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”

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”

Significance and Symbolism of Gansey Patterning

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. This has been broadly written about, but not alwaysContinue reading “Significance and Symbolism of Gansey Patterning”

Construction and Visual Appearance of a Gansey

For this week’s Blog, we have another extract from Dr Annie Shaw’s thesis Crafting the Technological: Ganseys and Wholegarment© Knitting (2009). To knit a gansey can be seen as the pinnacle of the hand knitters’ craft, for it encompasses the making of fabric and garment in one operation, seamlessly. Alice Starmore captures some of the spirit ofContinue reading “Construction and Visual Appearance of a Gansey”

Similarities Between Ganseys and Agricultural Smocks

For this week’s Blog, we have another extract from Dr Annie Shaw’s thesis Crafting the Technological: Ganseys and Wholegarment© Knitting (2009). Similarities can be drawn between ganseys and agricultural smocks. The link with occupational dress may be significant. The collection of items held by Manchester School of Art, BA (Hons) Embroidery course includes an agricultural smock. TheContinue reading “Similarities Between Ganseys and Agricultural Smocks”