Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Irish Knitting Fact or Fiction
Every March, the Interweave office gets flooded with Aran sweaters, cable needles, shamrocks, and the mysterious smell of corned beef (we haven’t found the source yet). Even non-knitters share legends about Irish knitting like ghost stories at this time of year as they lift a pint of green beer. So I decided to don my deerstalker and investigate of few of these legends. I followed the twists and turns of every cable and found some interesting truths.
Over the last century, these urban legends about Irish knitting grew within the knitting community and beyond. Once Aran sweaters became trendy in the early 1900s, British and American fashion magazines started crafting romantic stories about the Irish countryside and the origins of these iconic sweaters. Many of these tales went unchallenged in their land of origin, since good marketing promoted tourism to Ireland and the sales of Irish sweaters.
How much do you know about Irish knitting? Were Aran sweaters used to identify fishermen drowned at sea? Did cable patterns represent nature around the Irish countryside? Did ancient Celtic knotwork inspire particular cable motifs? Do you think you know truth from legend? If you’re feeling confident, test your knowledge with our video.
Irish Knitting: Fact or Fiction
If you’re obsessed with cables, join the club! To satisfy everybody’s Aran cravings, we collected 9 more of our favorite cabled sweaters into Irish Knits 2! More Aran Sweaters. This selection includes patterns for every level of knitter, from beginner-friendly cables to intricate knitted knotwork. Explore the romanticism of cables and fall in love with Irish knitting all over again!
Yours in yarn,
– Gus C. Baxter