Fishermen’s Ganseys and Sustainability

For this week’s blog, Chelsea Marina West reflects on the gansey tradition through the lens of sustainability. Inspiration for this blog is drawn from Chelsea’s MSc these: The Needles have Dropped An Investigation of Fishermen’s Ganseys and Intangible Cultural Heritage in the United Kingdom (2021). As we enter the last remaining weeks of the KnittingContinue reading “Fishermen’s Ganseys and Sustainability”

The Curious Case of Documenting Gansey Patterns

For this week’s blog, we look at some historical challenges that might affect our ability to document gansey patterns and knitting traditions in the present day. Introduction In 1955, Gladys Thompson published Patterns for Guernsey, Jerseys & Arans, bringing these patterns to pen and paper for use outside of knitting communities for the first time.Continue reading “The Curious Case of Documenting Gansey Patterns”

Intangible Cultural Heritage and Gansey Knitting

For this week’s blog, Chelsea Marina West examines ganseys as example of intangible cultural heritage. This is another extract from her MSc thesis: The Needles have Dropped: An Investigation of Fishermen’s Ganseys and Intangible Cultural Heritage in the United Kingdom (2021). Gansey knitting has been added to the Red List of Endangered Crafts by the Heritage CraftsContinue reading “Intangible Cultural Heritage and Gansey Knitting”

Tools of the Trade: Wiskas

For this week’s blog, we look at a lesser-known knitting tool, the wiska, which was widely used by fisherfolk to aid knitting speed and stitch consistency by easing the weight of the knit. Introduction A previous blog post by Carolyn Cluness highlighted the demanding role of fisherlasses in the fishing industry. Knitting became an importantContinue reading “Tools of the Trade: Wiskas”

Gansey Patterns: Their Meanings, Significance and Relation to the Fishing Industry

For this week’s blog, Chelsea Marina West shares another extract from her thesis: The Needles have Dropped: An Investigation of Fishermen’s Ganseys and Intangible Cultural Heritage in the United Kingdom (2021). We return to look at the significance and symbolism of gansey patterns in fishing communities, this time with a focus on Northern Scotland. Within theContinue reading “Gansey Patterns: Their Meanings, Significance and Relation to the Fishing Industry”

“A link in the chain that binds fisherfolk together”

For this week’s blog, Chelsea Marina West shares an extract from her thesis on ganseys as intangible cultural heritage, showing how ganseys truly identified with the daily lives and customs of fishermen and fisher lasses. The Customs in Cullercoats Within the blog post published 20 November 2020, Dr Annie Shaw detailed the subversive event thatContinue reading ““A link in the chain that binds fisherfolk together””

“It was hard work, but we widnae ha’e missed it” Scottish Herring Lasses

For this week’s blog, we look at the role of the herring lasses during the 20th century. During the 20th century, the changing role of women led to the progression of their economic, social, cultural and legal rights – creating a remarkable turning point for women in society. Research of Herring Lasses This blog isContinue reading ““It was hard work, but we widnae ha’e missed it” Scottish Herring Lasses”

Marriage Lines and Heapies: A Life in Ganseys

For this week’s blog, Gordon Reid shares his first experience of gansey knitting, and the inspiration behind sharing his passion for ganseys to the worldwide knitting community. I first discovered ganseys in the early 1980s. Back then I listened to a lot of music (and cricket on the radio) and Margaret, my wife-to-be, an experiencedContinue reading “Marriage Lines and Heapies: A Life in Ganseys”

Drowning and Identity

For this week’s Blog, we have another extract from Dr Annie Shaw’s thesis Crafting the Technological: Ganseys and Wholegarment© Knitting (2009). The links between drowning/identity and ganseys are one aspect of folklore which most people have heard of and find fascinating, even romantic, for example Alex Buxton writes: ‘It was even possible for fishing families to recogniseContinue reading “Drowning and Identity”

Economic, Social and Traditional Aspects of Gansey Knitting

For this week’s Blog, we have another extract from Dr Annie Shaw’s thesis Crafting the Technological: Ganseys and Wholegarment© Knitting (2009). The fact that ganseys emerged during the industrial revolution at a time of high romanticism means that they have much folklore and cuItural status attached to them. Local Traditions The herring or fisher lassies took theirContinue reading “Economic, Social and Traditional Aspects of Gansey Knitting”