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by mops Moderator ( edited 04 May 2017 ) 04 May 2017

Last year my husband bought me a book called Visserstruien - there's an English edition too. It offers patterns used in several fishing towns, including the one I was born. My grandmother used to knit ganseys by the dozen for my uncles and cousins, but never for my brothers as my mother did not like "working clothes".

The book brought back a lot of memories and I used 8 of 20 balls of this yarn I had in my stash to create something with the patterns I remembered.

So now to knit something like it a size larger for the brother of the boy who got this one.


by vickiannette 04 May 2017

A great post, enjoyed reading it. And beautiful knitting [had a bit of a laugh at your mum not wanting work clothes, wonder what she'd think of our fashions today??]

by kustomkuddle 04 May 2017

How thoughtful of your husband for the wonderful gift!. Beautiful work!

by airyfairy 04 May 2017

Beautifully knitted Martine.

by crafter2243 Moderator 04 May 2017

Beautiful sweater. You do such great knitting. I had never heard of gansey but was familiar with guernsey so I did a quick check and this is what it says.

A guernsey, or gansey, is a seaman's knitted woolen sweater, similar to a jersey, which originated in the Channel Island of the same name, sometimes known as a knit-frock in Cornwall.[1]

Learned something new. It kept the seaman warm

1 comment
mops by mops 04 May 2017

There were a lot of fishermen in both my father's and my mother's family.

by asterixsew Moderator 04 May 2017

I had always thought the name gansey came from Lancashire. I remember stories in my youth that each family had a different pattern and if sadly a fisherman died then they were identified by the gansey pattern. I have only knitted one for one of my daughters when small. Its on the 'to do' list for a grandchild but the rate I'm getting through the list they will be grown up. I have a friend who's family hail from Shetland and she had a number of garments knitted there years ago. She has donated them to a museum there. I will look out for this book in my library and have fun knitting the next one.

asterixsew by asterixsew 04 May 2017

On my ramble sown memory lane I forgot to say what a super gansey you have knitted

mops by mops 04 May 2017

Here they were more village related than family, but each knitter had her pride and invented variations. I recently saw a BBC program (it was in Coast I think) in which they showed a few that included initials, something that was never done here as far as I know.

mops by mops 04 May 2017

In Scheveningen they had a formula: start the pattern halfway up and start with a small horizontal border. Other villages had all-over patterns. And they all stood for something.
In my case: waves, the vertical seed stitch could be sand,
the top pattern fishing nets.

by spendlove Moderator 04 May 2017

Excellent - I had foolishly thought these were a very British tradition. More research is needed on my part! I have never knitted one of these, but I've done a lot of the cabled Aran designs.

1 comment
mops by mops 04 May 2017

My granfather used to fish for herring, so they stated near the Shetlands and during the year followed the shoals down to the channel. They did land their catch in harbours like Lerwick and Aberdeen - no refrigerating in his time. And all wore knitted sweaters. So they must have influenced each other.

by dragonflyer 04 May 2017

What glad to see older patterns still being used...

by jenne 04 May 2017

I don't think there is much of this type ( handwork) of stuff done anymore, beautiful job.

by sandralane 04 May 2017

It is nice to see traditional designs still around, you have done a terrific job with your gansey. I am sure it will be well worn for many years to come. Sandra.

1 comment
mops by mops 04 May 2017

Thank you. My home help is Armenian and loved it for her son. I like to stick to my gran's variations.

by lilylady 04 May 2017

Very Nice, pattern is beautiful!

by theduchess 04 May 2017


by gerryvb 04 May 2017

wow, great knitting job !!