This is a chunky knitted watch cap: eight-ply in knit-speak. In other knit-speak, it is hand-framed. That is to say, made by a single skilful knitter, who controls with expertise quality and tension of the knit on an old, hand-operated contraption. Rare indeed, these days — especially in Britain.
The crown of the cap is tuck-stitch, which is the undisputed champion, at least in these parts, of heartily textured knitwear. It is also a dense stitch, with the strands of yarn folded up and over each other, and so helps keep in the heat. The rest of the cap is rib-stitch: king of reassuring head-clamping reliability.
This yarn, then. It is cotton, but cotton of unchartered softness. Superlatives besides soft are second best, but spongey is another good one. And it is entirely hand-framed: made by a single, skilled knitter on a hand-operated contraption — the likes of which is seldom seen in this country these days.
One final knitwear term: it is hand-linked together. There is no stitching here. None at all. Instead, each little knitting loop, of e.g. the tuck crown and the rib rim, is linked to the next by knitting needle and hand. By hand. Painfully slow and skilful work that equals seamlessness and, all being equal, superior knitwear.
There are two shades of cotton yarn at play here — two greys of the darkest imaginable kind. They are evenly distributed throughout the knit, as the strands of yarn are twisted together prior to knitting. You thus get a good, satisfying melange — enough to keep the eye occupied, but not so much as to distract
The young man here, who has a head of resoundingly average size, is wearing the cap and the cap fits him just fine. But were his head much bigger, or much smaller, it'd make very little difference: fits everyone, the knitted watch cap.
Same cap, same man, and crucially (especially for the man) the same head.
The hat is made by knitters in the south of Britain. Founded 100 years ago, they work with small, hand-operated contraptions overseen by one person — rather than huge, automated machines. It is perhaps the only maker to do so in Britain: slow going, but results bearing out the toil involved.
So they say
Watch cap well received today: it is so B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. And I’ve already tested it in the wet and cold Belgian weather. Thanks again for your kindness and availability, and I hope I’ll get a next piece of your collection soon.
Warm words from a warm young Belgian in early December 2020.
The watch cap has been on a heavy duty rotation during this cold January in Montreal. I just wanted to drop you a note to say how deeply pleased I am with it. The cap is truly the archetype of knitwear, and it brings me great joy to wear it each day. As with all your pieces, it has a magic quality that I can’t quite figure out, and I can't wait to pick up something else from you hopefully in the near future.
A merry man from Montreal, owner of a watch cap in lambswool tuck, in January 2020.
I've just picked up the hat, and have tried it on. It is absolutely lovely! Fits perfectly and almost obscenely soft.
So spoke an Englishman in Finland — his watch cap a geelong lambswool one — in February 2018.