Thursday, April 12, 2007

Aran Island

We took the ferry from Doolin, Ireland to Inisheer (East Island), one of the three Aran Islands. Inishmaan (Middle Island) and Inishmore (Big Island) make up the other two. This 2 x 2 mile island is covered with miles of stone fences. I was in awe of these fences, all dry stacked by hand. They went on and on and each area that was walled in was only about 50' across.
"This is the rapidly vanishing and hidden Ireland, of "boreens" or tiny roads often passable only on foot; of fishermen who go to sea in canvas and lathe "currachs"; and farmers whose fields often seem no bigger than a living room but produce potatoes from soil made from sand and seaweed."
Aran Island is really known for it Aran sweaters, or gansey. There were plenty of Aran sweaters in the shops in Doolin, but they are now made in China by 'Aran knitters'. The wool comes from Australia. They are warm, soft and very nice, just not from the Aran islands any longer.

1 comment:

Barbara deG said...

It has been many years since Aran sweaters were actually handknit in Ireland with some exceptions - one is Cleo Handknits in Dublin - very expensive
In the US, Irish Imports Ltd. sells Cleo's sweaters in Cambridge MA