Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Recently discovered my Eriskay jumper waiting to be finished so finally knitted up the neckline and have sewn it together. http://aussieknittingthreads.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/eriskay-update.html This is made from my own  homespun from a Merino fleece from my family's property in western NSW that was sold some years ago. This was a difficult jumper to make because of the complex patterns that are formed in panels across the garment. Each row is different so requires some concentration. 

The zigzag represents the waves; the double diagonal lines are marriage lines; the diamond pattern is the home; the small mesh lines represent fishing nets; and the starfish (or snowflake) and ropes are obvious patterns.

My g.grandfather may have worn a fisherman's gansey like this as he was a lobster fisherman and ferryboat man between Ulva and the Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland. My g.grandmother, who was from the Isle of Skye, probably spun wool and knitted these traditional jumpers for her family. They immigrated to Australia on the same ship in 1853 with their families and were married in 1863 in Hamilton, Victoria.


Maria said...

What a lovely lot of history and traditions your jumper/gansey has, and the origins of the yarn must make it so special.

Lynne said...

What a great family story. Lovely jumper to bring memories of your family property.

Anonymous said...

oh i love all of this!
your handspun, the history intwined with the pattern, and the sweater itself - gorgeous!!

Puppet Lady said...

Lovely to read the significance of the patterns. It must have been a lot of work but the finished garment is beautiful.