Pattern: Aran Tree Skirt by Teva Durham (ravlink) from Handknit Holidays: Knitting Year-Round for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Winter Solstice
Yarn: 1944 yds Knit Picks Bare – Peruvian Highland Wool Bulky Weight; 325 yds Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Silver
Needles: US 15
Size: 55″ diameter
What can I say about this one? I got Handknit Holidays for Christmas pretty soon after I started knitting and wanted to make it for my mom, who seriously decorates for Christmas every year. I finally decided to go ahead and do it this year. It took about three months of me working pretty consistently on it to finish it up. Knitting on US 15s with bulky yarn held double while also doing intarsia for the braided trim wasn’t the absolute most enjoyable thing in the world, but I did enjoy the ridiculous number of different cables that are part of the pattern. I made a few changes to the version I had and I love how it came out.
As far as changes, I followed the lead of a few of the projects on Ravelry and knit the full 3/2 cable at the end of row 27 instead of doing a short row in the middle of it. Also, as other folks have mentioned, I did a back cable instead of a front cable on sts 14-19 on row 1.
To get as much of a complete circle as possible, I knit 11 full repeats and 38 rows of a 12th. I bound off purlwise, and blocked the skirt lightly just to open it up a little bit. I pinned the center and then worked my way out, spraying the tree skirt with water as I went.
I did not do the braided cable up the sides of the tree skirt. Instead, I did a plain crochet chain to clean it up a bit and make buttonholes. I used six cream-colored buttons on the main part of the skirt and a Santa Claus button to close off the trim. (I had a pretty classy, shiny, medium gray button that I was also considering for the final button, but decided to go with something more cutesy.)
My Ravelry entry is littered with a ton more pictures, including progress shots that I took after each wedge I completed. I was pretty obsessed about this as I knit it, which was probably a good thing, since I wanted to have it finished (including blocking it, having it actually dry, and buttons sewn on) in time to give it to my mom when I saw her on Thanksgiving so that it could be out for as much of the season as possible. I’m happy to say that I made that deadline and my mom loved it.
This tree skirt is by far the most impressive thing I’ve knit so far. After spending three months with it, it feels a bit odd not to have it to work on anymore. I’m trying to substitute some blanket knitting, but it isn’t the same. This may be the first thing I actually miss working on.