Cardigan in cashmere-cotton in night sky

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Buying

£420.00

Cardigan, hand-framed with cashmere-cotton yarn — two-thirds the former, one third the latter — in the south-west of the British Isles, and with horn buttons from the West Midlands.

Sizing

The cardigan fits true to size, and thus the mannequin — a standard 38 — is wearing S. It is intended to be a snug, smart cardigan, rather than a relaxed one, so if you prefer the latter, then going up a size is firmly recommended.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Shoulder 16 17 18 19 20
Sleeve from side-neck 28 28½ 29 29½ 30
Back length 24½ 25 25½ 26 27

Caring

Cashmere loves water. It is one of the great truisms of knitwear. Thus, if you treat the cardigan to regular soaks in water — with the requisite cashmere-friendly detergent — and with a water-bound massage at the same time, it'll get better with age. Keep clear of washing machines, never contemplate for a second dryers, and if all else fails, visit a dry-cleaner.

The cardigan here is four-ply, in knitwear speak, which in everyday language means it it substantial enough to have its uses all year round: with a t-shirt in summer, and sandwiched between other things in winter. It is hand-framed — i.e. made by a single skilled knitter, using a hand-operated device.
Across the front are pockets as large as pockets on a cardigan will be and perhaps should ever be. They are tuck-stitch, whereas most other parts are plain-stitch. The elbow patches — yes, elbow patches — are also tuck, and rather than being sewn on, are knitted seamlessly into the same knitted length.
The cardigan has a front of five horn buttons, which are middling in size, dark in colour, and matte in finish. Because each button is a thing of nature — rather than an ersatz replica — they are all unique, differing to lesser and greater degrees from one to the next in colour and shade and markings and so on.
The cardigan has a rather unusual "split-sleeve", with the front looking for all intents and purposes like a traditional in-set sleeve, but the back having the diagonal seam characteristic of a raglan sleeve. The best of both worlds is what this is, with the smart lines of the former and the comfort of the latter.
The hem and cuffs of are all rib-stitch, which keeps them nice and tight. The cuffs are turn-back — i.e. twice as long as usual, so they can be turned back on themselves. It is a nice thing to play around with — and useful, too, in that the sleeves can be shortened or lengthened at the behest of the wearer.
The cardigan is made with cashmere-cotton yarn. That's cashmere as in the softest — seriously, the very softest — fibres from the throat and belly of goats in the Gobi desert; and cotton as in Egyptian cotton of the very longest staple. It is pleasantly cool to the touch, feathery soft and slinky, yet durable.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1" and is wearing size S. He has a chest size of 38", and there are reports — neither confirmed nor denied — that he weighs in just above 11 stone.

Makers of

The garment is hand-framed by a knitwear maker founded 100 years ago. They work with small, hand-operated machines overseen by one person, rather than automated machines, making them one of the last makers still to do so in Britain. It is slow going, but the results always bear out the work put in.
The horn buttons were cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain (now defunct). It was part of a tradition in the Midlands first linked to the meat industry of the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons here in Birmingham."