The boatneck is a medium-weight sweater, with a front that's a chunky six-ply tuck-stitch, and sleeves and back that are a lighter, flatter three-ply. It's cotton, though, so is dry and breathable, and thus the boatneck is an easy thing to wear all times of the year, save the sticky, heady heights of summer.
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.
The boatneck looks to the sea in some of its styling — not least the seafaring-friendly dropped shoulder, which gives an easy, casual look, and makes for a soft shape over the shoulder. And, as seen here, many seams are inverted, making the whole thing look bolder than standard landlubbing sweaters.
The neck, hem, and cuffs of the jumper are all rib-stitch, which keeps them nice and tight. The cuffs are turn-back: twice as long as usual, so they can be turned back on themselves. The aformentioned neck and hem, meanwhile, have an extra few rows of stitching that make them roll gently back on themselves.
The back is thinner and less textured than the front. Much easier to wear beneath a jacket. The sloping angle of the seam joining them is a tell-tale sign of full-fashioning, which is knitting wherein each piece of the jumper is individually shaped and engineered — tailored, almost — to achieve the best fit.
One of the most unique and unusual aspects of the boatneck is the panel running all the way from the base of the body, up the sides, and continues in an unbroken channel under the arm and through the sleeve. It's an enormous gusset, offering extended movement all through the arm.
All these parts and panels, all these different weights and textures — it's a good job the knitters responsible are world-leading in hand-linking. Just imagine: every minuscule loop of yarn looped with hand and knitting needle onto the next, to piece the whole thing together. Skilful and strenuous stuff.
There are two shades of yarn at play here — two blues of the darker order. They mingle in the plain-stitch sleeves and back, and the tuck-stitch of the front. The latter is of course the main event. It is a dense stitch, but also springy and breathable. And just look: marvellously textured is the tuck.