Free Patterns

Published on November 23rd, 2013 | by Serena


Top 10 Free Aran Knitting Patterns for Women: Jumpers

Last week, we collected our favourite free aran jumper patterns for men. These gorgeous cabled creations are normally associated with rugged fishermen of course, but nowadays there are plenty of more feminine aran knitting patterns available too!

The really simple one


(Photo from the wonderful Chronicles of The Lazy Knitter)

This beautifully pared-down version harks back to the Gansey sweater, ancestor of the better-known Aran fisherman’s jumpers. Gansey sweaters were knit in finer wool (like this DK sweater) and usually had the texture pattern in the top part of the jumper only. For your first cabled project the Lion Brand Shaped Cable Top is an excellent choice, rather than the more intricate traditional Aran designs. Knit it in Lion Brand Martha Extra Soft Wool Blend (shade Blue Corn shown here) for a beautiful soft, warm pure Merino wool jumper.

The totally traditional ones

This Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool Aran Sweater features one of the most beautiful cable motifs: the ‘Celtic knot’. Every inch of the jumper is covered in cable designs, with cable plaits and ropes also featuring. Oh, and the pattern includes a matching tam o’shanter hat too!

The equally wonderful vintage Women’s Irish Pullover from the Yarn Lovers’ Room features moss-stitch-filled diamond cables in the central pattern, with honeycomb cables elsewhere.

LB aran irish sweater
Knit both of these pullovers in any traditional pure wool aran-weight yarn, such as Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool in Oatmeal, shown here.

Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool in Oatmeal


The cardigan version

This beautiful Berroco Aidez Cable Cardigan again features diamond cables on the back, and a really unusual horseshoe-cable design on the sleeves and front.

aidez_back  aidez_D_lg

This cardigan is written for a super-chunky weight yarn: why not treat yourself to some serious luxury and knit it in Berroco Peruvia Quick? Shade Oats (9104) shown here.

A modern take

A modern minimalist approach is taken with this sophisticated DK cowl neck sweater. Simple horseshoe cables run up to a warm cowl neck. Knit it in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (shade shown here) for a beautiful, luxuriously soft, warm jumper. A seriously classy Christmas sweater!

cowl neck sweater YDB005-Debbie_Bliss_Rialto_DK_-_Scarlet__012_

At the other extreme, Erika Knight has written a beautiful wide-necked, almost off-the-shoulder super-chunky design for a Cable Sweater in Rowan Big Wool (shade Vert 054). Cosy chic!

Cable Sweater 260x310 YRW009-Rowan_Big_Wool_-_Vert__054_

Twisted chains and Viking designs

This Cascade Cable-Lover’s Sweater uses cables a little different from the Celtic knots we’re used to in Aran sweaters – they’re almost reminiscent of Viking art. And Cascade Ecologial Wool is 100% undyed Natural Peruvian Wool, which makes for a richly cabled finished product.

C186_EcoWool  4097

This Yarnspirations Cable Sweater departs somewhat from traditional design as well, to create twisting chains of cables. Knit it in any aran-weight yarn.

Cable dresses

For something a little more medieval-looking, how about this amazing Lion Brand Cable Maxi Dress? With a flared fit and sleeves, and a beautiful cabled yoke, this one is sure to turn heads. If you’re not quite ready to make such a dramatic entrance, the pattern can be knitted as a jumper too! Again, any standard aran weight can be used: for such a big project, you might want an affordable yarn, like Lion Brand Wool Ease (shade Natural Heather shown here) or find a similar one among many other Lion Brand yarns.



About the Author

Serena loves sunshine, strawberries and Great Danes. She has gone from non-knitter to yarn obsessive in under two years, and is determined to drag the rest of the world along with her.

Last updated: October 12th, 2017.

27 Responses to Top 10 Free Aran Knitting Patterns for Women: Jumpers

  1. Valerie atkins says:

    A Rowan knitter

  2. Sharon Webb says:

    I absolutely adore Aran jumpers, and used to wear them all the time. My favourite pattern is the Cable Tunic, it looks so stylish…..x

  3. suewilliams says:

    im still doing aran cardigans for a lot of people that I know and I absoulutly lov all types of arann

  4. Marcia Levy says:

    I love Aran knitting. Knitting an edge to edge aran cable coat by Catherine Earnshaw. Fab pattern. I still have and wear my first aran coat which I knitted about 40 years ago as something to do with my hands when I gave up smoking!!!!

  5. Absolutely beautiful patterns especially the smocks/tunics at the end of the list. Would love pattern for them.

  6. Joan Ramage says:

    I would love to knit the lion brand cable maxi dress but as sweater, I love the red heart shimmer yarn ,could you please tell me how many balls of this yarn I would need to knit the sweater

    • Carly says:

      Hi Joan, I am so glad you received an answer to your question from our Smiles Team and have started knitting your sweater. Best of luck with the project!

  7. stitcher75 says:

    I’ve had that Lion Brand dress in my queue since before I learned to knit! I’ve read that it’s too warm for most U.S. locations, but the recent introduction of cotton-wool and bamboo-wool blends may make it wearable even for those of us who sweat away the winter months.

  8. berit says:

    Hi i can’t don’t download the wide neck sweater:-( can you help me please
    Xxx Berit

    • Faith says:

      Hi Berit – apologies for the broken link. It is now fixed and you are able to download by clicking the link or picture. Happy knitting!
      All the best,

  9. Carole says:

    Is there any way to get the pattern for the beautiful almost off the shoulder super chunky jumper by Erika knight. I have tried the link but it is not available.
    Thank You Carole

  10. rowena says:

    I would love the Erika Knight pattern too – but can’t get the link to work. thank you Rowena

  11. Sylvia Wainwright says:

    Do you have a pattern for an Aran Poncho please?

  12. Doreena Randler says:

    Thanks for the good ideas. Being an Aran beginner I find it rather complicated to cope with all these patterns, however I do my very best. Thanks again!

  13. Trish Hewitt says:

    hi really interested in knitting the yarnspriations sweater just one question in the picture half way up the jumper after the diamond pattern it looks like the cable on the righthand side is not correct as it is not mirroring the cable on the opposite side it looks like it should be going under rather than over so just wondered whether this is correct??

  14. Rochelle says:

    Hi. I would like to knit the Aidez cardigan in Rowan pure wool aran but am battling with how to adapt from chunky for this weight wool. Please help! Need size 36/38″ pattern for Rowan Pure Wool Aran.

  15. Brenda Dillman says:

    Thank you for this beautiful pattern, I love it.

  16. Bridget says:

    I knitted Aran garments for my children in Ireland about forty years ago and I’m now looking for suitable patterns for my grandchildren in Australia. Even with lighter ‘wool’ I’m eager to do the Aran stitches, I’ve always loved them but haven’t knitted much in recent years. Time to start, I believe! The garments here are inspirational, thank you!

  17. marilynjoshi says:

    I am looking for a mans Fisherman knit pullover in the
    true fisherman knit pattern. I had a book years ago, made
    more than a dozen of them, and just recently cannot find that
    booklet. It was not a hardback book … just a 9.5 x 11 with
    maybe 15-20 pages. It was fabulous.

  18. Joan de Kock says:

    This is MOST beautiful!!! Thank you!!

  19. Ally says:

    Hi I have found a cable sweater you can buy online but I really would like to knit it myself. Is there any people or sites that can make a able knitting pattern from a picture please?

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