After writing a post a few weeks ago about my plans for winter sweaters, I went and completely changed my mind about one of them. I decided to go with a completely different pattern for this year’s anniversary sweater – a true challenge.
First some background: You may recall that my last two trips to New York City have included stops at Kinokuniya Book Store, the well-stocked Japanese language book store in Manhattan. I don’t know a lick of Japanese, but I do know that their crafting books are phenomenal, and I figured that one day I would have the knitting confidence to take on. the challenge of “winging it” through one of the patterns. Japanese knitting pattern writing is different than American or European styles, but even without a word of English, it is possible to decipher the charts and the schematics and construct the garment. This is what I am trying to do…
The Japanese gansey pattern from the Let’s Knit Series – Men’s Knits. I talked myself in to the challenge when I saw that it is essentially a box construction: drop shoulders, no shaping in the body. The stitch pattern is fully charted… simple enough, right? Luckily, I have a good friend who knows some Japanese and is also a knitter. She sent over some tips for knitting, and I was able to get a rough idea about gauge and sizing based on swatches.
Kris choose this deep red wool in the stash and I cast on for the sleeve. I decided to start with the sleeve to measure the gauge and make my calculations from there. I am past the elbow now and have started the gansey chart for the sleeve. I am trying the length and width on Kris’s arm and so far it seems to be working well. Maybe “cutting my teeth” on this pattern will allow me the confidence to try some of the other beautiful patterns in the books?