Comfort & Joy: The Aran Jumper
A brief history: the Aran sweater dates back to 1892 and takes its name from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. Traditionally knitted by the wives of fishermen to keep their husbands warm and dry at sea (they are usually made from 100 per cent wool that retains its natural lanolin, making it water resistant), the various patterns signified the village where the fishermen came from.
Also, every weave relates to the fishing world: the cable indicates a fisherman’s ropes; the honeycomb knit symbolises the hard-working bee; the basket weave represents a basket brimming with a bountiful catch; the zigzag stitch recalls the twisting pathways along the cliffs; and the diamond design is a sign of wealth and prosperity.
Years later, the style crossed the Atlantic to Hollywood, where Aran sweaters soared in popularity during the Fifties and Sixties, endorsed by Steve McQueen and Grace Kelly.
The knitting needles went into overdrive this season. Arans were everywhere: spotted at Valentino, where creamy, slouchy styles boasted a graphic black triangle intarsia; at Altuzarra they took on a shade of dove grey and were tucked into racy pencil skirts; while over at Max Mara, toffee-coloured and oversized styles proved just the ticket under one of the house’s famous camel coats.
There were highly worked styles, too, like those at Alexander Wang – the cool girl’s Aran – which were studded and threaded with silver chain; atDelpozo, where Josep Font whipped up a masterpiece bursting with shaggy fringe and woolly coral-like curls; and over at Sacai, where Chitose Abe concocted something entirely new from the humble Aran knit, splicing hers with crisp white cotton shirting and elongating the style into a sweet kick-skirted sweater dress.
But if it’s tradition you’re after, look no further than Wooly Hippo Soft Blend Aran Wool. Woolyhippo Aran is a quality 70% acrylic, 20% wool, 10% nylon yarn, it is made by one of the top yarn producers in China. New to the UK this is a soft yarn which washes well and is tightly spun giving it a quality finish, making it suitable for all toy, pet, baby and adult projects.
Woolyhippo Aran carries an internationally recognised Quality Assurance Trade mark for testing against harmful substances.
There are currently 10 colours in the range.
This yarn is also ideal for crochet projects, as it very tightly spun.