Isaac Pullover

10:17 AM











I call this tiny fisherman sweater a gansey, not an aran.  I've always thought the distinction between the two was that  ganseys or (Guernseys) are knit with knit/purl textures and have horizontal stripes.  Aran sweaters are knit with knit/purl texture and cables and have vertical stripes.  It's just what I've thought after all my years of knitting and if any of my readers know something different, I'd love to know!  I do know that fisherman sweaters in general originated in the British Isles and were tightly knit with thick, naturally colored, lanolin rich wool that would resist wind and rain.  The texture that was created with the cables, etc, made a thick fabric which added much needed warmth, not to mention beauty. Fishing villages and families developed their own distinct patterns which often aided in identifying at-sea casualties. (Edited 9/18 to add:  A reader sent me to Gansey Nation where I read this page and found out that most of my fisherman "facts" are myths!  Now I don't want to spread misinformation, but the writer does state that they only "may not" be true!)

I'm in love with this little sweater and it was pure fun to knit.  The pattern comes from Little Rowan Cherish by Linda Whaley, a book I reviewed a bit ago, and a book that I adore.  The yarn is Rowan Pure Wool DK, a soft machine washable yarn that was recently replaced by Pure Wool Superwash DK--almost the same yarn but now made superwash.  Still, the original yarn can go in the washing machine because the one rule I try never to break is to use only machine washable for baby and children's sweaters.   The pattern is charted and very easy to memorize with just a quick glance at the chart every few rows.

I loved knitting this little baby fisherman sweater and rather than store it in my gift-stash, I think I'm going to start a new stash and call it, the baby hope chest.  Nope, no news to share, and surely we are years away from that, but one can hope and be prepared, right?

Little Rowan Cherish by Linda Whaley
My Ravelry project page
Cute infant hangers are from the Container Store,  I bought both this animal set and this zoo set.


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Look at my Climbing First Prize below!  Here we are in mid September so it's a bit scraggly up close, but from afar, it looks fantastic!

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11 comments

  1. I love this baby sweater and the neutral color.

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    1. Thank you. I love that it's for either sex and still have it hanging in my sewing room so I can look at it!

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  2. Adorable! I'd start that hope chest if I were you :)

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  3. Hi Kristen,
    I love this little sweater. I may have to get the Rowan book. I'm looking for the little Hudson Bay sweater you also knit and I can't find your pattern. I checked Ravelry and your website, no luck.
    Is it available?
    Thanks,
    Leslie

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    1. Hi Leslie

      I didn't knit the HB Sweater but featured the free pattern on my Facebook page. It makes a 6 mos. size only. Here is the link to that pattern http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hudsons-bay-co-multipoint-cardi

      But if (when) I make it (because I have perfect stash yarn for goodness sake so I might as well!) I will use this pattern which I prefer for the shape and also it is sized ages 2-10.

      Hope this helps Leslie!

      Best, Kristen

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    2. Oops, sorry. Here is the link for the pattern that is sized age 2-10. It's freebie too: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/professor-sweater

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  4. Hi Kristin, the first sentence in a popular Gansey book states that they are "wonderfully varied and thoughtfully constructed" and goes on to mention the traditional knit and purl patterns. So under this umbrella I think it would be safe to call your beautiful Isaac pullover a Gansey. There are a couple of other features of construction but because this was primarily a utilitarian garment and a baby has no need for those other useful features, it can be argued that this interpretation is as authentic as any of the other ever-varied originals. Another way of putting it would be that the Gansey evolved to fit the need of the wearer. And the future wearer of your little Isaac has no need for those other features, so voila, it is still a Gansey! Sorry this is so long but I don't want someone else to come along and burst your bubble with you having no ammunition to defend your belief. Not only that, being a Rowan design, it has a British provenance! Gorgeous sweater! Chloe

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    1. Awwww, thank you Chloe. It's funny, we don't often see babies attending business meetings but I've seen a few babies wearing bow ties! And I don't think we'll see too many babies working on a sailing vessel, but it they did, wouldn't this little gansey serve them well? lol. Thanks for your sweet words!

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  5. I think a more to-the-point wording would be "defend your interpretation". "Belief" sounds too religious in this context for me to me.:). Chloe

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    1. Paleeze make sure you are PC on this blog! ;)

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