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Women's Irish Aran Turtleneck Sweater

Price: $149.00

Item#:1074323

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For hundreds of years, women in the rural villages of the Aran Islands off the western coast of Ireland have knit natural wool sweaters for their fisherman kin. Although the myth that you can identify island families by the stiches in their sweater—like a Scottish tartan—isn't true, every knitter does have her own special patterns, passed down through generations of mothers and grandmothers. At weekly gatherings, they continually invented intricate new stitches.


Each stitch in this generously sized, traditional Aran sweater represents a facet of fishing culture: the honeycomb stitch for hard work, the cable stitch for safety on the waters, and the basket weave as a wish for a plentiful catch.


100% merino wool. Made in Ireland. Women’s sizes S (4–6), M (8–10), L (12–14), XL (16–18), XXL (20).

Hand-wash or dry clean.

The thick-knit, cream-colored sweater that we often associate with fishermen has its origins on the Aran Islands at the mouth of Galway Bay in western Ireland. Enterprising women on the islands began knitting the sweaters in the early 1900s, using untreated, lanolin-rich wool. The goal was not only to provide a heavy and water-resistant garment to keep their families warm in Galway Bay's rough weather, but also to supplement the island's fishing economy by making a craft that could be sold year-round and utilized traditional skills and patterns. Journalist and Irish culture activist Pádraig Augustine Ó Síocháin helped make the Aran sweaters especially popular in the mid-20th century by organizing the export of hand-knit sweaters to other countries.


There is a myth that families each have their own patterns of stitches, and that a drowned fisherman could be recognized by the designs on his sweater, much like a Scottish clan tartan. While it's true that certain stitches have come to take on symbolic meanings, the diversity of patterns is more accurately attributed to the creative group of artisans who started making the sweaters. Always eager to show off new ideas, creative knitters developed new patterns and taught them to their friends, who added their own twists and passed the pattern along again.

Today, folks on the islands and visitors from around the world often choose sweaters based on the symbolism that the different intricate stitches have taken on. Just some of the patterns found include:

  • Cable stitches represent fishing ropes and therefore the tools of a hard worker and safety on the water.
  • Braided cable stitches evoke the strength of close family ties.
  • Moss stitches represent abundance in nature.
  • Diamond stitches mimic the shape of fishing nets mesh, the key to success on the Arans.
  • Basket stitch represents a plentiful catch.
  • Honeycomb stitches represent the hard work of the honeybee and the rewards of an industrious life.
  • Trinity stitches are traditional Celtic motifs and signify cultural pride.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Women's Irish Aran Turtleneck Sweater
 
4.3

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Comfortable (6)
  • Warm (6)
  • Great color (5)
  • Soft (5)
  • Flattering (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Casual wear (5)
      • Chest Size:
      • Feels too small

         

        Feels true to size

         

        100% 

        (7 reviews)

        Feels too big

         
      • Length:
      • Feels too short

         

        Feels true to length

         

        86% 

        (6 reviews)

        Feels too long

         
      • Sleeve Length:
      • Feels too short

         

        Feels true to length

         

        100% 

        (7 reviews)

        Feels too long

         
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Casual dresser (6)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (4), Yes (4)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-8

    Back to top

     
    5.0

    Better than I expected...by a lot!

    By Mobile senior

    from Owen Sound, Canada

    About Me Classic Dresser

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Comfortable
    • Flattering
    • Great Color
    • Lightweight
    • Soft
    • Stylish
    • Versatile
    • Warm

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Casual Wear
      • Date Night/Night Out
      • Looks good with everythin

      Comments about Women's Irish Aran Turtleneck Sweater:

      The sweater is better than the one I knitted for myself many years ago...the yarn is a perfect weight and the fit couldn't be more comfortable

      • Chest Size:
      • Feels true to size
      • Length:
      • Feels true to length
      • Sleeve Length:
      • Feels true to length
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      4.0

      Turtle neck

      By Kristy

      from Chehalis, WA

      About Me Casual Dresser

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Great quality

      Cons

      • Runs large

      Best Uses

      • Keeping warm

      Comments about Women's Irish Aran Turtleneck Sweater:

      Love the quality. I would like the neck piece to be a little shorter but I don't have a very long neck so it might be only my problem

      • Chest Size:
      • Feels true to size
      • Length:
      • Feels too short
      • Sleeve Length:
      • Feels true to length
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      The sweater was gift for my wife.

      By Joe

      from Perth Australia

      About Me Casual Dresser

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Comfortable
      • Great Color
      • Soft
      • Warm

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Casual Wear
        • Special Occasions
        • Wear To Work

        Comments about Women's Irish Aran Turtleneck Sweater:

        My wife will wear the sweater in the winter

        • Chest Size:
        • Feels true to size
        • Length:
        • Feels true to length
        • Sleeve Length:
        • Feels true to length
        • Was this a gift?:
        • Yes

        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        If the neck is fixed I would definately

        By Mrs.D

        from Worcester, Ma

        About Me Casual Dresser

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Comfortable
        • Flattering
        • Great Color
        • I Loved Almost Everything
        • Soft
        • Stylish
        • Versatile
        • Warm

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Casual Wear

          Comments about Women's Irish Aran Turtleneck Sweater:

          I loved almost everything except the neck. It was very high and for a "turtleneck" it was not fitted. It was more like a cowl neck. Really a shame because the sweater to me is gorgeous!!!

          • Chest Size:
          • Feels true to size
          • Length:
          • Feels true to length
          • Sleeve Length:
          • Feels true to length
          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          A wolf in sheep's clothing!

          By Lin

          from Maine

          About Me Classic Dresser

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Poor Quality

            Best Uses

              Comments about Women's Irish Aran Turtleneck Sweater:

              My first response was that I thought this was an attractive sweater and I couldn't wait to try it on. What I found was that the neck was a little snug...but this may have only felt that way because of the wool. This wool made my skin begin to itch on contact. I wear wool on a regular basis next to my skin, being a Maine resident. I was very dissapointed to have to send this sweater back. It was a costly mistake.....

              • Chest Size:
              • Feels true to size
              • Length:
              • Feels true to length
              • Sleeve Length:
              • Feels true to length
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great gift!

              By Tony

              from Manchester, NH

              About Me Casual Dresser

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Comfortable
              • Flattering
              • Warm

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • All around use
                • Gets lots of compliments

                Comments about Women's Irish Aran Turtleneck Sweater:

                Good quality and worth the price. Our Irish family was very pleased.

                • Chest Size:
                • Feels true to size
                • Length:
                • Feels true to length
                • Sleeve Length:
                • Feels true to length
                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Love the Irish!

                By Fred the Grandpa

                from Lebanon, PA in central PA

                About Me Casual Dresser

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Comfortable
                • Flattering
                • Great Color
                • Lightweight
                • Soft
                • Stylish
                • Versatile
                • Warm

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Casual Wear
                  • Date Night/Night Out
                  • Warm In Pa Cold Weather

                  Comments about Women's Irish Aran Turtleneck Sweater:

                  It feels great in the cold days and nights of winter. Sometimes I wear it when I am relaxing in the evening and the heat is turned down.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • Yes

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Better in person!

                  By James

                  from New Jersey

                  About Me Casual Dresser

                  Pros

                  • Comfortable
                  • Great Color
                  • Soft
                  • Stylish
                  • Warm

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Casual Wear

                    Comments about Women's Irish Aran Turtleneck Sweater:

                    Bought this sweater for my wife in black. It's absolutely beautiful! A work of art truly. She loves it. Excellent quality. Highly recommend.

                    • Chest Size:
                    • Feels true to size
                    • Length:
                    • Feels true to length
                    • Sleeve Length:
                    • Feels true to length
                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

                    Displaying reviews 1-8

                    Back to top

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