Tale of the Gansey

Another busy month.

On 15th October we were delighted to welcome Rita Taylor, local knitting designer and writer, to be our speaker.  She told us The Tale of the Gansey – working in the round; the use of Norwegian words in knitting; the Herring Girls who travelled down the coast from Shetland bringing with them their word-of-mouth, fishing-inspired patterns.

Guernsey licence to import wool early 16C.
Purl stitch invented n 16C ?
900 g Worstead to make a Guernsey genseren
Norwegian words used in knitting
Patterns not written down, word of mouth.
Herring girls – Shetland to Sheringham
Stitch patterns not
Sheringham 13 sets and 19 rows to one inch – very fine needles 17s
Not true that a port had its own pattern
Sheringham famous for ganseys

So much knowledge . . . wonderful stories . . . all generously shared and explained using perfect, tiny samples.




22nd October saw us back in Aylsham Parish Church and this time joined by friends from Slow Food, the Country Market and the Heritage Centre.

Apple and Fleece Day flier or poster Aug16

Apple & Fleece Day enabled us to celebrate the harvest season, and bring our love of woolly crafts to children and adults alike.  

Not surprisingly, tea and cake loomed large at both events !

The Spice of (a woolly) Life

Tracey’s completed commission for an Eiffel Tower Dorset Button,


Dennis’ inkle braid from his home-made loom,


Alice’s needlefelted sheep (kindly given to Bev – we all want one!),


Sue’s tapestry depicting the seashore,


and the result of Sheila’s first piece of weaving.


Just a few of the projects highlighted in last night’s “Show and Tell”.

Armfuls of yarn ready for grandma to knit

Nancy and Nelly were not expected to survive.  Both orphan lambs, they were hand reared by caring staff at Wroxham Barns before securing a place to live with Sally and her family.


Special sheep deserve to have something special made from their fleece, and so Sally asked the Weavers for their help.   It was a pleasure !  We carded, spun, plied and made skeins.  Oh . . . and chatted, laughed, drank tea and ate cake.

Nancy and Nelly’s human family came along to watch the process and went home with armfuls of yarn ready for grandma to knit, and we added our “wages” to the Guild funds.

Thanks to Tim who wielded the kettle, and Susan who popped in with a still-warm home-made cake.  What a team !