Archive Entries for November 2007

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Thursday November 22, 2007

Whitby Gansey - saddle strap

Since coming back from the US, I have been frantically knitting the gansey, so that I can put my saddle shoulder next to the entry about Alison's for comparison. They are quite interesting to see together as the Caister gansey saddle shoulder is created by continuing to knit the shoulder in the same direction as the body to form the saddle. In the Whitby gansey pattern, a saddle strap is inserted, knitting at 90 degrees to the direction of the body knitting. You start to knit from the neck, joining the strap to the front and back shoulder stitches as you go, and finishing at the sleeve top. The stitches at the beginning are cast on with waste wool (mine in red in the photo) so that they can be picked up later when knitting the neck band.

Whitby_saddle.jpg

I chose the Whitby pattern expressly because I liked the saddle strap and the way the pattern continues down the sleeve. However, I cannot believe the trouble I had trying to interpret the pattern. Alison and I have been laughing together at my pathetic efforts for some days now, and she has assisted not only in bearing with the numerous phone calls on the subject but also offering practical advice from her own knitting books.
There were two points causing confusion: one - that I did not realise the strap includes a neck gusset, so the stitches you first cast on are initially decreased for the first few rows, and, two - that although I suspected that there were numerous print errors (which there were) I just found it really hard to pick them out.

I'm still a long way from finishing the gansey, as, unlike Alison, I have the sleeves ahead of me, once I complete the shoulders. Now I have sorted this out, I plan to put the gansey aside for the moment and concentrate on Christmas knitting, so I expect to picking it up again in January. I would say that this is the longest project I have had but... Foolish Virgins are always there to haunt me....

Read the extended entry for Generic Saddle Strap instructions:

Generic Saddle Strap instructions:

I had such trouble trying to interpret my pattern - and there is more than one pattern book in similar vein to my own, where much is left to interpretation, and typos are abundant - that I thought I would make a note of some generic instructions to give you the general idea. Once you know, it's easy, but, (as with many things knitwise), explaining is not as simple as showing.
Here goes...

Note that any reference to the number of stitches will be dependent on the tension, as well as the individual pattern. My pattern starts with a base 34sts at the neck edge, which are made up of 20 "core" stitches for my pattern, and 6 edge stitches - 3 at each side of the saddle. The extra 8 stitches are decreased over the first few rows to make the neck gusset.

First take your shoulder stitches and arrange on two separate needles so that the points of the needles are at the neck edge. So, say, we are working on the left shoulder front and left shoulder back (I had 55sts on each needle). Hold them ready so that the left back sts are on the needle on your left and the left front sts are on the needle on your right; it is as if you have just knitted a knit row on the left front, and are about to start a knit row on your left back.

Using two other needles, (I suggest small double-point sock needles), cast on 33 sts in waste wool and knit one row in your gansey wool.

Slip these sts onto your right needle with the other left front sts, with the knit row facing you, and so that the working thread is ready to knit the left hand needle.
Knit one st from the left hand needle and TURN.

Purl across 33sts and then p2tog, (one st is the last of your cast-on strap and the other is one from the left back sts), TURN.

You are now going to continue with some decreasing to shape the neck gusset and some knitting 2 sts together to incorporate the strap into the shoulder stitches. I have colour-coded the gusset shaping in red..

Row 1: (right side) k1, k2tog tbl, k4, {knit 20 "core" sts in your pattern} k4, k2tog, k2tog tbl (one st from the saddle and one from the shoulder sts) TURN
Row 2: P6, {knit 20 "core" sts in your pattern}, p5, p2tog, (one st from the saddle and one from the shoulder sts) TURN
Row 3: k1, k2tog tbl, k3, {knit 20 "core" sts in your pattern} k3, k2tog, k2tog tbl (one st from the saddle and one from the shoulder sts) TURN
Row 4: P5, {knit 20 "core" sts in your pattern}, p4, p2tog, (one st from the saddle and one from the shoulder sts) TURN
Row 5: k1, k2tog tbl, k2, {knit 20 "core" sts in your pattern} k2, k2tog, k2tog tbl (one st from the saddle and one from the shoulder sts) TURN
Row 6: P4, {knit 20 "core" sts in your pattern}, p3, p2tog, (one st from the saddle and one from the shoulder sts) TURN
Row 7: k1, k2tog tbl, k1, {knit 20 "core" sts in your pattern} k1, k2tog, k2tog tbl (one st from the saddle and one from the shoulder sts) TURN
Row 8: P3, {knit 20 "core" sts in your pattern}, p2, p2tog, (one st from the saddle and one from the shoulder sts) TURN

This ends the strap shaping and you have 26 sts left in the strap.

Next row: k3, {knit 20 "core" sts in your pattern} k2, k2tog tbl (one st from the saddle and one from the shoulder sts) TURN
Next row:
P3, {knit 20 "core" sts in your pattern}, p2, p2tog, (one st from the saddle and one from the shoulder sts) TURN

Repeat the last two rows until you have incorporated all the shoulder sts into the saddle strap, and you have reached the head of the sleeve. Leave the saddle strap sts on a stitch holder to pick up later when you knit the sleeve.

Posted by Christina at 8:49 AM. Category: Ganseys