Sunday, May 2, 2021

Yopping Update #44 - Coat of Many Colours Indeed!


She is done, and all ends woven in.

This was my inspiration


Wow is my hair ever getting long!

nice socks too

I finished sewing in all the ends while attending a zoom gathering hosted by Dottie Widmann who runs The Net Loft, a knitting/art store in Cordova Alaska.  She started a project about six years ago called the Cordova Gansey Project.  You can read about it here.  It is a long read, but such a warm and engaging story with beautiful scenes and heartfelt inspiration.  Make yourself a cuppa tea and enjoy when you have the time. 

A friend of mine made herself a gansey and is beginning another for her wife.  I joined another zoom group with a few of her friends and most of them have made, or are making a gansey. 

You know what happened next, right?  Yup.  I ordered the yarn, joined both the Ravelry and Facebook Gansey groups and started to read. 

When I showed my friend the colour I wanted to order she said "I have that and it is slated for a project in twelve to fourteen months.  She offered to mail me hers, which I would get in a couple of days, and I would have my order shipped to her (which could take up to five weeks).  Perfect!

The yarn arrived on Wednesday (the book is mine)

I started swatching on April 30th.  This is going to be a long project - I am probably going to be knitting on 2.25mm needles using the Frangipani 5ply which is a sport weight (although it looks like 4ply fingering to me).  It will be a nice dense fabric for sure.  

2.25mm side of swatch with garter rib done in 2.5mm
Yes, I screwed up on the diamonds - hey it is just a swatch

2 mm side of swatch with two kinds of ribs

Part of my swatch (besides needle size to check gauge) is to try different motifs.  I have done two horizontal motifs, and I am now working on a vertical tree of life motif.  Once that is done I will bind off, wash and block.  I never do these things but when knitting the traditional way you need to get your gauge and then knit to your body measurements.  This is going to be a big project and I am going to do it ensuring it will fit. 

I also ordered a book by Beth Brown-Reinsel which the Cordova Gansey Project recommended as its textbook.  One of the suggestions is that you knit a mini gansey to learn all the techniques before starting your full sized one. 

At first reading of all the steps and decisions I was overwhelmed, but as my uncle used to say "Calmer heads prevailed", and I slowed down, started to read, asked my friend a million questions via text, and then just cast on the swatch and got going.  I already own the book Knitting in the Traditional Way and it has quite a few Gansey examples and motifs.  

I have often said that I knit for my mental health.  It has been a rough week for me in that arena as the new beta-blocker my cardiologist put me on sent me into a tailspin.  This happened last fall with a different beta-blocker and it took me weeks to get sorted.  This time I could tell what was happening within three weeks, and after talking to him I stopped the medication last Wednesday.  Yesterday afternoon I could feel the clouds parting just a bit.  I think too having a virtual cry on my sister's shoulder helped immensely. 

I have a different tele-appointment with a different specialist tomorrow morning.  I am pretty much done with having any more tests, but I will wait until tomorrow's appointment before I make any more decisions about future medications/tests.  

I am walking, finding new trails, enjoying the blooms of spring and fitting in at least ten minutes of yoga a day.  My back has been a bit cranky, and I postponed a CTscan that was scheduled for last Friday as the hospital has a major CoVid outbreak on two wards.  I have been dealing with a cranky back most of my life so another six weeks won't be a big deal. 

In other blogging news I completed all twenty-six entries of the A to Z(ed) blogging challenge.  I feel very proud of that accomplishment. 

No new pictures of my grand-daughter, but I did find a new playground yesterday on my walk that I hope to share with her one day in the future. 

Hope springs eternal.

I am the yucky leaves but the buds are coming

I do love weeping willows

Here is to May.  Let us hope it may allow us all some respite from this endless pandemic.


  1. That coat of many colors has stolen my heart. It is sure to provide warmth as well as good cheer each time you wear it. I am impressed with your swatches. Knitt8ng on that small of a needle will take patience. I use a 2.5mm for socks. Can't imagine doing a sweater on that size. Impressive! Hopefully you can get your meds all regulated so you dontneed to keep being a guinea pig.

  2. LOVE your sweater of many colors!! I'm betting it is going to be so fun to wear, especially around your granddaughter. I had to look up Gansey sweaters. Hope your new group brings you lots of joy. Beta-blockers strike fear in my heart. My husband's first wife had cardiomyopathy. Sadly for her beta-blockers weren't discovered for heart disease until it was much too late. I wish you well as you seek to find treatment that works for you.

  3. The gansey project sounds like great fun. And it doesn't matter how long it takes, it is all about the process. I absolutely love the coat well done on it's completion,it looks amazing.

  4. Your sweater of many colors is amazing! What a cozy thing that will be when it's chilly again (or maybe where you are it's still chilly). And I know you're going to knock the Gansey sweater out of the park. You are a fearless knitter. I hope you get the medication sorted out, friend. How awful when something that is meant to help one thing, ends up hurting another. Hugs to you.

  5. I spotted you’d finished your coat of many colours on Ravelry so had an advanced sneak peak at all the photos. It really does look like the sort of item I would live in from late September to mid May, it looks so cosy. I knit socks with 2mm needles, so my respect and admiration goes to you planning a gansey using them. I have seen ones made with yarn spun in the grease and they are basically waterproof. That is great you’ve been able to sort the yarn with your friend and you can make a start while your mojo is high. I still hope they manage to sort your medical issues out soon...must be frustrating and not helped by the pandemic.

  6. Your coat of many colours looks lovely and so cheerful. the Gansey project sounds just your thing but yes on needles that small it will take a while. I hope you can get your medication sorted and your back eases.

  7. Your coat is beautiful! What a work of the heart. The Gansey sweater sounds wonderful but very complicated. Beta-blockers sound dangerous. I am so glad you are off of them and feeling better. Remember, all medicine has side effects and sometimes the "cure" is worse than the disease. Take care!

  8. Oh! A gansey will be such a challenge, in a good way! I am excited to see it come to life in future.

  9. Oh, wow, beautiful coat of many colors and it looks great on you! I admire your approach to the Gansey sweater. Getting the gauge right for your size is so important. I know how to knit but am not a knitter. However, I enjoy watching a lot of YouTube knitting vlogs even though I am a crocheter…also with a huge yarn stash. Caring thoughts sent your way as you deal with your health issues.❤️


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