At the working farm in County Kerry, on the windswept coast of Ireland where Margaret O’Leary was born and raised, knitting wasn’t a hobby, it was a necessity. The second oldest of twelve kids, store-bought clothes weren’t an option for the O’Leary brood. By the age of 9, Margaret was knitting scarves, socks, and sweaters—durable and well-constructed garments made to be handed down. Life on that humble farm guided Margaret toward a life of creating comfortable, timeless garments that make people happy.
We have an affection for our past and the ways in which it informs our everyday expressions of self. Over the years, though our sweaters have evolved far beyond the simple creations of Margaret’s youth, our brand remains steeped in the rich, uniquely Irish heritage of the handknit Fisherman sweater.
THE IRISH FISHERMAN SWEATER
A traditional garment born from life at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the Fisherman sweater is distinguished by its use of complex, textured stitch patterns, several of which are combined in the creation of a single sweater. The materials used in making them are typically natural fibers, with wool being the most common choice, specifically that of the local Aran sheep—known for their thick and durable wool.
Practical and warm, they also serve as a unique form of cultural expression. Each sweater and every stitch pattern has a traditional interpretation and symbolic meaning, one used to identify individuals of a specific family, while also communicating the broader history of the Irish people, their connection to the sea, and their way of life.
Our new additions, the Elimear Pullover and Shrunken Grandpa Cardi, carry forward this rich legacy of Irish knitting. Beyond their practicality, these sweaters also feature chic and thoughtful details. Every stitch pattern woven into these style help blend a timeless tradition and modern style.
WITH EACH STITCH, A STORY
The Moss Stitch signifies an abundance of growth.
The Lattice or Basket Stitches represents wicker basket patterns.
The Ladder of Life and Tree of Life represent the stages of life.
The Cable Stitch represent the fisherman's ropes
The Zig-Zag Stitch depicts the paths leading to the Atlantic Ocean.
The Honeycomb is a lucky stitch, signifying plenty.