Saturday, 6 February 2010

Irish Knitting - Patterns Inspired by Ireland

Irish Knitting: Patterns Inspired by Ireland (Hobby Craft) (US Amazon Link)
Name of Book: Irish Knitting - Patterns inspired by IrelandRavelry Link
Author: Rohana Darlington
Any other info: 0713633395, 1991, A&C Black

Types of patterns: Garments

Number of Patterns: 24: Cardigan (2); Tank top/sleeveless top (2); Childs Jumper (3); Jumper (14): Baby Layette (1, 4 part); baby dress (1); bedspread (1)
Split of patterns: Men/women/children

Size Range: 32"-43" not all patterns cover this range. But with the plain portions of the garments several of them would be very adaptable both up and down.

Colour/Black & White: Colour photos, black and white sketches, colour charts, written cabling instructions, often in panels.

Schematics: no, sketches of the garment

Target Audience: Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced/mixed

How to knit guide


Comments: Pretty typical late 80's early 90's book, some of the patterns are a bit laughable but I think it could be useful for inspiration in places and in other places the patterns aren't too bad. The author also delves into history, visiting the National Museum and the Aran Islands as well as other places to delve into the history of Knitting in Ireland and doesn't perpetuate the Aran Jumpers Myth, she does detail some of the myths that have built up around it, but clearly stating that these myths have now passed into part of the story of the jumpers. She also notes which ones are newer designs than others. When she was finished talking with some people she went back to the National Museum and lodged her notes with them.

Yes there's no real shaping in the pieces and you would probably have to play with some of the designs to make them work but what's interesting about them is the completely different slant she has taken to Ireland and Irish design. She's exploring more of the heritage than I've seen many designers do and using it in different ways. A book that it would be interesting to use for concepts and ideas and maybe for some designers to look at to see if they too can play with the concept of Irish beyond cabling.

Pattern Links are to Ravelry
Newgrange Cardigan is an Alice Starmore meets Kaffe Fasset concept, the swirls of the entrance stone with a variety of yarns it's complicated and shapeless but an interesting idea, knit in 5mm needles with a bulky yarn and sport weight yarn, pictures notable for only showing back of the garment

Inishmore: uses Kilcarra Bulky yarn - a tank top with texture, designer wanted to capture the stone walls.

Crios uses DK for a childs jumper that captures the traditional belt or Crios used on the Aran Islands. Main body in bright red with colour bands on the bottom of the jumper, cuffs and top of sleeves

Torc is a sleeveless top knit in "Naturally Beautiful Aura 8/2 Silk" which sounds like fingering weight as it's knit on 2.75mm needles, plain with detail at top and hem

La Tene is another starmore/fassett work, this time in a jumper

Tara: Knotwork in the body and a torc type top, the colourwork is a bit off but it might work as a solid piece in another colour.

Kells Mosaic is a striped jumper with colourwork stripes, interesting but only for the thin

Dublin Silver is a double breasted shawl collar cardigan with colour and cableing,yeah.

Herald is a colourwork jumper with heraldic motifs. scary

Carrickmacross is a jumper worked in a nubby yarn with a lacework collar and cabled cuff and welt.

Shamrock Lace Layette is a heirloom christening set in white. There's a shamrock lace motif but otherwise not too twee, it is knit in very fine laceweight.

Primrose Petals is a baby dress in yellow with white trim, not the fussiest party garment for an infant I've seen.

Kerry Bedspread: Adapted from one crocheted in cotton in Listowel in the mid 19th century this is a spread knit in diagonal squares and then sewn together. Bobbles abound.

Sampler: In my humble opinion these belong on walls, as cross-stitch, the author disagrees and makes it into a jumper in 2ply shetland yarn no less!

Fisher Gansey: Red with moss stitch stripes this isn't a bad one of it's type, would probably suit a man

Diamond and Cable Aran - interesting rib detail with not too much cabling

Carrageen: not only modern designers show garments modelled in swimwear! Batwing jumper worked in one piece with cable running along the top of the sleeve and irish moss stitch body, original knit in Cotton DK.

Honeycomb Cable Aran - knit in aran wool, this has a cabled rib and cuffs and strap shoulder shaping

Betrothal Aran: heavily cabled with trinity stitch this is an interesting piece, blocky but the variation on the aran theme is interesting.

Rope Plait Aran - an aran weight jumper with some fairly heavy cabling this would be a good man's jumper, particularly if he likes boating.

Sailboats - Kids Jumper, inartasia but one for the boater. Not the worst of it's kind

Galway Racer - Kids Jumper with horses racing from side to side.

Seabirds is an adult jumper featuring an ocean, a few different textures of yarn for clouds and seabirds, I've seen much, much worse of it's kind.

Wild Fuschia - Plain jumper with fuschia along the neck and the sleeve top. Not something for me but not a bad jumper overall

Buy/Borrow: I'm adding it to my wishlist, I like some of the ideas and might try a few of the jumpers with some ammendations.

Where found: DUblin City Public Libraries has a few copies.

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