Meg Roke has released a new ebook, Gansey Kids, full of beautiful knits inspired by traditional Gansey patterns. Ganseys, or Geurnseys, are knit sweaters traditionally worn by seamen originating from Guernsey, a small island in the English Channel. Fisherman needed warm, sturdy, and comfortable sweaters that would resist sea spray. To read more about Gansey history check out my guest blog post on the Fancy Tiger Crafts blog from earlier this year.
Meg's patterns are all inspired by the traditional garments, but she has reinvented them for the little ones in our lives. There is a range of sizes in the book, with some patterns even sized from infant to adult! Most designs start with toddlers to little kids (as my son would say) to teens. I love this range, as I find that it's especially difficult to find good knitting patterns for kids ages 6-12.
We're in love with the Whitby Vest (sizes 1 - 12 years), knit in The Fibre Co Cumbria. A unisex vest, it's perfect for fall layering. My son will definitely be getting one of these in his back-to-school fall wardrobe - I definitely have time between now and school picture day to finish it!
Here's what Meg says about the inspiration for the Whitby Vest:
When researching about ganseys, I came across many long sleeve pullovers that featured a stockinette stitch body on the bottom half and a textured stitch pattern on the top half. This is a real classic gansey look that I wanted to replicate in a unisex vest for kids (because kids look so stinkin' cute in teeny vests!). However, the vest needed to be freshened up a bit. After all, this is a collection inspired by ganseys of the past, so the Whitby Vest needed to work for the 21st century. With that in mind, I added an i-cord bind-off edging around the armbands and neckline, worked in a buttonhole for easy-over-the-head maneuvering, and relaxed the fit. Ganseys were traditionally close-fitting garments, but modern day kiddos like to move and wiggle in their everyday clothes... and this vest is cute, comfy, and practical for everyday fun.
Yarn The Fibre Co. Cumbria: 1 (1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) skeins; shown in size 4 in Derwentwater
Gauge 18 sts and 26 rnds = 4 inches, in stockinette stitch, on larger needles
Needles US 7 (4.5 mm) 16–24" circular and US 6 (4 mm) 16–24" circular and DPNs
Notions Stitch markers, Scissors, Tapestry needle, Waste yarn, 1 button (.75-1”)
Size 1 (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12) year(s): 20 (23, 25.75, 27.5, 28.5, 30.25, 32)" [51 (58.5, 65.5, 70, 72.5, 77, 81.5) cm] approx chest circumference 11 (13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19)" [28.5 (33, 37, 40, 44, 46.5, 49) cm] approx length
We love Meg's modern patterns that combine classic shapes, textures, and stitches of traditional gansey into pint sized sweaters for the little ones in your life!
To show our appreciation for Meg's hard work, we're giving away enough of The Fibre Co. Cumbria in your choice of color, to knit the Whitby Vest for your favorite kiddo. Meg has offered to giveaway a copy of her ebook to the winner as well!
For a chance to win, leave us a comment between now and 8/31 at 12 midnight EST telling us about your most memorable "Back to School" outfit. Mine was...well, let's just say it involved purple Cross Colors jeans. (Hey, it was 1990!) - CK
All images ©Meg Roke.