I can’t really believe it is over.  We have been talking about GanseyFest for ages and it has now come and gone.  I am still in Inverness and will fly home tomorrow.

I am probably not the best person to give an account of the weekend as I was not able to go to many talks.  On Saturday morning and part of the afternoon I was leading a workshop (on designing your own motifs and putting them together with older ones to make a garment).  There were 14 of us, and all worked VERY hard!  It is always difficult to photograph a workshop, but here are some of the number designing their very own motifs:

Later on in the afternoon I did a talk on Orkney’s ganseys and between times I was on the stand I shared with the lovely Jan and Russ of Frangipani.  Here they are talking to Paul Dodwell who lead a workshop on following charts and working on the round:

And this is my end of the tables, with my stitch markers and knitters’ jewellery as Northern Lace Too (ignore the pamphlet for midwifery in the background – the building is usually for health care students!):

In the evening was the fashion show.  I put in my Dolphin Tunic (pictures and details at a later stage!) and then Bil modelled my Sea Dog Gansey.  The lighting was low and he was wagging his tail so much it is difficult to see it properly (Freyalyn is wearing my Basic Rib Gansey she knitted in a lovely Shetland yarn):

Today (Sunday) was not quite so frenetic for me as I was only doing one talk (on gutters’ ganseys).  I spent a lot of my time on the stand, but I also had a chance to speak to lots of lovely people and to look at the other stands.

Next to us was Ripple’s Craft with lots of luscious  hand dyed yarns:

And opposite were Bob and Barbara from The Wool Shed near Aberdeen:

Further along was Propergansey, with lots of new and old ganseys….

…. and next to them was the Moray Firth Gansey Project‘s stand with lots more old ganseys:

At the end of the day they got all the speakers and workshop leaders together and gave each one of us a fantastic glass coaster made by Louise Tait, a lovely lady who works in glass.  This was especially special (if I can say that!) for me because it was a couple of years ago or more that Louise first contacted me about ganseys as she was wanting to find a way of impressing knitting on to glass. She has now done some of this, and our coasters have an impression of part of a gansey pattern in the middle with the word Ganseyfest underneath – I will get a pic at some point.  There were five different designs and mine was a couple of cables.  Absolutely beautiful.

Most of the talks over the two days were videoed for a DVD which will be available from the Moray Firth Gansey Project and I look forward to being able to catch up on what I missed.

It has been a wonderful weekend – I am running out of superlatives!  Abnd in the morning I travel back to Orkney to start the final NIFA trip…!

11 thoughts on “GanseyFest!!

  1. Oh Liz – sorry if the screen just turned a virulent green – I am sooooo envious! I was able to contact the Moray Firth gansey project people after you first mentioned them and give them the information about my paternal grandmother making us ganseys when small.. the last one is still being worn by another member of the clan after some forty something years! Made well and cared for properly they last.

  2. I thoroughly agree with June above. Reading your posts is the next best thing to being there – though I hope to make the real journey someday.

  3. I have just returned home from Ganseyfest and it was a truly inspiring weekend which I thoroughly enjoyed. The workshops were 1st class and I am now aware of techniques that I ididn’t know existed! I am eager to put these into practice as soon as possible as well as finishing off the two little projects I started at the event.
    I only found out about the event on a visit to Anstruther to see the puffins on the Isle of May. I had an hour to spare and visited the Fishing Museum of Scotland (Excellent) and whilst having a break in the Cafe my attention was drawn to the notice board where I read about Ganseyfest.
    I travelled to the event from Hull in Yorkshire and it was worth every long minute of the 7 hour train journey!
    Many thanks to all concerned!

  4. I too have just returned from Ganseyfest and had a wonderful time, not least at the workshop described above. The boat motif Liz helped me design is now in the swatch stage and is looking more like a boat after every row rather to my surprise. I learnt so much and am gradually recovering from the 10 hour each way train journey to Inverness from Kent. Absolutely worth every minute! The opportunity to spend quality time with lots of people who ‘get it’ with regards to yarncrafts is quite rare for me but made the whole weekend so special. Thank you so much to all the organisers and to you Liz for your patience and skill in making motif designing such fun. A wonderful experience all round.

  5. What a wonderful event… I’d love to have seen all those fabulous ganseys, having something of a soft spot for them.

    Maybe there could be more Ganseyfests, scattered around the country everywhere ganseys were popular (that would be almost everywhere)…

  6. Hi Liz, looked at your blog today and saw the holiday snaps and then looked at this about gansey week. You do lead a very exciting life! I tried to leave this message a little earlier today, but I lost somewhere. Love your work and am now looking forward to your book.
    Giuliana in Western Australia

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