Thursday, March 17, 2016

Guernseys vs. Jerseys

"Ouvre", she said coyly.
 (Gladys Thompson on page 5 of Patterns for Guernseys, and Arans, third edition, copyright 1979 by Dover Publications.)

Guernseys were knit with either Western Stitch Mounting or Combined Stitch Mounting.

Jerseys were knit using Eastern Stitch Mount.

The Eastern Stitch Mount produces a tighter fabric; and, a stitch that is more more square.  How the stitch is mounted affects the shape of the knit stitch.

Western and Eastern Stitch Mount do produce different fabrics, that can be distinguished by folks that have worked with both knitting methods.  The folks in Yorkshire often confuse these fabrics, and are not careful with what they call these fabrics. Jerseys have won "guernsey" knitting competitions, so even knitting judges in Yorkshire are willing to call a "jersey", a "guernsey". Their failure to be precise and accurate in their textile nomenclature is not my problem.

Rather my goal is to knit better fabrics, and understanding how stitch mount affects the  fabric is important. For me,  guernseys and jerseys are different fabrics, with different virtues, made with different knitting techniques.

However, knitting the gauge of guernseys and jerseys does require a knitting sheath or knitting belt of some kind to provide the leverage to pack the yarn tightly.  Thus, here we have two different knitting methods that produce different fabrics, but which use similar knitting sheaths.

I have been thinking about for "Ouvre" for sometime now.  Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, is the solution.  In this case. it also involved realizing that there is a serious error in Mary Thomas's discussion of stitch mount in her Knitting Book.  It is still a very good book.

1 comment:

Moor Walker said...

Please provide your evidence to support your assertions.