A Gansey for Autumn

The summer is winding down, and my last two days off work lie ahead.  I have not done much painting as my interest in the visual arts is currently on photography.  On the other hand, knitting, while not prolific, has been steady.  I have been working on a gansey in Rowan’s Felted Tweed for the past several weeks.

The design is sort of original, and sort of not, as it is based on a gansey pattern design by Beth Brown-Reinsel‘s book Knitting Ganseys, specifically the child’s gansey “Snakes and Ladders,” which is pictured on the cover of her book.  I’ve expanded the stitch count – I’m no toddler in size! – and have decided to make it more in the EZ style, with raglan sleeves, and possibly a placket opening in the front or a boat neck, just because in California a high-necked sweater would be too hot for me.

It’s been quite a while since I have made a sweater.  Admittedly, Josh’s sweater fell to the wayside – it was too, too boring.  I needed a brighter color, and texture.  I purchased the Rowan yarn several years ago, but had no idea what I wanted to make out of it, so of course it sat around.  The color is one of my favorites, a rust color or what some might call a spiced pumpkin color, as it is not a deep rust, but more the color of autumn leaves which have not completely faded.

Designing a sweater takes a bit of work!  While the design itself was essentially there in Beth’s book, I needed to expand on it.  In the end, rather than a 6-stitch snake cable, I upped it to an 8-stitch cable.  The bar sections (7 rnds. of stockinette with one rnd. of purl) became 10 stitches.  I thought I had it all set up, and then as I was knitting realized I had not taken into account the fact that centering of a pattern section was critical for success.  Duh!  Once that was solved, though, the body proceeded nicely.

I have finished the body to the point where I am ready to add sleeves.  I am about 2/3 done with the first sleeve, which is knitting up amazingly fast, and I am enjoying the simplicity of the overall sweater pattern quite a bit.  As with the body, the sleeve took a bit of thought, but is going along quite nicely now that I have completed the increases.

It always feels good to see progress on a project – especially after frogging a major sweater elsewhere!


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