Cables and a First Gansey

It’s been awhile since Galt Riverstone, and I really itch to have a cable project on the go, at all times – so I sketched up the following sweater over Christmas this year.IMG_20160213_104624_edit

I used this yarn – which I bought at this store.  This is the sheepiest, loveliest, unprocessed Blue-Faced-Leicester wool, I have ever used.  This is my second time using this yarn.  The first time, I knit the sweater below.  I wear it every winter, all winter (sometimes several days a week)… and I keep going back to it because of the drape, the texture and the smell!!!  If you have never smelt this yarn, go sniff it now.  It smells the way I imagine an old book by a warm fire would smell –  no matter how many times you (hand) wash it.

So towards the end of January, I cast on my second sweater and enjoyed handling the yarn so much that I ended up knitting 300g of dense cable in just over a week.   I call this sweater:  “What to Wear when Drinking a Single Malt”,  (or “Scotch BFL” in my notes.)

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…And then I discovered after I had finished the entire body, that I had designed the back panel 3″ too narrow.  So here we are now reduced to 300g of frogged rubble:

Excuse the blurriness of the photo, but that is pretty much how it looked through my vision 😉

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Much like the horse adage, I feel that when you endure an epic frogging, you have to cast on again as soon as possible.  Well, I managed to re-work the design and all the calculations last week, and am ready to cast on again.  This is the hard part, so I feel I have done my bit towards keeping up the momentum for now.

I’m choosing to take a brief break from this sweater, in order to heal from the frogging, so that I don’t end up hating this blameless yarn.  I’ve found solace in working through my first gansey:

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It’s Lochinver by Alice Starmore out of the classic Fisherman’s Sweaters book.  Once again it is very soothing to be knitting someone else’s design for a change.  All I had to do was re-jig the overall dimensions and stitch counts to my own preferred shape and gauge.  The book specifies 26 sts/4″ in the pattern yarn, but I get 23.3 sts/4″ in my yarn with 3.0mm steel needles.  For the yarn, I treated myself to real gansey yarn for this first gansey:  Frangipani 5-ply in “Sea Spray”.  I’ve had my eye on this yarn for years but could never justify the shipping from Cornwall (even though they very generously offer a free shade card.)  I finally found a solution!  If you are in Canada or the U.S. and you want Frangipani, I highly recommend ordering the yarn from The Net Loft in Alaska.  Cheapest shipping and yarn prices, on this side of the Atlantic, and it came in a lovely zippered project bag with a free pencil.  All the little touches make this treat even more of a treat:)

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I had my heart set on having this sweater for pruning season, but I am only 150 g into the sweater, and I had to prune by this weekend at the very latest.  I froze my fingers off, but it is still balmy enough for the sap to have started running in some of my Japanese maples.  Sad sight of a wounded maple:(  …. So now, I’ll retreat back to knitting.  The Frangipani Lochinver gansey is knitting up very quickly, and very nicely, and the pleasure of working on it is somehow making up for the maple wounds and the massive BFL frogging:)

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