Cardigan in cotton tuck in seaweed

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Buying

£300.00

Cardigan, hand-framed with super-soft cotton — with the colour "seaweed" being a deliciously murky green — in the south-west of the British Isles, and with horn buttons from the Midlands.

Sizing

The cardigan fits true to size, and thus the mannequin — a standard 38 — is wearing S.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Back length 26 26¼ 26½ 26¾ 27
Sleeve from   centre-back 32       32½       33       33½       34      

Caring

The cardigan is machine-washable. You read that right. Wash it on a knitwear cycle or at a low temperature, and it will come out the same as it went in. However, let's not forget that washing by hand is always preferable, for this as any garment, since it will preserve the many qualities of the yarn for the very longest time.

The cardigan here is four-ply, in knitwear speak, which in everyday language means it is 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.
This is cotton of unchartered softness. Superlatives besides soft are second best, but spongey is another good one. And there are two shades of yarn at play — two greens of the darker order. They mingle in the plain-stitch body sections of the cardigan, as well as the heavy-texture tuck-stitched parts.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1" and is wearing the cardigan, a little oversized by the looks of it, in size M. (This is a cotton version of the cardigan, please note, which fits true to size.) 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."