Aran week at goodone
So this week in the Goodone studio we are uploading several new styles to the shop with Aran knit to keep you warm and cosy now we have turned the corner towards winter. We have been doing some research into Aran knitting, it is rumoured that the patterns in these complex knits were originally developed as a form of identification for fishermen who may be washed up after an accident at sea. This was probably based on the play Riders to the Sea, by J M Synge, (1904) where a fisherman is identified by a few dropped stitches on a garment, however apparently it is not likely this is the case. The initials may have been knitted into the bottom of a garment for this purpose, however the patterns do have implied meanings drawn from their inspiration. The honeycomb pattern relates to the hard working bee, the diamond is said to represent a wish of success and wealth, and the basket stitch is symbolic of a full basket, a good catch.
They were made as jumpers for outdoor use in an area prone to wind and rain, retaining the natural grease in the wool by spinning without scouring (wool known as known as bainin, pronounced ‘bawneen’) allowed them to protect against the cold and the wet. The cable and honeycomb patterns became especially popular around the 1920s and onwards when their production was encouraged for the benefit of tourist trade and export. During the 1960’s islanders struggled to keep up with international demand and many were exported to America.
Now popularised these patterns have been made in finer yarns and with simpler stitches, as many of the very chunky patterns aren’t possible with machines. It is always evident when we go to the textile recycling factory that there are plenty out there, and they are such good quality pieces too, all with different patterns – the perfect recycling material in plentiful supply.
Goodone Aran knit bomber jacket, each made from around 3 Aran knit sweaters.