There was an exhibition at the Sheringham Museum at the Mo over the summer of Gansey jumpers from the Netherlands. It was an exhibition that started me thinking about adapting elements of a pattern for cushion designs. I was bought the book More Traditional Dutch Gansey Patterns by Stella Ruhe for my birthday. This is the first fruits arising from that initial burst of inspiration.

After choosing a design I had to decide what elements to use and how. At this stage I was doing lots of gauge tests. Traditional Gansey patterns are done in quite fine yarn on fine needles, this gives the design sharpness and the fabric produced density. I wanted to keep aspects of this but enlarge the pattern, for example; where it said two purl stiches I’d do four instead. Using graph paper I drew out the enlarged design and made sure the differing elements linked together.

Because a Gansey pattern is simply all about stitch definition its unforgiving of even minor slip ups, missed stiches and any knit stitches that should be purl. So there were quite a few yelps of frustration from me, when I spotted a fluffed stitch several rows too late. After being blocked it was worth the effort.

I’m now knitting two more front covers for ‘gansey’ style cushions, one in dark blue and one in off white, plus knitting the backs. As these are in 4ply wool on size 3 knitting needles, it maybe some time before these cushions get finished.