Friday, February 26, 2010

Knitting An Identity ~ Aran

Aran jumpers like the one shown above are knitted with intricate patterns. traditionally they are knitted with pure wool. The history of these garments are little known, but very interesting.

The Aran jumper is thought to predate AD800 when there appears to be an aran jumper depicted in the Book of Kells.
The Aran is thought to have been originally knitted in untreated wool . This wool would contain lanalin and would have been waterproof and therefore ideal for fishermen.
It is widely believed that each area had it own design of jumper with each one bearing 4 -6 patterns. Should the fishermen meet with the misfortune of being drowned, then they could be identified by the pattern on their jumper long after the sea did it's worst to their bodies.
The first commercial pattern for aran jumpers was produced by the pattern manufacturer Patons in the 1940's.


Carol said...

I knitted three Aran type jumpers last year, Modern yarns I hasten to say. There is such a wonderful feeling of achievement when it is completed and sewn up.

Moonbeam Angel said...

I have knitted aran jumpers for my children in the past and I also knitted a cardi for my mum several years ago. All with modern yarns.

I love knitting arans but only when I can devote a fair bit of time to it. As Carole says such a sense of self-worth and pride when a garment is completed.

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