Gansey: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The first word I drew from the words suggested on Patreon this month is gansey, suggested by Bookwyrm, a Patreon supporter. This is a choice that made me laugh, since a gansey is a kind of sweater from the island of Guernsey; there is no lace involved. (They are wonderful sweaters.)

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. I make three of these into knitting stitches each month: the second and third (posted on the first day of the next month) are drawn from the collection of new words; the first is drawn from the collection of unused words. A random number generator helps me choose these, and then I get to work, first turning the letters into numbers, then charting the numbers onto grids in various ways. Finally, when I make the chart into lace, I turn the marked squares into yarnovers and work out where to place the corresponding decreases. (I usually make lace; occasionally I make cables instead.) I also make a chart for any craft that uses a square grid for designing; this goes in a separate post.

The stitch patterns are not meant in any way to look like the original words; the words are the seeds of my creativity.

sample image for Gansey: a lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst
(image is sepia because everything about this photo was right except the coloring, which made it hard to see what was happening.)

Notes:

  • The bottom half of the swatch is two vertical repeats of version 1; the top is one repeat of version 2.
  • These are stitch patterns such as might be found in a stitch dictionary. They are not patterns for a finished object. You will need to add selvedges or some other form of knitted stitches to either side.
  • The repeats in the charts and the text aren’t in the same places in version 2. (The double YOs complicate writing the repeats logically in the text.)
  • Gansey, version 1 is a multiple of 14 stitches and 10 rows; Gansey, version 2 is a multiple of 14 + 14 stitches and 10 or 20 rows (stop after row 10 if desired).
  • I’ve made stitch maps for version 1 and version 2.
  • Designers, please feel free to use these in your patterns. I’d like credit but won’t be offended if people don’t give it.
  • My blog posts and free stitch patterns are supported by subscriptions on Patreon or donations to my Paypal tip jar in the sidebar. If you appreciate my work, please consider helping out. Thanks!

Abbreviations:

  • CDD: centered double decrease: slip the next 2 stitches as if to knit 2 together, knit the next stitch, then pass the 2 slipped stitches over the third.
  • k: knit.
  • k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning decrease)
  • p: purl.
  • ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning decrease)
  • yo: yarnover

Gansey, version 1:

version 1 chart for Gansey: a lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst
click chart to enlarge

Row 1 (RS): *k2tog, yo, cdd, yo x 2, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, yo x 2, cdd, yo, ssk; work from *. [14 sts]

Row 2 (WS): *p3, [(k1, p1) in double yo, p1] x 2, (k1, p1) in double yo, p3; work from *.

Row 3: *(k1, k2tog, yo) x 2, k2, (yo, ssk, k1) x 2; work from *.

Row 4: purl.

Row 5: *k2tog, k1, yo, k2tog, yo x 2, k2tog, ssk, yo x 2, ssk, yo, k1, ssk; work from *.

Row 6: *p4, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, p4; work from *.

Row 7: *k2, k2tog, k1, yo, k4, yo, k1, ssk, k2; work from *.

Row 8: purl.

Row 9: *k1, k2tog, (yo, k1) x 2, k2tog, ssk, (k1, yo) x 2, ssk, k1; work from *.

Row 10: purl.

Gansey, version 2:

click chart to enlarge

Row 1 (RS): yo, k2tog, yo x 2, cdd, yo, k2tog, *ssk, yo, cdd, yo x 2, ssk, yo x 2, k2tog, yo x 2, cdd, yo, k2tog; work from *, ssk, yo, cdd, yo x 2, ssk, yo. [28 sts]

Row 2 (WS): p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, p3, *p3, ((k1, p1) in double yo, p1) × 2, (k1, p1) in double yo, p3; work from *, p3, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2.

Row 3: (k1, yo, ssk) × 2, k1, *(k1, k2tog, yo) × 2, k2, (yo, ssk, k1) × 2; work from *, (k1, k2tog, yo) × 2, k1.

Row 4: purl.

Row 5: ssk, yo x 2, ssk, yo, k1, ssk, *k2tog, k1, yo, k2tog, yo x 2, k2tog, ssk, yo x 2, ssk, yo, k1, ssk; work from *, k2tog, k1, yo, k2tog, yo x 2, k2tog.

Row 6: p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p4, *p4, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, p4; work from *, p4, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1.

Row 7: k2, yo, k1, ssk, k2, *k2, k2tog, k1, yo, k4, yo, k1, ssk, k2; work from *, k2, k2tog, k1, yo, k2.

Row 8: purl.

Row 9: ssk, (k1, yo) × 2, ssk, k1, *k1, k2tog, (yo, k1) × 2, k2tog, ssk, (k1, yo) × 2, ssk, k1; work from *, k1, k2tog, (yo, k1) × 2, k2tog.

Row 10: purl.

Row 11: ssk, yo, cdd, yo x 2, ssk, *yo x 2, k2tog, yo x 2, cdd, yo, k2tog, ssk, yo, cdd, yo x 2, ssk; work from *, yo x 2, k2tog, yo x 2, cdd, yo, k2tog.

Row 12: p3, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, *p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p6, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1, (k1, p1) in double yo; work from *, p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p3.

Row 13: (k1, k2tog, yo) × 2, k1, *(k1, yo, ssk) × 2, k2, (k2tog, yo, k1) × 2; work from *, (k1, yo, ssk) × 2, k1.

Row 14: purl.

Row 15: k2tog, k1, yo, k2tog, yo x 2, k2tog, *ssk, yo x 2, ssk, yo, k1, ssk, k2tog, k1, yo, k2tog, yo x 2, k2tog; work from *, ssk, yo x 2, ssk, yo, k1, ssk.

Row 16: p4, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1, *p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p8, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1; work from *, p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p4.

Row 17: k2, k2tog, k1, yo, k2, *k2, yo, k1, ssk, k4, k2tog, k1, yo, k2; work from *, k2, yo, k1, ssk, k2.

Row 18: purl.

Row 19: k1, k2tog, (yo, k1) × 2, k2tog, *ssk, (k1, yo) × 2, ssk, k2, k2tog, (yo, k1) × 2, k2tog; work from *, ssk, (k1, yo) × 2, ssk, k1.

Row 20: purl.

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