Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yarn Along: Guernsey

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows inspired my knitting this week.  This book is entirely composed of letters between a writer named Juliet and the people of Guernsey, a small island off the coast of England that the Germans occupied during WWII.  The book club they formed during the war gave them the strength to get through it.
This video of one of the authors, Annie Barrows, is a great introduction to the novel.
As for the knitting, I decided to begin a guernsey (or gansey) sweater for Pete.  These sweaters originated in the very island the book describes.  These garments were ideal for the fishermen of Guernsey because wool naturally repells the sea spray and keeps the wearer warm even when wet.  Many have elaborate cable patterns that are passed down from generation to generation.  I chose to make a plain stockinette sweater because of Pete's preference for simpler clothing.
My beginning here is an Elizabeth Zimmermann-esque swatch cap.  I've always slogged through swatches, but knowing that this will be a functional piece has kept me going.

Join our Yarn Along at small things!


Marfa said...

That is a great book...very sweet! You're going to love it.

Jordmor-Hanne said...

That sounds like a great book. I`m really interested in ww2,so this might be something for me. Funny that your knitting matches the book :) said...

i had no idea why fisherman wore wool sweaters like my dad is a sailor and always did too! i just thought it was fashion. thanks for the history lesson along with your book! i may need to pick that one up!


Swanski said...

I adore the gray color! I am adding more and more of it to my wardrobe. I have not read that book yet but it is sitting on my shelf.

S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen said...

Loved that book, and your sweater is such a pretty misty sort of grey. Very nice!

Lori ann said...

thank you for such a good description of the book, i do have it but it's been pushed further down the queue. now i will put it back on top!

wonderful to see swatching, esp for such a large project! your wool looks lovely!