le Tour de Gansey: Stage One

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So, as might be obvious from the title of this post, I decided to go ahead and join the Tour de France Knitalong. My entry: a yellow jersey sampler gansey, following the course laid out by Beth Brown-Reinsel. She has laid out a series of ten chapters stages outlining each new technique to be conquered, and today I present:

Stage One: The Cast-On

Today’s stage is fairly short and easy. After all, it’s just casting on. But there’s still something new to be learned: the “Channel Island Cast-On”. I chose to approach this stage using the “Continental Method” described (very well) in the book, since I (kindasorta) knit Continental-style (my knitting technique would be better described by saying I knit like a violinist, but then again, that probably wouldn’t mean much to non-violinists). This cast-on is quite clever, utilizing a double strand of yarn and an extra wrap to create a lovely knotted edge (with an upshot that each “stitch” you make while casting on is actually two stitches, so it goes twice as fast!). I prepared my size 6 bamboo straights and my lovely yellow Bartlett Yarn, and after a few tries to get my tension right, I was off to a roaring start:

I learned a new cast-on!

Here’s a shot without my hand in the way, so that you can see what a nice knotted edge this cast-on creates:

Another closeup of Channel Island Cast-On

Oh, and right as I finished, I was treated to a fantastic finish in the current stage of the real Tour de France, with the yellow jersey claiming the stage in a great sprint finish…how thrilling! Now I’m all charged up for the next stage of le Tour de Gansey: Ribbing and Welts.

If you’ve been reading along on this blog, you know I have quite a number of projects on the needles other than this new Sampler Gansey. Instead of making occasional giant posts with updates on everything, I’m going to experiment with having more frequent “themed” posts, focused on only one or two projects at a time. So if you don’t see your favorite project for awhile, worry not! It’s being worked on in the background, I promise. Up next: Norwegian Wednesday, an update on my Norwegian-themed WIPs (ahem, did you notice the “s” at the end of that? Something came in the mail yesterday, hint hint!).

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