Gorgeous Gansey/Guernsey Sweaters for All Seasons

As we’re situated close to the coast here in Cornwall we have an affinity with all things sea and water related.  A classic knitwear item, and a favourite of ours, which is a terrific addition to any unisex wardrobe is the Guernsey or Gansey sweater. Named after the Channel Islands where the traditional navy or dark blue versions were created, the Guernsey was originally associated with the local sailors and fishermen and those working by the sea. The characteristic and easily recognisable style included a tight fit, a slit on either side of the sweater, a textured yoke, plain body and decorative patterns such as anchors, rope designs and distinctive emblems associated with working industries or districts.  The Guernsey evolved as a form of practical work wear keeping the men warm and dry as they worked outdoors in all weather conditions throughout the year.

The hard wearing and wind proof workwear was later adapted into the Gansey, which is believed to be the Cornish equivalent and worn by farming and mining folk as well as fishermen. The traditional 5-ply Guernsey yarn was spun from local wool in coastal areas all around the UK and Northern Europe and worsted spinning created a crisp and lean yarn with excellent stitch definition.

Today there are many variations on this iconic woollen garment which ooze cosiness and comfort as well as still having great fashion appeal. The Traditional Guernsey Pullover pattern created by June Onigbanjo is modelled on the original Cornish designs and is worked back to front with moss stitch panels edged with vertical rows of knit stitches, using Blacker Yarns Guernsey 5-ply yarn made with pure Romney wool.  There are ten delicious shades to choose from to create this classic piece including Caramel Brown, Rust Orange, Bright Olive, Dark Olive, Black Turquoise, Brownish Grey, Navy, available in 100g skeins plus Mid Grey, White and Natural Light Grey in 100g balls.  Our Pure Romney fibre is sourced from one farm in England, providing complete traceability, which we know is as important to our customers as it is to us. Our Traditional Guernsey Project Kit contains a printed pattern, a cotton project bag and the required yarn in your chosen shade.

Rita Taylor has created another stylish and timeless sweater design with her take on the traditional Guernsey. Included in the Anchor Gansey Project Kit is the Anchor Gansey pattern which again uses our Blacker Yarns Guernsey 5-ply yarn in Light Grey with a very fetching anchor motif design. This pattern is aimed at advanced level knitters, using suggested needle size 2.75mm to fit Sizes 32 (34, 38, 42) {46, 50, 53, 57} in  or 81.5 (86.5, 96.5, 106.5) {117, 127, 134.5, 145} cm.

We’re proud of our strong connection to all things Cornish and our beautiful products Made in Cornwall.

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