One of the problems that appeared at the end of the gansey process was that the neck opening was pretty wide. Mr. Needles prefers a much closer fitting collar. Next time I make a gansey, I'm going to put more than a third of the stitches to each of the shoulders. It won't be too many more, 6 or 8 in total, but the neckline will be narrower than the third/third/third fitting system says.
I needed to make the saddles longer. That was a little bit of a problem. No matter how you do it, when you pick up stitches and go in the opposite direction, you end up half a stitch off. It is the nature of the beast. When picking up stitches in a ribbing, being half off, is a little bit of a problem.
My solution to the half off was to do two rows of garter stitch at the pick up edge, and then continue to knit the saddle pattern. The half off stitch disappears in the ridges of garter. The finishing is not as clear and crisp as I would like, but I suspect this is a problem with the knitter, not the technique.
Because I knew the saddle extensions were going to be a short span, there was no room for the cable twist, so the saddle at the collar is just wide ribs. The wide ribs add a little more ease at the neck, but even more happened as I knit the saddle. By knitting the saddle effect the way I did, wee gussets formed under the saddle stitches as a natural part of knitting in the round. I couldn't have asked for it to work out better. I am very pleased.
I may need to do one more thing to make it right for the end user. The back and front are exactly the same. Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop recommends adding a few short rows to the back of the neck so the back neck is a little higher than the front of the neck.
I didn't. I probably should have.
Back to the drawing board. But only for an hour.