Most Arans traditionally follow a particular pattern. There is a central panel, bordered on either side by a cable,Jacob’s Ladder, or Braid with texturing stitches , like a Garter or Basket to the edges where the jumper is connected front to back. On each sleeve, the Cable, Ladder, or Braid is repeated as is the texturing stitch. As with most art, there is a wide breadth of deviation off the basic pattern. Here I have a sweater that follows the traditional except there is a horizontal pattern bisecting the front in such a way that the top central pattern (a textured diamond) is separated from the bottom central pattern (the Celtic Knot/Spirals). Notice the cable and texturing on the sleeve is the same as the patterns bordering the central panel. I like this example because its maker knit the Tree of Life throughout the ribbing on the neck, sleeve, and bottom of the jumper.
Garter. 1. The simplest pattern, created by knitting or purling every row, never mixing the two. 2. Doing the same thing over and over again, making progress in time, but never moving forward in spirit.
Stocking. 1. The pattern made by knitting one row, then purling the next, alternating between the two with each new row. The garment then has a “wrong” side and a “right” side. The “right” side has a herringbone-like appearance and the “wrong” side has a bumpy texture. 2. The dust of the past.
Ribbing. 1. Knitting one stitch, then purling one stitch, creating a pattern that looks like the furrows of waves upon the ocean. This stitch is used widely on the wrists, neck, and bottom of the sweater, for it is elastic in nature and gives easily. 2. A riddle.
Bobble. 1. A stitch that looks like a ball. Bobbles vary in size based on the number of rows into which they are knitted. This stitch is very important, as it adds texture to the sweater or jumper, by either placing it singly within a pattern or grouping several bobbles together to form a pattern of their own. 2. Living things, like animals or trees. 3. People.
Twisted Stitch. 1. A twisted stitch is caused by placing the needle through the loop of a single stitch in the wrong direction. Though usually an error in the process of either knitting or purling, some patterns can be created by purposely twisting stitches (i.e., twisted-stitch ribbing). 2. Certain traits developed over a life that define the uniqueness of a soul. 3. A mother’s touch.