New England is full of adorable little Irish Americans. Many families in New England trace their heritage to Ireland. Many have relatives still in Ireland. My father’s mother’s parents were from Clifden, in Galway Co. They came over to America and had my grandmother and her brother. Then they sadly died young leaving the two children in the care of cousins that ran something of an Irish immigrant boarding house on Trull St. in Dorchester. Friends and family from Ireland would stay there to get their start. My great uncle Bartley would get the men set up working for the electric or telephone company and the women got set up with jobs at similar companies or cleaning houses. The entire backyard was a victory garden, and the only language heard throughout most of the house would have been Gaelic.
My grandmother was never interested in going to Ireland, but I definitely was! In 2006, my family headed over to Ireland for a vacation. My sister and I both got Irish knit sweaters made from the wool of the adorable little white sheep we saw all over Ireland. Our sweaters are from Avoca, which I really haven’t been able to find online.
Here’s the cardigan I got, still amazing after 10 years! I wore mine yesterday with my plaid LLBean Signature scarf, J Crew Factory chambray shirt dress (old), leggings, and boots.
For sweaters you can find online, one of the more expensive options are the sweaters from Blarney Woolen Mills. We went here on our trip, but I think we had already gotten our sweaters. To see how one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah Vickers styled one of these sweaters on a beautiful sailing trip with the KJP crew, click here.
Another website to check out for Irish wool items is the Aran Sweater Market.
Both of these websites have great items. There are all different sweaters, cardigans, accessories, and capes, but I am sure you can see Aran Sweater Market is a bit cheaper than Blarney Woolen Mills.
Around New England, there are lots of little Irish goods stores. Often these stores will carry some sort of Irish wool sweater. A very popular line of sweaters that you may see are Carraig Donn sweaters. Here’s a cardigan from The Vermont Country Store for $119.95. This company’s products are only sold through distributors, they do not sell directly through their website.
These beautiful sweaters were necessary on the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. They kept fishermen and farmers warm in the rough weather seen there. When I go back to Ireland, I want to spend more time in Galway, see the family farm in Clifden, and take the ferry over to see the Aran Islands. Which sweater would you want to bring on the trip??