Coming along with the Exhibition Gansey

I SHOULD be working on a commission for a magazine but the post is still terrible in areas of England – the yarn was posted there last Friday and it still isn’t here.

So I am getting on with the gansey for the exhibition.

I had planned swatching on 4.5 and 5 mm needles, but the 4.5 mm I started with was right so I didn’t bother with the 5 mms! I tried the colourwork and the k/p patterns and got the basic design together on a piece of scrap paper as usual:

The pattern repeat is 34 sts which, with an aran weight yarn, is a big one. But this doesn’t have to fit a specific person and three repeats plus the ‘endings’ works well to give about a 44″ chest.

As I am using bits of Eunice’s patterns, I decided to use her ribbing. It is one I remember well from my childhood and keeping its stretch. It is the usual k1, p1 ribbing, but the knit stitches are always through the back of the loop on all rows, so you get an effect which is both useful and decorative:

Many of the sweaters in photos have the dark brown as the background. This is especially true of those who obviously come from poorer backgrounds (dark doesn’t show the dirt like white) and I wondered whether to use the dark brown. But this is an exhibition piece, and the k/p patterns show up more easily in the ‘white’, so I have kept that as the main colour. The motif I think of as ‘Swona’ (because I saw it first on a sweater knitted on that island) is in fawn, while the ‘stars’ will be in the two greys. (Orkney tended not to have so many colour changes in its colourwork as Shetland and often motifs used just two colours.)

So now I am up to the arm holes on the back and am about to start the stars on the yoke. The 3 stitch filler between the diamonds of the body continues in colour on the yoke. If the yarn for the magazine doesn’t arrive tomorrow I should get the back finished this weekend…

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8 thoughts on “Coming along with the Exhibition Gansey

  1. Looking good Liz. I always do my rib as you have described – have done it for so long that it is automatic now. If I decide to do a conventional k/p rib it takes me ages cos I have to concentrate so much on the knit stitch!

  2. There’s so much going on in that sweater, but it all works well. Will be interested to see the top part finished. Did you see the Swona motif on a sweater belonging to one of Janice’s relatives?

  3. Hi Liz, Just love th gansy designs you’ve done, hope you had a good New year on Flotta. All the best Muriel and Horst Peter.

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