Cardigan in cotton tuck-stitch in admiral blue

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Buying

£290.00

Cardigan, hand-framed with super-soft cotton in the south-west of the British Isles, and with dark 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

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 is made with very soft cotton yarn. It is four-ply, in the main, which makes 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.
Running across the front are pockets as large as pockets on a cardigan will should ever get. 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 onto the sleeve are knitted seamlessly into the same knitted length.
The cardigan has a front of five horn buttons — middling in size, dark in colour, matte in finish. Because each 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 shade and markings and so on.
The cardigan has a 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, then: 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 yarn is cotton, but cotton of unchartered softness. Superlatives besides soft are second-best, but spongey is another good one. It makes for a cardigan that has warmth and weight to it, and an inviting thing to sling on most times of year.
Two shades of yarn at play here — two blues of the darker order. They intermingle both in the plain-stitch parts (left) and the tuck-stitch ones (above). The latter is the main event. It is a dense stitch, but also springy and breathable. And just look: marvellously textured is the tuck.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1" and is wearing size M. He has a chest size of 38", and there are reports — neither confirmed nor denied — that he weighs in just below 12 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."