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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
 
4.4

(based on 49 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great color (39)
  • Warm (38)
  • Comfortable (37)
  • Stylish (29)
  • Flattering (26)

Cons

  • Poor fit (6)

Best Uses

  • Casual wear (35)
  • Cold / extreme (28)
  • Layering (28)
  • Going out (24)
  • Travel (24)
    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too small

       

      Feels true to size

       

      87% 

      (40 reviews)

      Feels too big

       
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      85% 

      (39 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Classic style (30), Comfort-oriented (29), Practical (29), Stylish (22), High-end shopper (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (38), Yes (9)

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 49 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

I LOVE IT!

By amyD

from New York, NY

About Me Artist, Trendy

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Flattering
  • Soft
  • Stylish
  • Versatile
  • Warm

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Casual Wear
  • Cold Weather
  • Going Out
  • Work

Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

Its a perfect sweater for me. It's soft warm and the various different stitching used is high craft work and makes it a conversation piece.
It's versatile and can be used for dress, casual or office.
If i had a wish for - it would be for real wood buttons, but don't let that stop you from owning this gem.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No
 
2.0

Boxy & Unflattering...

By kc_sunshine9

from Orting, WA

About Me Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Good Quality
  • Great Color
  • Warm

Cons

  • Boxy
  • Poor Fit
  • Too Short
  • Very Short Sleeves

Best Uses

    Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

    I am 5'8", 130 pounds, and ordered a Size Small. It was EXTREMEMLY wide and boxy in the body, and the sleeves only came half-way down my forearms! If you're about 5'4", the length should be about right. Bad experience for me, as I had to pay $15 for shipping, then another $19 to ship it back. Too bad, as it was very good quality and a beautiful, traditional Irish fisherman knit design.

    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too big
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels too short
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    5.0

    Great buy

    By Carolyn

    from Charlottesville, VA

    About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Casual Wear
      • Cold Weather
      • Going Out
      • Good For Everything
      • Layering
      • Travel
      • Work

      Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

      I bought the wheat color sweater and loved it so much I bought a second in black.
      I often buy my sweaters a little roomy. So my first buy was a medium. I am petite and the sleeves are a little long but not uncomfortable. My second purchase was a small. It is still roomy but the sleeves are a better length. I wear my sweaters for work and with jeans. The knitting patterns generate a lot of compliments. My first sweater is two years old and looks as fresh as my new purchase. I am 100 percent satisfied.

      • Chest Size:
      • Feels true to size
      • Sleeve Length:
      • Feels true to length
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      3.0

      Pretty sweater

      By Denise

      from Rehoboth, Ma

      About Me Stylish

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Great Color
      • Stylish
      • Warm

      Cons

      • Poor Fit
      • Seams Machine Sewn
      • Very Wide

      Best Uses

      • Layering

      Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

      Had to return item because of poor fit and disappointing construction.

      • Chest Size:
      • Feels too big
      • Sleeve Length:
      • Feels true to length
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      3.0

      Look at the photo carefully.

      By On the Ridge

      from Oregon coast

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

      The oatmeal sweater is not a "natural" sweater even though the photo looks similar to the other "natural" sweaters in the catalog. The neck of the sweater looked like it would stretch with time. The sweater was returned.

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

      Love it

      By Coco

      from Montreal, Canada

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

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Flattering
      • Great Color
      • Soft
      • Stylish
      • Warm

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Casual Wear
        • Travel
        • Work

        Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

        Was waiting for it to go on sale since I am in Canada and the exchange, shipping, it is too much. Got it 50%, jumped on it and love it. will buy another color eventually. Got a XXL because I like it loose, it has long sleeves and the body is longer than on the photo. Actually, does not look boxy, more straight and long. Maybe the size. But love it just like that. And I got compliments the day I wore it at work. Love it !

        • Chest Size:
        • Feels true to size
        • Sleeve Length:
        • Feels true to length
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        3.0

        Sadly oversized

        By kad

        from Los Angeles, CA

        About Me Comfort-oriented

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Stylish
        • Warm

        Cons

        • Poor Fit

        Best Uses

        • Cold Weather

        Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

        Like many of the items sold here, the "small" really fits like a "medium". Looks good -- if it fits you. It was a gift that had to be returned and since it was already the smallest they sell, we'll never know how comfy and warm it could have been.

        • Chest Size:
        • Feels too big
        • Sleeve Length:
        • Feels too long
        • Was this a gift?:
        • Yes
         
        5.0

        GREAT SWEATER

        By Happy Senior

        from Fullerton, CA

        About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Comfortable
        • Flattering
        • Great Color
        • I Love This Sweater
        • Stylish
        • Versatile
        • Warm

        Cons

          Best Uses

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

          Comments about Women's Merino Wool Irish Cardigan:

          I love this sweater. It's very attractive, keeps me warm and fits perfectly. I was uneasy about size, but it was perfect. Usually I have trouble with the sleeves being too long. These were just right. The service was good, the sweater arrived as promised and all in all was a very pleasant experience!

          • 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

          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

            Displaying reviews 1-10

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