Support Gansey Nation -


Buy Gordon a cuppa!


Many, many thanks to those of you who have already contributed!





Gansey Nation on Zazzle!

Week 16: 15 – 21 March

Spring has come at last. I know this because we went to a friend’s house for lunch on Saturday, and – I know this will be hard to believe – they actually made us go for a walk. (Well, I say a walk – given the conditions underfoot it felt more like a recreation of the Battle of the Somme, but I daresay they meant well.) So we got to see where William Wallace fought the battle of Stirling, and where he subsequently sited his oil refinery.

Somehow over dinner, as you do, we got onto the topic of the Trojan War, and the famous horse inside which the Greeks concealed themselves in order to sneak out at night and open the gates of the city. And I found myself speculating about what might have happened if this had taken place in another country – Mexico, for example. And all at once the vision of a giant Trojan pinata came into my mind, only instead of sweets tumbling out when it was split open, fully armed Greek soldiers emerged. (At which point I realised I should probably go easier on the coffee.)

I wonder what the British equivalent would be? (A giant Thorntons chocolate Easter egg? A pie with four and twenty blackbirds baked in it? A large chest filled with darjeeling tea?) Anyway, when I start my stand-up routine at next year’s Edinburgh Fringe, I’m thinking of working this into the set (trust me, it’ll be funnier when you see the mime that goes with it). Unfortunately if you ask most people what they’d call a large thing out of which soldiers jump, they reply “a Black Hawk helicopter”, which kind of spoils the joke.

Ahem. Back in the real world, the back is now finished (except for the shoulders, which I’ll do all of a piece as part of the front, as discussed last week). Time to turn it over and start on the front. I’m secretly rather relieved and – si fas est, as my good friend Catullus used to say – a little bit cocky, that my calculations proved correct and the yoke is more or less the right height – i.e., that I got the maths right! (Regular readers of this blog will appreciate that this is not necessarily a given.) In truth, it’s a quarter inch shorter than planned, but still close enough for jazz.

I’m going to make the front central diamond slightly smaller than the one on the back, by starting it 2 rows further up the panel. If nothing else it will help distinguish the front from the back. But everything else should be the same. I haven’t thought through the neckline yet – how deep to make it, and what effect this will have on the pattern – plenty of time to worry about that later.

Meanwhile I get to enjoy Spring in all its glory – by turning on the television and watching programmes about people hillwalking…

2 comments to Week 16: 15 – 21 March

  • =Tamar

    I’m impressed, and not just because all I’ve knit all winter is half of one hat. By the way, why do the standard anchor patterns always have a rope (or chain?) attached? It makes them look like an odd Z, and comes perilously close to the fouled anchors so common in embroidery patterns.

  • Gordon

    Hi Tamar, I’ve no idea why the anchors are the patterns they are – maybe the old knitters just liked using up as much space as they could on the gansey (sometimes you get the impression they regarded large stretches of plain knitting on the yoke as an affront to God and nature). Though some of the north-east of England patterns have an un-roped anchor, though they are smaller. (I’ve never knit any of those patterns, somehow they’ve never appealed, though they’d probably look fine knitted up.) But the anchors always look to me like someone’s crossed them out by drawing a line across them!

    Gordon