First the good news: my cold has gone and I’m off the betablockers my doctor prescribed to stop me getting migraines, so I no longer shuffle through the streets like a survivor of the zombie apocalypse with hay fever. The bad news? Oh yeah, the migraines. (I wish now I’d kept the receipt for this body – then I could take it back and demand a new one, or alternatively a refund.)
Thanks for all the cat stories and comments last week. Now the evenings are slowly getting lighter the little beggars have abandoned their camouflage and no longer shadow me up the path; instead when I get to the door they seem to just materialise out of thin air directly between my ankles, as if the Enterprise’s ship’s cats had learned how to work the transporter—the only warning being what I used to think of as a plaintive meow, but which I now believe to be the sound a cat-sized quantity of air makes when it is displaced.
I have—hurrah—finished the collar of the gansey, which consists of an inch of knit 2/ purl 2 ribbing, cast off in pattern. So that’s the body substantially complete, and just the sleeves to go. As I’ve said before, this for me is when the gansey really starts to come together, and you feel you’re on the downhill straight; like reassembling C3PO in Star Wars, he may not have all his arms and legs yet, but you feel you could attach a head and have a conversation.
The armhole is 9.5 inches high, so with a stitch gauge of 9.25 stitches to the inch that gives me about 88 stitches to pick up per side. The sleeves are going to replicate the body patterns all the way to the cuff, so that it all looks of a piece, which means the section closest to the shoulder will be the same pattern as the yoke (but necessarily shorter, so instead of three trees or anchors in a column there will just be the one).
As I work down the sleeve I’m also decreasing the gusset out of existence; the rate of decrease is the same as the increases, to get that nice parallelogram shape, i.e., decreasing one stitch each side every four rows. (I used the red yarn from the Filey gansey as stitch holders for the gusset; the only downside is, if you’re not careful, stray wisps of the stitch holder yarn get snagged when you transfer the stitches to a needle. But I’m not worried – I mean, pink stripes in the gusset were traditional, right?)
Judit continues to come up with fun and novel uses for leftover gansey yarn: this time it’s a delicate little mobile phone bag or case which you can see here, which is the kind of thing I imagine archaeologists would be raving about if they found in the tomb of a bronze age princess, assuming her phone was buried with her (not that you’d get much of a signal in a lead-lined coffin, of course). She’s also helpfully tweaked the photo of Dave\’s gansey so you can see the rich complexity of the pattern more clearly, so many thanks to Judit for that.
Finally, this week I came across a splendid entry in a register of applications for poor relief back in the 1870s: a woman who was receiving money for looking after an old lady had asked for an increase, on the grounds that she had “grown increasingly fatuous” – I’ve been wondering how best to keep myself amused in my old age, and I must say this sounds like a plan…