Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I’ve been thinking about the neckline of the Calcutta Cup ’06 sweater.

In the original text for the EPS seamless sweater, in Knitting Without Tears, EZ says to leave some of the stitches of the front on a holder about 2” short of the final length, and work the last decreases back and forth on the remaining stitches. Now, if there’s one thing that’s horrible, it’s purling Fair Isle. I read somewhere once that knitters on the northern islands will cut the yarn at the end of every row and go back and re-attach it at the other end, rather than purl.

I could do that. I think I have done it, at some point in my Fair Isle past. I could set my jaw and suffer 2” of working back and forth. I could steek the neck – I’ll get Feitelson and Starmore out today and read about that. I could knit on up and cut out a neckline afterwards, without steeking. I’ve done that too.

Meg doesn’t have much of anything to say about this in her re-workings of the EPS, in Woolgathering and the Knitter’s Magazine series. But she does raise the back with short rows, which I can’t do because of the pattern.

In the chapter on colour knitting, in KWT, the chapter with the famous account of cutting a steek and then going to lie down in a darkened room, the neck is initially straight, and EZ suggests various ways of building it up, including the Norwegian neck by which I am rather struck.

In the new Woolgathering, Meg says of her gansey, “A boat-neck is all very well, and simple, but it usually catches the wearer across the Adam’s Apple, so shaping is a kindness.”

Maybe I should put all the stitches on a thread and try the Calcutta Cup sweater on myself. Alexander and I aren’t grotesquely different in size.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

My friend and agent Helen came for coffee yesterday. We haven’t got our hands on Sunday’s purchases yet, but had plenty to talk about anyway. She has furnished me with a delicious list of knitting blogs and, as if I needed them, yarn sources. I’ll report when I’ve had a browse.

She also brought and left behind her father’s glorious gansey, pictured here recently. More about that later, too. It’s a wonderful garment.

And, a propos of nothing much, I do like the beret pattern Grumperina has posted. It might be just the thing for a future Yarn Yard club offering. I love berets.


  1. Anonymous9:59 AM

    Yesterday I had a chat with a friend about your VKB collection and quest. She thought she had her old VKB's somewhere but not sure where - she will look and if she finds them she'll hand them over. Her collection would date back to the 1940's. I'll let you know. She is a wonderful knitter. Born in Aberdeen but I think she has lived in Dublin most of her life. We had a good time chatting about the family travels back and forth from Ireland to Scotland in the late 1940's early 1950's. And then that got my husband to talking about his trips with the family car across to Scotland before the days of the drive-on drive-off ferries.

  2. Hi Jean!
    Just popped by to say a huge THANK YOU for introducing me to Carla. I finally managed to go out and visit, it was fantastic. After that I visited with mom, then headed home and proceeded to get's that for timing!
    Anyway, thanks to you, I feel like I have another sister.

  3. I have used the neck shaping EZ describes in three sweaters now, none of them fair isle, however. I can only say that every time i wear one of those sweaters i think "wow! Why don't all sweater patterns include neck shaping?" I love the extra fitted touch it gives the sweater.

    I have wondered a few times if it would work to just add a few short rows in the ribbing of the neck, though.

  4. Anonymous7:35 PM

    Thanks for the link, I had to buy the beret pattern.