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arran sweaters - a sad loss

GUEST,Big Al Whittle 20 May 20 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Starship 20 May 20 - 04:58 PM
Mrrzy 20 May 20 - 06:10 PM
Gallus Moll 20 May 20 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 20 May 20 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Starship 20 May 20 - 06:40 PM
EBarnacle 20 May 20 - 11:37 PM
Murpholly 21 May 20 - 01:34 AM
The Sandman 21 May 20 - 01:36 AM
Senoufou 21 May 20 - 02:16 AM
Dave Hanson 21 May 20 - 02:58 AM
Mr Red 21 May 20 - 03:13 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 21 May 20 - 03:25 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 May 20 - 03:53 AM
Doug Chadwick 21 May 20 - 04:06 AM
Rain Dog 21 May 20 - 05:05 AM
Nick 21 May 20 - 05:41 AM
Senoufou 21 May 20 - 05:43 AM
Jon Freeman 21 May 20 - 06:58 AM
DonMeixner 21 May 20 - 07:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 May 20 - 07:59 AM
Rain Dog 21 May 20 - 08:13 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 May 20 - 08:18 AM
Gallus Moll 21 May 20 - 08:28 AM
Murpholly 21 May 20 - 09:26 AM
JHW 21 May 20 - 04:48 PM
Bonzo3legs 22 May 20 - 02:02 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 May 20 - 02:17 AM
John MacKenzie 22 May 20 - 04:38 AM
Gallus Moll 22 May 20 - 04:59 AM
Mr Red 22 May 20 - 05:41 AM
Doug Chadwick 22 May 20 - 06:59 AM
Senoufou 22 May 20 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Mark 22 May 20 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Beachcomber 22 May 20 - 10:33 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 22 May 20 - 10:46 AM
leeneia 22 May 20 - 12:30 PM
leeneia 22 May 20 - 12:33 PM
GUEST 22 May 20 - 01:24 PM
Dave the Gnome 22 May 20 - 01:34 PM
GUEST 23 May 20 - 05:20 AM
goatfell 23 May 20 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 23 May 20 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 23 May 20 - 11:47 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 May 20 - 12:59 PM
GUEST 23 May 20 - 01:04 PM
keberoxu 23 May 20 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,buspassed 25 May 20 - 06:39 AM
GUEST 25 May 20 - 06:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 25 May 20 - 07:39 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 25 May 20 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 25 May 20 - 09:38 AM
Jim Carroll 25 May 20 - 10:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 25 May 20 - 11:25 AM
leeneia 25 May 20 - 12:55 PM
Jim Carroll 25 May 20 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,buspassed 25 May 20 - 01:46 PM
Tattie Bogle 25 May 20 - 06:39 PM
leeneia 26 May 20 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,akenaton 26 May 20 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,buspassed 27 May 20 - 08:39 AM
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Subject: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 May 20 - 04:23 PM

I was sad to see Arran sweaters stop being the 'must have' fashion accessory for every folkie.

I used have a beard at the time, and I was a messy eater.
So when I spilled food down the front of my jumper you could put on your aran sweater back to front and there you were , wearing a clean jumper.

then when you spilled a bit more food, you could wear your arran sweater inside out, then wear it back to front for another few days.

then when you started a second rotation of the jumper - very frequently the initial foodstain had faded.

folksingers these days are very clean in comparison.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 20 May 20 - 04:58 PM

"folksingers these days are very clean in comparison."

Don't know about that, Big Al. I think most have learned to use eating utensils.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 May 20 - 06:10 PM

I thought it was just for Clancy Brothers concerts? My mom made me one but I don't have it any more.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 20 May 20 - 06:12 PM

Aran sweaters originated in Ireland i believe?
Arran is a large Scottish island in the Clyde estuary, betwen Ayrshire and Kintyre peninsula. Don't think they have a particular knitting tradition....


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 May 20 - 06:30 PM

Ah yes but they migrated south.

At one time there was a whole colony in Nuneaton.

Several of the more fanatical Aaran/Aran jumperfolk called their first born male child Aran , in tribute to their sweaters.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 20 May 20 - 06:40 PM

Then it's a darned good thing they weren't wearing Hilfiger shirts.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: EBarnacle
Date: 20 May 20 - 11:37 PM

A friend knitted one each for me and my first wife as a wedding gift. I still have mine. I have no idea whether my ex still has hers.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Murpholly
Date: 21 May 20 - 01:34 AM

There is an Aran Isle off the west coast of Ireland too.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 May 20 - 01:36 AM

it is the aran island off the west coast of ireland. aran sweaters not arran


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 May 20 - 02:16 AM

Oh my word, the number of Aran sweaters I've knitted over the years! My mother taught me how to do 'cabling' with a small double-ended cable needle when I was about eight years old, and how to follow a pattern. (There are regional variations on the designs, and they're very complicated)
Beautiful things, but need careful washing by hand (we used Lux soap flakes in those days) and take ages to dry thoroughly, being extremely thick and heavy. Perhaps that's why owners of the things don't wash them too often?


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 21 May 20 - 02:58 AM

Not the island of Arran, the Arran Islands off the coast of Ireland.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Mr Red
Date: 21 May 20 - 03:13 AM

I have one in red


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 21 May 20 - 03:25 AM

I have a green one.

Just need someone with an amber one......


Robin


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 May 20 - 03:53 AM

I don't have an Aran jumper but I do have one knitted in the off-white colour of the traditional ones with a sheep embroidered on the front. I am getting rid of it if anyone is interested. It is very wide and heavy!


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 21 May 20 - 04:06 AM


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Rain Dog
Date: 21 May 20 - 05:05 AM

The Aran Islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland

Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer.

Worth a visit if you are ever in that part of the world.

Other sweaters are of course available.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Nick
Date: 21 May 20 - 05:41 AM

And I thought it was Aaron's wife knitted the first ones for her husband and Moses. Just goes to show how wrong you can be. Upsetting that it's reminded me that I would have been in Arran from this weekend on holidaying and playing music. Bugger.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 May 20 - 05:43 AM

We usually chose the natural colour, a sort of creamy off-white wool.
But we knitted my father a royal blue one, and I did myself a soft green-coloured one in my teens. They're blooming thick and hot, excellent during the coldest winter months.
I don't know if people knit much nowadays? I knitted all my school uniform cardigans when I was ten. And when I was only six, I knitted my teddy bear a natty little pair of pants in pink wool as I was a bit ashamed he had no clothes. I was showing him to my neighbour only yesterday, and she was very impressed!

Isn't there a funny song that goes something like:-

See the old lady knitting,
Knitting as fast as she can.
What is the old lady knitting?
She's knitting a little old man!


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 May 20 - 06:58 AM

Mum knitted them (one green and one off white) for us 4 kids. I seem to remember liking them.

I do own a green own now. It may be 10 years old. I decided I'd like to have one as either a birthday or Christmas present but I don't think I've ever worn it.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: DonMeixner
Date: 21 May 20 - 07:22 AM

Believing I was the Central New York equivalent of Tommy Makem I tried playing long-neck banjo in an Aran Isle sweater. Before I got the bracket hooks untangled from the cable knit I passed out from heat exhaustion.

Don


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 May 20 - 07:59 AM

Knitting is still going strong, Eliza. One of my daughters is a demon knitter and makes all sorts of things. She takes her knitting everywhere - even folk festivals :-) There are a lot like her too.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Rain Dog
Date: 21 May 20 - 08:13 AM

Ah but is she a source or revival knitter Dave, and does she knit alone or accompanied?


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 May 20 - 08:18 AM

Rain Dog - Behave!:-D


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 21 May 20 - 08:28 AM

Senofou, re washing/drying.a heavy wool jumper - i agree about hand washing with the.much lamented Lux which seem to have disappeared from the shops - guess it has to be Stergene, or maybe go back to what mh Mum did before stuff like washing up liquid collect the slivers of handwash soap in a jar with some water in it, make your own solution for gentle washing of jumpers.
For drying... i would carefully squeeze the excess liquid from garment, then carefully put it into a pillowcase; put it in machne for a short, low speed spin
(Stop cycle early!!) Then lay garment flat on a drying rack, ideally outside - turn over /turn inside out periodically.
Don't know if this is an officisl.method, but it works for me!!
(Should thread move down below or is it stil music related?! - could sing or listen to Irish music while washing?)


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Murpholly
Date: 21 May 20 - 09:26 AM

True aran sweaters were knitted from wool "in the grease" i.e. not washed or treated. This meant that they were at least shower proof. To wash use soap flakes, eucalyptus oil and methylated spirits and this preserves the shower proofing.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: JHW
Date: 21 May 20 - 04:48 PM

Did Arran (and Goatfell) 2 birthdays ago and had indeed forgotten all about Clancy Bros and sweaters. Never mind which Aran/Arran. Sure I had one but would be too hot now. Only ever thought of white though.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 22 May 20 - 02:02 AM

You could always have an alpaca jumper.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 May 20 - 02:17 AM

With good llama edging?


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 May 20 - 04:38 AM

Ah'll pack a sweater.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 22 May 20 - 04:59 AM

Remember the more recent Icelandic jumpers craze?
As for Fair Isle, seemed as if it was only science geeks that wore those sleeveless pullovers for a while in the '80s?


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 May 20 - 05:41 AM

True aran sweaters were knitted from wool "in the grease"

I read somewhere that lanolin (it is an alcohol) is exothermic in the presence of water. Remove the grease and there is no warming effect. Indeed it was said that gillies wearing woolen socks would dip their booted feet in a burn before tramping the moors.

And don't forget my Knittershanty, but it has to be said I can't knit, I am in cable, pull!




I'll get my aran sweater


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 22 May 20 - 06:59 AM

Aran sweaters went out of fashion because it was too difficult putting them on and taking them off with your finger stuck in you ear.

DC


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Senoufou
Date: 22 May 20 - 09:08 AM

Oh Fair Isle knitting!! Used to do a lot of that too. Anyone remember Kaffe Fassett? All the rage several decades ago. We teachers used to sit in the staff room at lunchtime knitting busily from our Kaffe Fassett patterns, like a coven of witches.
When I used to haunt the Edinburgh Folk Club, the singers wore quite 'ethnic' outfits - kaftans, Afghan jackets, long, embroidered skirts etc. With the inevitable headband (I wore one too!).
I suppose ripped jeans and a T shirt with a rude slogan on the front are now de rigueur?


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 22 May 20 - 09:40 AM

https://youtu.be/tk-ZvEocQ2k?t=131 has an interesting example of stage knitting...


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 22 May 20 - 10:33 AM

Yes, all great fun indeed and only singers with a baritone voice can wear one with any credibility..
The Aran jumper was knitted by the women of the Aran Islands, from the homespun wool, for their Fishermen. They hardly had enough arrable land between them all to warrant being termed "farmers" though, no doubt, the rain resistant properties of the clothing was welcome too.
As I understand it, the pattern of the knitting varied between the islands and, indeed, often between families as well, dependent on the preference or skill of the knitter. This distinction of pattern had an added value as it meant that, in the unfortunate and tragic circumstances that one or more of the men might meet with an accident of some kind at sea, the pattern on the sweater would help to identify them, should they be washed ashore on the mainland, after a certain time.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 22 May 20 - 10:46 AM

Yes, I'd heard that too, but hesitated to put this important, original function on what is clearly a light-hearted thread. I have half a dozen Aran sweaters, one at least in a pleasant, deep green; none has been worn either for fishing or singing, but one of these and a hot water bottle make a fine "survival technique".


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: leeneia
Date: 22 May 20 - 12:30 PM

Thanks for the shanty, Mr. Red. Yarn!


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: leeneia
Date: 22 May 20 - 12:33 PM

I had one of these, about 30 years ago. I loved it. I always wore a T-shirt or turtleneck under it so I hardly ever had to wash it. It was more like a coat than anything else.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST
Date: 22 May 20 - 01:24 PM

Arran = large, well-populated island accessed by crappy ferry service fronm Ardrossan, Ayrshire.

Aran Isles - three small islands off the coast of Co Galway/Clare & the source of the famous ARAN sweaters.

just for more confusion, there is another small Aran Island off the Donegal coast- not sure if there's any knitting tradition, but not as worn by the Clancy Brothers.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 May 20 - 01:34 PM

Very non-pc depiction of Aran jumpers by The Spanners being

Don't say I didn't warn you :-D


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 20 - 05:20 AM

the third 'Aran' island in Donegal confuses matters more.
It is known in English as Arranmore Island (big Arran) but its Irish name is spelt 'Arain' so work that out!


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: goatfell
Date: 23 May 20 - 10:56 AM

Arran is an island of the west coast of Scotland it’s in the Clyde just off the coast of Saltcoats.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 May 20 - 11:31 AM

For who can put on his Aran jumper
And not think himself......... a folksinger!


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 May 20 - 11:47 AM

All these years Jim has been badgering us for a definition of folk music, better than the 1954...

At last we have it!

Songs that you sing, wearing an Aran jumper!

Does it pass the Aran jumper test...? Then I'm sorry - no arts council grant!


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 May 20 - 12:59 PM

I think you have it the wrong way round, Al. A folk song is one that makes you want to wear an Aran jumper.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 20 - 01:04 PM

But, Goatfell, if there is no such thing as an ArRan jumper, you've no chance of an Arts council grant


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 May 20 - 01:43 PM

I suppose that arrant sweaters require a separate thread.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,buspassed
Date: 25 May 20 - 06:39 AM

The Yorkshire knitted relative of the Arran is the Gansy. It may have originated elsewhere [I've heard it referred to as Guernsey so it might have links there.] Very difficult to knit according to my niece who made one for the Maritime Museum in Hull for a Gansy exhibition. Apparently each fishing community eg Filey, Staithes, Scarborough etc had it's own distinctive design which legend has it enabled an unfortunate drowned fisherman to be taken home.

Some years ago commercial versions were very popular as holiday wear and my wife bought me one. It had a very simple design across the front owing to them being mass produced. When I asked where I might end up up on being
discovered drowned the response was "Marks & Spencers in Lewisham!"


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 20 - 06:45 AM

Geansaí


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 May 20 - 07:39 AM

Gansey in Lancashire too but my family tended to refer to a fancy short sleeved pullover as a gansey for some reason. More like a Fair Isle. Maybe just a Swinton/Salford thing? It makes sense that fishing jumpers are named after islands. Aran, Gurnsey and, of course, Jersey! They had some lovely Yorkshire ones in Whitby a few years back. In what is now a jet museum and restaurant but was a craft type place. Very expensive though.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 May 20 - 09:29 AM

My mother knitted me a load of aran jumpers in the 60s. She'd sometimes do it starting one evening (with my grandmother doing the ribs) and finishing the next day for me to go out in the evening! (Ah, those days of standing sideways on when she hadn't finished the second sleeve!).

Mick


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 25 May 20 - 09:38 AM

Le Tricoteur in St Peter Port was a great place for Guernsey jumpers- you can still get them, but little change out of £100 these days....I went to Alderney with Taffy Thomas in 1979 & bought a bright red Alderney jumper which lasted a very long time....


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 May 20 - 10:22 AM

Billy Connolly's description of The Clancy Brothers "A bunch of Aran Sweaters playing guitars - can't argue with that
Jim


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 May 20 - 11:25 AM

Look back up to the link I posted 22 May 20 - 01:34 PM, Jim. I think you will appreciate it :-)


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: leeneia
Date: 25 May 20 - 12:55 PM

"Apparently each fishing community eg Filey, Staithes, Scarborough etc had it's own distinctive design which legend has it enabled an unfortunate drowned fisherman to be taken home."

As a knitter, I've heard that rumor over the years, but I've never seen it backed up by a quotation, memory or example. Also as a knitter, I doubt if a woman wanted to do that complex knitting, thinking the whole time of her loved one's dead body being dragged from the cold sea.

Also a person who knits has preferences; some things are easier and some are just more fun for her, and those are probably the features she puts in the garment. For example, I really like to do cables.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 May 20 - 01:27 PM

" I think you will appreciate it :-)"
How could I not Dave - my first Club
Thanks for the memory
You can tell they were from Liverpool - 'the pullovers' they're wearing are actually sleeveless jerseys - you can't tell the difference because of the bugs covering their arms - it was a very poor town
Jim


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,buspassed
Date: 25 May 20 - 01:46 PM

I'm pretty sure when Hull Maritime museum mounted their Gansey exhibition there was a display panel explaining the identifying role of the patterns. The fisherman's wives I'm sure Would prefer the return of a loved one for a decent burial rather than the thought of the alternative.

On Bridlington harbour there's a statue called The Gansey Girl depicting a young woman knitting and up the coast in Flamborough there's a lady who knits Gansys to order. It seems Americans pay large sums to acquire them.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 25 May 20 - 06:39 PM

I had heard that each Gansey (Guernsey) was uniquely patterned by the knitter: not just a local design for a fishing port, but one and one only for that man, so that if he should drown, he could be identified by his wife who had knitted that sweater.

As for a sad loss: No, we still have a trunk full of all the Aran sweaters (and Norwegian Lofoten wool ones) I knitted years ago: they come out on VERY cold days, but haven't had too many of those for a while, so there they languish. And I did do a green one for my husband.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: leeneia
Date: 26 May 20 - 12:39 PM

The older I get, the more I stay indoors. Before retirement, I had to go to work no matter how cold it was, and I had warm coats, long coats, mittens, hats, scarves, wool socks.... Now when it's really cold I just stay inside.

Central heating and global warming have made interiors more comfortable. Actually, I can't imagine an indoor place where I would feel comfortable in an Aran sweater.

Now if I could go on hikes, then one might come in handy on a misty hillside.


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 26 May 20 - 01:41 PM

They're coming back into fashion, one of my sons bought me two for my birthday. A blue one and a grey, never actually had one in the old days It was jaiket shirt an' tie in the sixties.....the only lassies ye could get wearin an Aran jumper were hairy auld folkies.....we liked the dollies ;0)


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Subject: RE: arran sweaters - a sad loss
From: GUEST,buspassed
Date: 27 May 20 - 08:39 AM

For formal occasions it was best jacket [mine was a chocolate brown suede
military style that cost me half a terms grant!] Ben Sherman button down cord shirt with suede tie and beige Levi cords, my word how those memories of the 60's Art college dances come flooding back. Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger, Zoot Money. John Mayall and not forgetting the Pink Floyd.

Of course day wear was the baggy black jumper my sister had knitted eventually almost knee length,old army shirt, jeans and of course a donkey jacket. Great times!


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