Rohana Darlington


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Irish Knitting


Some years ago A & C Black published this book which records my search for the origins of Aran Knitting, a journey of discovery made possible by a Travelling Fellowship awarded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. The history of this craft at that time was obscure, but as a college lecturer in Fashion and Textiles I wanted to know more about this fascinating craft. I travelled to remote parts of Norway and Ireland as part of my investigations which eventually led to an important discovery about the development of these intricate designs.

The book contains 24 original hand-knitted designs which reflect Ireland’s artistic and cultural heritage. The inspiration for the garments originates from a rich variety of sources, including the Tara Brooch, the Book of Kells, lace making, and old school sampler and the Galway Races.

The designs include garments for men, women and children and even a bedspread created from a nineteenth century pattern. They range from easy-to-knit to the more demanding, and many original Aran patterns are featured. Each design has a short historical introduction, knitting instructions, charts, colour photographs, line illustrations and the inspiration source behind each pattern.

Although the book sold internationally at the time, it is now out of print.  But after some interest from people who enjoyed the first edition I’ve decided to re-issue it online. Shortly the patterns will be available as down-loadable resources and later as a paper version of the complete book. Watch this space for further details.