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Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan

Price: $155.00

Item#:1073495

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This cozy merino wool sweater is a virtual sampler of Irish Aran knitting patterns. Each pattern symbolizes an aspect of local fishing culture: Celtic rope for Irish pride; fisherman's cable for safety on the waters; basket stitch for a plentiful catch; and diamond, the shape of a fishing net, for success. The warm wool is renowned for its extremely soft hand, providing warmth and comfort without the itch of lower-quality fibers.

Made in Ireland of 100% merino wool. 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 Merino Wool Irish Cardigan
 
4.5

(based on 34 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

91%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great color (28)
  • Comfortable (27)
  • Warm (25)
  • Flattering (17)
  • Stylish (17)

Cons

  • Poor fit (3)

Best Uses

  • Casual wear (25)
  • Layering (21)
  • Cold / extreme (19)
  • Travel (18)
  • Going out (16)
    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too small

       

      Feels true to size

       

      91% 

      (29 reviews)

      Feels too big

       
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      84% 

      (27 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Classic style (22), Comfort-oriented (21), Practical (21), Stylish (15), High-end shopper (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (27), Yes (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Beautiful in Color and Design

These sweaters look like the kind of thing your grandmother would have spent a year knitting for you, for Christmas. I bought one in each color. The red was so gorgeous that I...Read complete review

These sweaters look like the kind of thing your grandmother would have spent a year knitting for you, for Christmas. I bought one in each color. The red was so gorgeous that I bought a second one. I am 5'4", weigh 122lbs, and the small size fits perfectly in every way. The colors are deep and beautiful. The oatmeal color is very natural looking. Someone mentioned shrinking and odor. It is hot water and agitation that causes wool to shrink, the detergent really makes little difference, and wet wool can sometimes smell a little like a wet dog, but this disappears when the garment dries. The detailed knitting pattern is stunning. This sweater is well worth owning.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Disappointed...

I bought this sweater because I was looking for a heavier weight, non-scratchy sweater to wear walking, snowshoeing, etc. The wool used in this sweater looks a bit thin, unlike the photo,...Read complete review

I bought this sweater because I was looking for a heavier weight, non-scratchy sweater to wear walking, snowshoeing, etc. The wool used in this sweater looks a bit thin, unlike the photo, and does not look like it is worth the price. Also, I noticed almost immediately, that it was scratchy--not what I was looking for. I ordered a large (I'm 5'5", 145#). I think it might run a bit small. It fit great across the shoulders and chest, but the bottom was very wide, with a gap. It's a straight fit. Might look good on someone with a different figure. I had to send mine back.

Reviewed by 34 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

very lovely sweater

By j

from new york mills, ny

About Me Practical

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Warm

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Casual Wear
    • Cold Weather
    • Layering
    • Travel

    Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

    the sweater is very nice-looking and well made.

    • Chest Size:
    • Feels true to size
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels true to length
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    5.0

    Love, love, love this cardigan!!

    By NJ

    from Portland, Maine

    About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Stylish

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Casual Wear
      • Cold Weather
      • Layering

      Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

      I did have to block the shoulders and sleeves to smooth the knitting. Once that was done, it fit perfectly and looks wonderful. One of my very favorite cardigans.

      • Chest Size:
      • Feels true to size
      • Sleeve Length:
      • Feels true to length
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan

      By Cindy

      from San Antonio, TX

      About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Casual Wear
        • Cold Weather
        • Going Out
        • Layering
        • Travel
        • Work

        Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

        This sweater just looks expensive and is so, so warm! I've always wanted an Irish wool sweater but was not willing to pay the high price. When this went on sale I ordered it immediately and just wish I would have ordered the black and the red. They are beautiful!!

        • Chest Size:
        • Feels true to size
        • Sleeve Length:
        • Feels true to length
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        5.0

        Beautiful sweater.

        By Worker bee

        from Tulsa, OK

        About Me Classic, Practical, Stylish

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

        • No Extra Button

        Best Uses

        • Casual Wear
        • Cold Weather
        • Layering
        • Work

        Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

        I ordered the red color and it is a darker red rather than a bright red. The patterns are beautiful and the sweater comes with a description card identifying them. Was worried the sleeves might be too short as I am tall, have broad shoulders and long arms but they are a good length for me. The wool is very soft and not scratchy at all. I also like the shape - it skims the top of the hips and doesn't gap when buttoned.

        • Chest Size:
        • Feels true to size
        • Sleeve Length:
        • Feels true to length
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        5.0

        Merino Wool Irish Cardigan

        By Anita- Jogger

        from London, Ontario,Canada

        About Me Practical

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Great Color

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Work

          Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

          Very nice Cardigan.

          Little expensive, but I expect to get good use of it

          • Chest Size:
          • Feels true to size
          • Sleeve Length:
          • Feels true to length
          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes
           
          5.0

          I have bought 3 of these sweaters so far

          By Jima

          from Boston MA

          About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Casual Wear
            • Cold Weather
            • Going Out
            • Layering
            • Travel
            • Work

            Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

            I bought this sweater several years ago and continue to love wearing it often It is may go to sweater. It always looks good with little fuss and I receive many compliments on the style and quality. My daughter and sister both loved it , so it made wonderful presents for them. The style is complimentary to our small, medium and large shapes and different ages.

            • Chest Size:
            • Feels true to size
            • Sleeve Length:
            • Feels true to length
            • Was this a gift?:
            • Yes
             
            5.0

            Love this sweater!

            By Kate

            from Ohio

            About Me Appreciates Good Quality, Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Comfortable
            • Excellent quality
            • Great Color
            • Lightweight
            • Stylish
            • Warm

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Casual Wear
              • Cold Weather
              • Going Out
              • Travel

              Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

              I appreciate well made clothes which are not easy to find. This sweater fits the bill and is worth the money.

              • Chest Size:
              • Feels true to size
              • Sleeve Length:
              • Feels true to length
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No
               
              5.0

              Have bought in 2 colors, need the 3rd!

              By Nanci of the North

              from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

              About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical

              Pros

              • Comfortable
              • Great Color
              • So many compliments
              • Stylish
              • Versatile
              • Warm

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Casual Wear
                • Cold Weather
                • Layering
                • Work

                Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

                Excellent Quality

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

                Beautiful sweater

                By Olivia

                from Denver

                About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Petite, Practical

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Great Color
                • Lovely Pattern Design
                • Red

                Cons

                • Buttons
                • Buttons Are A Little Disa

                Best Uses

                • Casual Wear
                • Eye Catching Red
                • Going Out

                Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

                I'll use it for casual event, but still want to look dressy.

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

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Nice Sweater

                By Mary from the Badger State

                from Milwaukee WI

                About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Comfortable
                • Great Color
                • Nice Neckline No Collar
                • Versatile

                Cons

                • Not Overly Warm

                Best Uses

                • Casual Wear
                • Going Out
                • Travel
                • Work

                Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

                I like this sweater a lot, got it in the oatmeal and it goes with a lot of things. It's not as warm as the traditional fisherman's knit sweaters, but by the same token is not the thick, scratchy wool. The medium is true to size I think. I haven't tried to wash it yet, probably should be dry cleaned instead, which I hate to do - but this one might be worth it!

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

                Displaying reviews 1-10

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