victoria gibson knitwear

Hello everyone, today I thought id share some images of some of my knitwear collection that is a bit different than a lot of my other stuff – some of my Victoria Gibson pieces. I have often spoken about how when I was growing up in Shetland in the 1990s and early 2000’s traditional Shetland knitwear is not what people I knew really wore – and the style of Victoria Gibson knitwear is how in my memory a lot of people looked but she has been designing for a long time and I know in the 70’s my Dad had a stripey Victoria Gibson jumper. I have amassed quite a few pieces and its actually probably the most pieces I have of one designer outwith the traditional styles (and yes I have a lot of that..!)

You can see the overwhelming aspect of these designs is the use of colour and yarns – they are predominantly textured with knits and purls and certain styles have an almost ‘gansey’ style. The colour changes and blending are achieved by holding together a number of strands and dropping/adding other colours/weights. The shape is usually boxy and oversized, but still very flattering to wear. I feel the details of the complexity of the colour changing fascinating to look at:

I find the use of colour the most inspiring thing in these garments and although not ‘traditional’ in the usual sense of Shetland knitting there is an aspect of colour blending with goes through all the pieces. There is a really interesting article about Victoria Gibson in the 2017 Wool Week annual which was about the exhibition curated by the late Lizzie Simmons at the Shetland Textile Museum. I was only able to visit that exhibition in passing and wish I could have gone again, but the article gives you a great background into the history of her knitwear business and I would really recommend it. (You can also see more about it in a review here)

I also have two of these interesting styles which have an almost Victorian style ‘leg of mutton’ shoulder and arm. One was given to me by a lady who I was buying other knitwear from and the other I found at the Aith Charity Shop. I have got almost all my pieces from Shetland Charity shops but a few from eBay. I also have a few imitation jumpers…

Which follow the same style as the originals but don’t quite come up to the standard of the real ones. They are not cheap new which as oversized completely hand knit jumpers they shouldn’t be but I’m always surprised when I do find ones and willing to spend a bit more than I sometimes do. There isn’t a lot to be found online about her knitwear but the Gibson family is very creative and her daughter owns and runs the Peerie Shop, which is one of the nicest shops in Lerwick and as far as I know the only place to find Victoria Gibson knitwear to buy which we have always called ‘Peerie Shop Jumpers’. There is a pattern in the Jamieson’s Knitting book 3 for one of the jumper styles – Dawn & Dusk which is probably where my imitations have been made from buts its the only pattern available as far as I know – which I kind of like!

I just find them all extremely easy to wear and so lovely and bright, so in the winter I wear them a lot. A bit different than a lot of my stuff but just as inspiring I think, happy knitting!


10 thoughts on “victoria gibson knitwear

  1. This is fascinating as I have never seen anything like these before. I love the orange/red one which is so unlike the usual colourways associated with ganseys. I think that it is an interesting variation on a gansey and I am quite tempted to try adapting a standard gansey pattern for my husband. I guess it would all be down to guage.

  2. I love these garments. Knitting different stitch patterns in one garment keeps my interest. And yes, I was knitting during this time but this designer is new to me. Thank you for sharing.

  3. The textures are really interesting also with the use of colour which sorts of bucks the trend to me which is texture or colour not both.

  4. Thank you so much, Ella, for sharing these lovely pieces with us. They are quite lovely and the colors so special. Your collection needs a gallery of its own to show all the pieces you have. I always enjoy seeing a new find or two from you!!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing, Ella! Love these sweaters. I agree, I think I’d enjoy wearing them a tad more than the traditional ones. And I love the stranded color changes and the texture!

  6. OMG, am Drooling over the red/orange one. My absolute favourite! Thanks for the article link. what a find.

  7. Wow, Ella, they are gorgeous! I think it’s so wonderful that you collect old and important woolens. I’m going to try to find that Wool Week so I can buy it and read more about Victoria Gibson.

  8. Thank you for posting this and especially the reference to the Jamieson 3 book. I would never have matched your sweaters to the one in the book as the photos in the book do not show them off very well. This may have just jumped to the top of my to-do list.

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