Now that Epistrophy is almost complete (I know! It's on the blocking board right now!), I'm getting ready to unravel my next sweater for Project No. 8. Unfortunately the aran weight pattern options in my Ravelry Library are rather minimal right now, but I've selected a few that I think might work. Now I just need to unravel, determine the yardage, wash, pick a pattern, and get to knitting!
As I'm writing this post the temperature outside is approximately 1 bazillion. I live in the Bay Area where one can expect fairly temperate weather year-round, but in the last few days we've had the craziest heatwave. I'm talking 75 degrees at 9pm, conditions practically unheard of in these parts. SoCal weather, you know? I can't shut up about it, much to the annoyance of my Midwestern boyfriend. I know Indian Summer blah blah blah but this is just so hot!
And the sweater that I can't get out of my head? A thick wooly Fisherman's jumper! Ouch! We can blame this adorable pic of Elenore from Earthsprout.com for the inspiration.
The history of the Aran jumper is actually quite cool (no pun intended ;)). The name comes from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. Traditionally, Aran sweaters were knit from 100% unscoured wool, called báinín in Gaelic, (read: full of waxy Lanolin making them essentially water resistant and perfect for folks out at sea) and featured intricate cabling patterns. From Wikipedia:
Some stitch patterns have a traditional interpretation, often of religious significance. The honeycomb is a symbol of the hard-working bee. The cable, an integral part of the Aran islander's daily life, is said to be a wish for safety and good luck when fishing. The diamond is a wish of success, wealth and treasure. The basket stitch represents the basket, a hope for a plentiful catch.
The pattern roundup above consists of some of my favorite Aran's in my Ravelry library. I hope to knit Backbay in the New Year when the weather cools down a bit. 'Til then I'll admire these beauts from afar.