Cardigan in geelong lambswool tuck in charcoal

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Buying

£270.00

Cardigan, hand-framed with geelong lambswool 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 19 20 21 22 23
Shoulder 16 17 18 19 20
Sleeve over shoulder 26 27 28 28½ 29
Back length 23 24 25 26 27
The cardigan is a six-ply knit, making it quite warm worn when over just a t-shirt, say, and very insulating if sandwiched between a shirt and a jacket. It is hand-framed — i.e. made by a single skilful knitter, who controls the quality and tension of the stitch on old, hand-operated contraption.
Running across the front of the cardigan are pockets about as large as pockets on a cardigan will ever get. They are tuck-stitched, whereas the rest of the front of the cardigan are plain-stitched. Tuck is a more textured stitch, and more dense: the ends of yarn folded up and down and in and out of each other.
The cardigan has a front of six 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 an in-set sleeve, but the back having the diagonal seam characteristic of a raglan sleeve. The under-sleeve — the raglan part — is a thicker weight, and is tuck-stitched, making it less likely to wear down at the elbow.
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.
Geelong is best thought of as merino's even plusher brother. Lambswool at its softest. It is hand-linked: there is no stitching involved in the making of the cardigan, but rather the teeny, tiny loops of each panel are linked together, with a needle, by hand. Very slow, precise work, as you might imagine.
Two shades of yarn at work here — two slightly different, complementary greys of the dark order. And here they are, knitted into a tuck, with its layered, textured appearance. It is a dense stitch, on one hand, but springy and breathable on the other. And just look at it — 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."