Have you ever thought about a heritage Gansey knit?
Gorgeous Yarns stocks Frangipani Guernsey 5 ply yarn; the perfect quality yarn to knit a “Gansey” or “Guernsey” jumper. This premium yarn comes in a range of 28 beautiful saturated shades in heritage and modern colours. It is 100% British, from fleece, to fibre, to dyeing, and from us to your knitting needles. Guernsey yarn like this comes with a long tradition of knitting around the coast of the British isles.
Did you know that most fishing villages around the coast had their own pattern of stitches to decorate the Gansey the men wore? They could be easily identified as coming from that village, and folk-lore also says that each man has his initials knitted into the underarm gussett so you would know the exact man who wore the jumper. (Sadly necessary if you were drowned and unidentifiable.) Have a look at this blog post for more on Ganseys from sistermountain.com
Women in the coastal villages would stand watching for the fishing boats coming back, knitting Ganseys while they chatted to friends. This was a way to make extra money in what was traditionally a very poor way of life. These women would also be the “herring girls” or “gutting girls” who sorted, gutted and packed the haul of fish when it was landed.
This clip from You Tube shows the creation of a sculpture in the north east of a Gansey girl knitting, by Steve Carvill.
Knitting a Gansey is a commitment, there’s no denying it. It takes several months to create one of these beautiful, traditional jumpers, but it will last a lifetime and cope with plenty of wear and weather. Now is the ideal time to start knitting a Gansey, as the evenings get lighter. With such a great choice of 28 beautiful colours there’s something for everyone, not just the traditional Navy. Please email if you would like a colour card.
We offer a free basic Gansey pattern with every purchase of Frangipani Guernsey 5ply, and I’m very happy to offer advice when you are knitting it.
So get you needles out, choose a colour and get knitting. Its one of the most satisfying projects you can do; knowing you are following knitting heritage, making a garment that will last a lifetime.
Bye for now,