Cable sweaters are one of the classics of the season, and for good reason. They are warm, beautiful, and incredibly comfortable. Meet Donegal, our sweater of the year!
Our Donegal sweater collection is skillfully crafted using its signature colorful speckled wool yarn. Donegal yarn has been produced in Ireland for generations. This fascinating and unique yarn has long been spun in colors inspired by the natural beauty found just beyond the spinning wheel. In fact, spinning Donegal yarn was such a time-honored family tradition that the exact methods for how exactly to do so remained a strictly verbal one. The technique for spinning this yarn was regarded as part of an oral (but never written) history until the 1800s when Donegal yarn began being milled and manufactured on a larger scale.
Upon introduction, the world fell in love with it and its signature neps. Neps are those tiny bits of colorful tangled wool fibers that show up in these sweaters. These fibers are spun together with the smoother wool to create the signature flecking which is beautifully reminiscent of the natural hues of Ireland's granite mountains, rolling hills, emerald grasslands, and sun-ripened berries. We devoted ourselves to making that tradition our own by creating custom colorways for our Donegal sweaters that mirror the natural beauty found right here in the Midwest.
Ireland is a rugged land steeped in tradition, superstition, and legend. So, it seems only fitting that its clothing would be representative of those very ideas. The Donegal sweater is no exception. It is knit using a uniquely traditional honeycomb Aran cable stitch. This very particular stitch, legends say, represents Luck and Good Fortune.
Furthermore, a longstanding Irish superstition indicates that should a fisherman see a swarm of bees prior to setting sail, the sea will grant him a plentiful bounty. Not only does the honeycomb Aran cable stitch offer the Donegal sweater a look of unsurpassed dimensional texture, but it does also so while symbolizing the hard-working fishermen, the industrious bees, and the hope of a plentiful harvest hauled in from the sea.
The Donegal wool sweater is our Sweater of The Year for many reasons. This is not just any women’s sweater. It also is not just one sweater! The Donegal Sweater comes in several shapes and styles. Offering both turtleneck sweaters and pullover sweaters styles gives us so much to love about Donegal sweaters, namely the significance behind their cable knit patterns. From the O'Donnell and the Doherty to the Gallagher, the O'Neil, and the Sweeney, there is a style to be found for everyone in the Donegal sweaters. These Irish names have been given to each subtle style difference to help differentiate between each of the gorgeous knit patterns offered in our Donegal sweaters.
History checkpoint: Did you know that those are also the names of the Clans of Donegal who bravely set their differences aside and selflessly united to stand together in an attempt to fight off the English invaders who threatened to overtake their beloved Ireland? Well, now that kind of shines a whole new light on things, doesn't it? Suddenly, the Donegal isn't just "some sweater." It is a timeless classic that rises proudly to the top and sets itself apart from the rest, making the Donegal sweater the standard by which all others are measured. Clearly, the accolades are well deserved.
The Donegal sweater is not just for the Irish fisherman, it should be noted. This sweater is versatile and highly wearable. For a cozy casual look, wear your Donegal Wool sweater French-tucked into your favorite pair of high-rise jeans and sneakers. For a sleeker, more high-fashion look, coordinate your Donegal wool sweater with a pair of skinny jeans and a cropped jacket. Complete this look with a pair of cute ankle boots. Wear your Donegal sweater to the office over a slim-fitting button-down and a pair of women’s chino pants. Look smart and professional while staying cozy and warm. Or simply pair it with your favorite comfy sweats for an ideal work-from-home outfit.
Skillfully and sustainably crafted, historically and culturally significant, warm and cozy, yet stylish and professional—what is there not to love about the Donegal wool sweater? It is as practical as it is beautiful. Durable and versatile, it is no wonder this sweater is chosen as our Sweater of the Year.