Improv Sweater. Week 3: “Show me yer gussets!”

I’ve been knitting along on my Migrating Birds for #fringeandfriendskal2016, and I’m about to get to that point where I can separate the arms and body. I’m, maybe, a day off, because I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to knitting right now.

Anyway, I’ve been looking through pictures of ganseys throughout history online, and it got me thinking. Really, the defining characteristic of the gansey, beyond the knit-purl motifs, the dense knit, and the frequently salty characters wearing them, is one particular detail: gussets!* Yes, gussets. A little extra stretch of fabric in the underarm to make sure the wearer can actually move! It’s not a gansey without a gusset, just a prettily patterned sweater. The point of a gansey, after all, is to keep the working wearer warm and moving!

So what I really am thinking is that I should add a small gusset — nothing baggy, but a really serious nod to it. Maybe in a contrasting colour? What do you think? It’s a bit odd to most perhaps, but people who know ganseys will appreciate it, and if I’m anything, I’m a stickler for historic accuracy (even if this is already a bit of a franken-sweater**). Which I say in the most loving way possible!

Do you think this is dated or do you think it’s a cute idea? It would give me something new to learn — I’ve never done a gusset before! It could be a neat way to add a pop of colour and also use up a bit of scrap? I’m knitting from stash only, these days, until I can get some worthwhile employment and some space in my house! It might feel good to hit both targets.

Maybe navy blue? I have a good solid navy, same weight, and it wouldn’t be so loud that it would be offensive like, say, red, but it would be a neat little detail I’d be aware of. I also have this greeny blue. It’s a bit more green than I can capture with my camera today, specifically, it’s Forestry by Madelinetosh.

*A quick search on Pinterest. I’m afraid I don’t have a picture available to me without license right now!


4 thoughts on “Improv Sweater. Week 3: “Show me yer gussets!”

  1. Yes, this is a great idea. I would definitely try it. Personally I wouldn’t use a contrasting color but that’s more about the aesthetics of what I wear–I think it’s a cool idea.


    1. Yeah, I’m still toying with the contrast colour. It might be interesting, but also… it’s a bit risky. I’m still a bit off from having to worry about sleeves, though, as I’m a sleeves last kind of girl. Thanks for the input! Decisions are tough. 🙂


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