View Full Version : Gansey for My Husband

11-19-2010, 01:24 AM
I just put the final touches on this fisherman's gansey today. It is made of Patons Capstan oiled wool that I have had for years. The labels stained the yarn blue and I had to reel that part off of each skein. It turns out some of the yarn was slightly different colors even though it was all the same dye lot. (Some had been knit and reballed and was kind of dirty. I've washed it now and it is still dirty looking.) DH likes it, he says it looks "vintage". Good thing.

This is my first full sized gansey.


11-19-2010, 01:58 AM
Hey Judy! What a wonderful gansey! Tom looks terrific in his 'vintage' gansey! Perfect fit, too!

I like the story of the yarn! It's a testimonial to destashing!

Did you use the Channel Island cast-on for the front and back? It looks like it. That cast-on was developed and originally used by gansey knitters!

Is this your own design? I wouldn't be surprised! You are do a lot of your own design work, a quality that I certainly admire! I think I see either the initials TG or JG on the lower front left! Did you 'sign' your work? Or are these Tom's initials? Either way, WOW! That is cool!!!

Anyway, thanks for sharing the sweater with a husband inside it! I'll bet Tom's hat is his own creation, am I right??? I just showed this to John, and he oogled Tom's hat and said "I bet that's a hat he knit!"

11-19-2010, 02:19 AM
Thanks Dollyce, your praise is always coveted. Yes, that is the Channel Island cast-on. I did design this myself. Tom saw a little kid's gansey with an anchor in front with a tight cable on each side. He said he'd like that on it. (turns out it is pretty much under his beard, but there is one in back too. I picked most of the stitch patterns from Beth Brown-Reinsel's book Knitting Ganseys (including the anchor). One of the background stitches I kind of made up, but I'm sure it is not new. :psst: There is a heart under his beard at the very top. Only in the front where no one will see it and think he is a sissy. :heart: :lol: Those are Tom's initials. They were often worked on traditional ganseys, so we went with that too. TG

I am glad to use some of this stash yarn. I've had it for years. Now I want to do something with the rest of it I have including the blue stained part. I'm thinking of trying dying some of it.

John has a good eye. The hat is a Tom creation all right. I took some other pictures of him (on Ravelry) in a Greek fisherman's hat. He made that hat too with his sewing skills.

11-19-2010, 06:08 AM
Beautiful work and the fit is perfect! Your design is wonderful...so well-balanced. Love the anchors and the cable on the shoulders. Like hubby's beard too!

11-19-2010, 06:49 AM
The sweater is gorgeous! And you knitted it so fast! And the fit is perfect! Really, really impressive!

11-19-2010, 10:05 AM
Beautiful work! You're a very talented designer! :yay:

11-19-2010, 10:14 AM
WOW!!! Beautiful knitting...beautiful sweater!

:cheering: :cheering: :cheering:


11-19-2010, 10:55 AM
I like the whole package, sweater hat and beard. LOL I was going to suggest he 'part' his beard for a close up on the anchor. :) But it is also clever of you to hide the heart there under his beard.

I've not done a sweater yet so I am in awe of all who do it so well.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: (two thumbs up!)

11-19-2010, 04:50 PM
I LOVE your sweater - it is absolutely beautiful. I have been thinking about making a gansey and checking out gansey yarn. Don't believe Patons makes the Capstan any more. Another beautiful book is Country Weekend Knits by Madeline Weston. It has ganseys, arans, Shetland lace, hap shawls, etc. with great photos.

11-19-2010, 05:43 PM
I don't know if Patons makes the Capstan anymore or not, I saw some in people's stashes on Ravelry, but it was different than mine. Mine actually said: Patons Aran- Aran-Style Pure Wool and it was oiled. I believe most truly traditional ganseys had lighter weight wool (Aran is a little bigger than worsted and I believe they used some a bit smaller than worsted, more like sport weight.) I worked mine to 5 sts= inch.

I have that book Country Weekend Knits. One of my daughters bought it for me. She thought she wanted one of the sweaters, but I couldn't get the gauge to work out the way it was given (over pattern), so I made a different sweater and she thought maybe, after all, it was a better choice for her and she loved it. It does have some pretty sweaters, but I haven't made anything from it.

I made my sweater with the help of Beth Brown-Reinsel's book Knitting Ganseys. I love that book. She walks you through making a miniature gansey, and if you follow along with the book it is like going to a workshop. Then she explains how to adapt what you learned from the sampler to making your own personalized gansey. She also has 6 patterns (3 for children, 2 for adults and 1 that is an adult cardigan) that have directions, but use the concepts she taught in the first part of the book. I made 2 of those and then 2 little ganseys of my own design before I tackled the big one (but I am a slow learner, and overly cautious sometimes).

In Knitting Ganseys, Beth says that the typical old ganseys were made of a highly twisted 5 ply wool about like todays sport in weight and they knitted them to between 7 and 9 sts per inch.

11-19-2010, 07:19 PM
Nice. I've had one in the planning stage forever and that's as far as it's gone.

11-19-2010, 07:51 PM
Mike, yes the planning stage can be quite involved. I wanted not to have to chart, but then when he wanted specific patterns in specific places (the anchors) I decided I would need to plan a little better to make sure they ended up where I wanted them. I have made a couple of baby ganseys and the last one had vertical patterns and I think those would take less planning, figure out how many you need to get around, keep working and stop when you need to. Easy. Maybe. :lol: At least it was on the little one.

11-20-2010, 07:30 AM
Stunning! I'm amazed by your design and the quality of your work. What a lucky man he is! And his hat is awesome.

11-20-2010, 07:44 AM
Lovely, I've got one for my grandson in the 'to do' pile but keep putting it off. Perhaps I shall make a start now you've inspired me.

Great work.

11-20-2010, 04:32 PM
Thanks for the info. Have seen the Knitting Ganseys advertised but haven't looked at it. Your yarn is probably similar to the Patons Classic wool worsted wt. that I use a lot of though it is not oiled. I have seen the gansey yarns from Frangipani and Wendy's advertised that are not very economical. They are 245 yards for a 100 g ball. I was looking in a catalog and noticed Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted is also 245 yds. for 100g. Perhaps that would work. I read that the gansey yarn is between fingering and sport wt.
I made the short sleeved pullover in Country Weekend Knits in worsted wt. but changed the diamond pattern and made it plain. I'd like to do the hap shawl and then maybe the Caister gansey. After I finish a couple of other projects of course! Your gansey is absolutely beautiful.

11-20-2010, 05:37 PM
That's a special looking sweater. Wow. I am in awe every time I come here and see everyone's work and I get more impressed when I read how much you design yourself and figure it all out! Makes my little knitting head spin.

11-21-2010, 09:51 AM
Wow! What a work of heart!! It's gorgeous!

11-21-2010, 09:35 PM
What a gorgeous gansey! You did a beautiful job!

Beth Brown-Reinsel

11-23-2010, 11:11 AM
OMG that is stunning! :heart: It looks terrific on your hubby!! Love that you were able to hide the heart with his beard...very clever!!

11-24-2010, 08:18 AM
Very Impressive! You did a great job.

11-24-2010, 11:27 AM
Everything about that sweater is spectacular!
Technique, stitch placement, pattern drafting and fit.

So I spent my computer time browsing your Ravely page, hoping to find that sewn Greek fisherman hat.

If I had a picture of everything I've knit since I started (1962), I wouldn't come close to your collection, all exquisite in every way.

11-24-2010, 10:01 PM
Beth, thanks so much for the comment on my gansey. I couldn't have done it without your help. Your book is the best and you can see I've been advertising it on posts 2 and 10. I think I have learned more about making sweaters from your book than any other source. I use the basic plan for making non-gansey sweaters too, mostly baby sweaters. Thanks so much for such a good book. :hug:

11-24-2010, 10:06 PM
Lana, thank you for the high praise on my sweater and even my little collection on Ravelry. :oops:

Did you find the Greek Fisherman's Hat? He was wearing it in some of the pictures of him in his gansey. He told me he made that hat a long time ago using an old wool coat he found at a second hand store, with a worn out hat for a pattern.

11-24-2010, 11:29 PM
Lana, thank you for the high praise on my sweater and even my little collection on Ravelry. :oops:

Did you find the Greek Fisherman's Hat? He was wearing it in some of the pictures of him in his gansey. He told me he made that hat a long time ago using an old wool coat he found at a second hand store, with a worn out hat for a pattern.

Your " little collection on ravely" you say??? :roflhard:

I found the cap! Him standing in front of the Air Stream. I'm equally impressed with his talents.
I like the mix of different cultures. Jim has a Aran sweater I knit years ago that he wears with a very well worn leather Greek fisherman's cap.
"JIM" is knitted with twisted stitches into the one panel of moss stitch.

11-25-2010, 02:44 AM
Just for the record that is not an Air Stream. That is a 1947 Spartan Manor. Fans of each see a vast difference. :lol:

Jim has a Aran sweater I knit years ago..."JIM" is knitted with twisted stitches into the one panel of moss stitch. His sweater sounds special. Good idea to do the name that way.

11-25-2010, 08:01 PM
Merigold, that isa gorgeous sweater! You did a beautiful job, and it's great that you used 'stash yarn'! linknit41

11-28-2010, 09:02 PM
Amazing!! What a gorgeous sweater you made, and your hubby looks very handsome in it. And how great that you used up vintage stash for it as well~ that just makes it that much more satisfying, I'll bet!

11-28-2010, 09:17 PM



That is a gorgeous sweater!!! The sweater is PERFECT for your hunky husband!!