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Guernsey jumper

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Alan Eardley, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Alan Eardley

    Alan Eardley One Too Many

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    1,500
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    There is a thread in 'WWII' on the British military jersey (or 'RAF roll-neck sweater' as some people will have it) and Smithy's new mother in law is in the process of recreating a RN 'Jersey, White' with her knitting skills.

    It stuck me that, while jerseys are great traditional fishermans' woollens, their near neighbours the guernseys (or 'ganseys' as they used to call them in England) are potentially more interesting and at least as traditional. For a start they have pivot sleeves (is that where Burberry got the idea?) and are knitted from worsted wool. When boiled, they are at least wind resistant.

    The characterstics of 'the guernsey' are:
    (Usually dark blue) knitted oiled worsted wool
    Made in sections then sewn together and overlocked (like a jersey)
    Crew neck and pivot sleeves
    Tight body without waistband (often with a small split at each side)
    Garter knitting at cuffs, hem and shoulders.

    What a project that would make for an interprising knitter!
    Who's going to go for it?

    Alan
     
  2. gallery

    gallery New in Town

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Southern Ontario
    I own a Guernsey sweater I picked up on Sark several years ago. I like the style of it and the way it is made, but I find it too heavy for everyday wear. I don't think they are particularly suitable for wear in today's centrally heated houses.
     
  3. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    Very interesting - I hope someone will bring us a photo or six.
     
  4. Alan Eardley

    Alan Eardley One Too Many

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    Location:
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    Exactly! They are serious, practical outdoor wear. You remove them indoors, as you would a jacket.

    Alan

     
    Musher likes this.
  5. nightandthecity

    nightandthecity Practically Family

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    Location:
    1938
    Scot, I have around a dozen ganzies but I really hate taking photos. HOWEVER....I do have this one on file, as I was considering selling it on evil bay (I changed my mind).....
    [​IMG]
    You'll have noticed it is not Navy blue! It looks grey in the photo but is actually a sort of beige/creamy oatmeal. In fact I do also have a grey one, and a green one. All my others are the conventional navy blue.

    They are not that rare over here, all mine came from charity (thrift) shops.

    The ones I come across are usually the "plain" type as pictured, sometimes hand knitted and unlabelled, more often machine knitted in Guernsey. However, in the past they were often knitted by fishermens womenfolk with a variety of intricate patterns in the body (usually as a yoke). These patterns are often said to be peculiar to a particular village, to help identify drowned fishermen, but I believe that should be taken with a pinch of sea salt.

    There is a small cottage industry in Whitby knitting them with the local east coast patterns and they can be ordered from the Whitby wool shop for £125 (last summer's price). Every time I go to Whitby I intend to order one, and every time I find myself too financially challenged.
     
  6. Mike1973

    Mike1973 A-List Customer

  7. nightandthecity

    nightandthecity Practically Family

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    Location:
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    well blow me down Mike! Yes, the colour of those Desert Rat ganzies is the true colour of the one in my pic.

    They look good in them too, though I do wish the BA would restore the serious floppy berets of yore, those modern things look more like skull caps.

    Right at the moment I am virtually living in ganzie and Irvin!
     
  8. Alan Eardley

    Alan Eardley One Too Many

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    Location:
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    About the berets - hear, hear! If it doesn't reach teh bottom of your ear on the 'off side', it ain't a beret...

    Of course, although 7th AB wore a variety of non-issue woollies in WW2, Gen. Montgomery wore a sand coloured 'ganzy' when he visited the theatre as well as a jersey on occasions, with both his 'Irvin' jacket and his duffle coat.

    Alan

     
  9. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,142
    Location:
    Norway
    I had a Guernsey jumper once which was tough and warm, a very useful outdoors jumper.

    My current favourite is one of the most Norwegian of jumpers, a Mariusgenser which is named after Marius Eriksen who was a ski jumper, Spitfire ace and film star. My one was made by my fianc?©e's granny, is very warm and I love it...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,065
    Location:
    London
    Any other fans of the Guernsey?

    Any other fans of the Guernsey wool sweater? I am something of a collector of them - most often found in the standar navy blue, but I have just about every colour available - apart from Aran, and I shall acquire that this autumn.

    Ilove the rugged masculinity of this sweater, plus the toughness of the yarn and the timelessness of the design.
     
  11. theinterchange

    theinterchange One Too Many

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    Why do you ask?
    hmm I've never heard of Guernsey sweaters, I thought you were referring to cows. Had to google them. You're referring to these, right? I see a few I like in there.

    Randy
     
  12. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap One Too Many

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    1,065
    Location:
    London
    Exactly right - Im glad you like them. They are becoming better known in the US
     
  13. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    Annoying website. You can either have a 1 inch thumbnail image of the item, or none at all.
     
  14. Corto

    Corto A-List Customer

    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    USA
    I'm seriously considering buying a Guernsey. Apparently Guernsey Woolens supplied the British military (especially the 7th Armored Division "Desert Rats") when they deployed to Iraq.

    Ticklishchap...Which company makes the best quality Guernsey Sweater?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  15. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Ticklishchap...Which company makes the best quality Guernsey Sweater?[/QUOTE]

    Corto, apologies for slow reply. Guernsey Woollens (cited above) or Guernsey Knitwear www.guernseyknitwear.co.uk both make excellent Guersneys. The latter have a wider range of colours. It's bes to stick to the traditional style rather than any of the variants.
     
  16. Corto

    Corto A-List Customer

    Messages:
    343
    Location:
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    Ok Ticklishchap. I went with Guernsey Knitwear only because they specified theirs was made with "oiled wool" (g. woolens, didn't) and I wanted to make sure I got oiled wool! I'll post some pics when it arrives. Thanks for your two cents/quid.
     
  17. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,065
    Location:
    London
    Good morning Corvo, I'm glad to heart you purchased a Guernsey. I'm assuming from your blog that you chose the 'New Natural', i.e. Desert Rat colour. Looking forward tothe photos. I am in the process of moving and when I have finished I shall post some myself.

    Guernsey Knitwear was a good choice. All mine come from there bar one, from Guernsey Woollens. Both companies make their sweaters with oiled wool, but I think GK has a slight edge!

    I'd quite like to get an Aran Guernsey - it's about the only one I don't have. They go very well with tweed corduroy, etc. and are my joint favourite sweaters with the milirtary 'woolly pully'.
     
  18. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap One Too Many

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    1,065
    Location:
    London
    PS. I meant Corto! Don't know why I wrote Corvo. Sorry.

    Your latest drawing on your blog (which includes Guernseys) is a masterpiece. I love it. Congtratulations.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  19. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Practically Family

    Messages:
    794
    Location:
    London UK
    GOOD MORNING, Have a look on the fishermens sweaters thread, there is a guy who ordered a couple of ganseys from Peter at SWC, one of which is a roll neck, that looks very good. I don't think I have seen a roll neck gansey/Guernsey before. Think I may be doing another order soon!. I do have a navy blue tradtional wool Guernsey from Guernsey Woollens, had it for years, still looks good. Rgds.
     
  20. bburtner@moran

    bburtner@moran Banned

    Messages:
    925
    Location:
    The Empire State
    Yes ,nice sweater.
     

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