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>Aran Knit

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>From Wikipedia:

“The Aran is a style of jumper/sweater[1] that takes its name from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland.[2][3] It is sometimes known as a fisherman sweater. A classical fisherman’s sweater is a bulky garment with prominent cable patterns on the chest, often cream-colored.

The sweaters are distinguished by their use of complex textured stitch patterns, several of which are combined in the creation of a single garment. The word choice of “jumper” or “sweater” (or indeed other options such as “pullover” and “jersey”) is largely determined by the regional version of English being spoken.[1] In the case of Ireland and Britain, “jumper” is the standard word with “sweater” mainly found in tourist shops. The word used in Irish is geansaí, a gaelicization of guernsey which has been re-Anglicised to gansey in Hiberno-English.

Originally the jumpers were knitted using unscoured wool that retained its natural oils (lanolin) which made the garments water-resistant and meant they remained wearable even when wet. It was primarily the wives of island fishermen who knitted the jumpers.

Some stitch patterns have a traditional interpretation, often of religious significance. The honeycomb is a symbol of the hard-working bee. The cable, an integral part of the fisherman’s daily life, is said to be a wish for safety and good luck when fishing. The diamond is a wish of success, wealth and treasure. The basket stitch represents the fisherman’s basket, a hope for a plentiful catch.”

Written by alexgfrank

December 1, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Posted in aran knit