In Ireland there has been a long tradition of storytelling. The art of the seanahaí, the traditional way of telling a story continues to this day in homes and pubs. The Irish are a nation of born storytellers. There is nothing like an Irish story- nowhere else will you find stories with as much life or warmth. Everything the Irish say, even the most commonplace and trivial thing becomes a story. Ask an Irish farmer on a country road for directions and it will turn into a story of his life, times and the area!
This Irish love of storytelling is very much part of the Irish – it is part of everything they do. Even their famous Aran Sweater and Aran Cardigans tell stories.
Traditionally those who created Aran Sweaters and Cardigans, not only made beautiful knitted sweaters and cardigans. They were also telling a story. In every design of an Aran Sweater or Aran Cardigan there was a tale. The stitching and designs used by Aran Sweater knitters all had a deeper meaning. The cable stitching represented a fisherman’s rope. A diamond stitch represented the barren fields of Aran. The zigzag stitching represented the twisting pathways of the Island. Families had their own patterns and designs which they jealously guarded. The stitching and patterns were used to tell a story of a family and the lives of the community on the Aran Islands.
Today those who design and create Aran Sweaters and Cardigans are continuing the traditions of the Aran Islanders of old. They still practice the special art that is the knitting of an Aran Sweater with as much dedication as the Aran Islander’s in earlier times. They are not only keeping a traditional craft and art alive. Those who create Aran knitwear today, are carrying on the tradition of telling a story, through their Sweaters and Cardigans.
Today those who create Aran Sweaters and Cardigans in their use of traditional patterns and designs they are expressing themselves and telling a special tale just as the Aran Islanders of old told the story of their families and Island.
Today the Irish designers of Aran Sweaters and Cardigans inspired by the Irish landscape and the Irish people continue to use the traditional stitching and patterns in an Aran Sweater or Cardigan to tell the story of the land of Ireland.