Grey with improvements

It is grey in Toronto. Cold, rainy…Toronto this time of year should not be sweater weather. It should be “wearing the smallest clothes you can without being arrested” weather. This is the time of year that Toronto begs for mercy. It’s usually hot, almost unbearably hot, with humidity added to make sure that lots of people cry in public. It is an odd truth about Toronto that the heat (even though it doesn’t last very long) kills more people than the long winter. I think that the vicious unyielding heat of August in Toronto is designed to try and make us grateful when it ends and the dark winter falls on us again.

I, however, am never, ever glad when the summer ends, and this very cold, grey weather here is both disturbing (seriously. I mean – a high of 15C in AUGUST?) and sort of discouraging. I love the summer. The long days, the evenings with family and friends outside, riding my bike, never being cold, eating fresh tomatoes that don’t resemble pink styrofoam in any way at all…. It’s my favourite time, and I’m really quite bitter about having some of those precious days taken from me by a cold wave. Summer is short enough. The irony of how cold it was was most intense when I was in Aurora, which traditionally, is a day when the Aurora knitters guild and I try to poach as many knitters as possible. Not this time. To avoid the heat, we took to a church basement, so naturally, it was freezing. (Sandra is apparently in charge of everything but the weather.)



I got to see Boop again, who had made herself a very nice certificate proving that she survived the heat wave during my last visit (where we are so not kidding about the heat. It was 40C/104F outside the shop, and we had 50 knitters in the unconditioned upstairs of a yarn shop. I have no idea how hot it was in that room. We should all have certificates.)


Jo-Anne came to confirm my choice of stylin’ footwear.


Sara brought me a baby. (I didn’t get to keep it.)


Rochelle was showing her Campanulas a good time.


Knitters came from BC, knitters brought beer, knitters brought seriously funky roving and yarn, and Angela brought a tiny little dpn needle roll up, which is sheer genius.


I have lots of big ones, but the tall roll-ups don’t work well for short dpns, and as a result, my dpns live (most inefficiently) in a bin. This is going to be much better. Angela is clever.

Fiona came and showed off her advance copy of her new book.


It’s very good, but I think that you probably would have guessed that any Fiona Ellis book would be.

The whole evening was warm and lovely, despite the chill, and I had just the most fantastic time. When yesterday was grey and dismal, I had homemade buttertarts and Creemore beer to take the edge right off.

I have decided to make hay while the sun shines, and look upon this weather as possibly the only time in my life that I will ever think that it is a good idea to pile a gansey on my lap in August. I’m giving Joe’s gansey 48 hours to see what can be made of it, then I’m switching to another UFO (Un-Finished Object). I have a suspicion that pulling out that much heavy wool with improve the weather instantly.

First, I pulled back the last 10cm of the back which was actually the front and added the neck which should have been there. (A gansey has a front and a back established early on. There are initials knit into the lower front.). This corrected, I started the saddle shoulders. (I am leaving out several episodes yesterday where I got the rate of decrease wrong on the neck and had to pull it back (twice) and then got the rate of decrease right and promptly mis-crossed a cable. This sweater doth vex me.)

Saddle shoulders (or shoulder “straps”, as Beth Brown Reinsel calls them in her most excellent and useful book Knitting Ganseys) are a sleeve type where part of the sleeve extends across the top of the shoulder, joining the front and back. In a gansey, because the sleeves are knit onto the body, the strap is what you knit first, starting at the neck, and working towards the armscye. (That’s fancy talk for armhole.)


I decided what pattern I wanted on the strap, cast on that many stitches and am now happily engaged in the matter of knitting back and forth, integrating the strap with the front and back. Every time I come to the edge that faces the front, I knit a stitch from the front together with the last saddle stitch, and turn. I work to the other edge, then knit the last stitch of the other side of the saddle together with a stitch from the back.


It’s pretty nifty, and gives a miraculous little cable (or whatever) that runs along the top of the shoulder then down the arm, which I think is tremendously flattering. Next up, I’ve got to read about how to figure a gansey sleeve, then pick up my stitches and sally forth.


Guess what? It’s warmer out already.

116 thoughts on “Grey with improvements

  1. Tiny DPN roll-up, eh? Genius, indeed.
    BTW, we’re very excited to see you here in LA in a couple of weeks. VERY. EXCITED. (Sorry about that. Got instantly carried away.)

  2. Wow, Steph–I am impressed that you are back at the Gansey. It is lousy weather here too, and I have a half-done Gansey for my husband sitting in the unfinished work pile. I may have to neglect my daughter’s knee socks and have back at the Gansey. I am ready to begin the gussets, and you have inspired me to finish!

  3. Most miraculous workmanship.
    You can send a gloomy day here any time you want to. As a native Angeleno, I’ve already had my lifetime quota of hot, sunny weather.

  4. Hi Stephanie! The gansey is going to be lovely. And thanks for explaining how the shoulder bit works. I’ve not tried them. I actually liked the couple of days of cooler weather, trudging about and knitting on the deck in jeans and t, and birkies. πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait until autumn weather stays for good! If only it did. Unfortuanately, the next season follows! samm

  5. I know! We were in Niagra Falls CA this week and froze our butts off! Today we are home in Michigan with the AC full blast and still sweating! Crazy weather.

  6. hi stephanie,
    i have some wooden tube thingies to hold my double points and sock-in-progress together. can pitch it all in a bag/purse and it all stays intact.
    btw, it seems you have been working on that same sock for MONTHS. either that, or you have a lot of that yarn. i think you should work on PURPLE. then i could look at it for years! (my fave color!)

  7. It’s freezing here in New England too, not like when you were here. Knitting socks definitely isn’t keeping me warm enough; I’m going to follow your example and look at my UFO pile to see if there’s some November-appropriate item in there.

  8. Maybe I need to find something heavy and wooly to work on here in saskatchewan. It’s cloudy, dark and 15C. WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON WITH THE WEATHER!?!

  9. Thank you for your efforts. After this week having twice woken up in the middle of the night because my feet were cold, continually attempted to coax the cat on to my lap for insulation (she is less concerned about my cold legs and has only sporadically deigned to warm me up for a few minutes – what’s the use of a long-haired cat if she won’t prevent frostbite in August?) and my microwave being in the Appliance Hospital which renders me unable to make tea, I’ve about had it. Anything you can do will be much appreciated. Knit on!

  10. I looove the mathematical precision and how-it-all-comes-together-perfectly-ness of a gansey. Although the prospect of flipping the sweater back and forth almost interminably while you do the shoulder strap is pretty annoying, it is indeed pretty nifty. The ability to seamlessly integrate the shoulder strap into the pattern of the sleeve is also righteously cool (I realise that last sentence totally identifies me as a gansey geek. I care not.)
    I hate this weather, too.

  11. Love the dpn-rollup! I’m having very organized fantasies about being able to find the needles I want, when I want them, without tearing apart half the house.
    Personally, I would trade you Ohio’s weather in a heartbeat; after enduring months of drought, we were dumped on incessantly for the last week or so, and now the temps are going to be in the mid to upper 90’s (F) for about a week. And that same humidity you described.
    I suppose one could take advantage of the sauna that will be Ohio, and steam-block one’s garments outside (assuming there are no fiber-amorous critters running amok) without actually picking up the iron.

  12. I will gladly trade you Chicago’s current humid and miserable weather for your 15C high. I loathe summer. Maybe I should move to Toronto. Also, Yay, Gansey! There will be such a celebration in the blogosphere when you finish that. πŸ˜€

  13. Hooray for Joe’s gansey! The cool weather certainly is helping in the school-is-starting-and-I-will-not-have-this-kind-of-time-until-June- knitting frenzy at my wool house. I even sat down at MY wheel (not YOUR wheel, MY wheel πŸ˜‰ after an extended absence/recovery from the cat eating the driveband. Which got me to thinking…
    other than Joe’s gansey, which is surely nothing to be sniffed at, what do you knit with your handspun? I haven’t gone past the point of “won’t that make a clever hat” yet, but the ambition remains.

  14. it’s the weather god(desse)s mingling with the knitting god(desse)s giving you cold weather to work on the gansey! Next week they’re calling for typical scorching hot weather of august for Toronto, so knit the gansey while you can!

  15. I was stalking today so I could try to be first! Dang work meetings getting in the way! Where are your handknit socks with those sandals? πŸ™‚

  16. I love the gansey. It is so beautiful. And of course as soon as you start working on it, it gets warmer–that’s how the weather works! From now on rather than checking the weather channel website for weather, I will just check your blog. πŸ™‚

  17. Beth sure did a great job on that book. My gansey is still one of my favorite sweaters and one of these days, I’ll make another. It’s warmed up here on the south side of the lake, but it’s been raining quite a bit today.

  18. I think it fits that the sweater for the adorable yet occassionaly vexatious Joe is also vexatious.
    Of course, I’m not the one knitting it, which might skew the perspective somewhat.

  19. So that’s how saddle shoulders work! I just finished one of Cat’s new sock patterns, and she does a similar thing on the sole of the foot. It’s kind of funny how something brand new helps me understand something really old πŸ™‚

  20. So happy to be seeing the gansey again! I just thought to myself in the last week or so that I must have somehow (not quite sure how…) missed the post about its completion. Also, hooray for LA info!

  21. *points finger at gansy wool and thermometer* And that, my friends, is a perfect example of ‘Murphy’s Law in it’s natural habitat.

  22. And to think people look at me weird when I’m knitting hats and mittens in the summer. Well, they look at me weird anyway, but hats and mittens are small. That gansey looks huge! Is it true what they say…big gansey, big … um …heart? Yeah, I think that’s what they say.
    Thanks so much for the touring updates, especially the one for Wichita! I think I may have my hubby to just drop me off there, and then take all 3 boys up to Hutchison to the fair to pick up my entries. Just me and my yarn. Ahhhhhh.
    Also, I am mentally sending Kansas weather up there for you, if you’ll send Toronto weather down here. I personally need about 2 weeks of hotness in summer before I’m ready for fall. I’m a jeans and sweatshirt girl, not shorts and tank top and still it’s too hot. So, we can trade. OK? Thanks.

  23. All right, all right. *grumble* I’ll get back to work on MY husband’s unfinished grey sweater.
    Thanks a lot for making the rest of us look like slackers…again.

  24. I am so glad you choose the gansey. I wanted to say something in the UFO post, but felt outnumbered when I read the comments. It will be gorgeous.

  25. wow – that sweater is going to be awesome – I love the pattern on the shoulders! πŸ™‚ I’m glad it’s warmed up a bit for you again – even if it does mean that you’ll return the gansey the UFO pile for a while πŸ™‚

  26. You know, I try to control the weather… I really try…
    I seriously think we’re going to be dealing with locusts next year. Or snow. I’m almost afraid to ask what could be sent our way…
    I’m glad you and Rachel H had a good time – and it was great to see Fiona, although she kept a pretty tight hold on to her book when she realized that I was plotting to walk out with it.
    Remind me to ask Sally about the alarm when she comes in February…

  27. You may be delusional (and I mean that in the nicest way possible). Knitting projects controlling weather? I think not. I need to get my Lopi sweater finished before we make the big move to NB but it insists on being quite beautiful and perfect here in NS; much too warm for dealing with lots of heavy wool. So instead I am on my third pair of socks this week already. At least I have some FOs to brag about.

  28. We’ll be sure to keep it nice and warm for your trip to Atlanta in September. It’s been constantly in the 100s (low 40Cs)for weeks now.

  29. Hmm so if my hubby is up there next week should I tell him to take a mix of big warm stuff and summer stuff?? or will you keep working on the gansey so it stays warm? heheh
    And I just have to get him directions to Lettuce Knit!! If he is going to be in Toronto a week.. I need some goodies when he gets back!

  30. Knitting a gansey in August??? You are brave. Not wanting to let it go for yet another non sweater knitting season, I finished DH’s gansey in the Spring. He said that it was worth the wait. All two years of it.

  31. Stephanie – it is nice to see a re-appearance of the gansey. I’ve enjoyed the journey from washed rats to home spun to letters front/back and now the saddle shoulders. It is a beautiful sweater!!!
    Speaking of rats – any sign of the infamous fleece-thieving gray squirrel?

  32. Thanks for explaining the whole shoulder strap process – I’m facing a request to make yet another sweater from a TV show that features that type of shoulder, and was trying to figure out where to look for directions!
    Don’t know about Toronto, but it’s been in the mid-60’s here in Philly for 7 days. Tomorrow? 90+. Full-on humidity. I’d say the gansey works and has a wide-ranging effect . . .

  33. Joe’s gansey is gorgeous, and ohhhh, so close to finishing! I can hardly believe it! Yeah, yeah, I know, sleeves…piffle. This is you. Even with long, patterned sleeves. The saddle shoulders *are* cool. I have got to remember to budget for that book! I ordered Cat Bordhi’s new sock book this month instead. (It’s shameful, but I have to confess: I’m more of a book harlot than anything else. But you’ll note that at least it was a book about knitting socks!)
    And didn’t I say something about butter tarts consoling you for the weather? I’m sure I did. Can’t remember if I mentioned beer, but surely butter tarts and beer make up for almost anything except lack of, say, yarn. Not to mention everyone got to wear more knitted items! Sounds like a good time to me. πŸ˜‰

  34. Hey – pulling out the gansey worked. It’s supposed to go up to 40 degrees (with humidity) tomorrow!!
    We don’t have to put away those Birks yet!!!

  35. Good for you on your Gansey work! It is muggy and grey here, we’re supposed to be moving tomorrow, and I have no boxes so can’t pack anything. On the other hand I just bought a spinning wheel, and every once in a while when I’m stressing out, I sneak into my air conditioned bedroom and treadle it a little bit.
    I have a picture of her (Maggie) up on my blog and you’re all invited to take a look.

  36. This may be a rather indelicate question, especially since you’re making some headway on Joe’s gansey, but what ever happened to all those partial socks from your Nitty Gritty debut? Were any of them ever completed, or were they cast to the depths of the UFO basket?

  37. I’m entirely jealous of your cool spell. In Chicago, we are being drowned, by heat & humidity and non-stop rain. It’s been raining heavily, off and on since Sunday, and is not supposed to let up until late Friday night. Right now, at 3:30 in the afternoon, it is so dark, windy and rainy outside that I can hardly see anything…
    Send some of that this way, would you?
    And nice work on the gansey! It’s lovely.

  38. BUTTER TARTS????? You mean like the ones you get at the bakery on Wolf Island while you are waiting for the ferry to Kingston? Those butter tarts?????!!!!
    You wouldn’t want to share the recipe, now would you, with this poor New Yorker, who had no idea of their existence until 2 years ago?
    Ah well. I can still dream, until next summer….

  39. Hi Steph,
    You’re the best. I’ve got a great pic of you & Lydia (my Blythe) together on my blog. Also sent you some pics (to your email, so check you junk mail) of the lambs & alpaca so you understand why I brink on fibre craziness, lol.
    Cheers & see ya next year,
    ^..^ The Fibre Freak from Fenelon

  40. So what’s with all the grumpiness about hating the weather? If our homes are still in the same place as they were last week and there’s not 4 feet of sewer backup in the basement, we are fortunate. Send some $$$ to the latest flooding/hurricane victims; Knit on & smile!

  41. Thank God! I was beginning to think that I was the only one on earth that wasn’t looking forward to those fall days. Everytime I mention the end of summer, the unseasonable weather we’ve been having, I get these emails and responses yoohoo-ing the cooler days. Several have said they cannot wait for the end of summer. I just don’t get that. We are having a bit of a switch to better weather beginning tomorrow, and if you come by and I am not out back by the pool, then head to the beach. I’ll be the one knitting and sipping iced tea. I’ll bring plenty.

  42. I thought I was going to have to move further north earlier this summer when we had 38C temps, here. Instead we hit August, and the average temp has been 23C. MUCH better. I’m pretty sure you can’t get good yarn in the winter up near Hudson Bay.

  43. No problem here in Columbus, Ohio – almost 100 degrees (U.S. degrees….) and HUMID…
    Wow. Excellent work on the gansey. The natural color of that wool is beautiful. I just acquired a border leicester ewe that is black. The neat thing is that her wool is suntanned on the tips! I think this ewe is walking around with my husband’s gansey (hopefully in your pattern if you give it to us). We just want to make the same stuff you do, can’t help it. My other sheep are white, except for my spotted Jacob sheep. I suppose I am a real wool pig…..
    Wondering if you ended up fixing the Kauni sleeves to make them matchy matchy. I’m not sure if you just forgot the color at the end before the cuff on one, or, if they are the same length, maybe you transposed the colors? In any event, I didn’t spot it until Renee (comments) said something yesterday. I would wear it as is for sure. Hopefully you saw it and decided what to do, even though if Ken sewed the steeks it still should have been fixable in the sleeves. Just curious – as always! Daniele

  44. The Toronto version of end of summer still kicks the ass of Dublin’s any-part-of-summer.
    Seriously, we’ve had no summer at all, in spite of a number of heavy wool projects being knit by all the local SnBers.

  45. Ah yes, shoulder straps are terribly clever. Don’t try them with beer though.
    Hard to knit with wet yarn, and picking fiber out of your beer is just not good eats.

  46. It’s been quite chilly here in Massachusetts too, but it’s supposed to be steamy this weekend. I blame the gansey.
    I’ve attached edgings to things by the k2tog method, but I’ve never done it on both sides at once. I suspect that you are a genius. (Don’t tell me you’re not, BBR is. Genius is knowing where to look.)

  47. Good luck on summer gansey knitting! I think I would enjoy a cold rainy day about now, after weeks of triple digits (Fahrenheit) and a drought here in South Carolina.

  48. Yeah, I’m a bit sick of the weather here as well [Detroit, the only place in the U.S. NORTH of Canada :-)] It can’t decide if it wants to downpour rain or be blazingly, humidly hot. I thought August was supposed to be the melt-your-eyeballs-out-of-your-skull-it’s-so-freaking-hot month. At least, that’s how I remember it from childhood.

  49. Go Gansey Go!
    That is some amazing looking stuff there. I love the strap. I’m going to have to try that on my next one. Think I’ll make one for a child – much easier.
    Good luck with finishing it and keep cool!

  50. We had that same cold snap here in Michigan – and rain, finally, after a brutally dry July and first part of August. Now it’s bloody hot again and so humid that I can’t even knit because the yarn just sticks to my fingers. So don’t you worry, your summer is coming back in full force. It seems as though you are about 3 days or so behind us. Better think about finishing Joe’s socks instead of his sweater (which is gorgeous, by the way!)

  51. Weather? Aghhhh! We’ve been melting here. Schools are dismissing early so that the kids don’t keel over mid-math. I’d gladly get out my Oberle wool shawl in fair isle if the heat index (who-ever thought of that gem?) would lower to about 60F. OK, 70 degrees.
    For goodness sakes, we’ve got to play a football game tomorrow night. Shorts and tank tops just don’t get one in that fall mood.
    Wilting in central Ohio,

  52. Ah, you would hate San Francisco! It’s always cold/foggy/dark/drizzly in the summer here. (Though the fog burned off early afternoon today and it is a lovely 72 degrees farenheit now–which is what we call “hot” here.) I am duly impressed that you are taking up with the gansey again. Keep at it. It will be finished eventually. Maybe its too cold for the squirrel to steal fleece?

  53. The Gansey. Sigh. Sigh some more. I’ve considered buying the book, its lovely, but stuff like that just gets me into more trouble.
    Darn good thing I like trouble.

  54. I have to agree with the likes of ‘ds’ and ‘teresa c’ – it’s summer, for heavens sake! everyone complains of the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer. please. i am not ready for fall yet, and am very disappointed with this stuff. anyway! love the gansay – my knitting class did the practice sweaters one year and they were a lot of fun, so cute! and we all felt so clever afterwards. nice job!

  55. I know the gansey is more fun to look at than it was to knit (the body anyway, the strap looks like fun!), but the results are awesome.
    Coming to you here from SW Wisconsin, where we are STILL getting rained on after our weekend flash floods. The ground is saturated, and there’s no place for water to go — except basements. But at least it’s warming up and in a couple days, they’re promising sunshine. I’ve kind of forgotten what that looks like after a week of rain.

  56. Seriously, 15C in August in Toronto – unbelieveble!! It’s technically winter here in Sydney, and today it’s going to be 19C – go figure.
    Nice work on the gansey strap – very flash!

  57. Dude. I’m sending you greetings from HELL. It is six million freaking degrees here and you can HAVE IT. Oh, right, you get to see it in action because you know when you head to Texas in September? It will still be this freaking hot. Don’t bring the gansey. Word.

  58. Gansey… boy do I wish our weather called for them! However… being only a short 125 miles north of LA, I will *see*you* on the 15th, Emerald Green Sock in hand! (I wish it were a _finished_ emerald green sock, but no luck as yet)
    LA… a necessary Weevil, but I’ll see you! Excitedly….!!

  59. You’ve got the power dear Harlot. the minute I read that you were holding heavy yarn the sun made its appearance and warmed things up cosiderably. I must remember this sometime this winter. Hope you didn’t put it away for a bit yet. Congratulations on the nominations

  60. The gansey is looking wonderful! I too, don’t love the end of summer…winter’s are just too cold! However, I am adoring our 80F weather here today, much better than your 60 F weather! YIKES! Stay warm and just keep knitting, just keep knitting, knitting, knitting!

  61. It’s been cool here in Vancouver, too (single digits temps in July??) and they keep saying that it’s something fancy about global warming that makes us get cool. Personally I think that the skies could cloud over and it could start to snow and snow until the valleys filled with glaciers and the mountains were covered, and we’d still be hearing that it’s all something to do with global warming.
    I’ve always noticed that when we have a cool summer we have a really warm autumn. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Looking forward to the lazy, hazy, crazy days of October.

  62. I was worried about the weather this week, too, but since you posted, the temperature has gone up to 30 degrees, (39 with the humidex) at 6:30 pm. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the knitting of the gansey in August, but does anybody else see an area for scientific exploration here: knitting as a means of influencing weather patterns?

  63. Thank you for breaking out the gansey. We, too, were experiencing the frigid August weather that had me carrying wool socks in my purse to a meeting (just in case) and a coat!!! Thankfully, since you’ve put all that wool on your lap, we’re up to 30C…many thanks, j

  64. The edge bit on Joe’s Gurnsey strap almost looks like crochet… Yes, a crocheter is reading this blog, but only because she aslo knits to a certain extent.

  65. That weather you’re having? You could send it here, and I’ll send you ours. All you want. Really. Think nothing of it. No problem at all.
    Yay for working on Joe’s gansey. You should have a proper picture taken of you in your magnum opus shawl and he in his gansey, when it’s done.
    I love gansey shoulder straps. I love to integrate them and join the shoulders. It is a completely aplha-geek thing to love so earnestly. I am shameless about it, too.

  66. I just love your blog! And here it is 8pm and 95f with a heat index of 98!
    I am just learning to knit sock. Your Gansey is amazing!

  67. I’m so happy I got to hear you speak on Tuesday and am glad you liked the dpn organizer. I’d love to hear what you thought of the yarn as well (I’m fishing for concrit rather than compliments).
    Would it be too much to ask for a picture of you with the (filled) roll up?

  68. You are obviously knitting magical properties into the gansey as the humidex today was 41 C! Hope you switched to something smaller for the lap … though continued good luck and good progress with the gansey.

  69. The gansey looks great – I have been wondering how it would look to join a piece to new knitting by picking up & knitting them together.
    I know I’m a post behind, but I carry my mystery stole around with me and I thread about 20 or so beads onto a needle and thread (I knot the thread around the first bead) and stick the needle near the zipper on my knitting pouch. That way I don’t spill my beads. I just slide a few off over my needle when I need them. When I run low, I add some more at home so it’s ready to go.
    Not that it’s helped, I’m woefully behind on it. But my beads don’t spill!

  70. The gansey looks fabulous, Stephanie. Took a cold snap to get you to snap to it, eh? πŸ™‚
    I wore a freshly knit wool pullover for 3 days straight on this side of the great lake this week. Just plain wrong. The sweater’s going to be great in November though!

  71. In Feburary, could you knit something obscenely scanty in silk and make it unseasonably warm?

  72. It is a very clever shoulder construction. It’s going to be greater than just about anything you have done to date once it’s done.
    We had a frickin’ frost warning three days ago and it dropped to 4*C. The leaves are turning and I have been in a pissy mood for a week now. Proof positive that the sheer torture of being froze is coming and fast.

  73. Well, perhaps your finishing up will inspire me-all I have had all summer is startitis! It’s alittle embarrassing how many projects I have in the first to middle stages.
    Joe’s Gansy is fabulous.

  74. Free Admission to the Creativ Festival!
    The Creativ Festival is the biggest crafters festival in North Americal and is being held in TO. There will be tons of knitting tchachkas available.
    The Festival has selected the Warm Hands Network to be its charity of choice. If you drop off a newly knit kids sweater or afghan, you get free admission, plus you get the cozy feeling that comes from helping a kid in Labrador or Mongolia.
    Drop by our booth (#909) and knit a square. Hope to see you there! has more info.

  75. I hear you about the cold weather. Here in rural Vermont we had three nights of light frost. In August! I did not have enough heat to look foward to the cold, gray days. We’ll get hot again and hopefully you will too!

  76. Gorgeous, lovely and inspirational gansey. Thanks to your inspiration last year, I discovered them, and am currently plowing along on one too. I have to say, your’s has mine severely in the shade, but I owe you for the introduction to them. Happy knitting and many thanks!

  77. sally forth.. I like that .. makes it sound like a nonchalant stroll in the park, when we all are sitting here with jaws a gape, marveling over your gansey. It’s totally rockin’.
    all the best to you (and I expect a heat wave in Sept – just for the record… or maybe it’ll be January during Madrona?)

  78. I was going to offer to trade all the rain, flooding, heat, and humidity we’ve had the past week here in Southeastern Wisconsin, but I see others have beaten me to it. Instead I’ll just admire your knitting and try not to think about the knitting time I’m wasting here on the computer! (My stash is sitting behind me…whispering…)

  79. The Gansey is beautiful. Makes me want to make one myself! Can’t wait until you come to Seattle!

  80. Come hang out in southern Alabama/Northwest Florida for awhile and I suspect you may come to appreciate the cold fronts. And perhaps even winter. Of course this comes from someone who has, for the most part, only ever seen snow in the mountains and then only when exercising the choice to drive up the mountains to see said snow.

  81. did you notice, that when i came to visit you in minneapolis (on april 4th, when the high was something like 40, and there was snow on the ground), i was wearing birkenstocks (and no socks!)? i LIVE in my birkies.
    and i won’t get to come see you in wichita. something about my anniversary, and i should be home to spend it with my hubbie (it’s our first) on the 16th of september. i’ll be waving as you fly over!

  82. Seeing the gansey up close again, it hit me. I really love the handspun yarn you made! You just can’t get that look with regular 4ply factory stuff.

  83. I’m with you on the cold wave. I wore my alpaca sweater two days in a row here in Michigan, and I got out my trusty legwarmers. In August! The pits.
    I was seriously depressed. Of course, those two days were followed by two sauna-like heat wave days with killer humidity.
    Maybe Mother Nature does “balance” as well as we knitters. You know… not so much.
    It’s a noble goal, though…

  84. I’m glad you chose the gansey, I’m making one myself, even the yarn is same colour. Yours seems much softer though, mine is so stiff with lanolin and heaven knows what that I’d rather wash it before knitting, but the weather is so humid, the skeins dont’t dry…thunderstorms in Helsinki for the past week.
    In traditional Finnish fisherman sweaters the shoulder straps are crocheted, but even that doesn’t eat up enough yarn: I’ll have 13 kg of leftovers! A cousin has sheep working as lawn mowers…

  85. The gansey is beautiful.
    Could you get it to work it’s hot-weather-generating-mojo on England? The last time we had decent weather for more than two days was APRIL. It’s August and I’m wearing a coat to work!
    – Pam

  86. Gansey. I hate to sound like an ignoramus, but what makes a gansey different from other sweater species?
    Abbreviated poking around has yielded patterns, but nothing that’s answered the question.
    With respect to weather, when I first moved from Minnesota to Texas, I felt the (now dreadfully) long and hot summers baking the long, -15F winters right out of my bones.
    I envy you your grey, cold weather now and long for rain.
    You’re on the mark with the tomato perspective. They’re best eaten warm out of the garden, between two slices of toast and a dab of mayonnaise & tiny bit of salt, over the kitchen sink.

  87. Forget knitting on the gansey for now dear Harlot–the humidex at 3am in Toronto last night was 37!!!! Ok fine knit what you like but stop fooling around with the weather ok ?

  88. Wow – I love when we get cool weather in the summer – it’s a treat to let us know the humidity will not last forever.
    We’re very excited that you’ll be here in here in Northern Virginia in less than a month! While you’re here – you’ll be really near a wonderful yarn shop: Aylin’s Woolgather

  89. “I have a suspicion that pulling out that much heavy wool with improve the weather instantly.” worked! 38C and 75% humidity today…thanks a bunch! I was kind of enjoying 15C, knowing that it wouldn’t last…

  90. So what do I have to do to counterbalance 94 degree, 81% humidity weather, knit naked?

  91. In re: knitting “something obscenely scanty in silk” — how about that silk corset.
    And people? Two days in a row people have used Steph’s comments to hang posters about their good-deed events. Noble intentions, but manners are even more noble — it would be polite to ask first. Otherwise it’s a bit like climbing up on her dining room table at her party to ask everyone for a few minutes of their time. Not illegal, just uncivil.

  92. Ahhh – so it’s YOUR fault it got hot again. I’m not a fan of summer to begin with – but at 9 months pregnant this humidity is sheer torture. Keep this up and I may have to come sit on you!
    (That gansey is going to be STUNNING!)

  93. Gaaahjus! I just took Beth’s class on the Skra-troyer sweater at Stitches and I’ll be a forever fan. What wisdom in so humble a person (and a great teacher). The gansey will be worth all the trouble because it will be right. It’s looking good already. Here’s to hoping you’ve got enough spun!!

  94. Seattle has had a “summer” that has been like an overcast, drizzly Fall for most of the last two months. I empathize deeply with your gloom (it also makes me absolutely evangelical when I talk to people about climate change and try to get them to at *least* switch to canvas shopping bags and energy saving light bulbs!!). THANK YOU for the pic of Fiona and her new book. She mentioned it in an email over a year ago and I’ve been anxiously awaiting it every since (I love her cable book).

  95. I cannot be as bad as the summer are having in the UK, and London seems to getting the worst of it at the moment. Mind you we haven’t been flooded out of our houses like other parts of the country, so that statement might be tempting fate. It’s the wettest summer since measurement began, or some such statisitic likely to shred the last remains of our sanity. People are switching their heating back on, and I personaly haven’t experienced a day when it’s been too warm to knit with wool, bah!

  96. It’s been cold and rainy here, too, most unwelcome since it’s cold and rainy all damn winter long.
    Gorgeous gansey. Love that natural wool.

  97. They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but being in our thirty-something-th day of over 90F temps,with a record number of record high temp days with temps and heat index in the triple digits, I would almost *kill* for some of that cold grey weather!! so would my dog, who can’t go outside and play without overheating…

  98. Better vexed by the sweater than the guy πŸ˜‰ This is really a lovely project. And to think it’s out your handspun, I just love watching it develop.

  99. I think there must be some kind of weather exchange going on with Toronto and the UK. We have had a horrible wet summer until now and it has been gloriously sunny this week.

  100. Being that 1/2 my genetic blood is of Babardos decent, I rather LOOOOOVVVEEEEE the winter. Heat and hot flashes DO NOT MIX! Nor does knitting and hot flashes or anything remotely heat related for me. Heat kills not only the appetite, but the desire to knit. I’ve been working on my sister’s socks for Christmas for 5 weeks now! I’m 1/2 inch away from closing the toe on the 2nd sock – now how pathetic is that?

  101. Glad you got to work on one of your UFOs. You should have been at Pinery PP near Grand Bend. It was a bit cool, but at least it was also pouring down with rain. I did finish my first hat ever which was promptly commandeered by my toddler, the same one who had me walking in all that rain while she refused to go to sleep.

  102. My comment is regarding the article linked. The article’s writer is really over-generalizing.
    The first paragraph got me…. “….used by every sheep farmer….” Every? Not me. Not anyone I can think of off the top of my head. Granted, I don’t know many BIG producers. Maybe it’s more common with really large flocks, and maybe it’s more common in the UK. Anyway, just wanted to let people know we are not all dipping our sheep in noxious chemicals. But as you said, better to wash hands/wear gloves unless you know for sure what the sheep’s living conditions were. : )

  103. Hello from (shamelessly admitting) sunny Florida where it is always slightly a few degrees above warm. Your Gusset is beautiful. I am a novice knitter (which basically means I am horrible at it) but I am an avid crochet freak who simply loves your site. You don’t have to be a knitter to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into it.
    I must ask how you all do it!?!?!
    Awed and completely knitting flummoxed,

  104. I read this:
    happily engaged in the matter of knitting back and forth, integrating the strap with the front and back
    and the first thing my maths brain thought was “I know that thing’s complicated, but now she’s using calculus!”.
    And if you’re wondering where summer’s gone, it’s hiding out in Sydney. It’s still officially winter, and got close to 30 degrees a few days ago.

Comments are closed.