Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Irish Danish

....or at least the green natroje. I finished my second sweater from Knitting in the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts on St. Patrick's Day so I am going to call it Irish Diamonds. Sorry I didn't post it right away. I spent most of the day reading articles about all the changes in Ireland and sadly realizing that one can never go back.

I have to tell you, though, that I love the sweater! At 24 sts to 4" three strands of lace weight Zephyr makes a very light garment - a throw on and go type of top. I opened up the diamond pattern, picked up 2 sts for 3 for very slim sleeves and adjusted the large centre "diamond" to accomdate the small repeats better and achieved a lower neckline!

I did do a massive rip back, though. On the first go round, after I had joined the shoulders and finished the neck band, I realized that I had neither lowered the neckline, nor corrected the graph as I had hoped to....I know some of you are saying, "How could she get so far and not realize..." Trust me I might have gone even further.

So..... I ripped the front back to the under arm - expanded a diamond several rows below with my trusty crochet hook and re-knit the front. All this took a day or two, so I was down to the wire for finishing. Well we were going skiing and I would have time in the evening - not really - the kids wanted the lights off to watch a few movies and since I can't knit in the dark I watched The Queen and Little Miss Sunshine with twitching fingers.

But I haven't missed a beat since I finished Irish Diamonds. I have cast on for my third sweater!!! It isn't really the third sweater in the book. It's an exploration of the evolution of the natroje. Pricilla Gibson-Roberts notes that the classic gansey grew out of the Danish blouse and she does a chapter on ganseys. There are ganseys with all over knit & purl patterns - ganseys with horizontal patterns, verticle patterns and the very ornate Hebridean gansey - I could be here for years!!! The welt at the bottom gradually gave way to a ribbed waist and the square neckline to various neckline treatments.

Since this sweater is for my husband and since he only wears sweaters that start with a band of ribbing and end with a crew neck - that's what it will have to be!!! I do get to do some subtle knit and purl patterns in the body of the sweater to ease the boredom and I did spend a long time looking at my original copy of Alice Starmore's Fisherman Knits. I was given this as a gift many years ago & did not have to buy it on ebay for a king's ransom. The sweaters in the book are very "yummy" - if I even get close with mine, I'll be thrilled!!!
Pictures next post.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Irish Diamonds....maybe?

Well I have started the second sweater from Knitting in the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. I decided on using 3 strands of Fiddlesticks Knitting lace weight Zephyr which gave me a gauge of 24 sts over 4". Just a bit finer than DK; but I wanted a lighter sweater. I also decided on the colour Basil over Royal - a really tough decision - only because I have green eyes. Not that I have anything in my current wardrobe that will go with this particular shade of green - but that has never stopped me before!

For those knitting along:
1. I used Priscilla's template for sweater measurements. I measured my chest allowed 2 -4" for ease - actually 2" because I wanted a slimmer fit than the cropped version - and called that 100%. All other measurements will be a percentage of this 100%. Technically then I should have cast on sts that were 90% of the total 100% for the bottom band, but I wanted a tunic style and I know I need the extra width at the hips, so I just cast on the number of sts that would give me the total chest measurement - still with me?

2. The diamond pattern is multiples of 12 plus 7. This may be centered on both the front and the back so it is not really necessary to have your cast on sts be an exact "fit" with the graph.

3. The bottom border is seed stitch in 2 sections joined together after about 2" have been worked to create a welt on either side as follows: purl together the last two stitches on either side from both the front and back sections, as you would do with a 3 needle bind off - except don't bind them off. Also remember to lap the front over the back on both sides before purling them together. These two purled stitches form the basis of the false seam that travels up the side of the garment and down the sleeve.

4. Knit 5 rows - remembering to purl the 2 false seam sts and then begin the diamond pattern.

If I finish the sweater by St. Patrick's Day, I'll call it Irish Diamonds