Holiday Gift Guide



The most useful recent travel gift I've received is a beanie that protects my head from the elements with a mix of Donegal wool and cashmere. It's from a new clothing brand that's risen from the economic ashes of the Irish financial crisis, Stighlorgan, which has retro looks produced with modern manufacturing techniques. The fitted cap is made of wool from Donegal, a town near where my mother was born, and its cable pattern is a classic design, as is its one-turn-up or two-turn-up fold along the rim. The website explains: "As the yarn is spun, 'neps' of coloured wool are sprinkled onto the yarn and are drawn into the final spin. This creates the classic speckled Donegal effect." The wool beanie is the result of centuries of evolving design in how to keep fishermen warm in wet Irish weather, and it's handy for drizzly or snowy weather today. $64, plus shipping, but worth it. —Sean O'Neill

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