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Cheryl's Crafts:
Knitting the Great American Aran Afghan (a.k.a. GAAA)
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Front cover of The Great American Aran Afghan Book
Front cover of "The Great American Aran Afghan" book

     After doing lots and lots of thinking (i.e. debating with myself all of the pros & cons of this particular afghan knitting pattern *LOL*), I finally decided in April 2008 to try making the Great American Aran Afghan for myself. It's a gorgeous afghan and it definitely should become a family heirloom once it's completed. *S* I did join an online group called "gaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" on Ravelry for the "Great American Aran Afghan Along" and hope to be joining a local group in my area for local meetings later this year.
     If you want to see some completed GAAA squares/afghans, try visiting one of these sites:

Great American Aran Afghan by Susan Rainey
Great American Aran Afghan Along Blog
You may also be interested in reading the History of the Great American Aran Afghan. There are 3 other pattern books similar to it in a series from Knitter's Magazine. I've already happily added all 3 of them to my pattern library/stash. *S*
The Great American Afghan

(See Knitter's Thumb-through)
The Great North American Afghan 2

(See Knitter's Thumb-through)
The Great American Kids Afghan
I may decide to use some of the squares from one or more of the above listed books when making my own GAAA as substitutes or additons to it. I've seen some very pretty patterns in all of those books that would fit very nicely into my GAAA. I haven't decided about that particular issue as of yet though.

     If you are trying to find/buy the GAAA pattern book, hopefully you should be able to find it in any LYS in your area or use to try to find the best available ONLINE price for it or you can try ordering it online from any of the following stores/sites - (FYI: Please be careful when ordering/buying it online from some sellers as it usually sells for $12.95 new in most of the stores in my area when it's available/in stock. I've seen it being sold online for a lot more than that when the book was temporarily out of stock and/or hard to find due to the high demand for the book at times. I think the newest edition of the book is now available in its 5th edition.) Please note that the following list is just a partial listing or suggestions of places where you may find the book and I did the list alphabetically and not in any particular order/preference. (FYI #2: The red asterisk (*) in the list below are for actual stores that I have visited/done business with and that I do recommend as one of their satisfied customers. I definitely do recommend visiting those MI stores if/when you get a chance!) Also ThUD for all of the following links:
     Once you have become the happy owner of the above-mentioned book(s) whether it's new or used, I would suggest/recommend that you take it to a local office supply store (such as FedEx Kinko's, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, etc.) where they do binding and/or laminating work and spend some extra $$ to at least have your book spiral-bound to help save on some wear-&-tear on it as well as making it much more easier on yourself to read/use it. You may also want to consider having at least the front and back covers (if not the whole book?) laminated while you're there if you really want to keep your book in good condition/shape. (After hearing on Ravelry that Kinko's quoted $95 for laminating the whole GAAA book, you may want to consider carefully using clear contact paper to cover the inside/outside covers of the book to help it last longer or possibly asking for some help in covering just the book covers from your local library.)
     There are 24 pattern squares in the book and you don't have to make all of them to make your afghan but if you want to make one similar to what is shown on the front cover, then you will need to make at least 20 of the 24 squares.
     I did create my own spreadsheet in Excel to use as my index for the book as well as a progress chart for making the squares when I first started on my quest to make this beautiful afghan. If you want to see/get a copy of my spreadsheet as a photo (.jpg file), you can go here or if you want a copy of my Excel file (.xls file), try downloading it here - I am making it available for free to download for personal use only and it is not to be sold/resold OR posted to another site for downloading without my express permission. As far as I know, it shouldn't violate any copyright laws since there isnít an index in the actual book and I made it for my personal use/reference to keep track of my progress in making the squares as well as being able to identify quickly which squares use what type & size knitting needles.
     If you are looking for more helps, hints, links, suggestions, etc. for those wanting to make (or just starting to make) this particular afghan, please visit my new page here. I made a separate helps & hints page for the GAAA on 5 June 2008. *S*

     BTW - just in case you were wondering if I had forgotten to mention something, here's one of the main reasons for creating this page at my site *LOL* -
~*~ My GAAA Squares Progress Report ~*~

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