The Fisherman’s Guernsey has a sails pattern back and front with the middle panel knitted in the net stitch.
The Guernsey is knitted on four pins, all in one piece. The Guernsey would have been the main garment for the Fisherman hunting the shoals of Herring. Many of the coastal communities had a unique pattern to identify where the fisherman were from. The body of the Guernsey has a variety of patterns, most often 4 various patterns repeated 3 times. Patterns such as marriage lines, net, sails and horse shoe. On the Barra Guernsey the unique pattern is the true lovers knit.
A mistake when knitting this stitch can not be mended and the knitter has to start again. The chest and back have the same patterns divided by panel patterns. The Chest patterns may have Anchors, Closed diamonds, open diamonds, tree of life and the ships wheel to mention a few. On receiving your order we will get in touch to discuss your preferences.
Each of these garments are unique and last a life time and more.
“In island culture, the herring girl is viewed as a hardworking, strong woman who was not scared of hard graft. I hope, through the Herring Girl collection, we can pay tribute to their resilience and thank them for keeping these unique traditions alive for us to take on.”
MARGARET ANNE ELDER, Designer (CY “GRIAN NAN OIR”)
Herring Girl Knitwear was established in Autumn 2019 with the first showing of its inaugural CY range at The Royal National Mod – the Gaelic language’s premier cultural festival.
Five handknitters on Barra are producing high-quality clothing such as guernseys (fisherman’s jumper), scarves, shawls, hats and gloves as well as cushion covers and bed throws for the home.
The luxury handknits have gathered a healthy local following with demand growing since its launch. Herring Girl has now secured orders from all over the world and is now working in partnership with some retailers across the west Highlands and Islands to stock the woollens.
Herring Girl Knitwear is the brainchild of Founder and Designer Margaret Anne Elder in the Isle of Barra. Find out more at herringgirlcollection.com