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.


  1. A truly lovely sweater! Thanks for sharing it. Inspiring!

  2. Your nattroje is beautiful! I'd love to see a modeled shot of it (please?).

    I dropped the ball on mine - its been sitting, unfinished, for months. I really have to get back to it, and yours may be just the inspiration I need.

    Wonderful work. I really feel that one could spend a lifetime working through Knitting in the Old Way.