Thursday, May 17, 2007


Finally, I have finished the 3rd in a series of sweaters from "Knitting in the Old Way" by Pricilla Gibson-Roberts. I have discussed my various detours in other posts and will summarize my knitting journey by saying that this sweater may be constructed in a number of different ways.

1. The way I set out originally with a ribbed beginning. A K10. P 1 interval and the traditional patterned motif at the top.

2. Or begin with a K1. P1 rib; insert a panel of the top pattern after the rib, as I had to do, to make the sweater longer and finish as described in #1. Pictured here.

3. OR begin with a rib; insert a panel & do a K8. P3. interval and finish with the full pattern on top.

4. Omit the rib. Begin with a panel of the top pattern. Do a K8, P3 interval and finish with the full pattern on top

Nothing is ever very simple and once you start you realize there there are many choices that can be made. I am not sure which one I would pick for another go at the sweater but I think I am leaning toward #4 - but then my husband would never wear it - alas the stumbling blocks to great art!

Along the way though, I found a story of why the ganseys were constructed in their classic fashion. A true gansey is completely reversible - back to front that is and not inside out - hence the slit for the neck. When a gansey began to wear at the "front" or on an elbow - let's say, one simply turned it around to wear out the back - which would now be the front and the elbow would be on the other arm - still with me?

More knitted genius - the very plain knitted panel between ribbing and chest design - was there because it could be easily ripped out & re-knit, when the sweater began to wear. ...And the upper patterned areas were strategically placed to add warmth to protect the chest.

Oh did I mention that they were knit on 2.5mm double pointed steel needles in a yarn with a firm twist to repel water. - Go for it.!!!! Actually I used Fiddlesticks Knitting DK - silk & wool - so much more refined!!

But if you really want to experience history go here:

A closer look at the manorhouse gansey says I could have just made the ribbing in Dunbar longer - eeek another choice. Also the bonnie wee Scot that I got to model Dunbar is a year or two older that the model manorhouse managed to snag. Don't tell me that art is all in the mounting and display, rather than the piece itself!

Ahhh - all he needs is a tall ship and a star to steer her by!



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