The Color of Aran

Aran sweaters of the type I’m designing are traditionally knit in natural, cream-colored wool.

Each type of stitch on a traditional Aran sweater is said to have a particular meaning, which symbolizes the life or clan of the person for whom it is knit. For example, cables represent fishermen’s ropes; diamonds represent small fields, and symbolize wealth; honeycombs represent hard work; etc.

Purists believe that cream is the only color they should come in, and while I’m a purist about a lot of things, this is something I care not about. Partly because it’s hard for me not to think of the 1970s when I see a cream cabled sweater, partly because I intensely dislike most of those types of cables, and partly because I chose the stitch patterns for my sweater just because I think they look cool.

Also, in this second decade of the 21st century, anything goes.

Even the Aran Sweater Market located on the Aran Island of Inis Mór sells authentic Aran sweaters in colors other than cream.

I’m knitting my prototype sweater in Valley Yarns Northampton in the Golden Heather colorway, but I ordered a different color for the final version.

It doesn’t look like mud in person.

So, which of these colors did I choose?


















The reason for this color will be revealed in the fullness of time.

To Ponder: The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. |William James|




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