stitches to both sides of the back collar live for a kitchener stitch. Also I’ll make sure everything along the back raglan line was even on both sides of the sweater. I think I’d like this in Wool of the Andes bulky too. There might be a bit more drape, which is nice in a bulky knit.
At the time of this posting there are 3689 finished Aidez sweaters at some stage of construction on Ravelry. That’s some kind of famous for a pattern. Cirilia has designed a lot of other things I love. My favorites include Australorp, Phinney, Shibuya, Espenson, and Hekla. Especially Hekla. But Aidez was my all time fave.
How do I feel about finally knitting this classic design? Accomplished. I have learned all of these techniques, and kept working on it through some chaotic times. I also had the ability to notice the thing that no one else will notice about my seaming in back and say “Who cares?” about it.
But will I ever do this one again? At first I thought, “No.” But once it was done blocking, I thought, “Well, maybe.” Then I saw Jennifer’s (the one whose bright turquoise Aidez first inspired me to knit this) photo on her blog. You have to click over and see it! It shows how Aidez sweaters can be addictive.
The truth is, yes, I’ll probably make another one in wool. Maybe by next Christmas. 🙂
(more on ravelry, kollabora, instagram, and flickr)
Other posts about this knit are here: planning, casting on to knit the body in one piece, some progress, all of the knitting peer pressure, and that crazy home stretch.
It is gorgeous!
Yay!!! I did it, I did it! These pics were a little blurry and rushed, but I just wanted it all tied up, so I could say I was totally finished with it. But, yeah, I'll probably make another, too.
yay! I'm so glad you finished it! And, it really looks great. I know what you mean about using the Brava – the plus side is that it's cheap & easy care, but a sweater like this deserves something better. I've been finding myself wanting another (I know, I know…) in Cascade Eco, which is what I knit my younger sister's with. 3 years later, and it's holding up really well! Congrats on such an accomplishment!
It's gorgeous. Why do you keep making such pretty things, you just make me want to copy everything you make. lol
Way to go on 'letting go'! I couldn't even tell there was something off until I stared at the pic for a while, and even then it's hardly noticeable. 🙂 I'm sorry that you're disappointed about the fibre, but at least it's machine washable. Be a nice treat!
So, so lovely. This is on my must knit list for this year. I like seaming so I might stick to the seamed version but will definitely make it longer after seeing yours. Hope things are feeling a bit better in your world now. x
This is one pattern I never tire of seeing! It's perfect!
I want to knit another one too I seriously live in mine any chance I get.
I love Helka too! The sample was actually here at Knit East last year and I almost got the yarn to make it. I really should have tried the sample on though.
Congrats on finishing such a momentous project, the cabling is absolutely stunning! Doing the body in one piece does sounds like a brilliant idea, but I might just be saying that because I hate seaming so much.
It's stunning, truly beautiful (as all of your projects are). This is one of my fave Cirilia patterns too, maybe one day it will actually move from my knit-list to my FO's. And I agree, once you get over the scale of this project, you'll have to knit a wool one 😉 Although it's gorgeous in Brava! Good for you for letting go — something I'm not particularly good at either!
I love it! If only I could muster up the courage to start a project like this..
Ahhh, it's beautiful! I must say, Adiez is my most-worn hand knit sweater. I think you'll love wearing it, too!
This is beautiful! Aidez is definitely on my to-knit list 🙂 Just gorgeous!
Gorgeous just gorgeous! I have aidez in my queue but I'm a bit scared of it at the mo, I might make it a goal for this year or next tho after seeing yours!
It's gorgeous! I love the colour too! I really want to start a cabled vest, but I'm still working on my Alloy sweater first.. Soon though!
This is a beautiful cardigan, and the color is absolutely delicious. I'm glad you found a good acrylic to work with. I find it sometimes annoying but wool can be so expensive sometimes…
It's beautiful! I don't see any mistakes at all. I have a couple of acrylic sweaters tucked secretly under the futon (we're talkin' Red Heart acrylic), so I cringed a little that this beauty is all acrylic, but Knit Picks acrylic is a faaaaaaar cry from Red Heart, so I think you'll enjoy this sweater for a long time before you decide to make a wool one. 🙂
Thanks, Jennifer! I'm now positive I'll make another one day. I just got some Eco + for a Twenty Ten and am excited to finally try it.
Thanks, Heather! I'm not too disappointed by the acrylic. I just want wool too :). You definitely need to knit an Aidez one of these days- it's like a knitting rite of passage or something.
Thanks, Julieanne! I can't wait to see yours! I will say that I think the various cables add the structure that I usualky seek in seams. I love it a bit longer, too. I'm feeling much better. Thanks so much for the encouragement.
It's called a classic for a reason, huh? I'm sure I'll try it again. But not too quickly :). I recently got Cirilia's new book and there are some things I'd like to do in it also.
Thanks! I thought the cable patterns kept things structured on mine, so that seams weren't necessary. But then I hate seaming, too.
Oh, you should try, Monique! Once you organize your charts, it's a lot of fun. It's not nearly as intimidating as it appears. It only took me so long because I didn't have much time to work on it at home. It does take more concentration than plain stockinette.
Thanks, Katie. And yeah, I'm working hard to pull that thing up. Its like a robe I wear around the house, even.
Thank you, Jenna! You'll love working on it.
I hope you try it, Sabs! I'd go to sweatshopoflove.com and search under Allyson's Aidez tags for all of her old KAL posts. If I'd actually worked on this non-stop, it would've been finished very quickly by following her charts.
Thank you, Kim! You might want to check out Cirilia's new book. She has a vest that's very similar to Aidez, but without sleeves.
Thanks, Elena! It's a soft acrylic and not at all bad, but I still want one in wool.
Ha! At first, I saw this as a trial run in acrylic, but then it took much longer than I thought. Now I'm just pleased to have this one.
Thanks for the tip Michelle I'll def look it up!
It turned out gorgeous! Looks amazing in Brava. I think of Aidez as kind of a knitter's rite of passage. I was a cable newbie at the time and I remember thinking that it would be a disaster of a sweater. The seaming of the raglan upper body was especially difficult because I had no clue what to do. (Yours looks fine!) When I make my second one, I plan on knitting it all seamlessly just to avoid the headache. Allyson's chart was a lifesaver and made the knitting so much more enjoyable.
Amen to that! I would never have finished this if I'd had to seam it all! But I do love it. It's already getting pilly and worn because I wear it constantly. 🙂