Mystery No More!

The final clues in the Mystery Gansey KAL (knit-a-long) I have been running on Ravelry have been released, so here are some of the photos.

There are two patterns, one for a gansey and one for a throw and cushions. Both use stitch patterns found on ganseys in Orkney photos, most of them from the Orkney Museum and Archive. Some of these stitch patterns can be found in other places, but others I have only seen here.

Mystery Gansey KAL 001

The gansey comes from a photo of several seamen on the Forward, registered in Kirkwall. The date of the photo is unknown, but the boat was registered in 1896. It is the gansey worn by the second man from the left.

The pattern includes instructions for knitting the gansey on two needles and in the round, and both methods come in 13 sizes, from 21″ to 69″ chest. The smaller sizes have a smaller version of the pattern, and some of these do not have a gusset.

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One thing about these stitch patterns is that the inside looks as good as the outside, so the gansey can be worn either way out.

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

In addition, the construction means that the back and the front are exactly the same, so it can be worn either way round. This has the practical value of evening the wear to places like the elbows.

The other pattern is for a throw made up of 8″/20cm squares, There are 28 squares, each knitted up in a different colour of Frangipani 5 ply wool. Several of these stitch patterns come from the gansey on the right:

Mystery Gansey KAL 004

This photo is another from the Orkney Archives and was taken on the Orkney island of Stronsey in the 1920s during the herring season. The gansey, unusual because the pattern across the front is not symmetrical, is worn by a girl known as Jess. (I have the pattern for her gansey here.)

Mystery Gansey KAL 005

I blocked each individual square and when I had them all…

Mystery Gansey KAL 006

… I arranged them in the order I wanted….

Mystery Gansey KAL 007

…before sewing them together.

Mystery Gansey KAL 008

Buy the gansey pattern here:

Buy the throw pattern here:


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