My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Cabling Along and Thinking Ahead

It’s time for me to check in with another progress photo of Cromarty. Here it is:

I’m at the start of the last repeat of the center panel before binding off the center stitches for the neck. The end of the back is in sight!

I had mentioned that I would likely knit a band to sew across the bottom of sweater to add some length. There were a couple of questions about that in the comments. First off — why don’t I simply do another pattern repeat? Two reasons — most importantly, another full pattern repeat of the center panel would make the sweater longer than I want, and a partial repeat would not look good. Secondly, the side panels would not work out properly and they would have to end mid-repeat if I added another center panel repeat.

Another question was why I didn’t knit the bottom band at the start of the sweater. I plan to knit it sideways with the braided cable on it, so it’s easier to do it afterwards. I could have estimated the width of the body, knit the bottom band first, and then picked up stitches and knit the body up from that, but I think sewing the band on afterwards will work better. Because the body is so heavily cabled, it would be difficult to pick up the stitches in such a way that would be neat and even.

While I’ve still got quite a lot of work to do on Cromarty, I’m thinking ahead. I’ve had a particular knitting obsession for 25 years, and it all started when I bought this book in 1986 while I was on vacation in the U.K.:

I knit every gansey in that book back in the 1980s and have always had a particular fondness for gansies. I’ve decided that 2012 will be, for me, The Year of the Gansey. But with a twist.

Stay tuned.

Lucy sez:

“I think 2012 should be The Year of Lucy.”


  1. I brought that book home from the UK in 1987 and I have knit a least one sweater from each of the sections. I love it.
    Lori´s last blog post ..Day 344 – Burning Things

  2. Cromarty is looking fabulous.

    And isn’t every year the Year Of Lucy??
    Lorette´s last blog post ..November Wrap Up

  3. Well we have a summer gansey knit along? Count me in!

  4. Isn’t every year the Year of the Lucy?

  5. I’d be interested in a summer gansey KAL as well! Lovely Cromarty, beautiful Lucy, talented you. I hope your holidays are merry and bright; you brighten my days with your blog, Thank you!

  6. I found this book at the library a few weeks ago and ordered it for myself immediately! It’s a great book and I can’t wait to hear what your twist is!

  7. anne marie in philly says:

    steven and meredith say: “meow, cousin lucy, you got THAT right!”

    (steven and meredith’s mommy hums “the year of the cat” to herself)

  8. Wow, that book cover is priceless – look at that hair!! : )

  9. Sharen Warren says:

    I have that book too…think I purchased it from a shop called The British Market in Houston,TX, along with a book titled Knitting From The British Islands (1983) by Alice Starmore and Anne Matheson. I believe thatThe Traditional Sweater Book has been republished under a new title, Country Weekend Knits by the same author, Madeline Weston ( although I’m not sure the books are identical). I treasure both the Starmore and Weston books for the patterns, knitting lore, and photography. I love ganseys too, so beautiful but comfortable as a sweatshirt, so I’ll be following/ tuned to your blog with anticipation as always. Oh, and I ordered some Calmer so I can knit Deirdre from your lace book!

  10. Every year is the Year of Lucy!

  11. I love this pattern, or should I say patterns.
    This is the kind of knit that really takes one into the pattern.

    Lucy is Beautiful ! ! !

    Gerry´s last blog post ..I ♥ Purple

  12. A guernsey with a twist; my curiosity is piqued! Will you, perhaps, be spinning a special yarn for this project? Something with an extra tight twist to repel the elements? Or perhaps a fully reversible sweater?

    You do have a way of teasing us with these knitting clues!
    Linda´s last blog post ..Sunday Sock Pattern – Regatta Socks are Finished

  13. Just in case you haven’t seen them, or need a link refresher, you might like these two sites with Gansey history, plus: or then click on Gansey History

  14. Janice in GA says:

    I have that book too! I’ve always wanted to knit the natural color fair isle sweater. 🙂

  15. I also have Madeline Weston’s book, mine is called Classic British Knits, published in 1986. I notice that it has recently been re-published as: Country Weekend Knits with only 25 of the original 40 designs included.
    This is a gem of a book.
    I noticed that the new edition is avaiable on Amazon, so if Santa hasn’t completed his shopping…….

  16. I’m looking forward to seeing what the twist is. And, while I agree with the other commenters that every year is the year of Lucy – we probably should verbalize it, so she realizes it. 🙂
    Jennifer´s last blog post ..Finished the cowl!

  17. Maybe to combine your intention for 2012 with Lucy’s, you could knit ganseys for Lucy!

  18. I’m joining the number saying I have the book and I love it. The publication date doesn’t matter because the designs are timeless. I love the ganseys in there, but I really want to knit the natural color Fair Isle. So many patterns, so little time!

  19. Wendy,

    I just had to say thank you. I have wanted to knit lace and chart read but everything I have read just seemed to confuse me. I bought your new book because that is what I do … buy books and drool over them… and may I say your book has much to drool over. Anyway, I began to read and it is like a light bulb went on over my head when I read “remember, a chart shows the number of stitches there will be After the row is worked”. The fog cleared and I have just finished my first lace shawl. It was Falling Water which I found on Ravelry. I will be taking on one of yours soon. Again thank you for plain english lace knitting and chart reading.

  20. Gosh, that takes me back. When I first started designing Madeline Weston had a shop in Kensington called The Scottish Merchant and she stocked many of my first sweaters. I love her book, thanks for reminding me to take another look at it.
    Jean Moss´s last blog post ..Xmas gift – easy shawl

  21. Oh Lucy, dear, every year is your year.
    CarolineF´s last blog post ..This blog is moving

  22. i have that book and love, love, love the traditional patterns in it! Cromarty is stunning and your beautiful knitting makes it even better. Jo