The Moray Firth Gansey Project have produced a splendid 60-page colour booklet called “Fishing For Ganseys” to celebrate the project and the ganseys of the area. (You can find details on how to order on their website at http://www.gansey-mf.co.uk/outcomes.html – they suggest a donation of £4 plus postage and packing, which seems like a bargain to me.)
There’s a couple of chapters on the project, another on the fishing industry along the Moray Firth, and there are instructions for knitting their new “Beatrice” gansey design. But the heart of the book is the chapter on “Ganseys, Patterns and Evolution”, which is full of old black and white photos and colour photos of knitted ganseys. Quite a few of these haven’t appeared in print before to my knowledge, so the MFGP has done us all a service by making them available here.
My only disappointment is that they haven’t charted out the patterns. This feels like something of a missed opportunity but, as they say, the point is to encourage you to try charting them out yourself (and, to be fair, some the photos are clear enough that even someone like me could probably manage it).
Anyway, definitely one for the library, and speaking as a Moray Firth resident, it’s good to see the far north of Scotland getting the attention it deserves: order your copy today! (And if you needed a further incentive to buy it, Judit, resident of this parish, gets a mention. (And Liz Lovick reviews it here.))
My own knitting has leaped on apace this week. I’ve found when knitting ganseys that I sort of soldier on for weeks at a time, like a knitting hamster in a wheel, with no real sense of progress—then suddenly I put on a spurt, and when I look up I see I’m near the end. This has been one of those weeks. As I’m still getting over my cold, I took some leave and spent a day with my feet up, knitting and listening to music and just relaxing. (And sneezing, of course, producing an effect not unlike a shell exploding on the Somme in 1916; and coughing, which still sounds like a dalek sanitary engineer unblocking a stubborn drain.)
So here I am, just half an inch or so from starting the cuff. So I’ll probably finish the sleeve this week and make a start on the other one. I’d hoped to finish the gansey around Easter and I won’t be far off, I think, if I knuckle down. I’ve maintained a steady decrease down the sleeve (after the gusset) of 2 stitches every 6 rows; I also use that as the sign to move the stitches round on the needles to stop a line of uneven stitches at the joins developing.
And with the end in sight, as ever I start to think of what the next project will be. At least with Fishing For Ganseys to read, I won’t be short of ideas…