Ahab's Aran Gansey by Todd Gocken

Ahab's Aran Gansey

Knitting
April 2013
Aran (8 wpi) ?
18 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch
US 8 - 5.0 mm
1700 - 2720 yards (1554 - 2487 m)
S (M, L, 1X, 2X) -- see below for finished measurements
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Ahab’s Aran Gansey is a hybrid of the traditional British seaman’s gansey and the Aran sweater. It is knit in the round, using traditional seamless gansey construction, but with thicker, “aran-weight” wool and more complex patterning common in Aran sweaters.

The cables and patterns on Aran sweaters are said to represent elements of the wearer’s life and profession. For Ahab’s Aran Gansey, I chose a wave cable motif for center field; it is under those waves that the white whale hides. I surrounded the center field with rope cables and an anchor chain cable, which represent the activities of the sea. The chains seem as appropriate for Ahab as they were for Marley in A Christmas Carol, and for some of the same reasons.

I chose to use Quince and Co. Osprey yarn for several reasons: some of them practical, others more emotional. Osprey is a traditional aran-weight yarn spun with three plies. The three plies make the yarn round and plump and ideally suited for cables. This yarn is also very soft and wonderful to knit and wear. Additionally, the yarn is made in the U.S. from ecologically responsible sources, and spun at a mill in New England that has been spinning yarn since before Herman Melville went to sea.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
Chest: 40 (44, 49, 52, 55)“ / 101.5 (112, 124.5, 132, 139.5)cm
Length: 25.5 (27, 28, 29.5, 31)” / 65 (68.5, 71, 75, 78.5)cm

MATERIALS
Quince & Co. Osprey (100% wool; 170 yds/155m per 100g skein, 8 wpi); color: Egret; 10 (11, 13, 14, 16) skeins

1 set US #8 / 5mm double-point needles
US #8 / 5mm circular needle, 32 (32, 40, 40, 40)“ / 80 (80, 100, 100, 100)cm long, or size needed to obtain gauge

Stitch markers
2 cable needles
Waste yarn and/or stitch holders