This is not a very Irish thing to do. We’re meant to act all coy about our achievements and feign surprise if complimented. Being proud is culturally unacceptable; like the Chinese tradition of greeting a Newborn with “ugly baby” to avoid it being stolen by bad spirits, Irish people are self-deprecating for fear of “The Begrudgers”. Then I remind myself of what it is I feel proud about and I’m ready to shrug off generations of culture and bask in a little self-reflected glory. Like Irish sunshine, it’ll be gone before you know it’s there. Who am I kidding: I have a knitting blog – what else is it for?
Magic skein of yarn that it was, I had enough left over to knit a jumper.
I had been wondering for a while about how to thank Bridget for her generosity and thoughtfulness. When I had so much yarn left over after finishing the socks, I had the urge to make her something. I wanted it to be something that referred to her Irish roots but I didn’t quite have enough for cabled hat – bainín style, à lá Makem & Clancy.
Then a light-bulb went off when St Patrick’s Day started looming and I hit on knitting a traditional aran sweater – in miniature, on sock needles with scaled-down versions of common cable patterns.
So I charted up a bit of a pattern for the cables – I mainly used EZ’s travelling stitch in lieu of the usual zig-zagging cables. The traditional Aran is dropped sleeve so I didn’t worry about arm-hole shaping. All the same, I threw in a few short rows around the bum area – the intended wearer needed a bit of extra “room” there.
I also put in the traditional “deliberate mistake”. This goes right back to what I was talking about at the begining of this post: traditionally the Irish knitter could not appear arrogant or over-proud about her work so she would deliberately mis-place a purl or, as in my case, a cable, somewhere in the garment. However, in truth, my deliberate mistake was an actual mistake but I decided that it was my Irish-Karma catching up with me and thought it best to leave it be.