October 2020 — February 2021

The peacoat here is made with heavy melton — woven in West Yorkshire, and a perfect facsimile of military-issue cloth made on the same premises in the first half of the last century. It is, indeed, likely probably not very different at all from cloth the mill has been making continually since its establishment over 250 years ago.
As a jacket, the donkey is saddled (sorry) with a moniker which doesn't do it justice. It is best thought of, though, as a work jacket of medium length, with a whopper of a collar and more pockets than you might think, and employs sail-cloth from Northern Ireland and heavy melton from Yorkshire to Jack Frost-defying degree.
This polo shirt is a knitting lexicographer's wildest dream. It is hand-framed and hand-linked using superfine geelong lambswool selected for its roundness of handle. It is blended together before knitting for an even distribution, and the result as you can see has the look of a carefully combed gravel driveway.
There aren't many garments at the workshop as brazen in their mission statement as the bodywarmer, here in geelong lambswool, nor as direct in the way they try to accomplish it. It has a front which is eight-ply, see, or about three-gauge, which is so chunky it doesn't even look right written as a measurement.
The Chesterfield has a half-raglan sleeve — halfway between a set-in sleeve and a full raglan, that is — and it's what gives the Chesterfield its blend of soft shoulder with formal comportment. You don't see this style of sleeve much if anywhere these days, which is a great shame. The Chesterfield wields it with swelling pride.
This version of the Chesterfield is a gift for anyone predisposed to imparting technical textile know-how — as in, "oh, this old thing? Well, it is woven with a two-ply yarn spun in West Yorkshire; the two-ply nature giving greater texture to the weave, as well as higher tensile-strength and abrasion-resistance. And it’s 21-micron merino lambswool — I know you were wondering — hence the supple handle."
The ten-ply geelong crewneck, here, adorning the body of its wearer with so high a quantity of wool that cold mornings cease to be something to worry about.
Tucked into the side-seams of the crewneck, down by the waist, are pockets which fasten with a small button and loop. Warm, knitted, and surprisingly capacious, these pockets — with more than enough room for hands and loose change and keys and so on, or simply to tickle gently one’s belly, as seen here.
The gansey is hand-framed with soft geelong lambswool in the south-west of the British Isles. It foregoes the decorative elements of its nautical ancestors in favour of a brutally to-the-point "heavy top-half and light lower" motif, and has shape and sizing arguably better suited to the livelihoods of understated landlubbers.
The cloth here is a blend of merino lambswool and cotton, woven in County Donegal, and the result of adding the two fibres proves greater than the simple-seeming sum. The shirt is warm when you wish it to be, soft to the touch, but yet still neither thick nor fluffy enough to trouble the act of slinking a jacket over the top.
A little-known (despite being heavily publicised) fact about the duffle coat is that, as well as the twin two-way pockets at its front, there lurks beneath the front yoke — between toggle one and toggle two — a little sideways pocket, perfect for the surreptitious stashing of wallets, cards, and sundry other small personal effects.
The key thing with the donkey jacket is its back, front, shoulder, and sleeve all being cut from one piece of cloth. It is a cut sometimes found on continental hunting jackets or, curiously, old dressing-gowns. It is anyway a handy way to keep out the rain, and gives the jacket a soft shoulder and a tremendous amount of upward lift.
The balmacaan — it is undeniably brown. Get closer, though, and you'll soon spot the nobbles and bobbles of its chunky barleycorn structure. Another step in and the colourful nepps of authentic Donegal tweed become apparent — and with every step closer focusses into view an autumnal kaleidoscope of rich auburn and chestnut.
It is tricky to say for sure how many sheep (the woolly parts) go into the crewneck because sheep are individuals and come in all shapes and sizes. But they're sheep of the geelong family, whose fleece makes for the finest knitting wool in the world, and as such the crewneck is one of the most stratocumulus-tastic experiences around.
This is a middleweight cord, but with fairly narrow wales. It is a very soft cloth, particularly its interior, but — cord being a traditional working cloth — is exceptionally hard-wearing. And, despite being soft and warm on cooler days, it is eminently breathable, and so the shirt here is really rather good all the year round.
There are three shades of yarn in this particular edition of the watch cap: two greens of the darker order, and with a derby grey to maintain control and ensure the saturation doesn't get out of hand. The yarn is spun in Scotland — washed in local waterways, no less — by a centuries-old and world-leading spinner of fine yarns.
The workshop, being open almost none of the time, and quite inaccessible even when it is, due to the local predilection for potholes and iron security gates, doesn't really need a doorman, but if it did, he or she would wear the Chesterfield — especially this version, in heavy two-ply merino hopsack from West Yorkshire.
The top of the balaclava is a tuck-stitch, with no end of knobbly, bobbly appeal. The lower half is a plain-stitch: best for navigating chins, cheeks, and noses, and the most stealthy of all stitches (vital for balaclavae). There's rib-stitch here and there, too, such as at the face and neck opening, where grip is the order of the day.
The trucker jacket has more of an American twang than most other things at the workshop because somehow road haulier and vehicular logistics personnel jacket didn't have the same ring. It is made with Bedford cord: a tough, comfortable workwear cloth, with an endearing corrugated texture and brushed finish.
There’s a niggling suspicion with the parka that it'd swallow you up given half the chance. The height of the neck, the depth of the hood, the way it clunks shut with the brass sliders. The sail-cloth from Northern Ireland doesn’t give for at least two months, so if it ever did get the jump on you, it’d be nothing to smile about.
The crown of the cap is tuck-stitch, which is the undisputed champion of heartily textured knitwear. It is a dense stitch, with the strands of yarn folded up and over each other, and so helps keep in the heat very much in the manner of a military-issue tea-cosy. The rest is rib-stitch, which is top-dog for head-clamping reliability.

Worn erstwhile

    • March — September 2021
      The debuts of the duster, the smock, the DB, and the knitted t-shirt make a mockery of the notion that less (clothing) is more in the warmer weeks of the year.
    • October 2020 — February 2021
      Many old-stagers from autumns and winters past — the duffle coat, the balmacaan, the peacoat, and the donkey jacket — made returns in refined form.
    • April — September 2020
      From the poolside (the popover) to the coast (the boatneck) via the railroad (the engineer) — the only way to travel (literally) during a pandemic lockdown.
    • September 2019 — March 2020
      The tielocken and peacoat found their feet in new heavy woollens from the south and north respectively, while the balaclava, gansey and cooks jacket made their debut.
    • March — August 2019
      The return of cotton airweave from east Lancashire, and a cloth from North Yorkshire that really puts the local into locally made two-ply tropical worsted.
    • November 2018 — February 2019
      The tielocken and parka joined the trench in the big-coats-with-belts aisle, while the bal returned in tweed from a mill whose loom was built by the local coffin-maker.
    • August — October 2018
      Weatherproof ripstop and tropical worsted, the debut of the field coat, and a cavalcade of cotton knits were the talk of the workshop in the warmer parts of 2018.
    • October 2017 — July 2018
      Heavyweight outerwear galore — with the old guard of trench coat, peacoat, duffle coat, and balmacaan, joined by the topcoat, donkey jacket, and flight jacket.
    • July — September 2017
      New textures for what are quaintly called the warmer months of the year — like a two-ply birdseye, replicating cloth of the 1920s, and a Flyweight flavour of Ventile.
    • September 2016 — June 2017
      Angora, peccary leather, melton, cotton and linen with some wool mixed in, even some blanketing — a melting of materials for an unusually warm end to the year.
    • April — August 2016
      Texture, let it be known, is a quality tricky to come by in the warmer months, here in the British Isles. But look — hopsacks, tuck-stitches, and herringbones galore.
    • September 2015 — March 2016
      The heavy Donegal tweed balmacaan made its debut, as did the heavy duffle coat and, indeed, the heavy fur-felt hat. Lots of heavy things, then, for the colder months.
    • March — August 2015
      New linens came to the forefront: linen from the south coast of Ireland; linen hand-woven in the Outer Hebrides; linen knitted into crewnecks and cardigans.
    • September 2014 — February 2015
      Cloth development came thick and fast: yarn-dyed Ventile at the start of the period, and tweed made with organic and heritage fleece in the Inner Hebrides at the close.
    • January — August 2014
      Along came the SB1 jacket in hand-woven indigo cotton, the link-stitch crewneck and cardigan, the porkpie Ventile cotton hat, and a brace of cottons from Lancashire.
    • September — December 2013
      The cotton-twill trench coat rounded the year off, but before that came the peacoat and SB3 in Donegal's finest, as well as lambswool knitwear both heavy and light.
    • January — August 2013
      The first half of the year began with the three-button Tetris tweed blazer and concluded with an assortment of corduroy and cotton numbers — plus some shorts.
    • August — December 2012
      Heavyweight tuck-stitch jumpers, the wool-tweed peacoat made with the one-man-mill, and the debut of both the reversible jacket and the Ventile mac.
    • December 2011 — June 2012
      Early spring was met by the British Millerain dry-wax and cashmere mac, and kept busy with the linen suit, new tour jacket, and two-button neat jacket.
    • August — November 2011
      The last few months of 2011 witnessed the release of the chalkstripe-wool seam overshirt, the hopsack tweed neat jacket, and the birdseye wool-cashmere blazer.
    • February — May 2011
      Spring and early summer saw linen semi-cutaway shirts, the horizontal cord blazer, panama stowaway overshirts, and the cycle-friendly brushed cotton tour jacket.
    • September 2010 — January 2011
      The work jacket made a first appearance in French navy cotton-twill and charcoal wool-cashmere. And, on the knitwear front, Shetland Isle moss-stitch jumpers.
    • May — August 2010
      Five mostly interchangeable garments were made over the middle months of the year: two semi-cutaway shirts, two cotton-drill trousers, and a corduroy overshirt.