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.
Shop our collection of Aran sweaters, Fisherman sweaters with 10% off, use code: BLOG10!
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!
I lived reading about the knitter you chose to interview. I’m so tempted to knit one of the stand sweaters I saw on your site. A possible winter project to help me through the long winter days?
Sounds like a great project to while away the hours Eva! So glad you enjoyed the blog with Rosaleen. She is one of our most talented makers at The Irish Store and she’s keeping the tradition of hand knitting alive in Ireland.
Good luck with the sweater!
Just bought 3 ponchos for my daughters
(Maguire) & a cardigan for myself. Was wondering who made them from this group od knitters
Ginny Maguire Concannon
I’n not exactly sure who would have actually made them but I know it’s very much a team effort and it was such a treat to see them in action when I visited Crana Knits. They’re all so talented!
Thanks for reading,
This is a great site. I have been knitting for 63 yrs. I taught myself how to do Irish knit sweaters and have made many for babies thru adults. My motto is the more difficult the pattern is the more I like it. I get many compliments on my work. FYI I am of Irish/Scottish American descent.
I envy your talent. I really believe hand knitting is one of our most precious crafts. Keep up the good work!
Thanks so much for reading,
I have shopped at the Irish Store for years and every time I buy a new sweater for someone to for myself, I say I’ll stop, but I can’t!! Every piece is exquisite. Miss LuLu, the videos you post make us yearn to return to Co Galway to visit my cousins. Thank you for bringing Ireland to us all. Warmest regards to all those at the Irish Store.
Thank you so much Deborah. Your feedback really does mean so much. Thank you for choosing The Irish Store and I’m so glad you enjoy the blogs. It’s the favorite part of my job, sharing the places we all love!
Our best regards from me and all The Irish Store family,
Take good care,
DO YOU EVER HAVE SWEATERS FOR A SHORT PERSON, ABOUT 5 FT TALL IN A MEDIUM OR LARGE, DEPENDING HOW THEY RUN?
The length would obviously be shorter in the Medium sizes. Check out our size guide below which gives a more detailed breakdown of our sizing.
I purchased one of the lovely Malin Aran cardigans a couple of years ago. I had found out that some of my ancestors were Daugherty/Doherty from Inishowen. I thought this was a great way to honor them! Beautiful & warm!
Great choice! I have one myself. They really are a work of art. Inishowen is such a beautiful part of Ireland too.
I am a new customer to the Irish store, but am so pleased wuth everything I have ordered in the past months (aran cardigans, mucros caps, wool knit scarves&hats, rosary bracelets, etc ). I was expecially excited then to find these wonderful videos showing the magnificent countryside of Ireland (my virtual travel for tbe moment) and seeing the talented, creative, and dedicated people responsible for keeping the crafts alive! Thank you Lulu.
Thank so much for your lovely comments! It means so much to all of us at The Irish Store to receive such positive feedback. We’ll be sharing some more videos of our wonderful makers over the next few week along with some visits to some of Ireland’s many beautiful places. I hope you enjoy them.