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 Patterns for Irish Family Names?
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margeaa
Chatty Knitter

USA
318 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2005 :  8:09:17 PM  Show Profile Send margeaa a Private Message
My SIL is of Irish heritage and yesterday he told me that in Ireland, they have different knitting patterns for each of the Irish family names. His family name is O'Brien. Does anybody know how I can find out what pattern there is for that name?

Marge

RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2005 :  8:17:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
http://www.dochara.com/tips/aransweater.php

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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blwinteler
Permanent Resident

USA
3145 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2005 :  8:37:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit blwinteler's Homepage  Send blwinteler a Yahoo! Message Send blwinteler a Private Message
That is a very neat site! Thank you for sharing it. It will be useful when I finally decide to make an Aran sweater. I just have to figure out when I would be able to wear one in the desert so I can justify making it. I don't want to make it and never be able to wear it. That would be sad

Take care!
Brandy

My finished projects

We are but 8 score young blondes and brunettes... all between 16 and 19-and-a-half... cut off in this castle with no one to protect us! Oh... it is a lonely life. Bathing... dressing... undressing... knitting exciting underwear ....(Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Tale of Sir Galahad)
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lizknit
Permanent Resident

USA
1179 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  12:54:11 AM  Show Profile Send lizknit a Private Message
I just got happily lost in that site. I've long been enamored of Aran sweaters and have knitted dozens of them over the years. I learned more tonight following those fascinating links than I ever knew before. Thank you for posting it.

Liz
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AngieSue
Permanent Resident

USA
1606 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  04:40:36 AM  Show Profile Send AngieSue a Private Message
Here's a site that I found.
http://www.clanarans.com/ca/catalog/

I love seeing the patterns for the different clans. It's appears that you can also buy kits for some of the sweaters.
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msgb
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
531 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  09:24:20 AM  Show Profile Send msgb a Private Message
I was just going to mention the site of clanarans.com. I have found my maiden name on there and have been seriously thinking of purchasing the kit for it.
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MMario
Permanent Resident

2210 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  09:37:45 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message
Do realize this is a "modern tradition" created more by advertizing then anything else.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  09:49:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Which is what the site I linked said.

Aran sweaters have NOT been around for hundreds of years - they've likely been around less than 100. They are beautiful, and certainly no less valid forms of artistic creative work because of it, but they were not used to identify sailors bodies or anything akin to that. Most scholars will agree on this. (most people who make money off your buying the sweater disagree)

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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JayhawkKnitter
Seriously Hooked

USA
910 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  10:23:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit JayhawkKnitter's Homepage Send JayhawkKnitter a Private Message
The site linked by Rose has another link that is very worthwhile reading; this quote is from that site.

quote:
This origin of the characteristic Aran sweater in family honour is one source of the misconception that different stitch patterns in Aran sweaters are identified with a particular family, in the way that Scottish clans are identified with a particular tartan. This misconception regarding Aran sweaters was further fuelled by J.M. Synge's 1904 play 'Riders to the Sea', in which the body of a dead fisherman is identified by the hand-knitted stitches on one of his garments. On closer reading of the play, the garment is actually a plain stocking and it is identified by the number of stitches rather than by a decorative pattern - "it's the second one of the third pair I knitted, and I put up three score stitches, and I dropped four of them".



**********
Check out my blog!

http://www.knittinhoney.blog-city.com
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lizknit
Permanent Resident

USA
1179 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  10:55:01 AM  Show Profile Send lizknit a Private Message
That's what I meant when I said I learned so much from the site Rose posted. I had always thought that Aran sweaters had been around for centuries and I believed all the myths that had been created around them, only to find out that most of it is clever marketing.

Nothing there to stop me from knitting and loving those Arans, though.

The cat, the only self-cleaning appliance in the house
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Punctuatedknitter
Seriously Hooked

819 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  3:00:02 PM  Show Profile Send Punctuatedknitter a Private Message
Maybe one of the Scots on the board will correct me, but when I was there (studying for a term) the professor in my Celtic art class said that Scottish clan tartans are vaguely made-up too. That is, that yes, they wore tartans, but the hard-and-fast association of a certain pattern with a certain name came about during the rise of tourism in the 19th century.
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mamid
Permanent Resident

Canada
1568 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  3:14:13 PM  Show Profile  Send mamid a Yahoo! Message Send mamid a Private Message
yes they are. some scammers claiming to be heirs to the scottish throne decided to make up a book about clan tartan patterns. All to make a quick buck. And what's worse? The public, and nobility, lapped it up like a child to a lollipop.

Craftiness is Sanity
The Last Thread
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margeaa
Chatty Knitter

USA
318 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  8:03:29 PM  Show Profile Send margeaa a Private Message
Thanks for the websites and for the info. It's all so interesting. I'll inform my son-in-law. It's also interesting about the Scottish tartans because part of my family ancestry is Scottish and my brother is obsessed about our family tartan! I'll need to inform him that it might all be nonsense!!

Marge
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  8:10:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Design exactly what YOU want - and tell him that's the family pattern.

You're in the family right? Then it is.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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knitbugg
Chatty Knitter

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2005 :  5:46:12 PM  Show Profile Send knitbugg a Private Message
I, too, have researched my Scottish heritage. If the clan is old and established there are usually three tartan patterns associated with it. One that is the "old" tartan (usually in odd, unattractive color combinations), a modern tartan and a dress tartan. The old styles are frequently in colors that could come from plant dyes and are meant to blend in with the scenery providing some camoflage (they can also be called 'hunting' tartans.) In more modern terms there have been some plaids that were assigned to different clans, this was a fashion influenced by Queen Victoria.

I have yet to find a way to knit a plaid so I'm sticking to Shetland Isle sweaters and shawls to satisfy my heritage knitting urge.

All in all, tartans aren't really in fashion so it doesn't really matter what you choose. My best friend is of eastern European Jewish descent but wanted to claim a clan when we were in Scotland. Her mother's maiden name had been Americanized into Gordon so she claimed that clan as hers. It was all good.

Whatever the result, as long as it is knitting is all that matters.
Vness
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2006 :  2:25:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
My DH is of Irish ancestry and I have occasionally been to the clanaran site looking at the aran for his family name thinking of buying the pattern to knit for him. It is interesting that you have said that aran patterns are not that old. I hadn't really thought about it before. I still would like to knit him one, but I can't see it this year. There is a lot of work in an aran!

KathyR

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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Fivefibers
Permanent Resident

USA
1131 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  11:47:36 AM  Show Profile Send Fivefibers a Private Message
Knitbug,

A weaving group I once belonged to was discussing Scottish plaids and how/why a particular plaid was woven. The man (Tom Knisely) who teaches at the Mannings Handweaving School in East Berlin, Pa. said that a particular pattern belonging to a clan evolved because of the variety of plant dyes available in a given area. Makes sense to me.

I love these sweater patterns!

Fivefibers
2sheep; 3goats; 5bunnies
(so far)
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SerMom
Permanent Resident

Canada
6412 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  2:13:48 PM  Show Profile Send SerMom a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by knitbugg

I have yet to find a way to knit a plaid so I'm sticking to Shetland Isle sweaters and shawls to satisfy my heritage knitting urge.



If you're interested, Annie Modesitt gave a colour workshop a couple of years ago with instructions for knitting a plaid. You might try her site to see if they're available.

Barbara
It's a feature, not a bug.

Photos:
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Fran's Site:

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Fivefibers
Permanent Resident

USA
1131 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2006 :  6:30:11 PM  Show Profile Send Fivefibers a Private Message
I love the so-called aran sweaters. But what exactly determines the name 'aran'? Is it the fact that they have cables?

I am asking because my great-grandmother, who was from Germany, used to be a prodigious knitter. Almost everything she made had cables in it! I still have some of the things that she made for me put away to pass on to the remaining two of my children when they give me grandchildren.

Fivefibers
2sheep; 3goats; 5bunnies
(so far)
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Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2006 :  6:32:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Fivefibers

I love the so-called aran sweaters. But what exactly determines the name 'aran'? Is it the fact that they have cables?


From the first link given (these are islands off of Ireland):

In the early part of the 20th century, in an effort to provide a source of income for isolated Aran Islanders, hand knitting was introduced, in order that the women could produce a product saleable on the mainland. It was taught to children in schools and to groups of women on the Island. The idea was that since sheep were about the only animals on Aran and there was no employment apart from fishing, knitting would be allow women to work from home, use local materials and earn a second income.

Amanda

"Is that my Not-Mine Sweater? Whoever gets that Not-Mine Sweater is very lucky."
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2006 :  6:35:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
It's a multi-cabled item, and to my eye there's a "look" to it - the cables don't line up perfectly (the twists aren't always on the same row, which tends to look very basic without being obvious why) and they are very complex.



"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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