Ahoy, it’s Katherine Bone! I love to knit, especially anything with a cable in it! Recently, while researching historical information for my next book, The Pirate’s Duty, The Regent’s Revenge Book #3, I came across knitted frocks worn by fishermen and miners and the women who produced them in Cornwall.
The Guernsey, Gansey, or jersey sweater originated in the 17th Century Channel Islands, becoming the most reliable garment for seamen and fishermen from the 17th to 19th centuries. Comfortable, popular, and dependable, the tightly-packed wool fibers, combined with a snug spinning twist and a simple pattern helped ‘turn water’ and resist sea spray like oiled skin. Variations on the patterns were passed down through generations of fisherman’s wives. Drowned men were identified by deviations of these patterns: diamonds, breaking waves, rope ladders, seeds and bars, each particular to certain areas of Cornwall. (The most complex patterns evolved in Scottish fishing villages.)
Read the rest of the post at Embracing Romance.