View Full Version : What IS Aran Yarn??? - 4 Man's Fisherman Sweater

04-27-2007, 11:03 AM
What exactly IS Aran??????? I don't think I've ever seen yarn that was called that..........

I'm looking to make a man's fisherman's sweater for hubby for Christmas. Perhaps this one: Men's Pullover Irish Knit (http://www.knitting-crochet.com/menpuloveiriknit.html).........only I'm not really happy with that one, I might want something with buttons down the front..........if anyone has a link, I'd appreciate it!

So, anyway.........what the heck IS it? What type of "regular" yarn can I substitute?

04-27-2007, 11:08 AM
Aran knitting is a type of stitch design - this quote is from here (http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/na_knitting/article/0,2025,DIY_14141_3502276,00.html)

Aran knitting (sometimes referred to as fisherman knitting) is thought by many to be an ancient form of family identification, but it actually had its beginnings among the inhabitants of the Aran Islands in the early 20th century. While most often associated with sweaters, this technique of working combinations of stitches and patterns in a solid color (usually white) can also be used to beautiful effect in an afghan.

More stuff on Aran (http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AEmblem/Sweaters.html)

There are books dedicated to just Aran including pattern books and stitch books.

ETA: Possible patterns.....
Button Up Pattern (http://www.maddycraft.com/Page%20044.htm)
Zip Up Pattern (http://knitting.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=knitting&cdn=hobbies&tm=6&gps=53_400_1276_845&f=00&su=p445.92.150.ip_&tt=14&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.helloyarn.com/cyclingaran.htm)
Button Up from Knit Picks (http://www.knitpicks.com/Jack's+Aran+Cardigan_PD30418222.html)

List of Aran Techniques (http://www.thedietdiary.com/blog/lucia/532)

04-27-2007, 11:21 AM
Aaaaaaaaaaaah! Thanks! :hug:
So any yarn then.... ?

I'll read your links. Thanks again! Now all I need is a pattern for a fisherman's pullover! ;)

04-27-2007, 11:22 AM
I would think you could use any yarn. I have seen specific "Aran" yarn, but any yarn would work! :cheering:

04-27-2007, 11:28 AM
I've also seen aran used as a weight of yarn (I can't think what website right now) but for example in the "yarn by weight" list it will say aran/worsted weight- but I can't remember if 'worsted' is the right weight! Sorry! :P

04-27-2007, 11:44 AM
Is it wiseneedle.com? When I searched for Aran I got 17 results!

So NOW I know, Aran is a STITCH, not a yarn! Sara_Jayne's links were great!

04-27-2007, 11:46 AM
OK, at elann.com if you do the yarn search and look at the gauge options, aran is one of the options. I was starting to think I just dreamed that. :)

04-27-2007, 12:38 PM
It can also be used to describe a yarn color "Aran" or "Aran white"...which is just cuz the Aran sweaters are generally knit in a simple natural white or untreated/natural wool. It's one of those terms that can be used to describe just about anything involved in the knitting process.

Most worsted and heavy-worsted weight yarns will look quite nice in an Aran pattern, and of course you don't have to stick to the white color. Keep in mind though that Aran knitting has lots of cables and stitch patterns--so solid colors work best (and probably nothing too dark, don't want all that hard work to get lost!)

Good luck! I looove a good Irish-knit sweater. Itchy--but purrrdy.

04-27-2007, 12:51 PM
Lion Brand has a type called Fisherman's wool that is mean't for that type of sweater. It has natural oils in it that are water repellant. I've never used it but it is reasonably priced and available in places like Michaels or AC Moore. If its a present you might want something a little nicer or if you need to machine wash it you might find something else too. Good luck. :thumbsup:

04-27-2007, 12:59 PM
From an Irish point of view... Aran is heavier than double knit but lighter than chunky. Most of mine have 4.5mm or 5mm needles specified on the labels (which is US 7 or 8 I think). My 4.5mm one has the tension 19st and 24 rows to 10cm (4inches) over stocking stitch anf the 5mm one is 18st and 22 rowa to 10cm over rice stitch.

04-27-2007, 01:21 PM
Ahhhh! Thanks for the authentic Irish view! :hug:

BTW, I'm a Lucy too ;) Is that a popular name in Ireland? It's not here, I can NEVER find anything with my name on it. Well, Lucy's short for my real name, I'd be in trouble if I looked for my real name!

04-27-2007, 04:36 PM
No not really, it's considered an "English" name really, but I suppose it's becoming more popular, my mum's cousins' surname was Lucey (a Norman/Irish surname) and my dad had an aunt Lucy so they thought it was appropriate, and that if it was already shortened no-one would then shorten it -except that I get called Luce all the time..

04-27-2007, 05:16 PM
I go by Lu. Why is "Lucy" not short enough?!? LOL!
Nice to meet ya!
I DREAM of seeing Ireland someday. One of my favorite movies is The Quiet Man! Sometimes I watched Father Ted just to see the beginning credits ;)

nadja la claire
04-27-2007, 05:19 PM
Paton's Classic Merino has an off-white yarn called Aran. It's a wonderfully resilient yarn and it has great stitch definition.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja xxx

04-27-2007, 05:23 PM
Thanks! Boy a newbie can sure get confused, who ever decided to take a stitch name and use it for wool and color as well?!? Some sadist no doubt!

04-27-2007, 06:23 PM
its a group of islands of the Irish coast (actually where father Ted credits were shot http://www.friendsofted.org/ )

04-27-2007, 07:30 PM
its a group of islands of the Irish coast (actually where father Ted credits were shot http://www.friendsofted.org/ )

I visited there on vacation years ago and it was beautiful..... I'll always remember the views...

04-27-2007, 08:28 PM
Yep it's a thickness, google to find some of those conversion calculators that have U.S. terms included, it should tell you the U.S. equivalent. If you want to talk about illogical references/names... beside the imperial thing, what's up with 'fingering' and 'worsted' and 'double knit'? Double what... worsted is a spinning term, not a weight term... and I won't start on 'fingering'.


04-27-2007, 08:41 PM
I think double knit is yarn, that if you double strand it while knitting, is a similar weight to worsted. Aran is just slightly heavier.


04-27-2007, 10:15 PM
Yes I know - I use the online converters a lot - but the name doesn't say what it's doubling or what it equals when doubling. If it were 2x as thick as worsted, then 'double worsted' might make sense, but not double knit... I much prefer 1 ply, 2 ply, 3 ply, 6 ply, 14 ply etc. Much simpler and more logical IMO.


04-27-2007, 11:12 PM
It's an old British knitting term - the DK was just `knitting yarn' and to make heavier sweaters, it was doubled, so `double knitted'.


04-28-2007, 02:36 AM
I know about the names I know it was doubled. I'm saying that as a name it's not descriptive, whereas someone who had never heard of knitting could figure out the probable difference between 4-ply and 8-ply wool. The ply naming system is intuitive.

04-28-2007, 09:17 AM
It depends where you are. We don't use ply to describe yarn weights here in the US. A thin yarn may be made up of 4 plys, and a thick one only 2. So no, I have no idea which kind of yarn you mean when you say 8 ply or 4 ply.


04-28-2007, 10:41 AM
'Worsted' doesn't give info about the kind of wool it describes, what I am saying is that it's intuitive that an 8 ply is thicker than a 3 ply and that's thicker than a 1 ply, and a 14 ply is extra thick. You don't need to memorise weights to grasp it. I'm not saying that Americans are deducing/familiar with the exact spi count of an 8 ply as opposed to a 10 ply, but the system is more logical.


04-28-2007, 11:14 AM
To me, worsted is standard weight yarn, what you'd use for most knitted goods. If you're used to a system, no matter which, it isn't that difficult to understand.