Happy Groundhog Day. Punxutawney Phil did not see his shadow, so there will be an early Spring. Maybe it's here already because they are forcasting 11 C this week. Winnipeg Willy passed away, so no information there. But aren't groundhogs just a little bit cute? So fat and furry.
In knitting news, I have completed half a sleeve on my Whitby gansey.
I have been doing some reading about Ganseys, which are fascinating bits of history and folklore. Alot of myths as well.
A historic photo of a felon, wearing a lizard patterned gansey. Hubba hubba!
-Known as Guernseys, sometimes Jerseys, or Knit-frocks. Basically, gansey means a sweater or jumper.
- the buttons on the collar are preferred to be on the left, as a sailor got his rope caught on the right side in his buttons and fell into the sea and drowned.
- a sailor perishing at sea could be identified by his gansey, as certain patterns could be associated with the area he was from. Myth. Unless the initials were on his garment, patterns were not exclusive to his village.
- the garment is worked in the round, split after the half underarm gusset, fronts and backs worked back and forth, then the shoulder was done and collar. Sleeves are picked up and worked from shoulder to cuff. This makes it easier to replace a worn out sleeve. Alot of the time you will only see patterning on the upper chests and sleeves. This was because the men wore high trousers,and the patterning would not be seen. It was thought the patterning kept the chest and upper arms warmer.
-they were not just worn by fishermen, but also canal and boat workers.
-gauges ranged from12 spi all the way down to 7 spi. They were worked on long needles (14") or several shorter ones.
-the cast on is done with the yarn doubled, as well as the cast off.
-Mother-of-pearl or Nacre buttons are traditional. Not all have buttons.
-they are not waterproof, but rather repelled water due to the firmness of the fabric. The 5ply that we use today is smooth (worsted spun), and not very soft.
-Traditional colour is Navy, however a cream one would often be worn as Sunday Best or even for his wedding.
-they last a long time, and can withstand alot of wear and tear.
-patterns represent everyday life -steps, marriage lines, ropes, anchors, stars, tree of life, etc.
Hopefully, I will have this done in a few weeks. I am actually thinking about doing another- my last one was completed over 10 years ago. Crazy.