© Moray Firth Gansey Project June 2018

This project was part-financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and by the Scottish Government and The European Community Rural Aberdeenshire, Highland and Moray LEADER 2007 – 2013 Programmes.

Beatrice Gansey


Yarn: 7-8 x 100g balls of 5 ply Guernsey (worsted spun) wool.  [Victoria used British Breeds Guernsey 5 ply wool.  Frangipani and Wendy Guernsey 5 ply yarns are also excellent, but may knit up to a slightly different tension.

Tension: 28 stitches and 38 rows per 4 inches / 10 cm.

Needles: 2.75mm or size required to obtain stated tension – a circular or long double pointed needles (DPNs)  for the body and DPNs for the sleeves and neckband.

Finished size:

A. Small: garment size: 36 inches / 91 cm, to fit chest: 32-34 inches / 81-86 cm

B. Medium: garment size: 40 inches / 102 cm, to fit chest: 36-38 inches / 91-96 cm

C. Large: garment size: 44 inches / 112 cm, to fit chest: 40-42 inches / 101-106 cm

The chest measurement is taken just beneath the gussets.  

Sleeves: 17, 18, 19 inch / 43, 46, 48 cm

Note: 2 inches / 5 cm over the actual chest measurement is needed for ease in a close fitting garment; up to 4 inches / 10 cm for a looser fit.


Cast on (232), 256, (284) stitches.  Join in the round, placing a marker at the beginning of the round.

Welt: foundation round: p1 *k2, p2, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, k2, p1 (placing a marker after (116), 128, (142) stitches, to mark the mid-point of the round).

Continue in rib pattern as set until piece measures 2 inches / 5 cm from cast on edge (approximately 16 rounds).  Increase 18, 26, 30 stitches as follows:

Increase round:

A: p1, k13, m1, [k11, m1] 8 times, k13, p1, slip marker, p1, k13, m1, [k11, m1] 8 times, k13, p1 (250 stitches)

B: p1, [k9, m1] 13 times, k9, p1, slip marker, p1, [k9, m1] 13 times, k9, p1 (282 stitches).

C: p1, k7, m1, [k9, m1] 14 times, k7, p1, slip marker, p1, k7, m1, [k9, m1] 14 times, k7, p1 (314 stitches)

Note: the purl stitches at the beginning and end of each round and before and after the half way marker form a false seam, which continues through the centre of the gusset and down the sleeves.

Work chart A starting with round 1 and beginning each round at the right hand side. Repeat the six stitches of the diagonal lines pattern, between the false side seam stitches.  NB there will not be an exact number of repeats, just work the additional stitches into the pattern.

Next round: p1, knit to 1 stitch before marker, p1, slip marker, p1, knit to last stitch, p1.

Continue as set by last round until piece measures 11 inches / 28 cm from cast on edge.

Note: Adjust length here as required. The gusset adds approximately 2.75 inches / 7 cm to the centre armhole, giving a total length to underarm of approximately 15.75 inches / 40 cm

Gussets and Yoke

Purl 3 rounds

Work chart B to the end of round 26.  The diagonal lines are the same as on the lower body, and the six stitch pattern is repeated between the gussets, with a single plain knit stitch at each edge.  When you get to the oil rig pattern there are (7), 8, (9) repeats of the pattern between the red lines.  The wind turbine pattern above is also repeated (7), 8, (9) times between the red lines.

Chart B round 27: divide for the armholes as follows: Knit from chart to 10 stitches before marker, place the next 20 gusset stitches on a stitch holder or waste yarn; place (123), 139, (155) stitches for the back on a separate stitch holder or waste yarn; place remaining 10 stitches on a separate stitch holder or waste yarn with the 10 stitches from the beginning of the round for the other gusset. The stitches that are removed are marked with a horizontal red line on the chart.


Now knit back and forward on the front working rows 28-61 from Chart B.  NB When working wrong side rows remember that boxes marked purl on the right side will be knitted and vice versa - see key on right.

Work Chart C, repeating the section between the red lines (7), 8, (9) times.

After finishing final chart row work decrease row as follows:

A: (k1, k2tog) 13 times, k1, place marker, k43, place marker, (k1, k2tog) 13 times, k1. (97 stitches will remain = 27 stitches, marker, 43 stitches, marker, 27 stitches). The neckband will be picked up from the central 43 stitches and the other stitches will be used for the shoulder straps.

B: k1, [k1, k2tog, k2, k2tog] 6 times, k1, k2tog, place marker, k47, place marker, [k1, k2tog, k2, k2tog] 6 times, k1, k2tog, k1. (113 stitches remain = 33 stitches, marker, 47 stitches, marker, 33 stitches). The neckband will be picked up from the central 47 stitches and the other stitches will be used for the shoulder straps.

C: (k2, k2tog) 13 times, place marker, k51, (k2tog, k2) 13 times. (129 stitches will remain = 39 stitches, marker, 51 stitches, marker, 39 stitches). The neckband will be picked up from the central 51 stitches and the other stitches will be used for the shoulder straps.

Break yarn, but do not cast off.


Reattach yarn to the other side and work the back the same as the front. Break yarn, but do not cast off.

Shoulder Straps

The shoulder straps are worked from the shoulder towards the neck.

Return the front and back stitches of one shoulder to needles if you have removed them. Cast on 17 stitches on a separate needle. Hold one set of shoulder stitches in your left hand with the right side facing, and the neck edge to the left. Knit first stitch from left needle and slip last cast on stitch over it (this is a right side row).

(WS) Turn work, slip the first stitch, with the yarn in front (do this on every wrong side row), and purl across, purling the last stitch together with the first stitch from the other shoulder.

(RS) Turn work and start to work Chart D.  Slip the first stitch of each right side row with the yarn at the back; continue to work off a shoulder stitch at the end of each right side row using slip one knit one pass slip stitch over, and each wrong side row using purl 2 together.

Break yarn, leaving the stitches on waste yarn to be picked up again later to work the neckband.

Work the other shoulder strap in the same way.


Pick up 98 stitches spaced evenly starting to the left of the gusset stitches. Knit 9 gusset stitches, p1, place marker for beginning of round, p1, knit remaining 9 gusset stitches from holder (118 stitches)

Knit until you reach the marker again. This is now the beginning of the round.

Knit Chart E working decreases as marked, and repeating the six stitches of the diagonal lines pattern around the sleeve.

After completing Chart E, 100 stitches remain.

Maintaining the 2 stitch false seam continue to decrease the sleeve as follows:

A: work decrease round* on next and every following 4th round until 52 stitches remain; work 3 rounds without shaping.

B: work decrease round* on 5th and every following 5th round until 60 stitches remain; work 8 rounds without shaping.

C: work decrease round* on 4th and every following 7th round until 68 stitches remain; work 7 rounds without shaping.

*Decrease round is worked as follows: p1, k2tog, knit to 3 stitches from end, ssk, p1

Knit Chart A, repeating the six stitch diagonal lines pattern between the false seam stitches.

Decrease round: p1, k2tog, k16, k2tog, k18, k2tog, k16, k2tog, p1. (48, 56, 64 stitches).

Next round: p1, * k2, p2, rep from * to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.

Rib for 15 more rows (or 2 inches / 5 cm).

Cast off in pattern.

Make other sleeve the same.


Cast on 6 stitches. Find the centre point of the shoulder strap stitches on the side where you want the buttons to go, and pick up all the neckband stitches from this point (126, 134, 142 stitches).

Turn work (neckband is worked back and forth, not in the round). K6, p2tog, p62, p2tog, p to last 6 stitches, k6 (124,132,140 stitches).

Row 1: k6, * p2, k2, rep. from * to last 6 stitches, k6.

Work a further 5 rows as set, maintaining 6 stitches at either side in garter stitch, the rest in ribbing.

Row 7 (buttonhole row): k6, * p2, k2, rep. from * to last 6 stitches, k2, k2tog, yarn over, k2.

Rows 8-14 as Row 1.

Row 15 as Row 7 (buttonhole row).

Rows 16-20 as Row 1.

Cast off in pattern.


Darn in all ends.

Sew start of button band to inside of neck.

Wash as per yarn directions.

Shape and lay flat to dry.

Sew on two buttons to correspond with buttonholes on neckband

Click on a picture to see more detail


Full pattern (3 sizes, charts, pictures) (786k)|

Chart A (24k)|

Chart B (264k)|

Chart C (127k)|

Chart D (39k)|

Chart E (115k)|

In spite of pre-publication checks we have now discovered a number of errors (mostly minor) in the Beatrice Gansey pattern as published in our booklet.  There were several errors in chart B, so we recommend that you download the revised copy of this at least.  These instructions and charts are now, hopefully, correct - please let us know if they are not.  Two additional sizes have been added to the original - a small and a large.

The Project funding came to and end in October 2012, but some aspects of the work are on-going e.g. this web site, the travelling exhibition, the on-line database.  If you wish to send us a donation in return for patterns or other information on the site which you have found useful it will be much appreciated and will help to pay for this work.  

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