MORE ON ARAN CROCHET

Thank you to everyone who posted or sent notes about yesterday’s blanket. I haven’t kept up with Aran style crochet, but I do have two pattern leaflets about it published in the early 1980s. The first is the one I already mentioned:

It’s written for worsted weight yarn yarn and sizes H, J and K hooks. It includes patterns for a stole (which turns out to be the thing I enlarged), a poncho, a pieced lap robe, a vest, a pullover and a cardigan. Styles are rather unisex (button placement on the cardigan and vest would vary, of course). Sizes range from a kid-size extra small (24-26" to a large 38"-40". The best of the lot are the stole (as lap blanket, as it’s too heavy in my opinion to be worn as a wrap), and the poncho. The pullover is less lumpen looking than the other designs, but it’s a strange combo of extremely heavy work and loose hole-y areas, making it too hot to wear indoors, but too ventilated for many to wear as an outdoor outer layer.

The other booklet I have is this one:

It’s an American School of Needlework leaflet, listing Mary Thomas as the author. It’s also written for worsted weight yarn and size G, J and K hooks. It offers up two basic designs – the bathrobe style wrap sweater and a pullover, written separately for both men and women. Of the two leaflets the designs in the book by Ough are better – worked tighter with less of that stitch out of size crochet at home look, with more stitch variety, and better fit.

In terms of technical details, the two do vary a bit. The designs in the Ough leaflet are worked vertically, with the crocheted rows running the north-south length of the pieces. The Thomas designs are worked in the more conventional east-west direction, across the pieces. I think this helps improve the drape and texture of the Ough designs. Still both share the same weaknesses – heavy, heavy, heavy final products, unstretchy imitation ribbing at cuffs and hem, and a general boxy/slightly odd fit due to the different elasticity factors of the various stitches employed.

Now I note that my familiarity with the style pretty much stalled out in the early ’80s. I haven’t touched it since, and have given more recent books and leaflets only a passing glance. I’ve seen a couple of books on "Fisherman Design Crochet" by Ann Pomeroy, but I haven’t looked at them closely or worked anything from them. Other crochet books also delve into this specialty, mostly as single projects. I hope that the style has evolved somewhat. That stitches and textures are better expressed, that the "ground fabric" is more wearable, that lighter weight yarns are used, and that fit/finish has evolved, too.

6 responses

  1. I would like the patterns for the Original Fisherman Crochet for the family, Leaflet 151, especially for the kid’s vest. How do I go about it? Thanks
    Dolores Atkin atkinkd@telus.net

    1. I don’t think the leaflet is still in print. You will have to search on eBay until you find someone willing to sell you an original copy. I’m afraid I am not willing to part with mine.

  2. I certainly wouldn’t expect you to part with yours. I’m only missing the last page with the Vest pattern on it. I want to make one for my grandson who is 4 & I just love that pattern. I made it about 25 years ago. If you are willing to scan the vest pattern only, I will gladly pay you for it. Let me know. Thanks,
    Dolores Atkin

    1. First, I apologize in advance for the tirade below. You are just the latest person in a long line to make this request, but the first do to it via a public posting.

      It’s very sweet that you wish to knit this for your grandson. However, I decline to break the law, as you suggest, and “share” an illicit duplicate of a work still under copyright – either for free or recompense.

      As a published designer who has been victimized by people who disregard authors’ rights, I feel very strongly on this issue. I have put my time and money where my beliefs are, and have participated in undercover investigations of piracy rings and document sharing clubs, collecting data that was later used in US Congressional hearings on Internet access and copyright. And for your information, it’s not big, commercial efforts that are the most damaging to small authors and publishers – it’s the death of a thousand cuts done by individuals, one copy at a time.

      I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you are not aware that you are asking me to break the law. Perhaps you are not one of the people who use emotional blackmail or claim to be “missing just one page.” You may be a legitimate owner of a damaged leaflet and there may indeed be a well-loved grandson. But mitigating factors do not change the basic ethics of your request.

      I wish you the best of luck in finding a legitimate copy for sale elsewhere. But neither I nor this website will be a party to needlework pattern piracy.

      1. Oh, my God, I definitely was not asking you to break the law; it never even occurred to me that I was asking something that was not allowed. Oh, I feel so awful about this. I am so glad that you are sticking to your principles as you should & I thank you for letting me know that I was asking you to break the law. I also am not using emotional blackmail to appeal to your sensibilities; I was only explaining the reason I was looking for this leaflet, 151. I can scan these pages to you if you want proof that I am only missing the last page. Maybe if I dig down into all my patterns, I may find this missing page. I tried ebay first because I am perfectly willing to pay for it which is what I was going to do if you could provide it. I didn’t know that there was copyright infringement on it. How can the people on ebay sell it then? Do they have permission from the original owner? I just assumed when you advertised you had the leaflet that you had copyright permission. Why else advertise it? I was just looking everywhere I could to find it. I really do have a 4-yr old grandson I want to crochet this for. I originally made it for my son when he was about 6 yrs old. My sincere apologies for my ignorance, & please continue in your endeavours to ensure that people do not infringe the copyright laws. If you were to ask anyone who knows me, they would tell you that I am strictly an honest person, & would never make a dishonest or illegal request. I guess I better do some reading up on it. I feel like a total idiot. I definitely want to do this within the law. Do you have any ideas on how I can get in touch with the original author of this leaflet, Anne Rabun Ough? I have tried. Maybe she is no longer alive. Again, I apologize for my ignorance & if you feel you have to report me, please do so. I’ll explain what I told you & hope they have mercy on me. All the computer software I have on my computer, I bought. I have nothing that is copied from someone else. Same goes for movies, etc. I always buy originals of everything & don’t give people copies of anything I have. These patterns are something new to me. I don’t know how it works. I have bought many patterns online, but I have also downloaded free ones that I assumed were available for free. I promise to be more careful. Thanks for your time.
        Dolores

  3. By the way, I did check with ebay & they had the leaflet but wouldn’t ship to Canada.

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