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Aran Knitting [Hardcover]

Alice Starmore
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 28 1997
Packed with color and design, this significant book presents a complete Alice Starmore workshop in Aran Knitting.Step-by-step instructions, photos and drawings lead readers through 60 charted patterns that progress from the basic concepts of using a cable needle to the myriad variations of Aran technique.It includes 14 original Alice Starmore designs, and celtic knotwork.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Alice Starmore's definitive explanation of an Irish Aran sweater and its development is surprising and fascinating. Arans are not ancient, and--contrary to popular legend--they were not developed as fishermen's garments. Starmore offers fairly convincing evidence that "true" Aran sweaters were adapted in this century from Scottish fishing ganseys. They are unarguably warm, practical, and beautiful, and here they are gorgeously photographed. Starmore, one of the knitting world's living treasures, includes specific cable patterns, patterns for 14 garments (both Aran and Celtic-style), and a clear, sensible guide to designing original Aran sweaters.

From Library Journal

A native of the Hebrides, Starmore is known internationally as a knitwear designer, teacher, and the author of a number of critically acclaimed knitting books. Here she sets off to examine aran knitting, its origins and history, and the techniques used to produce the richly cabled sweaters that are enjoying a renewed popularity among today's knitters. This book can be enjoyed on three levels: as a history of aran knitting, as a complete 14-lesson workshop on knitting aran patterns from charts, or as a collection of Starmore's original sweater, cap, and shawl designs, including full instructions and charted patterns. The garments, photographed on location in the Aran Islands, are inspirational fare for all knitters, while Starmore's designs will be of special interest to the more experienced. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Alice Sizemore does a very nice job explaining the history of Aran knitting. She also gives good examples of what different patterns should look like. The sweater patterns presented in the book totally ignore the average knitter who needs more guidance and better explained directions. Overall, I found the book to be rather disappointing. I love knitting Aran pattern sweaters, but I still need thorough well explained directions.
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By A Customer
Alice Starmore has completely outdone herself with this book. She takes knitters on an intellectual journey through the origins of Aran knitting, she then takes you step-by-step through the design elements which are used and frees the adventerous to do their own design and she completes the book with stunning patterns suitable for all levels of knitters.

The beginning of the book is devoted to making a compelling argument for a cataclysmic knitting event which shaped this style of work. Based on her historical research she argues that Aran knitting was the result of a single, extra- ordinarilly talented, knitter, probably from Scotland or strongly influenced by Scottish knitting. Given the level of communication available at the time, the fact that this unnamed knitter didn't achieve notice outside of her local area is not too surprising. Also, considering the inspiration many of us have felt from Elizabeth Zimmerman and Kaffe Fasset (to name only two), the idea that a single creative person's influence could be so powerful is not surprising. She lacked only today's publishing and technology to become a household name.

In the middle section Starmore takes us through a series of lessons on the construction of cables, their variety and myriad possibilities. Experienced and/or adventerous knitters can then embark on a project completely assured of success. Every tool you might need is there in one place.

For those who prefer, in the final section of the book, there are a number of simply exquisite complete patterns for items ranging from hats, pullovers (jumpers) for women, men and children, to shawls.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece. Jan. 7 2002
By A Customer
A beautiful and comprehensive guide to Aran knitting, distinctly scholarly in tone. There aren't as many original Starmore designs in this book as I would have liked to see, but the ones she's included are truly stunning--"St. Brigid" in particular is a tour de force of Celtic knotwork, certain to captivate any knitter in search of a genuine challenge.
The massive stitch library (which makes up the bulk of the text) is a powerful tool to help ambitious knitters learn to design original Arans themselves. It's an invaluable reference! Read it front to back, then back to front; practice the techniques Starmore provides; and you will never again lack inspiration for a project--it will be at your fingertips always.
You will find history, philosophy, and a great deal of art between the covers of this book. It's a truly magnificent work which belongs on every serious knitter's shelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Knitting Book May 31 1998
By A Customer
Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting provides everything I want in a knitting book and more! Aside from beautiful patterns and clear directions (no worries about finding out that the pattern doesn't make sense half-way through the project), the book is filled with beautiful pictures, shot on location in the Aran Islands, and wonderful stories of the history of Aran knitting. I couldn't put it down! Ms. Starmore's patterns are both challenging and interesting. I am currently knitting the sweater "Irish Moss" (page 122); it is definitely the most fulfilling project I have even undertaken. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone who knows the basics of knitting and is looking for a good challenge.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In a class by itself June 29 2001
By A Customer
I've been knitting since I was 8 years old and I've never seen anything like this. It's almost 3 books in one - an overview of the mythology and reality of Aran knitwear, plus a detailed description of Aran sweaters in the National Museum in Ireland; a gallery of stitch patterns with instructions; and a collection of Starmore's own designs, also with instructions. Her designs are beautiful - her starting point was when she recognized that traditional Aran knits use braids and twists but ancient Celtic art uses continuous lines - so she made up knitting designs using the continuous lines of Celtic knotwork. Her charting method is wonderfully easy to read. I love this and I want to make everything in it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The is an excellent course in Aran knitting. July 20 1997
By A Customer
Alice Starmore's intelligence, thoroughness and scholarship have always impressed me, and they do once again in this book. She provides a fascinating history of Aran knitting, that she herself has researched from original sources. Her theories about the origins of Aran patterns make sense. They are intriguing. But the best part of this book is the author's passion for her subject and her wonderful sweater designs. The knitted garments in beautiful photographs are a bit clearer to see in this book than in previous books by Starmore. I wanted to start knitting as soon as I put down the book, and I'll never knit or look at an Aran sweater the same way again
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
Excellent! Lots of good patterns. This is for an experienced knitter. I have thirty years of experience as a knitter, and one of the patterns is stretching my limits. Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2002 by MB Texas
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW - SO MANY GREAT SWEATERS
If you have to get one book on aran knitting this is the one. The first time I picked up this book I felt like a complete idiot for all the times I ever bought a pricey knitting... Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential Aran knitting book
Includes a library of aran cables with instruction on how to make them as well as patterns that take my breath away. Read more
Published on May 9 2000 by Heather Mayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Starmore strikes again
Alice Starmore is fantastic. No other knitting author has such beatiful styles and complete and concise instructions. Read more
Published on Dec 31 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Good patterns, good ideas
So far, I've found that I enjoy Starmore's work in general (I also have the Celtic Collection), though I'm only working on my second Starmore project. Read more
Published on April 8 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Every sweater in this book is a knockout.
Alice Starmore is truly the most brilliant knitting designer of the century. I've knitted three patterns from this book and they all came out perfectly, thanks to Alice's... Read more
Published on Dec 30 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn to knit inticate patterns intuitevely.
Entire book is well organized. Photos of garments and swatches are beautiful. Samples are easy to decipher. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful patterns, photographs and informative text
I absolutely loved this book. The text was interesting and informative, and the patterns easy to read (thanks to the generous chart sizes). Read more
Published on July 1 1998
This beautifully designed knitting book is a treasure to sit along side Knitting in America by Melanie D. Falick. The photography alone makes it a top choice for book lovers. Read more
Published on March 31 1998
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