There was a pub very near our house in Ireland called Roches. It was one of those local pubs that showed it’s history on the walls. The pub was set on a bog and had been sinking for decades and every few years they would pump some concrete under which ever side was sloping the worst and thus angled doorways and crooked windows were created. We loved this pub, it poured the best pint of Guinness it was full of welcoming locals and there was always a comforting peat fire on the go. We spent many an evening there listening to local trad music, including one during which a local woman was asked to sing. The musicians started to play and she began to sing and within seconds the entire pub had fallen silent and the musicians had stopped and the most glorious music I have ever heard was filling the room. Our collective breaths were taken away.
This sweater is dedicated to that pub, as I imagine this is where it would be worn. After a long day, with a pint in hand chatting with your mates and a fire in the background. This is what hand knit sweaters are made for and we really wanted to create something that would be both lovely to knit and to wear.
A Yarn Story has had the pleasure of having The Fibre Co. Arranmore on the shelf since the Spring when we launched it to the world as part of Yarn Shop Day. It has started many a conversation and inspired many a knitter in this time. And one of this conversations I was having often was with husbands who had come into the shop with their wives - hinting that they would like to have a their next sweater knit in this beautiful tweedy yarn. I have often had conversations with customers, either women looking for a pattern to knit for a man or with men looking for a pattern that they would like to knit for themselves. Let’s be honest, the pickings are much slimmer for men’s knitting patterns and thus an idea was born.
I am not a designer, so this is not an endeavor I could take on on my own, but I knew just the woman for the job and she thankfully said yes. My friend Rachel Brown of Porpoise Fur was very excited when I approached her about the idea and very luckily she had time in her schedule. I love collaborating with people in general, I love bouncing ideas around and seeing things from the perspective of others.
We both wanted a sweater that the men in our lives would be happy to wear and we’d be happy to knit for them. Arranmore screams CABLES! so we knew there would be some cables but not too many.
We spoke and Rachel went away to make some sketches and swatch some yarn and then the idea was a go and Rachel began knitting and writing the pattern. I felt slightly guilty about this part of the process as I had nothing to do at this point and Rachel set off on summer vacation to the East Coast of the US in a humid heatwave with a cosy aran weight sweater to knit. I suspect she sat right next to an air conditioning unit while knitting.
So we bring you Inishmeane, a sweater you’ll love to knit and you’ll love to wear. I’ve been pretty much living in the sample since I finally got my hands on it last week. Arranmore creates the most beautiful and cosy fabric, this yarn wants to be a sweater. It feels like a great hug from an old friend. I will absolutely be knitting one for my Dad because he is totally knit worthy and he’ll love this sweater!
Inishmeanne is worked in the round from the bottom up with turned hems. The body is worked first in stocking stitch to the underarms, then the front and back are worked flat. The shoulder stitches are left live on holders while the sleeves are worked. The cable detail running up the outside of the sleeve is then worked with the live shoulder stitches to form a saddle shoulder. Finally, the tall collar and front plackets are picked up and worked flat.
You can find the pattern available for purchase on via Ravelry or on the website or in the shop of course.
I’d also like to extend a big THANK YOU to The Fibre Co. for photographing Inishmeane alongside their own collection Innisfree with the fabulous Tommy Martin behind the lense. The images are simply stunning.
We hope you fall in love with Innishmeane as much as we have and next week Rachel will share her thoughts and process on creating this pattern, so stay tuned.