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'Irish Cable Knitting': Local woman publishes volume of patterns

Allison Barta displays some of the finished patterns from the third volume of her "Irish Cable Knitting" series. Barta has been knitting since girlhood. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Allison Barta, who has published two volumes of "Irish Cable Knitting Aran" patterns, inspired herself to develop a third volume.

"When I got done with Volume 2, I had the Céili scarves in there," she said. "I wanted to make it into a sweater, but I didn't have time because I was going to college and changing my life."

Now available at the Bemidji Woolen Mills and Ben Franklin, the "6 Céili Dancer Patterns," $10, features vest and cardigan patterns, scarves and two small fun projects, a coffee mug cozy and "shrugs," fingerless and thumbless hand warmers.

"I started on it last October, and I worked on it until Christmas," Barta said.

Barta, former senior district executive for the Voyageurs Area Boy Scouts, returned to Bemidji State University for an education degree in middle school and high school science. She has been substitute teaching and running an afterschool program this year for the Cass Lake-Bena School District.

As she was developing the patterns for Volume 3, she asked Karen Forbes to be her editor. Forbes went through the patterns row-by-row knitting a Céili Dancer cardigan to make sure each stitch was exact.

"You go over and over things and you have an editor," Barta said.

She also went over the graphics many times with Connie Knutson, Arrow Printing graphic artist.

Barta said she always signs her knitting book introductions with her full name - Allison Ann Elizabeth Snopek Bartato honor her goddaughter and niece Anna Elizabeth Snopek, who has been featured in all three volumes. In Volume 3, Anna, now 12, models a pair of "shrugs."

"She's still knitting," Barta said.