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Book Review: THE COMPLETE BOOK OF TRADITIONAL ARAN KNITTING


This book is fabulous because modern knitting books rarely go into such detail about the types of garments it concerns. Usually, a knitting book is simply pictures of finished garments on models followed by the knitting pattern and instructions.


But here, Hollingworth gives a brief overview on how Aran knitting came to be; even though we might never know exactly how the cable stitches that became famous in and synonymous with the fisherman’s sweater were discovered, we can consider the Aran Islands, with their history and geography, to get a decent picture of how this garment rose to mainstream fashion.


Following this introduction to Aran knitting, Hollingworth dives into explaining knitting equipment and working methods.


Then, the best part. The section on designing your own Aran sweater is divine. The math and piece placement has been done for you. All that is left is choosing your favorite stitches and stitch patterns as well as your favored basic sweater characteristics (round collar or v-neck or shawl collar... etc.).


And not to worry about choosing your preferred stitch patterns, because Hollingworth has pictures of each sample, with the name of the pattern in bold, as well as the knitting instructions. Heinz Edgar Kiewe, a knitting historian, has also provided explanations and the meanings behind many of the Aran symbols.


All together, this book is simply the best for those wanting to put their knitting skills to the test. A fisherman’s sweater is often regarded as the “highest challenge” or “exhibition piece” for a knitter. So let’s get to work!




(update: Husband grabbed all my knitting needles out of storage for me because now I can't stop talking about how much I want to make us matching sweaters.)