Friday saw me spending a day in the archives of the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther. It was a beautiful morning and, following a week away in Yorkshire and London, I was delighted to be back home in Fife. Before the museum opened I went for a stroll along the sea front at Crail, with its fishing boats and gear heaped high by the harbour.
The museum itself is currently undergoing renovation, but curator Jen Gordon welcomed me in to the research room hidden away at the back of the building. I wasn’t alone – a friendly American textiles student studying knitting at Heriot-Watt was also there to paw over ganseys.
The museum’s gansey collection is quite extensive, though it includes many more ‘Sunday best’ ganseys than working ones of the kind Deb Gillanders has in Whitby. I was excited to see ganseys patterns with anchors and hearts, knitted for competitions, as well as beautiful grey, blue and cream jerseys with more traditional patterns. Here’s a little snippet for your delectation:
I also thumbed through many wonderful old photos of fishermen and women wearing ganseys, from the mid-19th century up until the 1980s. The photos speak for themselves; I’ve put a couple here for you to enjoy:
In other news – coming back from London last week, I got stuck on a Virgin East Coast train for 11 hours in the teeth of Storm Doris. At one point we were trapped between a factory roof that had blown onto the tracks to the north of us and trees blown the overhead lines to the south. Drama aside, I didn’t mind being delayed as I had my gansey with me, and as you can see – I really made some progress!