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  • Rope & Ladders – variations on a theme

    picture of john hillblablablablab You can find more information at Cromer Museum Go to the shop The design and site structure has held up well from when it went live in 2011. There are a few issues with links, and the main problem is the broken script which can no longer be updated. We need a major update, one that will correct errors, …

  • 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.