Planning a Gansey

I’ve had the book Knitted Ganseys by Beth Brown-Reinsel for such a long time. I have always wanted to design my own gansey and knit it using the guidelines in the book.

In the spirit of “conserve” (my word for 2022) instead of buying yarn, I begrudgingly trawled my stash for something appropriate. This Quince and Co Tern in Sea Star is fingering weight, but close enough to sport, especially with my loose knitting. Since the content is wool and silk, I knit a swatch to see if the stitches would be crisp enough for a gansey, and I think it works. It will be a nice, light, spring gansey. And, yes, I will probably put an anchor on it somewhere. I’m thinking ladders, wedding lines, a tree of life, and an anchor in a quiet spot. As someone who has moved from place to place throughout my life, an anchor is a symbol that is meaningful to me, even though I don’t live a nautical life.

Have you ever wanted to knit a gansey? If so, are there any symbols that are particularly meaningful for you? If you would like to learn more about ganseys, I found this article Ganseys for Dummies on the Knitting Genie site. I especially liked this bit, “The modern word ‘yarn’ comes from the Old Norse ‘garn’ (Old English ‘gearn)’. That initial ‘g’ in Old English was actually pronounced more like a cross between a ‘h’ and a ‘y’. So the ‘gan-sey’ may just be a corruption of ‘yarn-sy’, ie: ‘thing made from yarn’.”

I can’t wait to start knitting on my pink yarnsy. I have some math to do first, though.

O’YOPpenbaum

Knitting

I finished my Ranunculus Sweater! Pattern is Ranunculus by Midori Hirose. Yarn is The Fibre Co Arranmore in color Ruari. (I believe this yarn is discontinued.) Mods: I used Aran weight yarn and knit the original size, which turned out perfect. I opted for a twisted rib cuff instead of an icord bind off. I knit until the sweater covered my derrière. It’s lovely and I don’t want to take it off. I think the only improvement would have been to include bust darts. But who am I kidding. That’s way too fussy.

I’ve started the Unbearable Hat (Ravelry link) for Henry, but there’s nothing yet to see other than some black ribbing.

I’ve mended the heels on Bob’s socks. I’ve learned that garter stitch doesn’t wear any better than any other stitch. I wonder if leather heel patches would help?

Sewing

I haven’t sewn anything this week.

Spinning

I signed up for a spinning class at the Newark Cultural Arts Center for January 2nd! It’s a spinning wheel class that is one on one to go over all the basics. I hate that I am starting over but I am pretty much starting over. I hope this sets me off on the right foot. (See what I did there?)

I started a thing! I created a meetup called the Granville Stitchers and we had our first meeting yesterday. We drank cider at Seek No Further Cidery, worked on our projects and got to know each other a little bit. It was wonderful! We are meeting again in a couple of weeks!

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

My Milkshake Cardi Brings the Knitters to the Yard – Friday FO

I finished my Milkshake Cardigan (Rav project link)! Pattern by Joji Locatelli for Madeline Tosh. Yarn is Kelbourne Woolens Scout in Gray Heather. Buttons are natural horn from Lithuania (Etsy link).

My goal was to make a cardigan to replace my favorite thrift store Marks and Spencer lambswool cardigan that started unraveling at the elbows. I definitely succeeded! I will be wearing this over my favorite t-shirts, fall through spring.

In other news, I reorganized my craft room. All the fabric is now in a big tub that used to hold wool fiber. I’ve used up enough on my art that I was able to consolidate that to one tub. Moving the fabric freed up several smaller tubs, so I was able to put all of my yarn stash into tubs by size. I feel much more in control of my stash and projects now.

Have you finished any projects, or done any craft organizing lately? I would love to hear about it.

TLC Tuesday

Last week was busy at work. We took a trip to Cleveland to visit kids on Friday and Saturday. And then, I had a colonoscopy yesterday. So, I took today off as well to recover from the anesthesia. I don’t want to be making important work decisions with anesthesia brain.

This is my second DIY fall advent bag. I am definitely making these, but I haven’t started on the first project yet! I guess I can always rebag what I don’t get to for next year.

This is the first pair of Halloween PJ pants I’ve sewn plus a new seasonal shirt. I’m going to stay in PJs today. I’ve started calling JoJo “JoJo Binx.”

I worked on my Milkshake Cardigan yesterday as it’s pretty straight forward. Once I finish the second sleeve, just the button band to go! I look forward to wearing this cardigan when the weather turns chilly.

Last night we started watching Chapelwaite. It is so good, and is getting me in the mood for the spooky season! But before I immerse myself in autumn leaves and pumpkins please, I need to can some tomatoes.

A Fairly Productive Week 2: Year of Projects

Knitting

In addition to finishing Bob’s Pride socks, I’ve made good progress on my Milkshake Cardigan, and have been keeping up with the clues for my mystery knit along.

Sewing

I finished my Emerson shorts. I’ve got some other sewing projects I’d like to get to, but today I focused on…

Fiber Art

I made a new piece today. I had the same problem with the felt not attaching to the prefelt backing. I think the prefelt backing is the problem, as all my fiber felted together really well. It just slid off the backing. So that’s more needle felting to do, and I’m not sure how I feel about this piece. It’s the remake of the one I don’t like. Why do I keep making it? Because I love the photo! It’s inspired by a photo I took in Iona, Nova Scotia. It’s just really hard to interpret in wool.

Podcast

A new episode “dropped” today, as the young folks say. In honor of Plastic Free July, I thought I would stick close to home and interview someone who inspires me a great deal. He has made a huge impact on reducing the amount of plastic waste in our home by creating almost all the soaps we use in our household from scratch. Listen in as I interview my husband, Bob, about soapmaking, the magic of science, and how to save money while saving the world. (It’s not as dangerous as it looks.) You can listen here or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Listening to Music Intentionally

This one seems appropriate.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can learn more about the group on RavelryYou can read my updated list of projects here.

Stimming in Stockinette

My Milkshake Cardigan is coming along. I love the construction. It’s very straightforward. I love the gray. I love all the stockinette. It’s the kind of thing I like to knit, and like to wear. This sweater reminds me of the Kids in the Hall skit “Are Extraterrestrials Dull?” It will be a quality garment. Yarn is Kelbourne Woolens Scout in Heather Gray from my stash. I decided the Tunis yarn is too special and will still make up the Kiki with it, when I am ready for cables again.

The garden is burgeoning. I wish I had planted more flowers. I might try peonies in here somewhere. I am still fighting slugs. They’ve just about taken out my Gerber Daisies, and it was a mature plant going in. Maybe I should try cosmos since I could dye with them.

The indigo is up, but so far only one madder seed has germinated. No tansy yet. I think I need a trip to the garden center!

Saturday Sweater, Because Alliteration is Fun

I finished my Turtledove (Rav project page) and I love it. I was inspired to make it because Liz made two, she loves to wear hers so much. It was an easy, quick, straightforward knit, which I enjoy. And it’s my favorite color. Pattern is Turtledove by Espace Tricot (Rav link). Yarn is Cascade Eco in color Twilight.

I removed the background in this photo because it was taken on carpet. Let’s have some fun with that.

Saturday Sweater in a Starry Sky
Saturday Sweater on Snow
Saturday Sweater with Sheep

There are many more fun things I could do with this sweater, like turn it into an Asteroids ship or have it rocketing to the moon, but that takes a lot of time and I would rather knit. Well maybe just one…

Shooting Star Sweater

I needed that. Here’s a photo of the underarm seams.

Not gorgeous but much better than I could do picking up stitches. I cast on six stitches on the sleeve side and used a mattress stitch to seam them.

Now I’m off to knit knit knit on my Water Shawl, and hopefully take a walk in nature this afternoon. What are you doing today?

Put a Pom Pom on it!

In the before times, you wouldn’t have caught me with a phony fur pom pom on my head. Or, for that matter, speckles in my yarn or a fade on my being. But I can admit when I’m wrong. I was wrong about these things.

You know why? Because knitting should be whatever makes us happy. I think I was taking my knitting WAY too seriously, don’t you? So here’s my Kenora Toque in Rauma Strikkegarn with a pom pom! (Rav link)

Very happy and look how well it matches my duffle coat.

I’m also really, really excited to tell you I am now on the sleeves of my Turtledove! I cannot wait to wear this so I will probably focus on it until I finish it. It’s very soft and squishy. Also, I want you to know, that after knitting the Cocoknits method, I will never, ever try to pick up and knit underarm stitches again. I will (and did) cast on enough stitches on the sleeve to match the underarm, then I will seam it when I’m done. That way I won’t have those weird holes and ladders that I can’t unsee and pretend aren’t there.

Speaking of fades, I’ve decided to knit a Boxy fade (Rav link). I splurged on a yarn fade bundle from La Bien Aimee. It’s my first time ordering from her, but I’ve been drooling since Knit City.

I also ordered some really nice plaid flannel fabric that I had intended to make PJs with, but it is too nice. It wants to be a dress. So I’m sewing this raglan dress. I love it so much, I also ordered some beautiful blue cotton shirting to make a summertime one. I have a lot of projects to add to my Year of Projects list, don’t I?

I’ve been a little down lately, so I haven’t been blogging much. That probably explains all the splurging. I have one last splurge to share.

This print is from a UK artist who made this for Shetland Wool Week 2020. I’ve been waiting for her Etsy shop to be restocked. Now I just have to find a suitable frame. I will hang it in my studio and gaze upon it lovingly and sigh.

How are you doing? Are you okay? I haven’t really been that okay, and a friend recently asked me straight up how I was. It helped to just be able to say, I am not okay. We lost a family member recently, a dear “Uncle” who was technically not my biological uncle, but he was my Dad’s best friend, and my best friend’s Dad, and definitely an important Uncle to me. We were close when we lived in Oklahoma City, and he was there for me during my separation and divorce, and helped me get back on my feet financially. He helped us get back on our feet financially after my Dad died, too, though I was too young to understand that at the time. So, feeling sad but appreciative. Godspeed Uncle Jack. ❤

Also, I am feeling depleted. As I am sure many of us are after a year of living through a pandemic.

But how are you? Please spill your beans in the comments, if you like.