Seaman’s Iron: up to the gussets

Welp, it’s the end of an era. I have the gansey knit up to the point where the underarm gussets start. It was fun while it lasted.


The underarm gussets are a characteristic feature of ganseys. You do increases along each side seam for about three stitches, then decrease those extra stitches away when you knit the arms. This adds ease of movement, which makes the garment last longer. Duluth Trading Post has figured this out; British fishermen have known it for centuries.


Knitting this gansey is an absolute and unalloyed pleasure. Everything about it is exactly right. The yarn is stiff and wooly, but still worsted so it isn’t splitty or sticky. The color is a perfect deep sea blue with just a touch of green, exactly the color of Puget Sound on a clear day. The pattern is straight and smart and easy to read from the row below as one knits. It’s just right.


Here’s hoping things keep going just right as I move into the more complicated parts. I have to knit the gussets, then finish the front and back by knitting them flat, knit the shoulder straps and bind them off, then pick up for the sleeves. Eeeeeeek.


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