Last Gansey Update, Snakes and Ladders

by longtallyarn

GanseyKAL - White Background

IMG00142-20170305-1254This is my son, Twin A and this is the Snakes and Ladders gansey sweater.  I finished his sweater a few months ago.  He wore it several times around the holidays when we were up north for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  He has worn it only a few other times.  We have had a disappointingly warm winter, for the knitter, that is.  This picture shows what is probably the last time he will be able to wear this garment since spring is here and his arms keep getting longer.  To put this in perspective, he has grown almost 6 inches taller in the past year.  I don’t remember growing this fast when I was young and I wonder when the boys are going to slow down.

To review, this is one of my most successful knits ever.  I wish I had entered this thing in the state fair before it started looking “lived in.”  This pattern, by Beth Brown-Reinsel was a pleasure to knit, and with copious swatching, the process went off without a hitch.  I am especially glad I swatched the cast on, along with the bottom band and first few knit rows a couple times. I found that I had to change up the needle sizes for each texture.  Without swatching, I would have wasted a LOT of time on that tedious cast-on (which looks great, by the way).


Knotted cast on

My son does not mind wearing the sweater, which says to me he is a stylish young man.  He has once or twice voiced the obligatory complaint that it is itchy.  I really doubt it!  But he wears it with a tee shirt underneath anyway.  The dk weight wool is Cascade Yarns Anchor Bay in Scarlet.  I wanted to try knitting with a washable wool cotton blend and this one was on sale.  This yarn was really nice to work with.  The color is rich.  It seems very soft to me.  I like the way the wool and cotton strands seem to have absorbed dye a bit differently.  There is a slight tweedy look to it that I dig, but this tweedy look does not seem to reduce stitch definition. It has held up to about 6 hand washings with very minimal fuzzing or pilling.  I will seek out this yarn again for a dk weight project!

Back to the pattern, the uncrossed cables making up the snakes were fun and easy to execute. While the gansey tradition is replete with ladders, I don’t remember seeing this particular motif while reading up on historic ganseys; the snakes may not be authentic.  However my son and I like this texture a lot–he is a fan of snakes and he can totally see them in this pattern.  Below is a shot of an underarm gusset–they were an interesting design detail, and the side seams that worked out great.


We give it 5 stars!