Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Gansey Saga Part II

I am making a lot of progress on the gansey. I love gansey patterns because they flow so well. I don't have to look at a chart or a pattern, I can see what I need to do based on what happened in the rounds below. If I make a mistake, it is a simple matter to drop down a round or two and fix it. For example, I didn't center one of the central diamonds in one of the repeats and discovered the error about 4-5 rounds later. I just moved the entire diamond 1 st to the left by dropping down sts and reworking the seed st. I can see how these sweaters were knitted on the go by the fishermen's wives and other women involved in the fishing industry.

I will post Camp photos in dribs and drabs so that I can make the experience last as long as I can.

Vanessa asked to see the spider but I thought I'd start with a moth. Here is a lace moth. Cute, isn't it? Better than any other kind of moth.
And here is the eight-legged Shetland spider. I don't think I'll ever make one of these but it is nice to know how to in case I want to be biologically correct.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Casting on - Knitsarina style

I always seem to cast on 3 times for anything. Mostly it is because I
am a Goldilocks when it comes to the tail of a long tail cast on. It
must not be too long or too short. It must be just right.

However I rarely cast on twice making the mistake I made today. I
misread the calculations I made and cast on twice the desired number
of sts! Something didn't seem quite right but I did not figure it out
till after I had cast on 416 sts TWICE!

True to my usual experience the cast on tail was perfect the 3rd time,
when I only needed to cast on 208 sts. Whew! Glad I figured it out
before I knit too far on the larger number of sts.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Heading home

All good things must come to an end. We had a ball at Camp yesterday
with mini workshops on speed swatching and jogless jogs - both for
fair isle. We also had a long discussion on necklines of various sorts
and saw the lovely sweater which will be in the next Wool Gathering.

We had our annual Raffle and contest which are always exciting. Lastly
we hung out in the classroom till late at night stretching out the
Camp experience. Today was a sad day. We had to pay the piper -settle
our bills with Schoolhouse Press and stop drooling over the books and
yarn. We had a goodbye breakfast and shared hugs and farewells before
packing and checking out.

I am at the airport on my way home now.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

End of day 2

Time sure flies by when you are having fun! Today we had a mini
workshop on double knitting from M'lou Baber (author of the latest
double knitting book from Schoolhouse Press) and a number of really
spectacular show-and-tell items. We had market day in the afternoon
and I snagged some gorgeous laceweight from Cheryl Oberle as well as a
shawl pin. I also got a cute mug from Jenny the Potter. Pics when I
get back. I practiced my spindling for quite a while this evening.

Friday, July 10, 2009

End of Day 1

Today we had mini workshop on making an 8 legged lace spider from
Bridget Rorem, discussions on sleeve shaping, Japanese short rows, and
other deep knitting discussions.

I exercised, showered and am ready to go out to dinner. Then back to

Breakfast at the Kitchen Table

This is one of the pleasures of coming to Knitting Camp. Meg's sister
Lloie owns it and the food is excellent. Meg includes a breakfast as
part of the Camp.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hooray for Anita!

She located 'Betty Martin'. I have been measuring the width of the
swatch and it is too wide for the bottom of the sweater so I am going
to eliminate one of the garter st 'wave' panels. I think this will
look nice and symmetrical - 2 diamonds on the sides and one in the
middle. Between the 3 panels of diamonds, there will be 2 cables on
each side flanking a panel of garter st waves. I will add the extra
width as I get up to the chest as stockinette so it is smooth under
the arms.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gauge for gansey swatch

I measured the gauge last night. It is 13" for 61 sts over the
patterns and 3.25" for 26 rows. That is a tad under 5 spi.

I am sending this from my Blackberry.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Blogging from a Blackberry

Since I can post via email blogging from my Blackberry should be easy.
My nephew is blogging via email from China because the government
there blocks access to Blogger. That is what gave me the idea.

Colleen, thank you for the offer to loan me your laptop! My Blackberry
will connect to the wi-fi and I can send an email (with photos
attached) to my blog. I should even be able to post from the

Gansey Saga Part 1

Thank you for all the compliments on the mittens in Knitted Gifts. Ann, yes, the model is wearing the mittens front to back in the photo. That is why I deliberately labeled each side in the blog post.

Today I'll start taking you through the process I am using to create my son's gansey. I started by looking through a number of gansey books, and completed ganseys on the web for inspiration. My library contains the books in this photo, as well as some of Alice Starmore's books that contain ganseys. But I didn't look through the Starmore books because I was familiar with them and they weren't the type of design I was interested in. Looking through all these books was a lot of fun.

I decided to recreate a historical gansey for this sweater. One that caught my eye was Matt Cammish's gansey from the Gladys Thompson book. It has a lovely elegant design that is also interesting to knit.

But one of the patterns in the gansey is called 'Betty Martin' and it isn't charted. It is not even written out by itself. Instead it is part of the overall pattern and I would have to chart the whole thing. Here's the pattern as described in the book. You can see 'Betty Martin'. It is on either side of the cable but the photo isn't clear enough for me to re-engineer it. That was still definitely a possibility.
Next, I found this lovely gansey in Knitting From the Netherlands. The fisherman on the left is wearing it and you can see a diagram of it on the right side of the book. I liked this a lot and it was charted. That decided it and I went ahead.

I charted the design to my satisfaction - with a couple of minor modifications and started swatching. I set off the cables with purl sts on either side and changed the center diamond to seed st (it was originally reverse stockinette). I also worked out the ribbing to make it flow into the design. The swatch is done and is washed and dried.
I was playing on Picasa and decided to make a collage of the two sides of the swatch to give you a closer look. This is half the front/back with the center on the left. The triangle is actually half a diamond. I adjusted the chart so the point of the seed st diamon nestles into the mid-point of the two diamonds on the right. This gives me a clean repeat of all the patterns at 26 rows. The seed st diamonds will have a few plain stockinette sts dividing them.

Next up is measuring the swatch and coming up with a pattern. I will add either more of the garter st waves or stockinette if I need more width. The yarn is Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in the color Parchment. It is a dream to knit with and the swatch feels lovely. I am knitting it a bit tighter than called for to make the sweater last longer and to add more definition to the st patterns.

I am going to try an experiment next weekend from Retreat 2.75. I am going to try blogging from my Blackberry so that I can give you a day-by-day recap. Wish me luck. The gansey saga will continue after that.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Testing blogging via email

I set up my blog to accept posts via email and so I thought I'd test
it. A more detailed post will follow on Sunday.