Gansey, guernsey, jersey.
What on earth am I talking about? A sweater, of course.
You know the sort I’m talking about. A deliciously cabled, blue sweater, perfect for cold days. You might call it an aran sweater, or a jumper. You almost certainly do not call it a ‘knit frock’ like old books do. Whatever you call it – I’m knitting it. I’m going to knit a gansey.
Why? I’m going to the Channel Islands! By some quirk of tourism, there are direct flights from where I live (Geneva, Switzerland, quite close to some excellent ski fields) to Jersey (a place with people who like skiing and demand convenient flights).
The Channel Islands are remote, and easy to romanticise. The deserted beaches! The suffering during the war! The once knitting-based economy! “The lovely pub,” said our friend, who invited us on the trip.
Three days in Jersey does not really warrant knitting a new sweater but why not? Why not take on a challenge and learn a little bit about the place I’m going before I get there?
But first – what is a gansey, guernsey, jersey sweater? First, let’s go with ‘gansey’ because that’s slightly easier to spell, and also not a place. I want to be a little bit careful about appropriating knitting traditions – even if they are all published in books. I’ve done a little research – here’s my quick definition.
What have I missed?
First things first – blue yarn. Ganseys are traditionally tightly knitted in five-ply yarn – sport weight, say. I’ve chosen a DK because I liked the colour: Drops Big Merino in the romantically named ‘colour 17’. I’ve used it before and like how it’s tightly plied – just like traditional gansey yarn. It’s a little dark, but all the better to fade, I guess.
I’ve swatched – I like the fabric. Let’s do it. The books in the image are The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Cornish Guernseys and Knit-Frocks – I like them both a lot.
Despite arduous searching, I couldn’t find a pattern I like. Right-oh – I’ll make my own.
That’s the next step – stay tuned!
Creative Crochet Projects is a fast, fun book of delightful patterns which are accessible to beginning crocheters (and a treat for more advanced hookers).
Blog Amigurumi Crochet Knitting Finished Objects Techniques About me – Select -BlogAmigurumiCrochetKnittingFinished ObjectsTechniquesAbout me Say hello to Hermes September 10, 2020 Finished Objects, Knitting, Reviews I was happy to be a beta knitter for the new Woolly Wormhead Hat collection. The Perceptions Hats are all stranded colourwork (hello, my fave), and each has a beautiful […]
In the last six months, I’ve sewed a whole bunch of face masks. Most face masks fit well, but none were perfect. We picked up a couple of ready-made reusable face masks to try out, and J decided he preferred them. The pattern is easy as anything to make – easier than any other pattern […]
A cake recipe so delicious, no one will ever suspect its vegan.
Like a lot of us, I’m making face masks. Here’s the free pattern I used (and how they look on).
I'm a kiwi living in Geneva. Knititng and crochet are just two of my passions! Read more about me. or working with me.