Honeycomb Aran

Materials: 7 skeins Valley Yarns Northampton in light gray; size 4 & 6 needles. Pattern: Honeycomb Aran.

Time: Several months.

Cost: $36.32!


This sweater came about because I’d been wanting a big, cozy, old-school fisherman’s sweater. And I mean old school in terms of pattern, too, not just style — no “modern twists on a timeless classic.” This Patons pattern fit the bill, with the added benefit of a less-bulky raglan sleeve. (A lot of vintage ’80s patterns rock the exaggerated drop shoulder. Also, ’80s and ’90s patterns are less enamored of sleeves that fit like sausage casings.)


It is big and cozy! I took these photos on a day that maxed out in the low 80s, and still had a very hard time persuading myself to take it off after taking these photographs. The Valley Yarns Northampton is rapidly becoming my go-to budget wool: it goes on sale with some regularity, and does a fine job of walking the “tough workhorse” and “soft enough to, you know, wear” line.


The pattern is pretty straightforward, and is easy to modify into “knit three tubes in pattern until the armpit.” This time, however, I did what I should’ve done a dozen sweaters ago and used a tubular cast-on and tubular bind-off. Why didn’t I try them ages ago?! I have so many sweaters marred by too-tight cuffs and janky necklines!


I don’t know if I’ll ever tire of cabled sweaters. But this one was a satisfying case of wanting a specific garment, and ending up with the exact desired thing.