Book Review: “Handknitting for winter” and “The works of Aran Knitting”, Part Two

My second book of the two purchased recently is “The works of Aran Knitting”, (the first review you can see at the bottom of this page, under previous post.

This is an utterly adorable Japanese tour of the Aran Isles, their knitted social history, museum and archival visits, stitch dictionary and introduction to the local knitting shops and their proprietors. All in all, a whistle stop tour of all things woolly on the Isles of Aran, and far more than just a pattern book.

There are 17 patterns for knitted accessories , with projects ranging from a cute pompom egg cosy, to beautiful travelling cape, with cables being the predominant technique. Indeed, for anyone looking to master the art of cabling, this gives lovely inspiration, and includes ten samplers for cables and texture patterns, with a chapter on their history and development with historical examples of traditional sweaters from museum archives.

All the patterns and swatch designs are charted, with clear construction diagrams to indicate how they are put together, making this easy to navigate for a non-Japanese reader like myself.

It is also lovely to see that the samples used for photography in the book have been knitted in a traditional Aran wool, and I can well imagine the gorgeous, crunchy, and rustic feel of the wool that gives this wee collection it’s heritage look.

Overall, this book is a really sweet treasure, using the knitting design history of this collection of islands to put Ireland on the map for knitting travelers, and justly so.

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