Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Starting the Gansey

Now I've been playing with the gansey for some time. I did a sample square, trying out a number of patterns, some of which have made it into the final version. All were passed by Other Half for his approval, as this is going to be his Christmas sweater 2011. You might think I'm starting Christmas knitting a trifle early, but it is being made with genuine 5 ply guernsey wool (from Frangipani) on 2.25mm needles and OH is over 6 feet tall. Put it this way, I have to lengthen every sweater I knit for him, and knitting it takes forever even without thin yarn and tiny needles, so I decided to reduce the time pressure by starting early.
Here are some of my notes, not sure what they all mean now! My planning is rudimentary; I have decided on the patterns, worked out how many stitches and am all set up to the armhole gussets. What happens after that is going to be a voyage of discovery as I haven't got a clue. Haven't yet thought about how I'm going to construct the shoulders or neck, I'm just focussed on covering the acres of knitting up to the armholes. I reckon I've got a few months before I have to tackle that.
So here it is, the welt (2x2 rib), on my lovely new KnitPro circular, which makes knitting a dream. So far I have managed to create two problems; I didn't close the circle of stitches correctly (i.e. there was a twist part way round) and the 2x2 rib didn't quite work first time round. The first issue was easily solved; with over 400 stitches on the needle, trying to get them all the same way is very difficult so when I realised I had a kink, I just put a twist in the second round to fix it. It's invisible now after several rounds of rib. The second problem was that I was short 2 stitches for the rib; i.e. the round ended with 2 x K, and the next round also started with 2 x K. So I just created two new stitches between, problem solved. The number of stitches isn't crucial in the welt, when I increase for the main body I'll have to make sure the stitch number is right to make the pattern work.

So now I'm off to do some more mindless rib for the rest of the evening. Sporadic gansey updates will follow from time to time over the coming months...

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