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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
 
4.3

(based on 27 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great color (22)
  • Comfortable (21)
  • Warm (19)
  • Flattering (13)
  • Stylish (12)

Cons

  • Poor fit (3)

Best Uses

  • Casual wear (19)
  • Layering (16)
  • Travel (14)
  • Cold / extreme (13)
  • Going out (13)
    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too small

       

      Feels true to size

       

      88% 

      (22 reviews)

      Feels too big

       
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      80% 

      (20 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (22), Yes (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Classic style (17), Comfort-oriented (17), Practical (15), Stylish (11), High-end shopper (4)

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 27 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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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
     
    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
     
    5.0

    Wonderful Sweater

    By KA

    from St. Petersburg, FL

    About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Comfortable
    • Great Color
    • Versatile
    • Warm

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

      This sweater is wonderfully warm and extremely wearable. It can be used in many situation and with lots of styles.

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

      Have it intwo colours and love them both

      By la la la

      from Toronto, ON, Canada

      About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Comfortable
      • Cozy And Looks Good
      • Flattering
      • Great Color
      • Lightweight
      • Soft
      • Stylish
      • Versatile
      • Warm

      Cons

      • None

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

      Love it

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

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good but Size problems

      By Ron

      from Guelph Ontario

      About Me Practical

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Comfortable
      • Great Color
      • Warm

      Cons

      • Poor Fit

      Best Uses

      • Cold Weather

      Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

      Very nice product, but sizing is odd. Needed a Large for my tiny wife! Still, it is beautiful in some ways - probably not very flattering however - a bit bulky.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Love the sweater

      By Kathy

      from Grove City, OH

      About Me Comfort-oriented, Stylish

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Comfortable
      • Great Color
      • Warm

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

        Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

        I truly love this sweater - I bought the beige and the red. My only complaint, which was a real surprise, was that when I put it on to wear for the second time, the bottom two buttons broke apart. Now I have to find buttons that I like as much as those that came with the sweater, which may not be easy.

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

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Excellent, perfect!

        By AtomikB

        from Canada

        About Me Comfort-oriented

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

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

          Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

          Exactly what I was hoping for.exept for the sleeve length. I have to say thought, I am very tall!

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

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          beautiful colour, patterns

          By fan of hand knits

          from Calgary,AB.

          About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • Haven't washed it
          • Haven't worn it much yet

          Best Uses

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

          Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

          I love the style, the colour (oatmeal) and the patterns
          It fits loosely around hips i.e. the boxy fit someone else mentioned. I think it is meant to be that way, though and quite like it.

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

          (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          BEAUTIFUL SWEATER

          By Happy to help

          from Seattle, WA

          About Me Classic

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Comfortable
          • Great Color
          • Lightweight
          • Soft
          • Warm

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Casual Wear

            Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

            The red is a nice shade and the quality is very good--the stitches are impressive. Have had many compliments. Only downside is the sweater is a bit boxy. I like my clothes a little more fitted. i'm 5'7" and 165 pds and the medium fits easily. In the NW where I live, this is a year-round sweater.

            • 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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