The “CAMPUS CARDIGAN”, Sportsman Collection
Mister Freedom® x Ohio Knitting Mills
Walking past a table of folded vintage 1950’s cable knit shirts last year at ‘Inspiration’ in Long Beach, I noticed the “Ohio Knitting Mills, Since 1927″ sign on the booth.
I’ve always loved these shirts, having first seen one in the 80’s on the cover of the ACE Records “Hollywood Rock’n’Roll” LP, featuring that famous photo of two thirsty fellas from the Booze Fighters MC in 1947…
Turns out, “if it was knitted, wool or cotton, it was probably from OKM” said Steven Tatar, now running the show at Ohio Knitting Mills.
Well maybe they made this one too?
I’ll call Sophia later, back on topic…
We spoke regarding a potential future MF® x OKM project… and months later decided to put words into actions. And that’s how the journey of the “Campus Cardigan” started…
Wool, as i was about to learn, is similar to denim. In the sense that not all is created equal.
I also was about to get some tech terms thrown at me. A ‘Milanese stitch having to be attached to a jersey body‘?… Soprano material to me. But not to Mr Tatar.
As for inspiration for the project, I used a cream color vintage 50’s Letterman sweater, found a while back. I liked that it didn’t have the ‘Frankie Lymon & the Teeenager’ vibe, but rather a versatile cardigan for grown-ups vibe with interesting construction and unusual details that still looked ‘simple’ and not overly designed.
I also had attempted to indigo dye that vintage sweater, since when I get going, anything that doesn’t move is a potential candidate for getting thrown in the vat.
Not being sure what to expect with wool, I was happily surprised with the result.
Well all that sounded like a good challenging puzzle for our new collaboration.
And a challenge it was, for all involved.
From sourcing the right unbleached domestic wool, spinning the yarn to specs, milling, cutting, sewing, solving construction challenges, adjusting patterns and machines… to the (fun part for us) indigo dyeing…
We wanted the buttons to remain their original natural color (and not get dyed, as seen on the 1rst prototype shown in some of the photos), so, finally sewing on the corozo buttons and dual labels was quite satisfying.
The natural wool yarn OKM sourced has a beautiful ‘slubby’ texture and subtle color variation. This makes the natural color option as interesting as the second color option… Indigo.
Back in California, we put some long hours into relentlessly dipping the heavy pre-soaked/dye-ready sweaters in our indigo vat. One by one, some 3 or 4 dips depending on the resulting hue, stopping only when we thought the indigo color looked nice. The result of that ordeal is an assortment of various shades of blue that will change overtime, with wear and outside exposure.
Designed by Mister Freedom® in collaboration with Ohio Knitting Mills. All made in USA by OKM. Indigo vat dyed in California.
Thanks Steve, Paula and the OKM team for their expertise and for making this project happen.
PATTERN: Inspired by a vintage 1950’s Letterman wool sweater, cardigan type. ‘Dropped shoulders’ pattern. Single wrap body panel (no side seams). Relaxed silhouette.
FABRIC: unbleached 100% wool knit jersey, American yarn spun and milled in the USA.
* Wool Jersey body and sleeves, ribbed end knit.
* Single piece body wrap knit (no side seam).
* Milanese knit button placket.
* Wide wrist knit cuffs for roll-up.
* Fold over double layer pockets.
* Blind stitched bottom hem, folded end knit.
* Natural Corozo buttons, aka vegetable ivory or coconut wood.
I could go with a Small, but decided to wear a Medium, for layering options with heavier shirts/henleys this winter…
The natural option comes unwashed. The indigo has been rinsed. The loose jersey knit tends to stretch slightly after being rinsed and dried. The sweater will eventually adapt to your body with repeat wear, looking more natural than it did on the first day. This is normal.
Refer to the charts below for measurements.
When needed, the “Campus Cardigan” can be hand washed in cold water, with minimal mild detergent. NO machine wash, NO boiling. Machine spin dry, then lay the sweater on a towel, flipping it around until dry. NO electrical/gas dryer. The sweater is quite heavy when wet, so do not hang dry on a hanger, as this will result in unattractive stretching…
Your sweater can also be professionally dry cleaned.
Same care for the natural or indigo options, making sure you wash the indigo by itself, as bleeding will occur for some time.
DISCLAIMER: Due to the natural of indigo dyeing, some color rub-off will occur on light color shirting worn underneath the indigo cardigan, noticeably in the armpits .
This crocking should eventually stabilize, and also eventually wash off stained garments.
All this comes with Indigo Territory.
Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
a) Natural $399.95
b) Indigo $449.95 (ordering this option may take some time should we run out, as we are not sure when we will be able to do another dye batch.)
Available from www.misterfreedom.com
firstname.lastname@example.org will gladly answer any questions unanswered above 😉
Thank you always for your support.