Aran knitting is a type of yarn knitting that follows the Irish Aran tradition. The knitting follows the patterns of cable, bobbles and many other intricate designs that normally stand out on the knitted items. The Aran patterns were first published in 1940, and more and more people took the patterns and used them to make their own sweaters and other knit items. These items are now available for sale and the patterns have been made available for most knitters to use.
- The cable stitch is the most prominent pattern in almost all of the Aran knitting. It is said that the cables are a representation of the fishermen’s fishing net or success at sea, as the fishing was one of their primary means of livelihood for most of the rural poor. Today, most knitters can make the cable stitch and you will find most sweaters, jumpers, cardigans and scarves have this intricate pattern.
- The diamond pattern in Aran knitting was a representation of hope for good luck, success and wealth for the farmers who tilled on the Aranian fields. It is thus also a representation of these small fields.
- The tree of life stitch was a representation of the importance of the clan in matters related to parents, children and building strong families.
- The zig – zag stitch was a representation of the highs and lows associated with married lives and sometimes the winding cliffs that are common in the Aran Island.
Most of the Aran patterns had meanings, and the patterns are very much in use today owing to the beautiful finish and intricate design the patterns give to the items knitted using them