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Aran Yarn

Aran knitting yarns are traditionally made up of natural undyed fibres and colours, such as cream and off-white, and consequently produce naturally stunning results. There are many folk tales surrounding the history behind Aran yarn, which is often called ‘Fishermen’s’ wool. For instance, it is said that each family or ‘clan’ on the Aran Islands had its own specific design that was handed down for generations and could only be worn by that specific family. The fishermen wore the warm wool sweaters when out on their boats and because the patterns were individually unique to each family, if the ship sank and the fishermen were washed ashore, he could be easily identified by the sweater he wore. This would explain why there are so many different designs and patterns available for Aran Yarns. Others say that it is spun with the natural oils (lanolin) left in the wool and this is why it is more often than not referred to as Fisherman’s knit, because it resists water. Regardless of its danger of being lost in time, Aran Wool has in fact developed and is presently available in an array of beautiful colours, only with the same texture and splendour.

Aran yarn is typically suited for advanced knitters due to its use in difficult stitch patterns, often including complex raised cable stitches, mesmerising twists and large diamond designs. There are a variety of traditional knitting patterns which all use Aran weight wool; however, they range in terms of complexity. With most styling intricate detailing, they require the utmost care and concentration for each and every row. There are, however, those that may be considered much simpler, involving only a couple of less challenging cables. Although tricky to use, most knitters would agree they learn a lot from using Aran wool.

Aran yarn is of a medium weight and is usually slightly thicker than double knitting yarn but thinner than a chunky weight. Being fairly versatile, it can be used for many different types of garments, houeswares and accessories, and is therefore popular with most knitters. Most Aran yarns knit or crochet at a gauge of 16-18 stitches per four inches (10.6cm) of fabric. Due to the medium to heavy weight fabric it produces, Aran yarn may not be suitable for lightweight garments intended for warm weather wear. While not as thick as a something produced out of a chunky yarn, Aran can be quite deceptive at times. It creates a look which radiates cosiness and feels incredibly homely to wrap oneself up in. It is ideal for chilly fall days, when it is cold but not cold enough for a jacket. At Black Sheep Wools, we always stock a great selection of Aran knitting yarns so why not explore our spectacular range and knit a fisherman’s sweater of your own. 

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