Well, it didn’t take me long to go from planning out the shoulder straps and sleeve motifs to actually knitting them up. That’s right, it’s time for (a totally, 100% scandal-free)…
Stage Seven: Shoulder Straps and Joins
There are two ways to join the shoulders of a traditional gansey. The first of these is to simply perform a 3-needle bindoff to connect the tops of the front and back on either side of the neck opening. The other option is to knit perpendicular strap, joining it stitch by stitch to the live stitches left at the tops of the front and back on either side of the neck opening. The pattern used on the strap is then generally carried down into the sleeve as the central motif. This is the approach I took to my shoulder join:
My apologies for the lack of in-progress shots of the process of knitting the strap together with the tops of the front and back of the shoulder…I tried to take some, but it was thunderstorming at the time, and the lighting was just too awful to get anything but a big blur…if only I had a tripod! The join is performed by knitting or purling the last stitch in a row on the strap with the next live stitch from the body, from the neck opening outward, slipping the first stitch in each row to keep a neat appearance. As you can see, I have a pair of mirrored cables surrounded by purl stitches; this will become the central pattern motif on the sleeves, in Stages 8 and 9.
And now I have joined the front and back left shoulder of my gansey, and am ready to knit down the left sleeve before starting the process all over again on the righthand side of the gansey. Next up here on the blog, though, will be my Intermediate Sprint #2 post, in which I will explore the region of the Channel Islands even more deeply. Stay tuned!