My good friend Sarah and I have been dreaming of going abroad together for years, but life. Those of you with jobs, mortgages, spouses and kids know what we’re talking about. As a result, we’ve gotten a little creative.
We began plotting months ago.
I sent her an email about going to a workshop happening on Papay in Orkney. The knitting historian and blogger Elizabeth Lovick was to teach several classes on knitting in the Orkney tradition. Always sensible, Sarah replied “maybe we could pretend we have gone and knit an orkney lace bookmark…”
Realizing then that we could “travel” anywhere to learn a knitting culture, we began to discuss our ancestry, both known and rumoured. We looked at our collective Egyptian, English, German, Irish, Scottish, Spanish and Swedish roots. It took us many weeks to narrow it back down to where we began which was in the Orkney Isles of Scotland. However, we knew we wanted something a little more intriguing than a bookmark.
Our plan is to knit a gansey. You might know this type of pullover by its other names: guernsey or jersey. The concept of knitting an adult size sweater can admittedly be a little daunting, which is why we are going to knit child-sized sweaters.
The exciting thing is that we have enough ample room on this “journey” for more knitters to join us! Our “departure” date is scheduled for September so there’s plenty of time for you to not pack your bags, not get a passport, and not buy expensive international roundtrip airplane tickets. Because we’ll be starting in roughly four weeks, that will give us all time to find a pattern, yarn and swatch. If as a blogger, you want to participate, let us know! We’ll make sure to include your blog in the Gansey KAL (knit a long) line-up.
I’ll be back in a few days with what a gansey means and some recommended readings. In the meantime, I’ll let Sarah talk about how she chose her pattern. Make sure in the coming days to check out her blog Long Tall Yarn.