Yachting Jersey], I decided to undertake another pattern from Weldon's Practical Knitter... the "Cycling Hose" from Volume 12 34th Series. I chose this pattern because I was intrigued by the so-called "Plume Pattern," which is a fleur-de-lis pattern iconic in my former hometown of New Orleans. The pattern calls for three yarn colors (navy, fawn, and light blue), which I changed to purple, green and gold... and though this pattern is decided English and not French, this easy substitution results in the PERFECT Mardi Gras costume stocking.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
You can read more about the yarn and farm HERE.
This hat was easy knit with nice result. I also love the story behind the pattern… “The Ertebolle hat is part of the Doggerland: Knits from a Lost Landscape collection. Doggerland consists of 8 patterns and is a collection of accessories inspired by a submerged landscape between Scandinavia and the UK. The collection uses motifs commonly found on artefacts from the Middle Stone Age and seeks to take you on a journey through landscapes of your own.”
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
I was born to a Norwegian father, and as a result, I am drawn to all things Arctic. The Scandinavian countries have a long tradition of Mushing and Dog skijoring (X-country skiing pulled by dogs, ponies, or snowmobile). In fact, in 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen used sled dogs in a race to become the first person to reach the South Pole. *
|"Skijor worlds" 1|
The second factor which makes the Iditarod so fascinating to me is the medical history. As I am a physician, I am particularly interested in the dire story which inspires the Iditarod.
"The children of Nome were dying in January 1925. Infected with diphtheria, they wheezed and gasped for air, and every day brought a new case of the lethal respiratory disease. Nome’s lone physician, Dr. Curtis Welch, feared an epidemic that could put the entire village of 1,400 at risk. He ordered a quarantine but knew that only an antitoxin serum could ward off the fast-spreading disease. The nearest batch of the life-saving medicine, however, rested more than 1,000 miles away in Anchorage. Nome’s ice-choked harbor made sea transport impossible, and open-cockpit airplanes could not fly in Alaska’s subzero temperatures. With the nearest train station nearly 700 miles away in Nenana, canine power offered Nome its best hope for a speedy delivery.
Sled dogs regularly beat Alaska’s snowy trails to deliver mail, and the territory’s governor, Scott C. Bone, recruited the best drivers and dog teams to stage a round-the-clock relay to transport the serum from Nenana to Nome. On the night of January 27, 1925, a train whistle pierced Nenana’s stillness as it arrived with the precious cargo—a 20-pound package of serum wrapped in protective fur. Musher “Wild Bill” Shannon tied the parcel to his sled. As he gave the signal, the paws of Shannon’s nine malamutes pounded the snow-packed trail on the first steps of a 674-mile “Great Race of Mercy” through rugged wilderness, across frozen waterways and over treeless tundra."2
The third appealing aspect of the Iditarod is the relative equatability of male and female mushers. Nobody seems to care about the gender of the musher very much ... may the best man OR woman win. There have been many important women racers over the years... one of the most notable from Massachusetts. Susan Butcher, the second woman to win the Iditarod, was born in Cambridge, MA in 1954. She is one of only 6 people who have won the race four times. This year 25 of the 78 mushers are female.
|Susan Butcher 3|
|Juar Leifseth Ulsom and his awesome hat|
I couldn't find a pattern online, or a chart... so I made my own. I simply CO 84(child)/ 98 (adult) stitches, used 2x2 ribbing, knit the chart, then finished with a 6 (child)/7 (adult)-petal peak (K12 K2tog...). Should you wish to use it... here is the chart. Enjoy, the knit AND the race!
* Notably, Amundsen succeeded at reaching the pole while his competitor Robert Falcon Scott, who had instead used Siberian ponies, did not.
1. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skijor_worlds.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Skijor_worlds.jpg
2. History in the Headlines, Accessed 3/4/2015
3. Photo from Mental Floss, accessed 3/4/2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The big reveal took five posts on my blog, which may seem like overkill... but bear in mind that it took me nearly two years of research and steady work. Though most gansey sweaters were knit with dark blue, I chose natural (more in the aran tradition). As it turns out, as you may have gathered from Part IV/V, though a gansey, this particular pattern was clearly meant to be a less-utilitarian type... and so I hope will not be too bothersome for the purists out there.
I was lucky that, at this time in history, snug-fitting sweaters are in fashion. This works well with the tradition of the gansey, which is meant to have negative-ease so as not to interfere with one's work. I am also fortunate to have a handsome model living right in my household who is willing to work for food (lots of it!). Here's hoping it's not the only time he'll ever wear it!
See it on Ravelry here: Yachting Jersey
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
|Fishermen Saluting Mrs. Buxton, from the Norfolk Museum collection of Fishermen Ganseys|
A Gansey is a distinctive woollen sweater, originally designed to provide protection for fishermen from wind and water but which is ideal for all outdoor activity. Using a tightly spun 5-ply worsted wool (popularly known as "Seamen's Iron") the intricately patterned Gansey is knitted in one piece on five steel needles. The patterning to back and front and, in some cases, the upper part of the sleeve provides an extra layer of protection, while the combination of seamless construction, fine wool and tight knitting produced a garment that is both wind and waterproof. Indeed, every part of the garment is designed with practicality in mind. The wool is knitted tightly so as to "turn water"; the lack of seams ensures greater strength and impermeability; the underarm gusset allows freedom of movement; the lower sleeves where most wear is sustained, are left plain so the worn part can be unravelled and re-knitted, while the patterning across the chest provides extra insulation.1
|Weldon's Woollen Guernsey Frock|
|Wayside Flower: Shetland Pattern Gansey Sweaters, "From the Archives - Island Life North of the border, Och aya."|
By the 19th century, the Gansey sweater would have been widely recognized on sight (much like blue-jeans in America), and many British Isles knitter had likely committed the Gansey sweater to memory. By the time the Yachting Jersey was printed in the refined notepaper of Weldon's (in other words, NOT given to a young knitter by her mother/grandmother as her youthful chore), the Gansey was, for many, part of the knitting vernacular. Thus, I suspect that the suggestion that one should utilize a fancy pattern (The Block Pattern) on the arms and body, might have seemed rather frivolous... Not unlike the way I feel when someone tells me that young people are spending $250.00 on blue jeans because they are produced by "7" brand rather than "Levi's."
* ...although they do say their handknit sweaters are made "...in one piece in the traditional way, using 5-ply WORSTED wool." ... not fingering as described in our pattern. The use of worsted wool is corroborated by the Norfolk Museum Gansey Sweater Collection, where they write, "Of all the Norfolk fishing ports, Sheringham is particularly noted for its ganseys. They are extremely fine, being knitted in size 16 or even size 17 needles with three-ply worsted wool. This gives a stitch count of 13 stitches and 19 rows per inch"
1 Flamborough Marine, Ltd. (Accessed 2/24/2015)