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Clothing:Women's Clothing:Sweaters:Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan
Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan
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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
 
4.5

(based on 41 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (27)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

93%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great color (34)
  • Comfortable (33)
  • Warm (31)
  • Stylish (23)
  • Flattering (22)

Cons

  • Poor fit (3)

Best Uses

  • Casual wear (31)
  • Layering (25)
  • Cold / extreme (24)
  • Going out (21)
  • Travel (21)
    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too small

       

      Feels true to size

       

      92% 

      (36 reviews)

      Feels too big

       
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      87% 

      (34 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (31), Yes (8)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Classic style (27), Practical (25), Comfort-oriented (24), Stylish (17), High-end shopper (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 41 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Easy to wear sweater

By soz

from Sacramento, CA

About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Stylish

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Flattering
  • Great Color
  • Stylish
  • Warm

Cons

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

    I bought this sweater in red and have been very happy with it. I've warn it for very casual to slightly dressy for going to dinner.
    My only complaint with National Geographic is their ridiculously high shipping charges and no pre-paid label for returns. I've put off buying things from the catalog just because of the shipping charges and the additional cost I might have to pay if I need to return it.

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

    my sister loved this sweater as a gift

    By James

    from Monterey Park, CA

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

    Cannot comment because it was a gift. The person claims to love it. I purchased because I had faith in the quality of the sweater.

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

    Comfort & beaty

    By Cruiser

    from Norfolk, VA

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Casual Wear
      • Going Out

      Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

      Great for running out to the store with jeans or when dressing up for to cocktail hour

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

      I Love my Sweater

      By Julie

      from Torrance CA

      About Me Classic, High-end shopper, Practical

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

        Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

        This is my second sweater just a different color.

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

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        beautiful sweater

        By Nikki

        from Upstate New York,

        About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

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

          Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

          Nice for dressy-casual. Medium-neutral color (oatmeal) goes with just about anything. Knit patterns are beautiful. I normally wear a medium, which this is , and it fits perfectly. Looks classy. Not too bulky.

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

          (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Beautiful Irish Cardigan

          By Ex New Yorker Al

          from Stinkin, Rhode Island

          About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical

          Pros

          • Comfortable
          • Great Color
          • Soft
          • Stylish
          • Warm

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Casual Wear
            • Cold Weather

            Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

            I bought this for my girlfriend in August so she didn't really wear it yet. But she likes the way it looks and feels, and she is extremely stylish. My only complaint is the $18.95 for shipping & handling. I wanted to help a good cause by buying it here (although it is less expensive else where) but to charge that much for shipping...come on now.

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

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Nice design and color.

            By MawMaw

            from Atlanta

            About Me Classic, Practical, Stylish

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

              I had been looking for an Irish cardigan. Found this one in NG catalog. Liked it so much, I bought it in red and oatmeal.

              • 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)

               
              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

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                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

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  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

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

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