Snakes and Ladders

from Knitting Traditions

Snakes and Ladders Pattern


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Knitting: Snakes and Ladders
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Pattern Details:

Pattern Details






Girls, Boys



Skill Level:

medium skill level requirement Intermediate

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • Knit circularly and flat
  • Read charts

Pattern Description:

This little gansey is patterned after historic ganseys. The cables were referred to as snakes and the purl motifs between as ladders. This pattern guides you through the LongTail Cast-on and, if you prefer, the Knotted Cast-on which uses the LongTail method.

The motif is charted out, as is the underarm gusset, and there are photos and text of the Make 1 increase to guide you through the shaping of them. There are Technique and Theory boxes to inform you, and clear charts to help as well. There are two choices for the neckband: a rolled collar or a ribbed neckband.

In addition there is a glossary, a bibliography for further reading, and a schematic. There is also a charted alphabet in case you would like to add the historic detail of knitting in your initials.


In Stockinette stitch: 6 sts and 8 rows or rounds/inch (24 sts/32 rows/4 inches/10 cm)

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • 2 years: 22" (4 years: 24", 6 years: 26", 8 years: 28", 10 years: 30", 12 years: 32")


  • US 2 and 3 (2.75 mm and 3.25 mm) doublepointed needles
  • US 3 (3.25 mm) 16 inch or 24 inch (40 cm or 60 cm) circular needle

You Will Also Need:

  • Stitch markers
  • stitch holders
  • cable needle

Preferred Brand/Yarn:

Guernsey yarn


Whatever you like!

About Designer

About Designer

BethBRKnits on

Beth Brown-Reinsel is an author and internationally known teacher of the historic knitting techniques of 19th century Northern Europe. Her love of these traditions comes through on her website which offers her knitting books, DVDs, schedule of workshops in North America and Europe, blog and eNewsletter sign up.

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