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Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan

Price: $149.00

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 22 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

86%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Comfortable (17)
  • Great color (17)
  • Warm (16)
  • Flattering (12)
  • Soft (10)

Cons

  • Poor fit (3)

Best Uses

  • Casual wear (14)
  • Layering (13)
  • Travel (11)
  • Cold / extreme (10)
  • Going out (10)
    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too small

       

      Feels true to size

       

      85% 

      (17 reviews)

      Feels too big

       
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      80% 

      (16 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Classic style (12), Comfort-oriented (12), Practical (10), Stylish (8), High-end shopper (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (17), Yes (3)

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 22 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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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
 
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
     
    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
       
      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

      (7 of 7 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

        (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Love the detail

        By Mray

        from Volcano

        About Me Classic, Stylish

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Comfortable
        • Lightweight
        • Stylish
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Casual Wear
          • Layering
          • Travel
          • Work

          Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

          I love the details in this sweater. There are so many different stitches that it looks extremely difficult to make. It is soft enough for being wool and warm. I bought the oatmeal color which goes with anything. It fits perfectly but always look at the size chart before buying. I sometimes buy an extra large but this is a large and it's just right.

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

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excellent Sweater - watch out for size

          By LAL

          from Freehold, NJ

          About Me Comfort-oriented

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Comfortable
          • Flattering
          • Great Color
          • 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 typically wear this as a jacket, or on top of an outfit when going to a meeting. When I ordered the sweater, I used the measuring chart on the web. I measured another similar sweater I have that fits and wound up ordering S. I had to return it and get XL. The new sweater fits great. The XL is the equivalent of a 10/12. The sweater keeps you warm outside and doesn't overheat you indoors. It was a great buy.

            • Chest Size:
            • Feels too small
            • Sleeve Length:
            • Feels too short
            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Really Nice Weight, Wearable Sweater!!!

            By jennywren03

            from Santa Fe, NM

            About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, High-end shopper, Practical

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Comfortable
            • Flattering
            • Great Color
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Casual Wear
              • Layering

              Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

              I got this lovely sweater for Christmas. I love pretty much everything about it. It is very, very slightly fitted—comfortable but not baggy or matronly. Was looking for an aran cardigan that was not too "OL", and this is it. Nice medium weight, great for layering. This is especially good as I am at that "hot flash" age and tend to get too hot in sweaters. Oatmeal color is GORGEOUS, a little bit of white woven in for interest. Only thing I would change is I would like a little less banding at the bottom...but that is a minor complaint. Overall a nice wearable style that will work with many pieces in my casual wardrobe.

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

              (5 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Quite warm, but very large

              By fashionista in the rain

              from vancouver, bc

              About Me Classic, Practical, Stylish

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Comfortable
              • Lightweight
              • Warm

              Cons

              • Poor Fit
              • Thin Fabric

              Best Uses

                Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

                Beautiful sweater, but if you're smaller than a size 8 or 10, it's going to fit like a 99 cent poncho.

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

                (14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Beautiful in Color and Design

                By Rebel! Rebel!

                from ontario, canada

                About Me Comfort-oriented, Practical, Quality-shopper, Unique

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Comfortable
                • Detailed
                • Flattering
                • Great Color
                • Soft

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Casual Wear
                  • Going Out
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

                  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.

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

                  Displaying reviews 1-10

                  Back to top

                  Previous | Next »

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