le tour de gansey part trois

le Tour de Gansey, part trois: Stage 4

With that little diversion back into Stripes! territory done with, let’s get back to our Tour coverage! When we left off, our knitter had just completed Stage 3, the establishment of the pattern motifs and seam stitches of the body. Next up, it’s…

Stage 4: Waist Shaping (the descent)

Waist shaping? In a gansey? Yes, we’re going a bit non-traditional here this year, adding a bit of modern, fitted shaping to the traditional gansey. There’ll be more where that came from, too, when we reach the sleeves. But for now, let’s focus on today’s stage. Unlike the mountain stages of our intrepid cyclists, when shaping a waist, it is customary to descend (to a smaller number of stitches) before ascending (back up to the chest measurement). As such, today’s stage covers the descent into the waist. Here you can see how this is achieved through the use of a “waist-shaping panel”:

waist shaping panel

In this gansey, our knitter is using vertical panels of pattern motifs, separated by narrow columns of garter rib, and has made the panel closest to the column of stitches running down from under the armpit the “waist shaping panel”. The descent into the waist involved some rather tricky combinations of regularly placed decreases and necessary pattern motif modifications. As you may be able to see, the pattern motif used in this panel is intended to evoke the switchbacks of the mountain stages, and it required a bit of careful planning to get them to zig and zag and join together just so in order to fit into the ever smaller number of stitches allotted to that panel as we inched toward the waist.

Here you can see the status of the gansey at the end of Stage 4:

gansey progress

Stage 5 begins with an easy flat section, but quickly ramps up into a massive ascent, ending with the same number of stitches around the needle as we had before beginning today’s descent into the waist. But for that, you’ll have to stay tuned!

5 thoughts on “le Tour de Gansey, part trois: Stage 4”

  1. Oooh, I’m glad you have a bit of a breather for those waist decreases. Good luck gearing up for the hills to come! The sweater looks great so far :)

  2. Ooh, very nice! I’m impressed — not only with the gansey, but that you’re timing your ascents and descents so nicely with the Tour. I hope all of you are enjoying these flat stages before the Alps :)

  3. I loved watching over your shoulder as you knit along with the tour last year and this year is just as great! Keep on going! You can do it!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad people enjoy this little Tour. It’s going to wind up continuing on after the Tour de France, because I just don’t have enough time this year, but that’s ok.


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