Intro …

Definitely still under construction & working on the principle that if I can learn to knit a Gansey I can learn to drive this thing, I hope this website becomes a mix of stuff old & new. Topics like Rope & Ladders, one of my favourite subjects; details of interesting events, noteworthy photos & the like. Don’t forget to have a look at the Shop page: as well as taking commissions I stock Hand-knitted Ganseys, Frangipani 5-ply Gansey wool & 500g hanks of 5-ply ecru as well as various patterns & dpns.

OK – I’ve cast on.


These are frequently heard comments. Click on a title to read more:

  • You could tell a drowned man’s port of origin by the pattern on his Gansey.

    3-Walberswick-ferryPossibly. Most men washed overboard were considered to be buried at sea. It was hugely impractical to transport a corpse & no parish would want to stand the cost of burying a stranger. There are over 800 graves in the churchyard at Old St Stephen’s Church, in Robin Hoods Bay on the N. Yorkshire coast. Many …

  • ‘There was only one way to do it & that was the way everybody did it.’

    g1-closeupPatterns were handed down by eye & word of mouth. A youngster would learn off her older relatives, cutting her teeth on small & easy stuff like socks,

  • ‘Those old lasses could knit anything.’

    4-Graham-and-Margaret-TaylorNot every Gansey knitter was born to it; knitting was a universally activity and many a new bride was already a proficient practitioner before she married into a fishing family & had to learn how to knit the Ganseys required by her new family & community. One such knitter was told she’d never knit a …

  • ‘Have you got a pattern for a Gansey?’

    5-FlamboroughKnow your tension. Buy a box of matches. Learn the stitch requirements of design elements & have a trial run, ie a tension square or a small project to find out what this means in your case. Hats & mittens are good. Find out about construction niceties such as gussets. You can ask about shoulder …

  • ‘Patty Elder taught me well,’ he muttered.

    6-young-AlfIt wasn’t only women that knitted Ganseys. I haven’t mentioned Alf Hildred. A trawlerman, he’d worked out of Great Grimsby & Hull before coming to live & work in Whitby nearly 50 years ago. He asked a neighbour, Patty Elder, if she’d knit him a Gansey.

  • Mucky old jumpers.

    ganseyNowadays Ganseys are frequently constructed on two needles & sized for comfort rather than as close-fitting working gear. Occasionally knitted in cotton, or by machine, these fashion garments serve as a reminder of days gone by & keep the patterns alive. Things change.