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  • Halloween

    Where did it come from?

    Did you know that the tradition of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain? Pronounced: Sau-win, which means "Summers End in old Irish language,it was a festival in celebration of the end of harvest season.
    It's widely believed that that Samhain was a time where the ancient pagans got ready for winter and took stock of what supplies they had to see them through to spring.

    Why Celebrate?

    Samhain was one of the most important festivals for ancient pagans- celebrated on October 31st- November 1st in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
    Legend has it that on the night of October 31st, the boundaries between the living and the dead would overlap and spirits or fairies would return to the land of the living and leave chaos in their wake! In order to appease the spirits, gifts of food or drinks were left as peace offerings for the spirits so they would spare the home any grief.

    Why Dress Up?

    Legend has is, pagans dressed up as the spirits and went from house to house seeking food in return for reciting poems or songs, in an attempt to mimic the wandering ghouls that had returned to the living world.

    Bringing it to America:

    Did you know that in Ireland and Scotland, the turnip was traditionally used to carve during Halloween?! But when immigrants started arriving in North America, they decided to use the native pumpkin, which was much softer and much larger making it far easier to carve than a turnip!

    For cosy knits to see you through this Halloween and change in weather, visit www.sweatershop.com and wrap up!

  • Winter Scarves

     

    Wrap up this winter!
    As we enter October and the weather gets colder we love that we can now start thinking about our winter wardrobe and in particular scarves!

    The colder weather means it is time to start wrapping up, and a scarf offers lots of different ways in which you can keep yourself warm and stylish.

     

    sweatershop

    We are swooning over this fab snood which features a stunning combination of honeycomb and cable stitching, it gives a modern functionality and flair to a traditional Celtic favourite. Wear it buttoned to create a popular infinity scarf, or wear it unbuttoned and draped as a warm and stylish wrap. A perfect piece to create fun and versatile possibilities. It's more than a scarf, it's a piece of art!

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    There is nothing cosier than this Aran Pocket Scarf, made from 100% soft Merino wool it will keep you warm all winter long. We love to pair it over a cosy top to complete our outfit.

     

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    It doesn't get much warmer than our fave Aran merino wool scarf. This thick, oversized scarf is the perfect winter accessory to keep you warm as the weather starts to cool. It has two beautiful shades of grey intertwined together in the cable knit stitch.

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    This elegant Patrick Francis Pashmina scarf is made from pure new wool and fine silk woven together to make these luxorious pashmina scarves. These stylish pashminas add a touch of elegance to any outfit.

  • How to Style your Aran Sweater this Autumn Winter

     

     

    Wrap up in style for the chilly and colder weather this Autumn Winter with your extremely versatile Irish Aran sweater. Fashionable, durable and an international icon the Aran sweater is knitted with the best quality merino wool to ensure you stay comfortably cozy. A timeless staple and Ireland's major contribution to international style, the sweater is the perfect addition to any outfit this season.

    Style and Versatility

    As mentioned above the Aran sweater is incredibly versatile. The iconic sweater has the ability to transform every outfit with effortless ease. Whether you are running errands, chilling out with friends, family and loved ones or dressing for a more formal gathering, the Irish Aran sweater is one wardrobe staple you will not want to be without this Autumn Winter.

    Casual Days

    Whether you opt for boyfriend jeans as seen on our model below or skinny jeans, the Aran and jeans look is effortlessly casual and comfortable chic at its best.Shop the look here.

    Aran Sweaters

     

     

    Traditional with a Modern Twist

    Teaming your Aran with modern textures and fashion trends adds an edgy fashion forward look to your outfit. In the look below our model was paired her classic Aran cardigan with a leather pencil skirt. Shop the look here.

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    Evening Wear

    This style sweater may not immediately spring to mind when thinking of evening wear attire however fashion influencers and celebrities have inspired us to think differently. When paired with an elegant maxi or midi skirt the look achieved its elegance personified as seen on Alexa Chung below.Shop similar here.

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    The Aran and the Mini

    Take inspiration from Cara Delevingne in her Mulberry campaign and style your favourite Aran sweater with a mini skirt for an alternative casual daytime look or with over the knee boots for an edger evening look. Shop similar here.

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    Fashion Changes but style endures

    The Aran sweater first became a coveted fashion icon when it first featured in US Vogue in the 1950's. This led to the sweater being exported from Ireland to the US for the first time. It has remained a firm favourite both on and off the catwalk in the last 70 years. More recently, the fashion bible Vogue again gave a sartorial nod to the iconic sweater in its British August edition, with academy award winning actor Alicia Vikander wearing the famous cable Aran knit.

    With some many options to wear it, you won't want to be without this sweater staple this Autumn Winter. Check out The Sweater Shops latest Autumn Winter collection here.

  • American College Football Ireland

    This September sees the return of American football to Dublin for the third time in five years. The Aer Lingus College Football Classic kicks off with Boston College and Georgia Tech going head to head in Dublin's Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 3rd September.

    The Boston College Eagles face strong competition from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as they start their 2016 season. This will be Boston College's second time in Ireland playing football, having originally been in 1988 where they were victorious against Army in front of 42,000 spectators in the old Lansdowne Road stadium. With an expected turnout of 25,000 fans travelling from the US and Europe, this exciting event is not to be missed.

    The Aer Lingus College Football is much more than a game it is an experience. A number of events are taking place around the football game to ensure our visitors to the Emerald Isle have a great time.

    • Trinity College is the official Welcome Village for 2016 Classic
    • Pep Rallies will take place at the iconic Trinity Village main square
    • Muthar Kent will be a guest speaker for the CEO Club Forum held at the Dublin Mansion House
    • Senator George Mitchell will be a key note speaker at the Irish Institute Lunch on the 30th August
    • The Faculty symposium University and the Innovation Economy will be held in the Burke Theatre
    • A University band of more than 150 participants will cheer for both schools attending
    • An American Football Showcase will take place in Trinity College on Friday 2nd with six high school teams playing against each other

    Sweater Shop American Football

    The Aviva is the magnificent stadium where the Aer Lingus College Football Classic will be held. It also held the 2012 game between the University of Notre Dame and U.S. Naval Academy.

    The stadium, located in Dublin is very impressive with the ability to hold a capacity of 51,700 and 48,000 for American football. Built on the former Lansdowne Road stadium, the Aviva is home to the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Republic of Ireland national football team not to mention this exciting international event. To find out more and to purchase a ticket for this exciting event, please visit the website http://collegefootballireland.com/.

  • Aran Autumn Style

    Autumn is here and we couldn't be more excited for the season of pumpkin spice lattes, falling leaves, Halloween dress-ups and not to mention the beginning of sweater weather!

    We love looking for style inspiration from top bloggers and the fashion scene but we especially love it in Autumn as it's the perfect time to wrap up warm in our favourite Aran knits! From sophisticated & sleek to layered & casual, hereare our favourite Aran looks for staying warm this Autumn:

     

    Layered

    Luanna

     

    New York Fashion Blogger Luanna Perez nails the Autumn trend by layering herAran Sweaterwith an oversized scarf, skirt and over the knee boots. This effortlessly cool look is perfect for day wear.

     

    The Classic Sweater & Jean Combo

    Aran Autumn boy

    You can never go wrong with the classic Sweater and Jeans look. Update your look by wearing a smart shirt underneath for a dressy look this Autumn.

     

    Sophisticated & Sleek

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    Irish blogger Love Laurenrocks the popular70's look with an Aran Turtleneck Sweater. To complete this sophisticated look Lauren stylesher sweater with a classic mini skirt and over the knee boots - the perfect day to evening outfit.

    Zip Up

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    Wrap up warm this Autumn in a Knit Zipper Cardigan. Practical and stylish it is the perfect piece for any man's Autumn/Winter wardrobe.

    Casual Chic

    Erika Poncho

    For a casual yet glamorous look this Autumn wrap up with a cosy and stylishAran Poncho like New York blogger Retro Flame. The perfect outfit for brunch with friends, an evening out or for fabulous every day wear.

    The Sweater Shopwould love to see your Aran Autumnstyle, find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and show us us how you style your Aran Sweater.

  • Aran Summer Style For Ladies

    Here at The Sweater Shop we count the Aran Sweater as one of those timeless classics that can be worn all year round, even in Summer!

    Summer definitely is the season of fun with days spent at the beach, music festivals, BBQs and picnics galore! With all this socializing youll want to make sure your look is on point and ready for Summer adventure!

    We have been looking for some Summer inspiration to update our Aran look for this season, so here are our tips on how to style your favourite Aran Sweater this Summer:

     

    Ready For The Festival

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    This is one of our favourite looks for this Summer. This casual and chic look pairs denim cut offs with an oversized aran sweater. Perfect festival attire and for keeping warm on those breezy summer evenings.

    Simple & Elegant

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    Fashion icon Alexa Chung pairs her Aran sweater with a knee length skirt for a classy and elegant look. This look is a perfect ensemble for any summer night.

    Folk Style

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    Create this season's popular Folk look by pairing an Aran Sweater with a long flowing maxi skirt and sandals. Pastels are a summertrend, so wear your Aran Sweater with light shades of pink and purple for the perfect summery girly look.

    Dress It Up

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    Glam up your classic jeans and sweater combination with a pair of statement heels. Stay relaxed and comfortable on those long summer evenings while giving a hint of glamour with court heels.

    The Sweater Shopwould love to see your Aran Summer style, find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and show us us how you style your Aran Sweater.

  • Aran Irish Sweater Style Inspiration

    The Aran Irish sweater is a timeless piece of Irish heritage but it has also become a fashionable wardrobe staple for many celebrities. Recent collections from high end designers such as JW Anderson, Christopher Kane and Alexander McQueen have confirmed the Aran Sweater is here to stay!

    Here are our favourite A list celebrities sporting the Aran look and our top tips to style it like a celebrity!

    kate

    Keep it classic and simple like Kate Bosworth with a cream honeycomb stitch aran sweater. This sweater looks best when it is slightly over sized and has that 'boyfriend' look.

     

    Alexa

     

    Style your summer tee and shorts with an Aran Cardigan for those cooler evenings for the perfect Summer Festival look.

     

     

     

     

     

    Supermodel Gisele Bundchen on a H&M Shoot in Chelsea today

    Create an effortlessly chic look like Gisele Bunchen, with a cowl neck Aran sweater paired with denim jeans.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    robert

     

     

    Keep it casual like Robert Pattinson and wrap up on cold summer evenings with an Irish shawl collar style Aran Sweater.

  • Aran Jumper Knitting Patterns

    The stitches that create the Aran knitting patterns are intricate and complex with a typical Aran Sweater using over 100,000 stitches, and may take several months to finish.

    Here are some of Sweater Shop'sfavourite traditional Aran knitting patterns

    Cable Stitch

    The cable stitch was originally used to represent a fishermans ropes and some fishermen believed that wearing one would ensure a good day at sea. There are many different type of cable stitches and this style is arguably one of the easier Aran stitches to master. The cabling technique involves crossing one stitch over another. The row on which the stitches crossed over each other is known as the turning row. After the turning row, several plain rows are worked, followed by another turning row.

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    Diamond Stitch

    The diamond stitch symbolises the fields on the Aran islands. According to Aran legend this stitch represents hopes of good luck, success and wealth in farming for the inhabitants of the Aran Islands.

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    Zig Zag stitch

    The Aran zig zag stitches are said to represent the highs and low of matrimony and life. The stitch also represents the twisting cliff paths that are synonymous with the Aran Islands.

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    Honeycomb stitch

    The honeycomb stitch represents both hard work and its rewards. The Honeycomb stitch is said locally to bring luck and in the case of fishermen; a good and plentiful catch.Each honeycomb stitch pattern takes eight rows, and the rows are repeated to create the patterns.

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    Moss Stitch

    The moss stitch is symbolic of a good harvest, it represents abundance and growth. It is said to depict carrageen moss, a type of seaweed found on the Irish coast, which is used as a fertiliser for fields.It is often used as a filler in diamond stitching.

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  • Aran Sweaters A Fashion History

    The Aran sweater has remained both timeless and fashionable through out the decades. It is comfortable, stylish and representative of Irish heritage.

    The Beginning

    The sweater takes its name from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland and is most recognisable for its cable patterns and its 100% wool fabric.

    It is unknown when Aran Sweaters were first made, but they were first sold in 1892 with the help of the Congested Districts Board for Ireland initiative.

    The great quality of the Aran sweater is one of the reasons for its popularity, so it is no surprise that the islands fisherman were the first to wear the sweater. Some of the first Aran sweaters were even waterproof, crafting the sweater with wool that retained its natural oil, making it water-resistant!

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    40s

    Patons of England published the first commercially available Aran knitting patterns in the 1940s.

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    50s

    In the 50s Vogue magazine published articles on the sweater, Marilyn Monroe was a fan! Aran sweater exports from the west of Ireland to the United States began.

    The development of the export trade during the 50s and 60s saw knitting become an important part of the islands' economy.

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    60s

    Irish Folk music group, The Clancy Brothers and Ted Maken, adopted the Aran Sweater as their trademark on-stage garment. In the early 60s they appeared onThe Ed Sullivan Show and in a special televised performance for US PresidentJohn F Kennedy, wearing Aran Sweaters.Grace Kelly, Steve McQueen and Twiggy were avid fans of the Aran Sweater.

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    70s

    During the 70s the Aran Sweater continued to grow in popularity and the cable stitching style wasnt just restricted to Sweaters, designers started using the stitch for dresses, skirts, tops and ponchos!

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    80s

    The Aran Sweater was even able to keep up with the 80s cropped trend! The Breakfast Club star, Molly Ringwald, famously posed with a cropped Aran Sweater for Seventeen magazine.

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    The garment also made in appearance in the movie St.Elmo's Fire, Andy McDowall showed how on trend an oversized Aran Sweater could be.

    andy mcdowel 80s

    90s

    None other than top super model Kate Moss revived the Aran sweater during the androgynous decade. The Aran sweater was styled with drainpipe skinny jeans and chunky boots.

    Ad campaign for Banana Republic, 1992.

    2000 - Now

    The Aran Sweater looks like its here to stay! Famous designer fashion houses, Alexander McQueen, Burberry and Michael Kors (to name a few) continually feature Aran Sweaters as one of their key Autumn/Winter pieces. The Aran sweaters quality, comfort and beautiful stitching makes it a timeless classic and it is easy to see why it is a favourite of the stars!

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  • Celebrating St Patrick's Day? Send us a selfie and you could win USD100 or 100 worth of genuine Irish knitwear from Sweater Shop

    St.Patricks Day is a special time of year for Sweater Shop. Its a day to celebrate being Irish, loving Ireland and, of course, being thankful that good oul St Pat banished all them snakes from the land!

    What better way to celebrate the festive day than to dress up in your favourite Aran sweater, cardigan, poncho or scarf? Join the Patricks Day festivities by uploading a selfie in your favourite Aran itemand be in with a chance to win a USD100 or 100 Sweater Shop gift voucher!

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    On Facebook: upload your photo, tag SweaterShop and use #aranselfie

    On Twitter: tweet your photo to @SweaterShopIrland use #aranselfie

    On Instagram: post to @sweatershopirlusing the hashtag #aranselfie

    Please note that, if you enter, we reserve the right to use your photo in the News section of SweaterShop.com. Also you need to upload your photo before 23:59 Irish time on Weds18th March.

    Good luck, and happy St Patrick's Day from all of us here at the Sweater Shop.

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