The yarn is Shepherd's Wool from Stonehenge Fibre Mill. I discovered this yarn in a shop I visited in Virginia just before New Years, and when I got back to Michigan I was tempted to go up and visit the mill. But it's located in East Jordan, even farther north than Traverse City - over a 6 hour round trip from my parent's place - so I couldn't really justify it after the 24 hour round trip we had just made to Washington DC. Maybe on my next visit.
Shepherd's Wool is a merino worsted weight, dyed in a range of lovely subtle colours. I picked a light toasty browny-orange colour. I thought it was quite reasonably priced for a merino, and the 100gm skeins have a good yardage. I got 1000 yards for about $50 - around £35.
When I got home I just had to start knitting it right away. I've had Holl by Kirsten Johnstone on my list all Autumn, and the Shepherd's Wool seemed a perfect yarn for this project (I had planned to knit it in Debbie Bliss Fez, but I couldn't get gauge, and Fez would undoubtedly have been too soft to maintain the structure of the pattern).
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I find this sweater construction extremely satisfying. There is something childishly simple about it. In fact, it reminds me strikingly of doll dresses I made as a child. Take a rectangle of cloth, cut a hole for the head, sew up the sides leaving holes for the arms, tie on a belt, and you're set.
Yet it has a sophisticated look that belies the simplicity of design. The shoulders are boxy and almost mannish, but the drape you get from the extra fabric under the arms lends a more feminine air. The term 'dolman' comes from the Turkish for robe, a style that was adopted for military dress in Europe from the 16th centuries, and then for women's dress in the late 1800 and early 1900s. The style had a revival in the 1940s and another mini-revival in the 1980s.
It's not a style that is particularly in fashion at the moment, but I like it all the better for that. Also, according to Wikipedia, dolman sleeves "had the effect of making the shoulders look sloped therefore minimizing the appearance of the waist" - not a bad effect around this time of year.