Support Gansey Nation -


Buy Gordon a cuppa!


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





Gansey Nation on Zazzle!

Week 3: 5-11 October

maori002aAutumn is well and truly upon us, with that pinch in the wind that sends you back indoors for a sweater and reminds you to check for moth-holes. (So far our flat in Edinburgh seems mercifully free of the little devils, unlike our home in the swamp in Somerset which bred moths the way Saruman bred orcs.) This is always the best time of year, for me – if summer is a ripe peach of a season, a season of juices dribbling down your chin, autumn is more of a granny smith: tart, sharp and squeezing tears out the corner of your eyes.

We were lured out of doors by the sunshine over the weekend, down the cobbled streets as far as the Stockbridge Sunday market (well, they’d stuck a flier under our car’s windscreen wiper, so it would have seemed rude not to go). The market, alas, was a bit of a disappointment – just a few stalls selling cheese, bread, scented candles – but it was fun to kick through the fallen leaves in the park, and watch the birds on the lake dodging the model boats. Not being an ornithologist, I can’t tell you what kind they were: but basically they were white, and there seemed to be two kinds – larger and smaller – if that helps at all; they were dotted all over and rose up from the surface of the water like meringues. (Meringue duck? Is that a breed or have I just invented a new Chinese delicacy?)

As autumn is a doing kind of season, you will see I have completed my first swatch for the new project (which I hereby present to you with the same degree of confidence with which I returned home one day to show my  parents my first wobbly bookend from woodwork class). You will note if you look carefully that the pattern is repeated – the bottom half shows the pattern as it appeared in last week’s chart; the top half features some minor amendments to the pattern which I made as I went along.

The upside is that it works quite well as a pattern (it reminds me of some of the East Anglian patterns, especially those from Yarmouth). I think it would look good on a gansey yoke, either as a panel or right across. The downside is that I don’t think it’s quite what I’m looking for in the lower body. The diamonds are too small to really be effective, and the chevron patterns in between the diamonds detract from the impact of the diamonds. Also, the diamonds need to be more diamondy. Still, live and learn, eh? I’m going to play around with it and try another variant – maybe make the diamonds twice the size, more angular, and downplay the chevrons a shade. I’ll chart that out and post it next week.

In the meantime, time for an apple. (Remember, as the song says, love will make you cry but a good supply of granny smiths works out cheaper in the long run.)

2 comments to Week 3: 5-11 October

  • Jacqueline Bacon

    You could always elongate the diamonds. I find that gives a better look.

    As to the chevrons make them 2 stitches wide and only have one of them on each side.

  • Gordon

    Hi Jacqueline,

    Yes, that will probably be the next step (elongating the diamonds, I mean) – and they’re definitely too small for what I have in mind. As for the chevrons, I wonder whether making them 2 stitches wide wouldn’t make them too bold in the overall pattern? Either way, some trial and (quite a lot of) error seems called for!

    Gordon