Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Recipe for Success

The next Edgewater pattern for publication is the Modern Gansey. Remember this from last New Year's Day? (James' birthday, for the record.)

Now it's time to get this pattern up and running. I decided right at the outset to present this as a "recipe-style" pattern. The gansey knitting tradition has always been one of improvisation, and although this particular design differs somewhat in its construction from the traditional model, it seems fitting that each knitter should have some level of control over the makeup of the finished garment. There's a broad description of the road map, but you get to fill in a lot of the blanks. FYI, this is how all of Elizabeth Zimmermann's patterns were written, and it's my favourite style of pattern to work from, probably because it makes me feel that I'm creating something unique. It's not a "paint-by-numbers" exercise. I used to knit shop samples of Alice Starmore patterns back in the '90s, and soon came to realize that that sort of knitting, where nothing was left up to the knitter to decide, wasn't for me.
The recipe approach also requires you, the knitter, to CENTRE THE PATTERNS. This isn't as daunting as it sounds, and down the road I'll devote a tutorial to the subject, with examples. In fact, once you have this little skill under your belt, it opens up a whole new world of design possibilities, allowing you fearlessly to import stitches from pattern libraries into garments.
The Modern Gansey is fun to knit, and an easy sweater for most men to wear. If you have a male person in your life who might enjoy wearing this, stay tuned...

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