Welcome to Emma Maye The Wool Boat for exclusive knitwear, photo art and knitting supplies.
Gansey. a traditonal woollen jumper worn by fishermen and working boatmen on the Leeds and Liverpool canal, now you can own one too.
page updated 21.2.17 with a New Gansey
Please see the note on oiled wool below.
Carole's 4th Garment of 2017.
A modern boatman's gansey hand knitted by Carole Wareing of Colin and Carole's Creations and The Wool Boat.
This gansey Carole knitted to her own pattern. It is called a modern boatman's gansey as while it is based on the basic principles of a gansey it is knitted on two needles and then the pieces are sewn together. Traditionally Ganseys where knitted in the round on a set of 5 needles.
This Gansey was knitted for a customer in Wrightington
This garment has been created from a wool and acrylic yarn from the West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley range of double knitting weight yarn.
This is the 4th garment Carole has finished in 2017, and if you would like a similar one knitting to your sizes please feel free to get in touch.
This is a modern boat mans gansey created for Alison in Mid Wales for her husbands birthday.
Alison kindly sent us this picture and the comment,
"Thought you would like to see the gansey on. He absolutely loves it! I think it may have to be surgically removed for washing! Thank you"
Alison September 2016.
The Leeds and Liverpool 200 GanseyThe Leeds and Liverpool Canal is 200 years old this year so we are staying on the canal all year, with plans to cruise The Wool Boat from Burscough towards Leeds and back.
The Canal and River Trust are heading up the canal long celebrations with details here
In 1816 the Leeds and Liverpool canal was completed,
to help commemorate the 200th anniversary Carole is
now taking orders for her "LL200 Gansey"
Back in 1816, the Leeds and Liverpool canal was at last completed as a cross Pennine waterway and transport route.
One of the main reasons for the building of the canal was to transport wool, and the boat crews who worked the barges were known to wear wool as well, in the form of a "Gansey".
To help commemorate the 200th anniversary Carole Wareing of Colin and Carole's Creations and The Wool Boat is designing a special Gansey which has a new pattern on it and incorporates the motif "LL 200" into the knitting.
The first gansey has now been completed and here it is.
The completed LL200 gansey
Pattern detail of the LL200 gansey
LL200 gansey motif
Carole is now accepting orders for these limited edition gansey's the limit being that they can only be ordered during 2016, with any being ordered after that becoming Carole's Leeds and Liverpool Gansey without the motif.
The gansey can be created from a range of colours and yarns, with prices starting from £65, the same price as Carole's modern gansey's with details below.
with a bit more information about wool traffic on The Leeds and Liverpool Canal....
"Wool and Ganseys on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
The spinning and weaving of sheep fleece into woollen cloth grew as a cottage industry in England in the 16th and 17th Century's, with the industry spread across the country, from Cornwall to East Anglia and in the north in such places as Keswick and Colne.
By the mid 18th Century there was a thriving cloth manufacturing industry using wool in the Bradford and Leeds areas of Yorkshire. As the Aire and Calder rivers where improved the goods were able to get to and from the east coast ports of Hull and Goole. However a desire to provide transport westwards to the expanding port of Liverpool and on to the American trades resulted in a public meeting taking place at the Sun Inn in Bradford on 2 July 1766 to promote the building a canal from Bradford over the Pennines towards Liverpool.
A start was made on digging the canal at Halsall in West Lancashire on 5th November 1770.
Eventually the canal was completed throughout its entire 127 and1/4 miles and officially opened on 22nd October 1816.
As the industrial revolution took hold the industry moved from a cottage industry to mechanized mills and weaving sheds.
As these bigger and bigger work places were built one of the problems was transport of raw material and finished goods, from and to the expanding towns and cites.
The canal carried a wide range of cargo from limestone to coal and a lot of cotton and wool. The canal was still carrying around 25,000 tons of wool annually in 1939, with the last cargo being carried from Liverpool to Shipley in 1960.
The boat men that worked the canal traditionally wore clogs on their feet and a woollen Gansey, knitted by wives and ladys "on the bank". These where normally knitted in the round on a number of needles with the patterns being kept in the heads of the knitter, very few patterns being committed to paper.
Quote from Alan Holden
This was a memory that was originally published by Alan in "Clogs and Ganseys" no 1 The Newsletter for the wide working boats group, published in 1996.
"In Memory of William (Bill) Salt. Born 1904 died 1985. One of the last boatmen to work the horse boats on the Leeds and Liverpool canal in East Lancashire…..
Like all northern boatmen Bill wore the traditional Gansey and clogs. He had his Gansey knit for him in the 1920's by an old boatwoman, a Mrs Draper of Burscough. It cost him 12s 6d for the wool and another 12s 6d to have it made. Bill wore his Gansey up until the Second World War when he handed it to his late nephew Harry Salt who wore it while serving in the royal Navy. In it's time the Gansey as been to Murmansk, Malta, and America. After bill died his nephew passed the Gansey on to me and is now available for inspection at the visitor's centre at Eanam wharf, Blackburn where it is on loan."
This year 2016 is the 200th anniversary of the opening of the canal and there are celebratory events planned along the canal's length culminating in the recreation of the original opening celebration cruise by the Leeds and Liverpool canal society in October.
Carole Wareing from Colin and Carole's Creations and the Wool Boat has designed a modern pattern Gansey, a "Leeds and Liverpool 200 Gansey" which will be knitted to order by Carole with any ordered during 2016 incorporating "LL200" in the design, after which it becomes Carole's Leeds and Liverpool Gansey with out the "LL200"
The Gansey is knitted from double knitting yarn, though only on two needles though following the tradition of having a pattern on the chest area with the new design including cables and Jacobs ladder stitching.
We are joining in the along the canal by cursing The Wool Boat from Burscough towards Leeds and return with a cargo of knitting wool and yarn's stopping off along the way to supply hand knitting and crocheting wools and yarns to local knitters and crocheter's.
For more information on the history of the Leeds and Liverpool canal can we recommend a copy of "the Leeds and Liverpool Canal" a history and Guide by Mike Clarke that has been updated and reprinted for 2016."
and yet more information about ganseys of the canal's and the northwest here
After sterling work by Carole we can now reveal THE GANSEY.
Carole tells the story of the Boat mans Jumper.
Boat women's clothes in the working days of the canals consisted of a black skirt, white blouse, white apron and a crocheted bonnet.
The Boat men, however, wore heavy duty corduroy trousers, collarless heavy cotton shirts, usually in a striped pattern with a Gansey over the top. These where knitted in a dark blue oiled wool to keep out the weather. Patterns where knitted into the Gansey from halfway up the chest. The boat man's wife would knit the Gansey whilst sitting upon the front step of their canal side cottage. Each family of boatmen had their own traditional pattern.
Our jumpers are based on the traditional Gansey, however they are not kniited in the tradional way on 5 needles, but are knitted from either traditional yarns, or modern yarns, for ease of care which helps to make them more affordable. The patterns are taken from traditional British designs and you can have your own hand knitted, contact Carole on our number to discuss your own unique Gansey for your self or as a present.
Traditional Style Boatman's Ganseys.
Knitted in Pure wool from £150.00
which are only knitted to order
Made to measure in your own choice of
A Wool and Acrylic mix from £100.
Acrylic yarn and colour from £65.00
Or Knitted in Acrylic yarn and in stock £60.00
A variety of sizes of Navy Blue Ganseys are normally in stock
These prices are for garments bought directly from"Emma Maye" , please enquire about delivery charges. Phone us on 07931 356204
Just a note on Oiled Wool since the repeat of Sir Tony Robinsons history walk "The walk to Wigan Pier" on Saturday evening we have had quite a few enquires for Carole to knit ganseys in oiled wool.
"Oiled Wool used in Ganseys and jumpers.
The natural oiled wool that Carole uses to create her modern Ganseys is unbleached wool shorn from a sheep, and then carded and spun into a thread that she can knit with.
The yarn which is unbleached retains some of the lanolin from the animal to give an oily feel.
The finished garment can thus be considered as "Oiled" but due to it not being processed with bleaches etc to take a coloured dye the range of colours available is in the natural end of the spectrum, from dark browns to ecru, which is the traditional Aran cream.
A "waterproof" fisherman's gansey was water resistant partly due to the lanolin in the yarn, but also due to the tightness of the knitting process obtained by using a thinner yarn.
A traditional "Aran" jumper would have some waterproofing properties if it was knitted from natural yarns, however with Aran weight yarn being a thicker yarn the garment can't be knitted as tightly and so the waterproof properties are not as great."
Below is a image of some of the 100% pure British wool that Carole uses to create ganseys and other garments from and is also available to buy from us if you would like to knit your own.
Cw 1362 Country side tweed from Wooly knits.
A basket of 100% pure wool Countryside tweed double knitting yarn from Wooly knits in Diggle which are now available from The Wool Boat.
This yarn is 100% produced from wool from British sheep.
The colour's are named after various geographical features of the uk, and in this basket are
Brecon and Hewitts.
There are a further 13 shades available, which we can order in for you.
After care of the finished garment is to hand wash and dry flat.
This yarn is £6.50 per 100gram ball as at May 2015.
Recommended needle size is 4mm,
Tension/Gauge 22sts to 28 rows
A ball contains 204 m or 228 yards
Below you will find details of ganseys that we have produced and sold,
all can be recreated for you .
Gansey on the Thames
Carole completed this Gansey just before Christmas 2015
This Gansey was knitted by Carole to her modern Gansey pattern and was created from Wooly Knits Countryside Tweed pure wool yarn. The shade is "Pembroke", a dark blue with a slight fleck colour.
Wooly Knits are based in a old mill in diggle alongside the Huddersfeild narrow canal.
We have this yarn in stock on the Wool Boat priced at £6.50 for a 100 gram ball and the pattern is available from the boat or can be downloaded from our web page shop for £2.00
The new owner contacted us with a e-mail following delivery
"I am delighted with it and attach pic from yesterday on a grey Thames pre lunch cruise"
Cerise Boatmans or Womans Gansey
A traditional pink Boatmans Gansey, with a pattern above the chest band representing the fenders on a canal boat.
Colour Pink Size 40 inch
Yarn Double knitting acrylic. garment no 28.
Mottled Blue Boatman's Gansey