Traditional Knitting

traditional_knitting

Traditional Knitting – Cover

I’ve been stuck with a book that I just couldn’t sit down to review. It was published in 1981 and written by Gwyn Morgan. My guess is that it was originally written in the UK as the patterns have centimeters given first in measurements. Spoiler alert – I’m not keeping this one.

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Traditional Knitting – back cover

Nice traditional designs that would be appropriate for current casual wear!

history

Knitting History

The book begins with an historical overview.As the subtitle suggests there is history of Ireland, Scotland and England.

kids_guernsey

Guernsey and Fair Isle sweaters

The patterns are traditional styles with projects for kids, women and men.

Shetland_chart

Shetland colorwork charts

The charts in the patterns are a plus for making the sweaters.

Guernsey

Guernsey charts

Nice that the patterns also include stitch charts for ease in knitting.

cardigans

Cardigans and Vests

For knitters who love lots of stitches and color patterns this book is perfect. I’m probably not going to use this again so it will travel on to another knitter!

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Traditional-Knitting-Patterns-Ireland-Scotland/dp/0312813147/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=traditional+knitting+Patterns+of+Ireland%2C+Scotland%2C+and+England&qid=1568579979&sr=8-1

What is an Aran Sweater?

define_Aran

Great trip to UK. Not so great for my blogging. I feel a bit stuck in the Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore book. I know once I read Alice’s conclusion, she goes into Aran stitch patterns and then into actual sweater designs. The light at the end of the tunnel is coming…

I staggered through Alice’s conclusions on Construction and Style. The circular Scottish and/or British Gansey  was the beginning point for the final very commercial Aran Sweater (knit in flat pieces). Then she went on to how the patterns occurred. I’m not sure I completely understood the whole concept. Some of it came from designing sweaters and patterns that could be easily commercially executed. Some of the patterning came from ideas based on the original Gansey concept.

The best and most concise think I learned was how Alice defined the Aran Sweater.

1) Handknit garment of flat construction (in pieces)

2) Composed of of vertical panels of cabled patterns and texture stitches

3) Each piece of the sweater has a central panel flanked by textured patterns (usually somewhat mirror each other)

4) Made of heavy, undyed cream wool – not always

After that “Ah ha Moment”, I decided to stop for the moment. These pages are really text heavy – in small type I must say. I’m not sure that is a good thing. Not light reading!

The sweater above is a good example of a Classic Aran Sweater.

 

Alice concludes the mystery of the origins of Aran Sweaters

 

 

men_Aran

In my last post, Alice was off to study sweaters in the Dublin National Museum of Ireland.

In my recent reading she dissected 4 garments beginning with an early piece (donated in 1937) from Aran that had the structure of a Scottish Gansey. Her dissection was complex and through. Actually, I was awed by her knowledge of knitting structure.

From the first garment, she concluded that what began as circular knit garments without seams evolved into Aran Sweaters knit in pieces. This seems to have been done to allow a knitter to work with textured patterns without being a mathematical genius needed to work out some of the shaping points in the sweaters.

One remarkable conclusion made by Alice is that Aran women learned Gansey knitting skills from Scottish sources.

Also, Aran sweaters (often called f) were not made as a fisherman’s garment. Will talk more about this in my next post.

I want to talk more about Alice’s conclusions, but I’m off to visit the UK tonight and have a plane to catch! I’ll be silent post-wise for a couple of weeks. Sadly, I’m not visiting Aran, although it is on my bucket list!