Friday, April 30, 2021

Traditional Fishermen’s Ganseys/Guernseys/Jerseys Knit & Natter Zoom Night

Well, zoom is hard work but it was worth getting up at 3.15am to prepare and be able to join the Knit & Natter at my 4am Friday morning. 7pm Thursday for Scotland. It was so interesting and informative. 

The Ganseys have followed the fishermen. Elizabeth Lovick ventured (in one of her amazing books) that wherever the Vikings went, there is knitting. These Ganseys, Guernseys or Jerseys followed the herring fishermen and the herring girls and like all crafts, were taken on by surrounding locals and developed into unique but connected variants. Just gorgeous. There is an old and strong tradition in Holland too.

This morning I started following up my notes, scribbled while others talked of their experiences and groups or books etc. I have already pre-purchased ‘The Gansey Knitting Sourcebook’, and nearly ordered a few others! But I do already have some of the best oldies, so have pored over them again. In fact, I’ve quite a few drawings in my various mole skins already, lots, and will cogitate further and come up with a jumper or two at some point. I think one for my honey and a more girly one. Plus a cardigan... hmmm...

It seems that Frangipani wool is the way to go. Apparently it wears amazingly, has brilliant stitch definition and washes beautifully etc. It turns out there is a big take up in the fishing communities of Cordova in Alaska and they favour this wool. Why? Because wool is WARM! And lovely.

As for me, for now I’m really, really, really busy with my really, really, really big project of interpreting the knitwear in a favourite movie for hopefully a book (under my hat), and I shan’t be seen for some time! However, I did pull out my old Vintage Aran and have a play with the pattern in anticipation of the chat. It’s considered a Gansey, though the Aran versions incorporated a lot of the Celtic style cabling and may be a bit chunkier. I’m no expert though so don’t quote me! I made the poncho (and turned it into a bag) years ago and have a cardigan started. The cardigan is being pulled out and I’ll redesign it after the really, really, really busy period goes back to just really busy.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Phillip Island Retreat

You can see the ridges in this light so I thought I’d post a sneak pic below... without explanation! I’m not sure if my neck/head ache is due to knitting or sleeping on the wrong pillow and I’ve been using headphones too much and have tinnitus! Poor petal! 
Sitting and walking at Kitty Miller bay yesterday was a balm though. The waves and the beauty of it gets inside you. Our favourite place on the island. After walking and knitting for ages I just sank back onto the thick carex (or poa) while Ross was painting and melded into the view. The quiet helped my head.

We’re coming home today. I took heaps of work to do but forgot key ingredients like the green spindrift to finish the extended sleeve on Sadie’s cardigan (although it’s completely ready to graft otherwise), and somehow left home the size charts for the same! That was to be my biggest appointed task, to key the pattern into the program. The charts are all edited and ready to go so I was thinking the evenings here would be a perfect time to do it. Idiot! 
But I’ve managed to swatch lace patterns and make decisions, then despair at the amount of work I’ve set myself in compiling a book (a common thread with me, to turn things into huge undertakings) which both overwhelms and entices me, one mood dominating, then the other. Ha ha! Can’t lay blame for that one.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021