I’m being very remiss with this blogy thing. I said I would keep you updated on the Knit mission impossible Birthday Gansey. Well here it is. If you follow the Instagram you will have seen its progress.
I did not make the birthday deadline – well that was not really a surprise was it now.
But it was finished with minutes to spare – the photo was taken whilst our lift was waiting to take us to the bus to the airport for a trip to New Zealand to see my folks in what I think of as my second home. Quickly snapping some photos, Sean decided he was going to wear it on the journey.
Its not strictly a gansey as such, the construction is not using traditional technique. Does this matter? The body was knit bottom up in the round and then dividing for front and back bib knitted flat. Ganseys don’t use steeks. The yarn is too slippery and the construction not strong enough for the rigours that work would have demanded. The sleeves probably wouldn’t have lasted longer than five minutes on a fishermans back before coming adrift. In traditional gansey technique the sleeves were knitted straight of the the body by picking up stitches from the front and back after joining at the shoulder. For Seans jumper, the sleeves are set in for a more modern fit. With the armhole shaping I also didn’t need to use an underarm gusset for ease of movement. I am a bit niggly about the sleeve head. I think its a bit pointy. I’m hoping its going to settle down if not my obsessive angel that sits on my should will make me rip it and re-knit it till its right. I can’t help it…knowing somethings not right disturbs me … I have to make it right or it will drive me nuts…
I stuck with diamond motifs – I really like the shape and how it could be worked with different textures. So many variations just by knitting and purling stitches. All those little bumps making negatives and positives. I find textured knitting not only really pleasing to knit, but also to look at and to feel them running under your fingers. Lovely.
I started the patterning just under the arms in a continuous band but, cheated time by only continuing the patterning all the way up the front bib and plain stocking stitch up the back after separating the torso tube.
The yarn was not the easiest to work with, its very tightly spun and is quite sturdy. I knit english, holding the yarn and throwing it with my right hand whilst the left hand feeds the stitches to be worked. I found that my left hand forefinger does most of the work of feeding really felt it. It got a bit calloused. Hopefully, it will be incredibly hard wearing and last a lifetime if not more before I, or my descendants, have to mend it.