The Aran Collection

Abigail Lavrijsen

The Aran Collection

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My graduate collection is inspired by my placement year on the Aran Islands, working with the Inis Meáin Knitting Company. Whilst there I got to experience first-hand how Aran knitwear is designed and produced. Using only the best quality yarns and machinery, I developed an eye for detail which has carried through into my own work.

As my work is for childrenswear, I wanted to use a soft and natural fibre. Merino wool is usually my first choice for any piece of work so I knew it would work well for my graduate collection. It gets softer the more it is used and is a natural, breathable material that won’t cause any irritation to a child’s skin.

My favourite technique in both hand and machine knitting is cable work so I knew my time on the Aran Islands would be valuable in regard to seeing where these cables originate from.

For my final collection, I drew inspiration from the fishing equipment which can be found scattered all around the islands. This is where my first-hand imagery has come from and from there, I picked out specific shapes and colours to develop further through paper-based collages.

The Aran Islands have a rugged and textured landscape; this influence can be seen throughout my work where I use bright colours in combination with classic cable stitches to create a modern twist on traditional Aran knitwear.

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