Saturday, July 22, 2006

The gansey isn’t quite big enough.

I feel strangely calm.

It measures 19 ¼” across, at maximum blocking. If Ketki were in fact a seafarer sailing out of Anstruther, that would probably be about right. The old photographs all suggest that they wore them tight. But for a banker relaxing on a Saturday, I fear it’s too snug. Another inch, as a minimum. That’s two inches, in the circumference.

I’ve left the pattern-sweater Alexander gave me, and all my calculations and sketches (note: sketches! Very grown-up!) up north, so it’s hard to proceed. I think I was aiming at 22” across. I’d settle for a bit less. The pattern-sweater was a casual fit on Ketki. A gansey could afford to be a bit closer in.

The pattern-repeat, I can now say with some assurance, is 5 ¾” wide. So I can’t possibly add another complete one. I’ve been working with complete repeats, up to now. I include a picture of the side-seam. Would it matter if the pattern broke off there and then started up again? Or should I start a wholly new gansey with a completely different design?

For the moment, I’m not going to do anything. Perhaps I will even wait until Ketki comes for the Games, and have her try it on in its present state. Then I could decide with something approaching absolute precision, how much more girth is wanted. I can always while away the time up north knitting another stripey Koigu for another grandchild.

Thank goodness for locational WIPs! If I had everything invested in this one, my situation would be dire indeed. But last night I got to within a couple of rows of the end of the first half of the Paisley Long Shawl. I should be steaming off in the opposite direction before the day is done. I no longer intend to block it at the half-way stage and think about length. Enough is enough. It will do fine in its present state as a Christmas present for my sister-in-law.

Meanwhile, on to the next problem…

Blackberry Ridge has sent me Hazel Carter’s Hiawatha pattern, as ordered, and I love it. So that’s settled, as the destination for my Jade Sapphire lace-weight cashmere. BUT I have four skeins, labelled 400 yards each: 1600 yards. The pattern wants five skeins of Blackberry Ridge lace-weight: 350 yards each, 1750 yards in all. Maybe the pattern doesn’t use the whole 1750? Maybe 1600 will be enough? Maybe not.

The Hiawatha could be shortened (it’s very long) but only by leaving out some patterns altogether, not by doing less of a boring centre section, as with the Paisley Long Shawl. I don’t want to do that. I want the whole thing.


The “NatWest Three” appeared briefly on television last night, on their way to a bail hearing. They were wearing ordinary clothes. They were not shackled. And the trial is scheduled for September. They had been telling us that they would be in a Texas jail for two years, awaiting trial. Could it be that they were hamming things up a bit, before they were extradited?

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