Tuesday Poetry Blogging


Patterns for Arans

~ Linda Norton

We could paint semi-darkness in semi-darkness. And the ‘right lighting’ of a picture could be semi-darkness.
Wittgenstein, from Remarks on Color

These islands lie off the west coast of Ireland
as if nothing matters.
The people have lived here for centuries
with only a thin covering of soil over the surface.
Great use is made of the seaweed,
the cattle swimming out.

The women here are justly famous.
They weave their own tweed
and make a type of belt called criss.
The heavy Atlantic seas,
the slip stitch.
The difficulty of the patterns
are never written down.

Most impressive and rich, the trellis pattern
and the rope, the tribute to the hardworking bee.
But sometimes their knitting shows mistakes,
with a true Irish touch of nothing
really matters, a careless nonchalance
of the crossing of their cables.

And note mistakes in the simple patterns:
forked lightning or cliff paths,
small fields fenced with stone,
the ups and downs of married life,
the mosses.

The openwork has a religious
significance or none.
Sometimes the clarity of the pattern is
lost through the use of
very fine wool.

Green from the mosses, brown
from the seaweed, grey and cream
color from the stones and pebbles:
many are distinctly over-bobbled.
No matter. They are too lovely
to be lost. Wool and knitting
leaflets can be obtained.

In no case is the whole pattern given.
There are certain gaps and yawns
and part of the pattern is left out
as if it doesn’t matter,
or was too lovely,
so was lost.

Some of the simple patterns
are charming for children’s jerseys.
This one, for example,
would be lovely on a child.

Picture found here.

2 responses to “Tuesday Poetry Blogging

  1. Robin (ArcadiaX)

    So… While following your links of poetry yesterday, I happened upon the picture of the grey Aran sweater swatch with the complicated Celtic pattern, and simply Fell In Love At First Sight… Let me preface all of this with: I wasn’t a Knitter. I then spent a goodly portion of my day at my local public library and on YouTube, wherein I learned of the most wondrous things: Spinning wheels (old and new!), animal husbandry (I want to live on Namaste Farms), handspinning and art yarn (who knew?!?), and the clincher, How To Actually Knit… So now, armed with books, a (terrible) DVD, new, inexpensive (and very slippery) knitting needles and the most atrocious yarn ever (although I love the carroty color), I will, painstakingly, work my way toward that grey (Celtic) Aran sweater of my dreams… I wrote all of that just to pass on that you are indeed a most powerful witch, whose influence reaches beyond the immediate purview of your beloved Columbia. Probably, maybe, in ways never intended. Sometimes the fates have a funny way… Thank you for all you do, and are… As always, you Rock, Lady!

    p.s. I WAS on shortish staycation in Az with the chosen focuses of studying the Tarot and herbalism… Crafting ADD I guess : )

  2. Robin, Thanks so much! Good luck. Knitting can take a bit of work to learn, but, once you do, it’s like riding a bicycle, only it makes nice things. Aran sweaters are complex, so start out with a simple project and work your way up. If there’s a yarn store near you, they may give classes. I like knittinghelp.com, which puts very simple videos on youtube that show how to do almost everything.

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