If you have always wanted to visit Ireland, here is your opportunity without leaving your knitting chair. Carol Feller has written Contemporary Irish Knits, a beautiful book that introduces you to the Irish countryside, a bit of Irish history (from a knitting point of view) and Aran sweater (jumper) patterns for women, men and children.
Aran comes from the Aran islands, traditional of a cabled twist. One interpretation of cables is said to resemble fishermen’s lines (ropes). The projects are textured cable construction, tailored with seamless designs (knit in the round) for a better fit. By simplifying the underarm section, increases and decreases shape the knit. An entire section is devoted to getting the right fit.
20 patterns worked in gorgeous neutral earth tones are included for intermediate and advanced knitters. These patterns may be ambitious if you are a beginner knitter but don’t let that deter you from the book. The patterns are all named after Irish towns and villages. Besides beautifully crafted sweaters there is a handbag, Dalkey cowl and fingerless mitts (must have), a Glengesh wrap, Bunduran beret and more. You will want to peruse the finished pieces yourself.
Childrens sweater patterns for boys (Ballinagree) and girls (Listowel and Rossbeg) will stand the test of time. They are the kinds of sweaters that will be saved when outgrown and put away for the next generation.
Three woolen mills in Ireland (of which you are taken on a tour of Cushendale’s) continue to produce yarn for hand knitting commercially. The yarn produced is a cross of imported merino and the sheep of Ireland, with the result being a blend both soft and durable. Carol also introduces you to two hand dyers, Dublin Dye Company and Hedgehog Fibres.
You will be dreaming of the Emerald Isles by the time you gather your yarn and circular needles for in the round.
Have you ever knit a sweater side by side? Why not attend a Yarns Down Under class, located at 37C Hillside Terrace Deep River, CT 860-526-9986. Helen Tobler is teaching a sweater knit from “Side to Side.” Finally you can knit with a self striping yarn that works up with verticle striping instead of the typical horizontal stripes. Stop by the shop, view the sample and pick out the yarn of your choice. Classes will be held on Saturday mornings from 10:00 until noon. The cost for this class is $85.00. All materials for this class are to be purchased at Yarns Down Under and you will receive a 10% discount. There is a six student limit so sign up today. Class begins Saturday, October 1st and runs for 6 weeks. (10/1, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12)