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Crafted out of hefty 2-ply virgin British lambswool and tailored in slim silhouette, this classic heavy-knit sweater will add warmth and sophistication to any outfit. Each sweater is knit lovingly by hand by one of two people from a small, seven-person workshop on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and comes adorned with genuine horn buttons from Germany, front-facing patch pockets at the hip, sturdy ribbing at the cuffs and hem, and a soft shawl-collar to keep you warm. It’s a perfect all-around piece that can be worn with just about everything; toss it over a T-shirt and shorts on a cool summer evening, or wear in lieu of a sport coat in the winter months. This piece's color is a gorgeous deep indigo blue.
Each Epaulet and Northern Watters Knitwear sweater comes with a care tag that’s been hand-signed by the knitter of the garment (either Joan Marie Harris or Linda Gallant). As Northern Watters Knitwear says, that signature stands as a guarantee the sweater has been crafted with care by one of the world's best knitters. If taken care of properly, this sweater will last a lifetime.
VIRGIN BRITISH LAMBSWOOL:
The wool used to knit the Epaulet Northern Watters Knitwear cardigan is 100% virgin wool from Yorkshire, UK, which has been worsted and then spun. British wool was selected (rather than the native Canadian wool) because of its exceptional consistency. This assures that the thickness of the garment will be uniform, and that stretching will be minimal. This British wool is meticulously combed for long, parallel fibers - making the yarn both smoother and stronger in the finished garment.
NORTHERN WATTERS KNITWEAR:
The tiny province of Prince Edward Island, Canada is reputed for its traditional values and craftsmanship, and the small workshop of Northern Watters Knitwear exemplifies this reputation. The nine employees of Northern Watters Knitwear work on antique equipment chosen for their distinctive ability to produce a woolen product of exceptional craftsmanship, use superior materials, and each have an average of twenty years experience. They like to say that they are literally a hundred years behind the times.
Note: All measurements are shown in inches. "Chest" is measured from one armpit seam to the other. "Sleeve" is measured from the collar to the cuff (it's very long because of the raglan shoulder design). Length is measured from the base of the rear collar to the bottom of the garment.
Measuring thick knits like this is a little difficult. And both the sleeve and body length can be stretched out up to an inch or so if you require it. Overall, the piece fits very true to size - and the fit is consistent with our shirts.
THE CREATION OF A SWEATER:
Each cardigan is made on an antique Swiss knitting loom. These looms have two beds of needles that face each other, each containing one hundred latch-hooking needles. To make a stitch, the loom operator passes a carriage (the piece through which the yarn is thread) between these two needle beds, and the latch hooks raise and lower, pulling and yarn upwards and downwards.
As she makes the stitch, the knitter simultaneously directs them, forming the pattern; thus the knitter makes the pattern entirely by hand every time without the aid of mechanical guides. She constructs eight fully formed panels in this manner, all raglans with the exception of the pockets. The panels are then laid on a steam table, and the steam "sets" or pre-shrinks the yarn. Then the panels are measured for size.
Next, a second craftsman assembles these panels together, like she would eight large puzzle pieces. For this task, she uses a second piece of antique equipment, this time of Italian origin, called an “Exacta.” She links the panels together with the aid of the Exacta’s one hundred and eighty points, making one stitch per point, and doing so with the same yarn with which knitter knit the panels. This way, no cutting and, with the exception of buttons and labels, no sewing ever occurs anywhere on the sweater.
After the panels have been linked, the shoulder and body ribs are reinforced with a sturdy zigzag stitch, to ensure their integrity, and the finisher darns the remaining ends of wool into the seams and sews the labels and buttons on by hand. Lastly, the sweater undergoes a final quality control check performed by the president of the company, wherein every seam is scrutinized.
Hand wash in cold water and lay flat to dry. If washed in hot water, the sweater will felt and shrink; if hung up when wet, it will stretch. The Northern Watters Knitwear Guarantee: Northern Watters Knitwear offers a maintenance program, whereby if your sweater ever pills, or if you get a pull in it, the company will fix it free of charge, for life.