Saturday Swatch

After sitting with the idea of a springy pink gansey, and not feeling at all comfortable with it, I stumbled across Willow by Pam Allen. I love her designs. I’ve decided this is the gansey for me. I purchased the pattern, but what to do for yarn? Yes, I really wanted to purchase a sweater quantity of yarn, but went stash diving instead. I found just the thing: this Arcadia DK in Moonstone by Less Travelled Yarn! I got gauge and it has great stitch definition. Problem solved! I’ll make a lacey throw over with the pink yarn for spring and summer.

What are you swatching these days, and how is it going?

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.

Seaming Sweaters

I seamed the shoulders of Harald’s sweater today. I was a little put out with myself because I had forgotten to keep my stitches live during shoulder shaping so I could use the three-needle bind-off method. I rationalized myself out of ripping back by telling myself this knit is drapey and a little heavy (due to accidentally knitting on size 9 instead of size 8 needles) and the seams would give it more structure. That probably isn’t true but my seams turned out nice.

I fell back into mattress stitching as if I did it every day instead of once every few years.

When you really love something I guess it is like riding a bike. You never forget!

I have been trying to find more knitting blogs to read by looking at the knitting hashtag in my wordpress reader. Do you have favorite knitting blogs? Will you share them with me?

Swatching plus a Gratuitous Kitty Pic

I am swatching and researching stitches for a gansey-inspired bed cover. This is a tiny home retirement hope chest project. I imagine I will blog each square when it is complete, and share information on the stitches and what they represent, and why I chose them. Maybe I’ll include some charts and sketches?

This is my progress so far. A swatch! I love this Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool!

I pulled out my old gansey books and laid them out to photograph. Of course JoJo had to get in on the action.

Work and the holidays are keeping me very busy, but as you can see, I am still finding the time to dream and design and knit! 6 more days! Ho Ho Ho!

What Have I Been Knitting?

I was going through the old images of knitting I have been posting and dating them, and I thought geez these sure are old! I have knit a little bit in the last few years. I decided to share these things, and I would be all caught up and ready to move forward! Because in the words of Ziggy Marley – lesser known than his father Bob, but still no slouch in the wisdom department –  “If you don’t know your past, you don’t know your future.”

Not that there won’t be some flash backs down the road, I’m sure.

 

I finished this gansey for Husband Bob. The pattern is Old Way Gansey by Ann Budd. The yarn is Cascade 220 from stash. When I posted it on Ravelry, Ann Budd stopped by to say hello and added me to her Ravelry group. I was really geeked out.

Le Smoking

I finished Le Smoking from A Fine Fleece, in Fingerlakes Soft Wool 3 ply from stash. This design is pretty but it isn’t super wearable on me, or maybe it’s too small. Or, the shoulders are too shallow? I’m not sure what’s wrong with it exactly, but I’m not wearing it, so there’s that. I’m a little sad because I love this color.

 

I knit a slew of hats, no patterns, just measurements and gauge. The one on the left is a slouchy hat in Berroco Vintage from stash, and the one on the right is a straight beanie in Manos del Uruguay Clara, from Yarn It and Haberdashery.

There were a few other hats in there, mostly beanies knit for kids in straight up stockinette in whatever yarn was laying around. I do get a little bored knitting in stockinette, but it’s so mindful and mindless at the same time. Very meditative.  Plus I can watch a show or a movie and knit and not worry about making mistakes. Mmm… yards and yards of stockinette. So healing.

 

Speaking of stockinette! Right now I’m knitting Plain Grey Sweater for Harald from Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Kohl, also from Yarn It and Haberdashery. It’s my pattern, which is to say it is yards and yards of stockinette: so just measurements and gauge with drop shoulders and ribbed finishing. It is what he asked for, although at one point he thought it might be nice to add some cables. I had already started so I told him no. Maybe next time, after I knit sweaters for his brothers, of course.

Manos del Uruguay yarns are some of my favorite because not only are they natural fibers, they are also single-ply and wearably soft for wool, kettle-dyed for delicious colors, and Fair Trade! I work for a fair trade organization, and ethical sourcing is really important to me. It’s something I hope to get into more on this blog.

Word of the day: Stockinette. Runner up: Slouch.