Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Adventures of Bob's Blue Gansey Part 6

This spring Cedar Falls sweater instructor Andrew Barden will be blogging about his sweater designing adventures as he creates a sweater for his father, Bob.   Read Part 1 here, ,Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here.

Ganseys are all about knit/purl patterns, but we haven’t really talked about them much since finishing the gauge swatch. Now, having finished the waistband ribbing and the plain area, it was almost time to get into the “meat” of this gansey, the textured patterns. First, I knit the definition ridge, which separates the plain area from the patterns. I chose to use a one-inch wide band of seed stitch. That finished, I finally was able to start the knit/purl patterns. The patterns I chose to use were:

1.      “Mary Ann’s Stitch,” which we call double moss
2.      Single Garter Stitch rib (not true ribbing, since it does not pull in)
3.      A large diamond, filled with “Rice Stitch,” which we call single moss
4.      A large Tree of Life

All of those stitch patterns, and several others, were in my gauge swatch (see Part 2). I chose them simply because I like how they look. I plan to place a very large diamond below a very large tree of life, centered on front and back. Very large motifs are not traditional. However, as some of you have heard me say, more than once, “It’s my sweater, I am in charge.”

As mentioned previously, before starting to knit, I charted the yoke of the sweater, beginning at the definition ridge. Not only does the chart tell me how tall the make the plain area, it also tells me how many stitches are in each panel. That is especially important so that the diamond and tree of life are centered on the front and the back. This is one of those cases where “centered” really means “perfectly centered.” Otherwise, it will just look stupid.

Each front and back consists of the following:
·         3-stitch side “seam”
·         7-stitch panel of double moss
·         16-stitch cable column
·         15-stitch single garter stitch rib
·         16-stitch cable column
·         47-stitch stockinette panel (with single moss diamond below a tree of life)
·         16-stitch cable column
·         15-stitch single garter stitch rib
·         16-stitch cable column
·         7-stitch panel of double moss

I am currently about 1 ½ inches above the definition ridge. Here are some photos:

The body, smashed on to its 24-inch circular needle. From the bottom; ribbing – plain area – definition ridge – knit/purl patterns. The cable columns cut through ribbing and definition ridge.

A better look at the initials (RGB).

Double moss stitch panels just above definition ridge (seed stitch), either side of the 3-stitch side “seam.”

Single garter stitch rib, above definition ridge (seed stitch).

Lower point of large single moss filled diamond, above definition ridge.
All of this, written out like I have done above, makes it sound terribly complicated. In fact, it is fun to knit and doesn’t take too much concentration. I just “read my knitting” for each panel, knit it, and “read” the next. It is going surprisingly quickly. In another ½ inch, I will start increasing at the underarm gussets, which we will discuss next time. Until then, happy knitting!