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Geology Ganseys Publishing Brewing


Norfolk gansey patterns


Caister-On-Sea is located to the north of Great Yarmouth. It has been a centre for gansey knitting, producing local patterns for its own longshoremen but Johnson and Sons Ltd., marine outfitters in Great Yarmouth, also employed local knitters (in the early 20th century, possibly earlier) to produce ganseys on an out-knitting basis. A cart would journey to Caister, and other villages such as Winterton-on-Sea, bringing fresh supplies of wool and taking away the completed garments (information from an oral history recording with Casey Goffin). While the commercial ganseys conformed to the patterns required by the outfitter, some local fishermen often wore indigenous patterns which had a style that was distinct from, say, Sheringham. Motifs included large meshes, cables down each breast and others that are under research at the present time.

Gladys Thompson's Dover edition of 'Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys and Arans' includes two ganseys - a photograph (fig 91) and two similar charts (figs 89 and 90) - from 'Caister, Lincolnshire (sic)'. While there is a 'Caistor' in Lincolnshire, located inland from Great Grimsby, we do not know which it alludes to - Caister-On-Sea, Norfolk, or Caistor, Lincolnshire. If anyone knows of a gansey knitting tradition in Caistor, Lincolnshire, please get in touch.

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GP88 Charles Barnard's meshes and cables gansey Caister-On-Sea
c. 1880 - 1890
Tension 9.2 spi
Charles Barnard's Caister pattern gansey

Other patterns are in hand.

Martin Warren, The Northfolk Project