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Frequently Asked Questions

Where did the term "cardigan sweater" originate?

The cardigan sweater was coined as a result of the repute of James Thomas Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan and a British military commander who fought in the Crimean War. Hence forth, the cardigan sweater became increasingly popular in 17th century France as well as the British Isles whose wayward fisherman appropriated this heavy, hand-knit garment to keep warm in the North Atlantic chill.

My mom frequently spoke of an Irish singer who made popular the cardigan. Do you have any ideas about this other notable cardigan wearer?

An Irish singer and performer, Michael Valentine Doonican frequently wore his trademark cardigan when he was featured on the BBC's Saturday evening television program, The Val Doonican Show, from 1964 to 1986. His crooning voice and dazzling acts would not have been the same without his vintage cardigan.

Are there cardigan sweaters available for mother-to-be?

There certainly are hundreds of styles and colors for maternity cardigan sweaters so you can walk around in trendy comfort. Maternity cardigans are great with tie fronts or loose belts so that you can adjust the sweater as the pregnancy months go by. A simple plus size cardigan can also double as a maternity cardigan. Women's plus size cardigans are versatile and stylish.

Are Irish cardigan sweaters terribly hard to knit?

If you find a simple Irish cardigan knit pattern in a book, magazine or online, knitting an authentic Irish fisherman sweater can be relatively easy as long as you're willing to put in the time and patience. There are a number of free cardigan sweater patterns to choose from, so hunt around and pick one that is for novices. An Irish cardigan sweater is a wonderfully warm commodity, to don't let the knitting concerns get in the way of a new hobby.

When is a cardigan sweater okay for formal wear?

For a male, a man cardigan sweater is rather casual, but in cashmere and over a button-down it can be rather fetching for dinner or lunch. For a female, a beaded cardigan sweater, a cashmere cardigan sweater or a sheer cardigan sweater are great for semi formal occasions over a dress or around the shoulders. A woman's crocheted cardigan is nice for a garden party or baby shower.