Sunday, 13 March 2011
Last week Yumi and I went on a mini holiday to the west coast of Ireland. We had a lovely long train journey across the north coast of Wales and eventually made our way to Galway.
When we were there we took a day trip to Inis Mór, one of the Aran islands, where we hired bikes and cycled around the island - it felt like summertime. We also met a friendly lady who knits for a living. She had a whole hut filled with Aran jumpers made by her and her family.
There was also a mini museum exhibit about Aran jumpers which had some interesting information about some of the patterns used on the jumpers. Apparently Irish Moss stitch is used to represent the Carrageen moss which is gathered by the islanders, and the Diamond stitch represents the stone wall enclosed fields which cover the islands. Other stitched like Cable and Trellis are said to represent fishermans nets and most of the stitches have something to do with the sea, which is a huge part of island life.
This has inspired me to use Irish moss stitch and Diamond stitch on my next cardigan, which will be a variation of this favourite.
I also read that most Aran Sweaters on the island are knitted almost entirely from memory following no set pattern. Crazy.