Y’all will just have to take my word for it that this wee gansey was totally finished before the end of le Tour, because I had no access to a camera or internet those last two days (but fortunately, we were able to have the Tour recorded for us, and were able to watch the last two stages after we’d moved into our house…I am just so, so impressed with Contador, and Leipheimer, and the whole Discovery squad. And I love that all of the jersey winners were youngins, bringing in a new era of hopefully cleaner cycling!).
I learned so much from this project, and I’m so glad to have had the Tour de France Knitalong to inspire me to take it on. Just off the top of my head, here are some of the new things I learned:
- How to do the Channel-Island Cast-On
- How to make a split, overlapping garter welt
- How to make fake purl “seams”
- How to do directional increases
- How to knit an underarm gusset
- How to do a two-stitch “true cable” without a cable needle
- How to pick up stitches from the tops to knit-in a shoulder strap
- How to knit a neck-gusset
- And so much more about general traditional gansey construction!
I highly recommend knitting the Sampler Gansey from Beth Brown-Reinsel’s book to anyone who’s interested in learning about gansey construction. It only takes a few hours (really, I mean that…I only split it up over the course of the Tour so that I could have something Tour-oriented to be working on the entire time), and you learn so much. I feel ready to tackle a me-sized gansey, and I will someday. Maybe not right away, but I have all the skills I need to knit it whenever I decide I want to.
You might remember that I promised a special surprise at the end, right? Well, since I actually finished the gansey a few days before the end of the Tour, and was just so excited about gansey knitting that I didn’t want to be done, I decided to do something cool:
It’s a Gansey-Mitten! I made it up from scratch, using the techniques I’d learned from the Sampler Gansey. It’s got a split, overlapped garter welt with ribbing above it, purled side “seams”, a thumb-gusset, and a definition ridge with a patterned area above it. I knit it using the same Bartlett yarn as the wee gansey, a heavy-worsted weight yarn, but on size 3 dpns, aka “bulletproof gauge”. This little mitten is sturdy. It even stands up on its own:
Here’s a picture of it on my hand:
It’s totally reverseable, and I intend to knit a second one so that I can use them over liner gloves when it comes time to shovel snow this weekend, because they are sturdy, wind-and-waterproof, and warm. I might wait a bit to knit the second one, though, because knitting this yarn at that gauge is a wee bit hard on my hands (and is it just me, or does this particular yellow Bartlett yarn remind anyone else of corn, what with the slight variations in color and everything?). I may post a pattern (which would only make sense if you already own the book, as I would not want to infringe on Ms. Brown-Reinsel’s intellectual property) after I’ve knit the second one, if anyone would be interested in seeing such a thing.
Thanks so much to everyone who has followed along on this little Tour! And thanks especially to the organizers of the knitalong (which I won a random prize drawing for this morning, how thrilling!), without whom I probably would not have been inspired to take on this project. And with that, I close my coverage of le Tour de Gansey 2007. That’s all, folks!