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About the designer

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 ...

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White Gansey

from Knitting Traditions
(6) Name: 'Knitting : White Gansey
White Gansey ...In Green
White Gansey Detail
White Gansey The White Gansey

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • knit a circular and flat garment
  • read a chart

Pattern Description:

The White Gansey is based on many historic ganseys knitted almost two centuries ago. It is a great introduction to this type of sweater as its horizontal patterning is easier to knit than one of vertical orientation.

There are many traditional features in this pattern and sometimes more than one choice can be made! For example, the Channel Island Cast-on is explained in photos and text, and you can choose whether to use ribbing or the older method of a garter stitch welt for the lower body. Your initials can be knitted in, and there is an alphabet chart to guide you.

The hallmark of the gansey is the underarm gusset that gives more comfort and a better fit than the usual drop-shouldered sweater. The gussets in this design have a modern twist: they are worked in Reverse Stockinette Stitch!

At the shoulder line, there are neckline gussets, created with short rows to widen the depth of the neck. And there are two options for the neckband: a rolled collar or ribbed neckband. Don't let the name of this design reduce your choices of color! It has been worked in many different hues, so choose what pleases you!

This pattern will teach you techniques from long ago while guiding you to create a gansey that will last and look good for many years ahead!


6 stitches/ inch


  • US 2 (2.75 mm) dp needles, and 32" (80 cm) circular needle
  • US 3 (3.25 mm) dp needles and 16" and 32" (40 and 80 cm) circular needles.
  • Adjust needle size to obtain gauge.

You Will Also Need:

  • Stitch holders
  • Stitch markers

Preferred Brand/Yarn:

Guernsey yarn


Whatever you want!