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Seaworthy Gansey Cap Pattern

Seaworthy Gansey Cap Pattern

“Enduring tradition and all-weather style.”

Knit in a tightly spun traditional 5-ply Guernsey yarn, this all-weather cap is handsome on men and women alike. The eight-part decrease rounds create a flat circular top, while a firm gauge keeps the gansey-textured crown band standing at attention for pillbox styling. Or you can pull it down low over your ears like a beanie when the wind comes up!

We love the tradition and history of ganseys – warm, durable, yet supple garments knit with 5-ply Guernsey wool, originally developed to protect seafarers from the cold and sea spray. Family patterns were developed from the original and handed down from generation to generation. We’ve provided two traditional gansey pattern charts here, but you can also create your own using this pattern, and share it with family and friends. Start a new tradition!

Medium adult: Approx. 22"/56cm around. See the Knitters' Notes tab at right for more information on sizing.

1 skein Frangipani 5-Ply Guernsey (240 yds/220m) shown on him with Chart I in Color Dark Navy; shown on her with Chart II in Color Aran.
Or approx. 200 yds/183m of an equivalent 5-ply Guernsey yarn.
Or approx. 400 yds/366m of a light fingering-weight sock yarn held double. (We've tried Regia 4-ply with great success.)

US 2 (2.75mm) 16"/40cm circular and double-points, or size to obtain gauge. Note: We recommend metal needles for strength as this is a vigorous knit!
8 locking stitch markers (1 in a different color to designate beginning of round).
Darning needle to finish.
7½"/19cm diameter plate or circle of heavy cardboard for blocking.

26 sts/36 rounds = 4"/10cm in stockinette stitch, blocked.
26 sts/approx. 48 rounds = 4"/10cm in chart pattern, blocked.

This hat is designed to fit with little or no stretching so that the sides stand straight. If you wish to increase the size a little, you can fine tune the fit with blocking. For a smaller hat, you can work to a slightly tighter gauge on a smaller needle and block to fit.

Five-ply Guernsey is out there, but a little rare. Curiously, 50g of fingering-weight sock yarn had roughly the same number of yards as 100g of fingering-weight 5-ply Guernsey. So that meant that there was as much fiber in a yard of Guernsey as in 2 strands of sock yarn. So we experimented and got a lovely, dense, beefy result that was right on gauge!

This pattern provides two traditional gansey pattern charts—one simple and one more complex. It also tells you how to swap in your favorite texture chart.

Digital Seaworthy Gansey Cap pattern. (Download)

Printed Seaworthy Gansey Cap pattern. (Requires shipping.)