The Great American Aran Afghan

This project took 160+ hours of my time; some of it at home, some on the road. It was a race to the finish to get it all done in time for Christmas 2014, as a present for my daughter-in-law Kim! I’ll start with a bit more information, and then post pics of it in progress.

Project: The Great American Aran Afghan

Pattern: Can be hard to find now, but you can usually get it on here:

The Great American Aran Afghan by Joni Coniglio

Yarn: The pattern specifies a yarn called Plymouth Encore: 75% acrylic, 25% wool. In Australia, I substituted this yarn: 10-ply 100% wool Luxury (machine washable) from the Bendigo Woollen Mills. The yarn is in 200g balls, and I ordered 11 balls (working on 2 squares per ball, and 1 ball for the edging (it actually takes around 1.5 balls, but there’s enough left over from the squares to finish it.) I bought it in classic cream, but there is a wide range of colours – note, though, that not all colours are available in 10-ply.

Here is the Bendigo Woollen Mills website:

And here is the direct link to the yarn I used:
Luxury 100% Wool

Needles: The pattern book specifies the needle size for each square – it varies. I use KnitPro needles (great for knitting in the car – I don’t drop them!) and I learned how to cable without a cable needle (again, easier in the car). You will need a set of 5 double pointed needles for some of the squares that are worked in towards the middle rather than from bottom to top.

Here is a link to KnitPro needles (for you convenience – Google KnitPro for more options). An excellent choice for travel, since you can knit projects in the round or straight, and you always have the right-sized needle in a compact case. (You don’t have to buy the set in a case – I just liked it.)


Here are a few photos of the finished project (and places where I knitted the squares!)

The finished afghan






In Progress


Knitting in the car (1)


Knitting in the car (2) – I used coloured wool for markers


Knitting in the car (3) – graph blu-tacked to dashboard!


Setting squares out to dry at Robinvale, on the border of NSW/Vic

Setting squares out to dry at Robinvale, on the border of NSW/Vic


Assembling the completed squares

Work out placement of squares

Work out placement of squares


tack together strips of 4

tack together strips of 4

Sew strips together

Sew strips together

Pin on edging and sew into place

Pin on edging and sew into place

The Squares

The pattern book gives you patterns for 24 squares – 20 for the afghan, 4 for optional cushions.

I used some of the patterns for the cushion squares in the afghan.

These are the squares I chose:


The Great American Aran Afghan — 7 Comments

  1. Thanks! Yes, I absconded to FB for a while because it’s so quick and convenient – but blog posts allow you to go into much more detail. 🙂

  2. Marg, that is just wonderful, hope you enjoyed doing it, you must feel proud of you!!!!! I, too, am glad to see you back. We did Great Ocean Rd, then nothing since, had to sell Mums house, big job cleaning out 65yrs of ‘stuff’… I had to have another knee operation, re few problems with replacement, Ron had Carpal Tunnel x2 operations, so, no hols. Now its a new year, and we hopefully start again!!!!!!! I need to sit out the front and cross-stitch!!! We have got a bit of time to make up !!!!!
    Regards, Kerry and Ron

  3. I loved doing it, Kerry. You and Ron have been having quite a time with those ops! Yes, I agree – you need to sit and do cross-stitch. Craft is the cure for all ills! 😉 (Do you think Ron would like to do some cross-stitch too??? LOL)

  4. Marg, I have tried many times to convince him to do just that, but all he wants to do is GO AWAY SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE!!!!!!! Kerry

  5. HI Marg,
    After seeing your beautiful afghan, I have sent away for the great american aran afghan book. I have also ordered my yarn from Bendigo, always shop my yarn from them. However, I would love to have the required needles ready to go, could you lease enlighten me as to what i will need.
    Many Thanks
    Janil Gray QLD Australia

    • There are different needle sizes for each square, Janil. I take a set of KnitPro needles so I always have the right size for any project!

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