January Gansey

A relatively traditional gansey with all-over cables and gussets in the underarm and shoulder. Gender neutral.



This gorgeous cabled gansey – aptly named the January Gansey for one of the coldest, darkest months of the year – is a nod to my seafaring ancestors, and to my obsession with the sea.

My January Gansey features underarm and shoulder gussets for a comfortable fit around the arms, and brings you time-honored style with modern fit options (you’ll have three gauge options to choose from, so you can make your sweater work beautifully for the yarn you’ve selected).

This traditional seamless gansey features rich cables and a warm, dense fabric for the coldest months of the year. It’s knit in the round from the bottom-up, and joined at the shoulders with a clever grafting technique for a slick finish. Like traditional fisherman ganseys, the January Gansey features drop shoulders with underarm and shoulder gussets for a more comfortable (and practical) unisex fit.

For the baby/child version, see Little Gansey Sweater here.
For the matching hat, see The Gansey Beanie here.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Sizes: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52) in /80 (85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130) cm chest/bust


  • Sport or DK Weight knit at a dense gauge.
  • Sample used Abundant Earth Romney Wool (nonsuperwash) 240 yards/219 m in 100g.
  • Despite the smaller gauge, do not be tempted to substitute a fingering weight yarn – it will not have the proper density for this design.
  • Additional caution: Do not use “suggested gauge” listed on yarn band as a guide – it does not apply here. Choose a heavy sport or DK weight yarn and adjust your needle size as necessary until you achieve a gauge of 24-26 st over 4 in. Choose your size based on your gauge (see Finished Measurements Chart in pattern) as well as your desired fit. Row gauge is less critical for this design and will vary based on the type and weight of fiber you use.
  • Yardage Estimate (will vary based on gauge): 1246 (1345, 1454, 1540, 1655, 1749, 1847, 1952, 2063, 2181, 2256) yards/ 1139 (1229, 1329, 1408, 1513, 1599, 1688, 1784, 1886, 1994, 2062) meters

Gauge (multiple options)
In stockinette stitch (blocked):
26 st in 4 in/10 cm
25 st in 4 in/10 cm
24 st in 4 in/10 cm

In cables (aggressively blocked):
27 st in 4 in/10 cm
26 st in 4 in/10 cm
25 st in 4 in/10 cm

Row gauge will vary based on the yarn you’re using. Because this design is knit bottom-up, row gauge is less critical.


  • US Size 3/3.25mm 32-40 in/80 -100 cm (stockinette/hip area) and 12 in/30 cm or DPNs for sleeves*
  • US Size 4/3.5mm 32-40 in/80 -100 cm (cables/main body)*
  • US Size 2/2.75mm 16 in/40 cm (neck ribbing)
  • US Size 4/3.5mm DPNs (or same size used for cable section – needed for Russian Grafting)
    *Or as needed to establish gauge appropriate to your yarn and to create a relatively dense fabric


  • Stitch markers
  • Crochet hook or other tool with a small crochet hook tip (same mm size or smaller than the needle you use for the cable portion of the body)
  • Blocking pins, blocking mat