Hi Everyone. I hope I find you all well. This week I am so delighted to begin a brand new series of blogs where I take you on a journey along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way to meet some of our amazing makers. During the summer, when restrictions were eased in Ireland, I took the opportunity to take this trip to find out more about the stories of our talented craftspeople and take in some sights along the way. And now it’s time to share it all with you! It was a wonderful trip and I was blessed with great weather. The first maker on my list was Roasleen Hegarty of Crana Knits in Buncrana, County Donegal. Buncrana is situated on the stunning Inishowen Peninsula. At the tip of the peninsula is Malin Head, Ireland’s most northerly point.
Before I went to meet Rosaleen, I shot this short video so I could share some stunning views with you all in this very special part of the world. Enjoy!
So after the windswept beauty of Malin Head, it was time to head down the peninsula to meet Rosaleen and her team at Crana Knits. Rosaleen is a true inspiration. She has proudly been keeping the tradition of Aran hand-knitting alive in this region since the 1950s.
Crana Knits was established in 1979 and at it’s peak, Rosaleen had over 500 hand knitters working for the company from their homes. Rosaleen has written patterns for international fashion designers, Christian Lacroix and Jean Charles de Castelbajac and JW Anderson named Rosaleen a ‘genius knitter’ No arguments here! Here’s the story of Crana Knits in Rosaleen’s own words.
Crana Knits – The Irish Store Collection
So now you know the story of Crana Knits, why not treat yourself or a loved one to one of these truly extraordinary Arans from one of our most talented makers!
1. The Malin Aran Cardigan
First up we have the stunning hand knitted Malin Cardigan which of course takes it’s name from Malin Head, close to where this beautiful piece was created by Rosaleen and her team. It features a wealth of traditional Aran stitch patterns including the “Broken Stick” stitch on the sleeve which Rosaleen talks about in her interview and only appears in this exclusive design for The Irish Store. Also available for him.
2. The Donegal Aran Sweater
Next up it’s the classic crew neck Aran sweater given the unique Crana Knits treatment. Featuring lucky honeycomb, diamond and cable stitches and hand knitted in classic cream pure wool. Timeless Aran style for her and him.
3. The Dunree Aran Lumbar
Finally it’s the Dunree Aran cardigan for her which takes it’s name from local beauty spot Dunree Bay, also on the Inishowen Peninsula near the hoem of Crana Knits. Once again the stunning craftswoman does all the talking in this outstanding hand knitted Aran. Roslaeen and her team truly do create works of art!
Thanks so much for joining me on my Meet The Makers road trip. Next time, I continue my search for a little piece of Ireland along The Wild Atlantic Way with a visit to the second of our Donegal makers, Mc Nutt.
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!