Daniel Day-Lewis and wow, that gansey

Daniel Day Lewis and wow, that gansey

I had a little hiccup with my post for today, so instead here’s Daniel Day Lewis on a recent W cover wearing pretty much the perfect gansey sweater. Actually, pretty much the perfect outfitmore photos of it all here. It’s apparently his own gansey, not a designer piece brought to set by the stylist, which makes me love it even more and want to know the specifics of its origins. Given his whole M.O. in life, I’m guessing it’s legit. Did anyone read the interview — did they discuss it? Inquiring minds want to know!

Either way, these photos make me want to knit one more than ever. (Thx, Robin!)

For lots more on ganseys, see: Craftlands: Cordova, Alaska

61 thoughts on “Daniel Day-Lewis and wow, that gansey

  1. Can’t get over the styling, whether it’s his or the photographer or whoever – on one wrist his stripy shirt shows, and on the other one THE STRIPES ARE ALSO ON HIS SKIN. Although it makes his head look enormous, it’s an amazing photo of textiles and textures.

  2. That photo is simply the best. So much style! I fell in love with ganseys way back in the early 90s when Beth Brown-Reisel published her book, “Knitting Ganseys” with its simple black and white photos and closeups of underarm and neck gussets. At the time, my LYS was Yarns International in Bethesda, MD, a shop with a close link to Alice Starmore. I was lucky enough to take several classes with her and I still have my autographed copy of her “Fisherman Knits”, another fave full of amazing ganseys. It’s all about TEXTURE, which has always excited me, for some reason, far more than colour. Gansey style has had a big influence on my own design (see http://chezlizzie.blogspot.ca/2016/03/a-new-source-of-gansey-inspiration.html for a summary) and my Modern Gansey has turned out to be a personal best seller.

    • Holy cow! Lucky you! By the way, when were you in the Bethesda area? I lived in DC on and off for a number of years and used to go to a yarn shop in Dupont Circle. Also, I just realized I have one of your patterns in my Ravelry favourites – the Buttonbox Waistcoat. Nice!

      • We lived in DC from 1991-2007, near Chevy Chase Circle. I remember there was a shop at Dupont Circle early on during our time there.

        • Okay, not to be weird or anything, but my last stint in DC was from ’89 – ’94, and now I live in Hamilton, Ontario – not all that far from you. Crazy!

  3. I love the color of the gansey , with those jeans. Now we can go down a rabbit hole looking for a similar pattern.

    • No need to go down the rabbit hole. There’s a version very similar from Penny Straker (on Ravelry, but dates from the 80s so you have to ignore the styling), and another one similar in Classic British Knits (newer edition is titled Weekend Knits).

  4. Absolutely glorious photo and sweater. I noticed the cuff and wrist stripes too. He wouldn’t have gotten that tattoo just for the photo… nah. My overpowering thought, though, is “man, he looks so thin,” making me wonder what movie role he was prepping for or just finishing up. Gorgeous sweater, impeccable styling.

  5. Thank you for sharing! I’ve always found him interesting in how he approaches his work. The article was a fascinating read that only made him seem more interesting!

    I found the article online here: https://www.wmagazine.com/story/exclusive-daniel-day-lewis-giving-up-acting-phantom-thread

    Here’s a quote regarding his wardrobe choices:

    “His wardrobe is eclectic and carefully chosen—ranging from a three-piece plaid Harris Tweed suit made by a tailor in New York to well-worn dark blue Aran sweaters knit by women in a remote part of Scotland to a pair of work boots that he designed himself. The common themes are craftsmanship, utility, and uniqueness: Day-Lewis ­is not one to purchase anything trendy or frivolous. Each piece is precious. His wardrobe also matched his mood: “I want to wear soft, comforting, plain things,” he told me.”

    • Thank you for finding that — I was surprised it wasn’t linked, and a quick search using their own search box didn’t turn it up. I look forward to reading it!

  6. I guess Daniel Day-Lewis has the star-power to insist on wearing his own clothes for a shoot–and lucky for W that he has such great personal style. Not everyone can pull off rumpled layers like this without coming across as a total slob!

  7. I just don’t understand why Mr. Day-Lewis didn’t give credit to the designer and whoever made this lovely sweater. That he owns it is not really dispositive unless he both designed it and made it. A quick Ravelry search suggests this is the Penny Straker Guernsey #796 with some very minor modifications.

    • Even if he knows those details, and shared them, the magazine wouldn’t be likely to include them. Credits exist for them to acknowledge whoever gave them the items being photographed, and in this case they’d be under no obligation to be thorough – that’s when you just see things listed as “stylist’s own” or “Day-Lewis’ own.” It’s unfortunate, but standard practice.

  8. I’m guessing it’s the real deal, based on where he lives. He can somehow make the “rebel-skater boy” thing look erudite. And now I want a tattoo.

  9. Ever since My Beautiful Launderette…
    pregnant pause at Bill-the-Butcher’s “Whoopsie-daisy”… and Daniel Plainview’s “I drink your milkshake”… to Reynold Woodcock’s naughty porridge… DDL is The One.

    But yours isn’t a film blog… so, yeah, great gansey!

      • I responded to Lisa’s link before seeing your comment, D. That’s a whole new level of fascination and confusion. It says “a student made this” but doesn’t say *when*, how long ago? Because that does appear to be it, and yet it’s a sweater DDL’s father left to him? Now I want to know how long ago his father acquired it and if that is indeed the source, but it seems like it must be!

      • I love the hem detail on that yellow one you refer to. If you look close at DDL’s it appears to be ribbing.

      • Upon closer scrutiny, DDL’s is different from the Flamborough one in a number of ways — different number of sections in the chest, different arm patterning, different waistband …

        I googled around about “Staithes” based on Fiona’s comment below. Penny Straker’s pattern mentioned above (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/staithes-guernsey) says it’s based on a Staithes (place name) garment in the V&A Museum. So my current theory is that DDL’s dad’s sweater and the Flamborough sweater are two different interpretations of the same historical sweater.

        But I’ll dig deeper when I have more time!

      • My favourite detail from traditional guernseys is the underarm gussets. I’ve tinkered and fiddled a lot with various patterns trying to get one I really like. I’ve also tried the Channel Island cast-on, but have never quite gotten the hang of it. DDL’s sweater does appear to use it.

  10. Oh wow, this is SO similar to the gansey my mom knit my dad (twice!) in Alaska in the 70’s and 80’s! If I send him this image he’s going to start strutting around in the now-moth-eaten sweater and asking people whether he looks like a movie star ;)

  11. Wow, that is an amazing gansey and timely for me, I just got a packet from The Net Loft from Cordova, Alaska in yesterdays mail. I’m really interested in the Cordova Gansey Project. Thanks as always for the inspiration!! And eye candy…

  12. Oh, be still my heart! Between the color and the design, I think that’s one of the most beautiful gansey sweaters I’ve ever seen. As beautiful as I think cables are, I’m not into them for myself. My love is subtle patterns of knits and purls and this sweater – wow. Thanks for all of the links from everyone!

  13. I love this from head to toe. The shaved head, the gansey, the tattoos, the bracelets, the bandana, the jeans, the posture, the gesture of his hand. Looking forward to the article. On another, more practical, note, I like the blue/black of the gansey. Very wearable.

  14. It looks like my old Danish sweater from the late 70’s. These sweaters were incredibly popular here in the south of Sweden and mine is still in good shape and I wear it now and then.

  15. Love everything about this – from the man and his gansey (swoon-worthy and timeless) through to this discussion. Yet one more reason I’m constantly amazed by this community! (I’ve been a gansey-admirer for a long time…but have never had the nerve to contemplate making one until now!)

  16. Not commenting on the sweater (can’t say more than has already been said) but just to highly recommend “Phantom Thread”, a beautiful film, slow, almost pensive and yet full of passion with a deliciously twisted love story. The actors are all wonderful, the direction, photography, costumes, music, all superb. A true work of art, rare enough in the movie industry nowadays so I thought I’d mention it and encourage you to watch it (if not done already).

  17. Karen, would you consider a follow-up blog where people can post their favorite gansey pattern or site? This one has inspired me and I’d like to try and knit one but also want some suggestions.
    Thank you!

  18. Daniel Day Lewis has declared that Phantom Thread is his last acting role. After seeing this photo, and how gaunt he looks, I sincerely hope he is well. As for the gansey, it looks like it might be a nice sweater, but IMHO, it looks incredibly awkward in the way it sits on his frame. Pulling and twisting in a very unflattering way. I dunno…maybe too many years in the fashion biz has made me overly critical … but a few judicious tugs would have made this a much better shot.

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  20. The ‘well-worn dark blue Aran sweaters knit by women in a remote part of Scotland’ – ? The Aran islands are off Ireland & the dark blue garment DDL’s wearing here is in fact a Gansey, a traditional fisherman’s jumper. This particular design is found in many parts of the UK including Polperro in Cornwall & Staithes in N Yorkshire & he had it knitted to replace an old one of his father’s. In Phantom Thread he wears one or two others, loaned by http://www.propagansey.co.uk – being based in Whitby, N Yorks, it was great to see the film just 6 miles up the road from Robin Hoods Bay, which features in the early part of the story as being where He meets Her ..

  21. So here’s my bit of kniterly musing: Do you think ganseys are patterned from about the armhole up because a knitter’s gauge might change when one transitions from knitting in the round to knitting flat, and adding patterning is a perfect way to hide that?

    Great looking gansey, and great styling.

  22. To anyone hoping to knit something like this (me included) I’ve found that Deb Gillander (who supplied some of the other beautiful knits in Phantom Thread) and has a facebook page called Propagansey (she set up the exhibition of Ganseys last year in Hull, Yorkshire) has wool/kits/patterns as does Flamborough Marine (where DDL commissioned this jumper) and both are incredibly helpful. I’m heading to my first Gansey workshop in Sunderland (UK) in May and was recommended Glady’s Thompsons book on Patterns for Jerseys, Guernsey & Arans which she researched here in the UK after WW2 and shows all patterns from Scotland to Norfolk. Its like the bible for Gansey hunters. Have been warned it may take me two years to knit my first one! Looking forward to the post Karen with your recommendations..XX

  23. Pingback: New Favorites deluxe: the Staithes Gansey and how to knit one | Fringe Association

  24. Fascinating to see this. I have ancestors who lived in Hull and Withernsea which has it’s own pattern. Bought Penelope Hemingways book on River Ganseys which has some interesting patterns in too

  25. I loved reading everything about ganseys/guernseys here. The Humber Star I am knitting for my husband is coming along slowly – I am now at the neck so just sleeves to go now – although I did start it in July 2016 but stopped for a rest now and then. I do not go in for logging how many stitches or metres of wool I use when I knit but out of curiosity I timed myself for this. It took me 7 minutes to knit 1 round 172 stitches for the neck. So it should not take two years but it is not a quick knit!
    I bought the pattern at https://www.waysideflower.co.uk/collections/patterns. Its photos are very helpful and I have found more advice and inspiration from places online, as well as Gladys Thompson’s book, which I borrowed from the library.
    I bought the wool (two cones – fewer ends – yay!) and long needles from http://www.guernseywool.co.uk although I switched to two circular needles as I kept stabbing myself and my armchair. The Moray Firth Gansey Project: http://www.gansey-mf.co.uk/index.html and The Yorkshire Crafter: https://yorkshirecrafter.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/how-to-design-and-knit-a-gansey/ were great sources. And this video was lovely: https://youtu.be/F-aLn19VNjw.

  26. Pingback: What I Know About: Gansey origins (with Deb Gillanders) | Fringe Association

  27. Hello,

    This is just to confirm that the Staithes Gansey Daniel is wearing was commissioned by him directly with us, Flamborough Marine Limited, to match his father’s Gansey, but with one alteration in that his father’s Gansey had plain sleeves, whereas Daniel asked for a patterned sleeve (also, his father’s sweater was not knitted in one piece, where our Gansey is). The Gansey was knitted by Marion, who has been knitting for us for over thirty years and who received a beautifully hand-written thank you letter from Daniel.

    Kind regards,
    Geoffrey Miller
    Flamborough Marine Limited

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