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 Vikings and Celts?
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Dicksie
Permanent Resident

USA
1995 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2005 :  10:03:31 AM  Show Profile Send Dicksie a Private Message
Celtic history is fascinating. One of my favorite "characters" is Boudicca, a queen who managed to unite several Celtic tribes in an effort to oust the Romans. Described as having a mass of red hair and a loud voice. Really a bunch of stuff on her that I found while researching a paper for Art Club when I was presenting a program on Celtic Textures (using my knitting, natch!). One of my exhibits was AS's Boudicca's Braid and I was curious as to the derivation of the name.

http://tourdirector.smugmug.com/gallery/529635
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knitbugg
Chatty Knitter

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2005 :  10:44:36 AM  Show Profile Send knitbugg a Private Message
I found this thread very interesting as there is very little mention of the Scottish Celts and more of the Irish. When look at aran knitting the cable patterns are of fairly recent development. However, the spiral motifs (as at Newgrange in Ireland) are extremely old. As another posting mentiones, the shetland isles were once part of Scandinavia and with all of the cultures in the North Sea regions they relied heavily on ocean voyage and trade. The Vikings (or the Norse) intermarried extensively with the Picts and Celts of Scotland, Ireland and northern France. The best way to look at relationships among large cultures of peoples is to look at the language. Following common words the path of the Vikings and the Celts can be traced across Europe and into regions near Estonia. Patterns and even the arts were introduced into these regions similarly.

V

It's not a mistake its a design element!
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Renee77
Chatty Knitter

261 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2005 :  7:22:44 PM  Show Profile Send Renee77 a Private Message
If anyone ever gets a chance to read Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting ( you might be able to get a copy through an interlibrary loan), she did quite a bit of digging into the history of the richly cabled patterns used with these sweaters.

She went to the Aran Islands, and spoke to the oldest women there. Starmore was able to speak in Gaelic to them, since she herself is from the Northern part of Scotland. What she found out was that during the Depression, the Aran women were given natural white wool to supplement their families' incomes. The women were told to knit sweaters that would sell well in tourist shops in Dublin. Which is where an English tourist first spotted them in the 1930's.

So much for romance. It is true that some simple cables were used in British/Scottish/Irish fishermen gansey sweaters, but nothing like the cabling in Aran sweaters.
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BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2005 :  7:32:58 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Hi, Knitbugg: Like you I found it interesting the the Scottish Celts aren't mentioned. I thought it was just me. I stem from both the Scottish Celts and the Vikings. Tells you something about me. I have a friend whose name also is Beverley. She was born in Scotland and if there ever was a Scottish Celt it is her. One look at her and you know that--strawberry blonde hair with turquoise eyes. Her first baby got a Fisherman's Knit bunting which is either Scottish or Irish. You know what I prefer and her next baby got an afghan. The afghan is wonderful except for one thing--double strand of yarn. To be honest there is nothing wrong with the bunting but then that depends on the time of year and where the baby is born. I also have a gansey sweater for a toddler--you know about two or three as well as a little jacket that works well.

To be honest I take offence in what Renee77 has to say that the cables for the British/Scottish/Irish sweaters is nothing like the cabling in the Aran. What do you thing Aran is? It all stems from the same place.

Take care. Beverley

Bev
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achrisvet
Permanent Resident

USA
5986 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2005 :  2:04:02 PM  Show Profile Send achrisvet a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by BLN3320

.....

To be honest I take offence in what Renee77 has to say that the cables for the British/Scottish/Irish sweaters is nothing like the cabling in the Aran. What do you thing Aran is? It all stems from the same place.

Take care. Beverley

Bev



Actually she said the cabling in the ganseys was nothing like the cabling in Arans. Ganseys usually have more knit/purl patterns and little if any cabling, while the Arans are mostly cabling. It's not a slur, just a description.

Anita
My completed projects
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Renee77
Chatty Knitter

261 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2005 :  7:36:45 PM  Show Profile Send Renee77 a Private Message
Get thee a copy of Starmore's Aran Knitting, or borrow one if need be.

Acrisvet is right, I meant that the traditional British/Irish/Scottish fisherman gansey's don't feature intricate cabling, but simple cables interspersed with knit/purl patterns. From Starmore's research, she found that it is the case that these simple cables influenced the Aran island knitters, but then these women took things a step (or two or three ) further.
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Lanea
Permanent Resident

USA
5194 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2005 :  05:05:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dicksie

Celtic history is fascinating. One of my favorite "characters" is Boudicca, a queen who managed to unite several Celtic tribes in an effort to oust the Romans. Described as having a mass of red hair and a loud voice. Really a bunch of stuff on her that I found while researching a paper for Art Club when I was presenting a program on Celtic Textures (using my knitting, natch!). One of my exhibits was AS's Boudicca's Braid and I was curious as to the derivation of the name.
http://tourdirector.smugmug.com/gallery/529635


Boudicca is a fantastic historical figure, isn't she? I've been researching her for quite some time, and I find it wonderful that so many people find her captivating. When I perform my piece about her rebellion, it always gets the strongest audience response.

http://crazylanea.typepad.com/
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