Gansey and Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival 2022

It has been a challenging weekend in some ways but I am grateful to be here. All is going pretty good despite said challenges.

When I arrived to set up on Friday morning the wind was very strong. We managed to get the tents set up and it took nearly every bungee cord in my arsenal to get everything strapped down.

The wind was too strong to risk putting out my products, so around 1 pm I went to get checked in at the hotel, eat lunch and reassess in the afternoon. I headed back around 3 pm and decided the wind had calmed enough to put out the stuff. I covered everything and clipped down the covers and zipped up the tents for the night.

Yesterday was hot, but at least it was less windy. There was a breeze which helped with the upper 80s temperature, but it was ok. Storms did roll in in the late afternoon, necessitating an hour early shutdown of the festival so we could batten down the hatches again for the night before they hit.

I packed up all the knit samples and stuff on the tables and covered the yarn displays in plastic and shut it up for the night. I am on the way over soon to set back up for today. There is a chance of rain today too but without so much wind I think. I’m sure it will be no problem and I’m looking forward to another good market day. Yesterday was great as far as attendees go until later in the day when it got hotter and storms were threatening.

I hung the gansey in the booth even though I haven’t had time to work on the pattern yet.

I also tried to get a couple modeled shots in the hotel room this morning. Forgive the goofy model, I have never been very photogenic unless caught unaware. It’s kind of hard to do that with a self portrait though. 😉

Home At Last

I returned from Minnesota last Tuesday. I have been trying to squeeze in time to get my gansey blocked and write a post. I have been working hard to get my website rebuilt plus other stuff. So I am happy to report that the website is done. I will probably do some more tweaking but it’s functional and I am pleased with it so far. My blog is now part of my shop which I have wanted to do for a long time.

So now on to my gansey and current knitting. I have the gansey blocking at the moment. I blocked it out quite a bit so that when it relaxes it will be closer to the finished dimensions I was planning for.

I only got one project started. It’s another Gridiron sock.

I really enjoy this pattern. It’s just interesting enough to be entertaining but not enough to be distracting if you are watching videos or something like that. They are also comfortable to wear. My last pair are my favorite socks.

Ok gotta go for now. I am going to be going to Lexington, KY on Friday for the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Festival. I don’t know if I will have time to post again before that. We’ll see. Have a great week!

Post from Minnesota

We had a wonderful first show in St. Louis this past weekend at the Midwest Fiber Festival. We will definitely be there next year.

I drove up to St. Paul, MN on Monday and have a few days before I will be setting up the booth again at Shepherd’s Harvest Festival. While I am waiting I plan to do some work on my website as well as some knitting and reading. My website is experiencing some issues with credit card processing. The PayPal option works and we always welcome checks but the credit card issue is a problem that needs fixed, so I am looking at my options.

Anyway, I finished my gansey last night. I hate to post an unblocked sweater picture but I don’t want to wait until next week to show you so here it is. Now keep in mind that it will look even better after its had a proper soak and block.

I now have nothing on the needles but I have several yarns picked out and I brought my swift and winder. I’ll fill you in later on what I am doing when I have the yarn wound.

Mid-break update

I was home this weekend but that is the last one for awhile. I have festivals booked every weekend through mid June except for the third weekend in May. So lots of traveling coming up soon. I am leaving Friday for a brand new festival in St. Louis, Missouri called Midwest Fiber Festival. I am excited about it 🤗.

I am working on my gansey as much as I can and if I don’t finish it before I leave, I am confident I will while I am gone. I am going straight on to Minnesota for the Shepherd’s Harvest Festival to save on gas and road time. I will have a couple free days there to knit and/or catch up on other work. I may be overhauling my Knitting Notions website soon. I am also planning another knitting project to take along and will share that when I have it picked. I know the pattern but haven’t decided on yarn yet so more on that later.

First sleeve done

I am actually a little farther down that second sleeve than I was when I took this picture. I just finished the definition ridge last night which is that band of garter at the elbow point.

Jerry has been hard at work on some new Shawl-Hair-Sticks and they are finished and thay are ready for packaging. He has also been preparing some slabs for turning blanks. These will be mostly Darning-Eggs and Nostepinnes.

While we are waiting for the wood to dry some more, it’s also garden starting time. We have a plow attachment for his lawn tractor but we needed a Tiller to break up the beds a bit more. We bought this one yesterday and here he is trying it out.

Another Festival and a Sleeve

I was at a festival last weekend and am at one this weekend too. I am in Greencastle, IN for The Fiber Event. I have done this festival since 2007 with a few missed years and I was sad to get the news in the vendor packet yesterday that this will be the final year. 😢

I also want to show you my progress on my gansey. I am almost finished with the first sleeve already. Sorry the color is a bit off here. I took it in my hotel room this morning before heading out for the day at the show.

Another Gansey Update

I am excited to report that I have progressed to the sleeves on my Gansey.

I have worked the first shoulder strap and left the stitches on a holder while I am working the second one.

I find I prefer using dpns for this part. I will probably continue to use them for the sleeves although it would be okay if you want to use circulars too. I just tend to like dpns better.

My next step will be to pick up stitches on the front and back sleeve opening to be added to the shoulder strap and gusset stitches and work the sleeves in the round. I have my charts all ready to use for those. I am really having fun making this sweater. 🙂

Friday Progess Report

Good day all! Hope you are enjoying the beginning of spring. We are experiencing a little bit of lingering cool gray weather this week but it will be warmer next week.

Wild violets, I think
My Oregano is coming back nicely

I thought I’d update you on the gansey project today. I am beyond the underarm gusset and working the upper body halves flat now.

I took this picture yesterday and measured it again. The gauge was still coming up smaller than I had planned for based on the swatch. I decided to heat up my iron and give it a quick steam to see if that would help.

I don’t know if it’s obvious looking here but the steaming did help. I feel a bit more confident that it will be at least pretty close to the intended size. In a relaxed state it measures easily as 40″ or so. I wanted 42″, which I hope can be achieved with a wet block and some pinning out.

Gansey Progress

I had a very successful show this past weekend in Raleigh, NC at the Carolina Fiber Festival. It was very exhausting too and I am glad to be back home for a bit.

I thought I would share these two photos of the booth because they show my newest samples which you watched the progress of recently.

So that brings me to the current state of my gansey. It is looking great. I am to the point where I am beginning the underarm gusset. I am annoyed however that, as usual for me, swatches lie. My gauge was 22 stitches in 4 inches in the swatch and is currently 25 stitches in 4 inches. To be fair the sweater is not washed and blocked so we will see. I thought it was looking a bit small. It will be fine regardless as far as the pattern since I can just change that, but it’s not gonna fit me comfortably at its current dimensions. Sigh.

Two Things

Good morning! Over the weekend I bound off and blocked my Debussy Shawl. I wore it this morning too while I had my quiet time with my coffee and reading. It was still a bit chilly this morning but we are in for some warmer, brighter days this week. Spring is coming soon!

I ended up doing only one extra repeat of chart 5 for a total of 8. The medium size has 7 and the large has 10. I weighed my remaining yarn between the end of the 7th repeat and the end of the 8th. I found that I used 35g for that repeat. I determined I would need at least 25-30g to do the final edge chart and at that time had 51g, so clearly there was not enough yarn to do anymore repeats of chart 5. I proceeded with the 18 rows of chart 6 and I have 21g left over.

I measured it this morning after being off the blocking pins for a little while. The long side, which is the diagonal edge is about 69″ and the shortest side is 41″. The measurement down from the top (longest edge) to the point, if you were wearing it like a triangle shawl is about 30″. So all that means it is pretty close to the largest size in Dee’s pattern even without the other two repeats. It’s a nice size but not huge.

I got straight to work on my gansey design after finishing the shawl. I decided to use my Classic Merino Superwash Sport yarn. I then decided that the Earl Grey would make a nice color that I hoped would show off the stitch patterns well. I know that traditionally ganseys were made with dark blue yarn and I did consider using my Midnight Blue, but I could see it in the Earl Grey in my head and went for it. I dyed 10 skeins, figuring I will probably use at least 6 for the 42″ sweater I am planning.

I worked up a stockinette swatch on size 4US needles and got a gauge of 5.5 stitches and 8.5 rows per inch. I used a remnant of Emerald for the plain swatch while waiting for the grey to dry. I spent some time perusing and selecting a stitch pattern arrangement. I graphed a portion for swatching and used the grey for that. I ended up making a minor change after knitting a few rows. Maybe you can see in the swatch that the ribbing between the double moss at the left side and the chevron in the middle. I changed that vertical column to seed stitch so it wouldn’t recede so much.

I like how the elements look next to each other. I began knitting the bottom welt last night. I am using size 3US needles for the garter welts and will do that for the definition ridges in the body and sleeves as well. I am doing the bottom welts separate for front and back and will join to work in the round leaving them separate but with a slight overlap at the side seam point. I did go with the channel island cast on for it. It’s a bit fiddly at first but not difficult once you get the rhythm down and it looks nice. I knit a 2″ long welt because I don’t like a welt that flips up.

Okay, that’s it for now. I should get the second welt done today and have it on the circular needles working the main body very soon. I am excited!

Knitting Ganseys

Here’s how I spent my knitting time over the weekend.

I had a fun time working up the sampler Gansey in Knitting Ganseys.

I found a few techniques a bit fiddly in the small sample but I hope they will be a bit easier in a full size garment. Also being familiar with them should make designing my own sweater easier. First fiddly bit was the channel island cast on. It looks cool though. The second annoying bit was the invisible provisional cast on for the neck edge and shoulder strap. Then getting the shoulder strap knit was challenging the first time. I actually had to rip out the first one and re knit it because I stupidly did it wrong and twisted it up. Once I got it going correctly it went easier and the second one was no problem.

I have some reading to do and then do some swatching and planning. I think I would like to use a sport weight yarn for my design. I’ll keep working on my shawl in the interim too. I can’t wait to get going on this. It may take awhile but it should be fun and interesting.