« Finishitis | Main | Wooly Bullies »

Almost-FlashdanceFebruary 21, 2007



That's what it will always be called, in my mind. I told you a little about it -- I tried it on for the first time and realized that I had bound off the neck four inches lower (and wider) than I should have?

And an off-the-shoulder gansey is not a good thing. In fact, it's a very bad thing. It's not in fashion here in the States, nor, I expect, is it in fashion anywhere in the world. And if it were, and I wanted to bring that trend here to Oakland, I would make a bad standard-bearer, because I'd be too busy clobbering all the folk who would be falling about in the streets in paroxysms of laughter to see me pass.

So, how did it come about, this near-miss? I have an orange sweater that I live in. I mean, almost every day I throw it on over whatever I'm wearing to ward off the chill. Wool is better than a sweatshirt ANY day. You know that. So it's pilling and pulling, and it's really only good for inside the house and I pray that the UPS guy drops-and-runs rather than requiring a signature, because no one but Lala and the dogs need to see me in this.

I wanted a new throw-on knock-about sweater. I chose a nice yarn, and decided to make it super simple. But I wanted a little bit of the guernsey about it, so I threw in some traditional patterns, lifted from Knitting in the Old Way. I chose three patterns I liked, and threw in a cable on either side of the main motif. (It is understood that this is not Traditional and therefore not a Gansey, but I call it my gansey in my mind, and that's okay.)

It's knit in the round to the armholes, then the sleeves are joined, and I made a simple raglan decrease every other round (and threw another cable in at the raglan line, for fun).

My problem came in that I THOUGHT I knew where to make a neck. Try it on first? What a silly thought! I didn't, and got the almost-flashdance horror. Then, gunshy, I made a weird kind of turtleneck. Third time was the charm, and it's now in the right place.  (And no, sadly, I wrote none of this down. But you could make up your own version! Off the shoulder for everyone!)


It's a good knock-about. I can't get a good color-match with our camera -- it's not periwinkle like this -- it's really a true lilac with a pink undertone. I love the color.

Pattern: my own, inspired by Knitting in the Old Way
Yarn: Lang, Soft Shetland, 8 balls, 130m to each, color 701.0046/1057

(Bonus! Our camera has a nifty feature that lets you take ten pictures in a rapid-fire row, and then you get nifty shots like this one . That makes me laugh.)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Almost-Flashdance:


Beautiful sweater! And it looks great on you. Even in that... interesting photo, the sweater looks awesome!


And I know that working out the specs for different sizes is a royal pain, but if you did, you could so sell that design. (I could honestly see that in any of the Big Name mags, but IMHO you should sell it on your website and keep all the profits.)

Making up sweater patterns may be something that everyone could potentially do, but not something that many people can do easily or well!

A sweatshirt eh? I try and make a sweatshirt pattern and it would be very basic, instead yours is all gansey and what not. It's crazy beautiful. You could definitely write up a pattern and we would all buy it for sure, but if that's not your thing and you enjoy just doing your thing for you, your pattern is original and can only be copycatted b/c others admire it. But you will always be the original. I think that's cool too.

That is one knock-out of a knock-about sweater!

I have been reading your blog for a while but this is my first time commenting...:-) first I want to say that you are a really good writer and I enjoy the words you share...2nd...mistake or not...that sweater is beautiful! Seriously...and you made it up yourself with bits of different patterns? WOW ZOWIE! Did you by chance make notes for it? Will you per chance share it? or sell it? :-D lol...here I am first time commenting and I'm begging for a pattern..lol..pathetic? hope not...thank you for sharing the story and the pics...honestly beautiful work.

I did a lovely scoop/boat neck on George's sweater. Finally fixed, oh, about a year later. Too bad my laziness shortened the wearable life of the sweater drastically. Fast growing boy!

Looks great!

That's much fancier than a "knock about".

Honey, I'd throw it on with some slacks and heels and wear it to the office.

Another awesome sweater, Rachel!

It's a beauty!

I LOVE that bonus shot! Made me laugh.

Nice jumper too. Unfortunately I think the flashdance look is currently in here - if you made it a foot longer, and add a belt... (Ugh!)

I'm a sucker for the original Rachael pose.

Look how cute that is on you!

Oh, Lordy. Now the "new" Rachael pose is going to start popping up all over the Net. It's not going to be pretty.

Unlike the sweater, which is very, very pretty.

it's beautiful! i love the patterns you chose, and it fits like a dream... your self-designed arans/ganseys just blow me away. gorgeous.

I love it when you go along talking about not-knitting things for awhile and then...out of the blue, you just *bang out* the completed cables! Just "throw it in." So casual! So effortless! I swear, it's amazing.

A knockabout?!? HARDLY! You could go anywhere in that! It's gorgeous. Cyber high five!!!

Lovely sweater!!

It's amazing how fast you turn out those sweaters, chica...I must be the slowest knitter on earth!


The comments to this entry are closed.

Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


Subscribe to Rachael's mailing list

knitting projects

DSCN13632.jpg Email me