The Aran Family

There was once a man who had three sons, and nothing else in the world but the house in which he lived. Now each of the sons wished to have the house after his father’s death; but the father loved them all alike, and did not know what to do; he did not wish to sell the house, because it had belonged to his forefathers, else he might have divided the money amongst them. At last a plan came into his head, and he said to his sons, “Go into the world, and try each of you to learn a trade, and, when you all come back, he who makes the best masterpiece shall have the house.”

Grimm’s Fairy Tales: The three brothers


Now this is not a story time, but this Grimm’s Fairy Tale about three brothers with different qualities has something to do with my todays topic: the Rowan Aran Family.

Rowan has introduced 2 new aran-weight yarns for this season and added some stunning tonal shades to the third aran-weight yarn. The most important of this Aran family is, that they all knit up to the same gauge. The bottom line is, they are interchangeable. So you can use any design which is created for one of these yarns and knit it with one of  the others. And Rowan is also providing a Yarn Conversion Chart in the brochures to help you to get the right amount of yarn, if you want to substitute it.

But to substitute a yarn it is not only necessary to look at the gauge of the yarn but also on its qualities. By changing the yarn you will not only change your colour options but also the way your fabric will look. And although Grimm’s Fairy Tale is talking about three  brothers I guess the Rowan Aran yarns are cousins. Because of their distinct fibre content.

Super Fine Merino Aran ~ the noble Aran

Super Fine Merino Aran

Super Fine Merino Aran

Why do I call this cousin the noble one. Because of his fibre content. It is 100% merino wool from the finest quality. Only 5% of the worldwide production of merino is called super fine. To label a merino super fine it needs to be 18.5 micron and under. Rowan has used this very special merino and produced a high twisted yarn, which shows of its natural elastic qualities at its finest. The knitted fabric is really super soft and smooth. And he is machine washable at 40°C on a gentle cycle.


Fine Art Aran ~ the gentle Aran

Fine Art Aran

Fine Art Aran

This cousin of the Rowan Aran Family is really gentle. Oh he is noble too, if you look at his contents: Wool: 50%, Mohair: 20%, Silk: 5%, Alpaca: 25%. But I think it is more gentle, because of its behavior. Although he is not as resilient as his cousin the Super Fine Merino Aran he is much more embracing you. He is hugging  you and is much more flowing round your body with more drape than the Super Fine Merino Aran. His fabric is soft and tender but not as smooth as his cousins is. It is a little bit more fuzzy because of the mohair and alpaca inside.

Hemp Tweed ~ the cool Aran

Hemp Tweed

Hemp Tweed

Isn’t he cool? His ingredients are Wool: 75%, Hemp: 25%. Now hemp is first of all a cellulose fibre coming from the outer fibres of the hemp plant. Which already shows a big difference to his other cousins, they both are composed of protein fibres. Hemp itself is considered the strongest natural fibre and is softer, more insulating, more absorbent, and more breathable than cotton! The combination of wool and hemp in this yarn results in a modern tweed effect. The cousin is totally smooth and because of its insulation properties cool to wear in warmer weather and warm in colder temperatures. Because of the non resilient quality of hemp the knitted fabric is not as elastic as this of his cousin the Super Fine Merino Aran, but he is also stronger as the Fine Art Aran and will holds his shape. He is machine washable at 30°C.
I hope these little introduction helps you to successfully substitute your yarn. I think to create a more sophisticated and clean look you should choose the Super Fine Merino Aran. If you want to go for a more drapier look, get the Fine Art Aran. And if you want to have a more rustic-style look and a lot of strength because you want to knit an outdoor garment with a subtle lustre, go for Hemp Tweed.

And finally I want you to show the designs which Martin Storey has created for noble Super Fine Merino Aran and gentle Fine Art Aran. I have already knit a design of the Easy Aran Knits by Martin Storey in Super Fine Merino Aran and in Fine Art Aran, which I will show you next time and I will talk about Lisa Richardsons designs for Hemp Tweed in another upcoming post.

Easy Aran Knits by Martin Storey

This brochure contains 13 designs for men and women by Martin Storey using Super Fine Merino Aran and Fine Art Aran.