Knitting Foundations

Gansey Sampler Class – Week 1


I hope you enjoyed the class today – I really am thrilled to have more excuses to delve deeper into the topic of Gansy knitting…

A couple of things I wanted to follow-up on in this post:

1) A link to a great video demonstrating the Channel Island Cast-on (this demo adds a couple additional tips regarding this technique!): YouTube – Channel Island Cast on

2) Recommended books for your Gansey/Guersey library –

Cables, Diamonds, and Herringbones by Sabine Domnick Cables, Diamonds, & Herringbone: Secrets of Knitting Traditional Fishermen’s Sweaters (9780892726882): Sabine Domnick: Books

Knitting From the Netherlands by Henriette van der Klift-Tellegen Knitting from the Netherlands, Traditional Dutch Fishermen’s Sweaters (9780937274170): Henriette Van Der Klift-Tellegen: Books

Cornish Guernseys and Knit-frocks by Mary Wright Cornish Guernseys and Knit-frocks (9780955364884):…

and Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys, and Arans by Gladys Thompson Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys, and Arans: Fishermen’s Sweaters from the British Isles (9780486227030): Gladys Thompson: Books

Knitting in the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts Knitting in the Old Way: Designs and Techniques from Ethnic Sweaters…

3) A link to sign up for a account – if you have any questions, I’m happy to demonstrate this great, free knitting/crocheting community database.  Ravelry: Request a signup link

4) Homework to do before next class –

Finish casting-on your second welt and do the 9 rows of garter stitch on this piece.

Then, follow the instructions and pictures on page 23 to join in the round (this makes the “overlapped split welt”). Place marker where Beth instructs you to put it – just after knitting the second set of 29 stitches.

Knit in stockinette stitch for approximately 16 rounds – with the exception of purling the two stitches at the 2 side seams. Remember, when knitting stockinette stitch “in the round” you will be knitting every round. Also, this is the section you will put in an initial – if so desired (see page 33 for letter graphs). Then after completing this section begin the “definition ridge”  – Rounds 1, 3, 5: Purl, maintaining Purl 2 side seams. Rounds 2, 4: knit, maintaining purl 2 side seams. Once you’ve made it here, you can continue on using the Graph for the Gansey Sampler as your guide on page 30 or take a moment (or two, or three … to admire your work and the new techniques you have learned in this last week!) In Week 2 of class we will start up from here, reviewing cable 2 back, increasing for the gusset, etc. We will also take the measurements off of your favorite sweater (think – most enjoyable fit/ease) or that of the person you are knitting for and work out the numbers for a potential full sweater from there. Using this info along with your stitch gauge will determine the key number of stitches. To clarify this more in class next week!

Reading – take a moment and enjoy the Gansey “Cartoon” on page 107 – maybe start to imagine the designs you would knit into yours … see pages 37 to 52 for inspiration. Maybe search “gansey” under the pattern section on – see what other people are doing… Take another moment (with a cup of tea, maybe?) and enjoy the overall layout of this book and simply delight in seeing the photographs of this Gansey knitting process – no worries about understanding everything yet, that will happen 🙂

5) Lastly, links to yarn companies that sell Gansey/Guernsey 5 ply yarn –

British Breeds 5 ply Guernsey Yarn for a traditional fisherman’s gansey
Wendy Guernsey 5 Ply Yarn – Angel Yarns Store UK
Flamborough Marine Knitting Kits
Feel free to contact me with any questions/comments.
Happy Gansey Knitting, Jessica

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