Knitting Ganseys

by Beth Brown Reinsel

Paperback, 1993






This newly revised and updated edition provides more information on the gansey tradition as well as new, modern patterns.


Interweave (1993), Edition: First Edition, 160 pages

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0934026858 / 9780934026857

User reviews

LibraryThing member jbarr5
Knitting Ganseys, Revised and Updated Techniques and Patterns for Traditional Sweaters by Beth Brown-Reinsel
Wow what a treasure of information. I design my own Irish Fisherman type sweaters and afghans and really enjoyed reading this book.
Starts out with a table of contents where the chapters are
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broken up into what the ganseys are to all the construction phases and patterns.
Stunning high quality photos throughout this book, you can see detailed stitching. Loved learning of the history of the gansey and Arans and differences between them.
Loved the tools of the trade as I have some of the curved needles myself, charted variations of stitches and how they are worked.
Every picture tells a story and then some as we learn of the myth behind the fisherman sweater. Love that the ganseys used initials in the bottom section to identify who it was made for.
Also other aspects tell the difference-yarns used and colors of them along with patterns.
Loved seeing the different neck shapings and othervariaions throughtout the book. This is truly a designers resource book as it has it all and then some. Techniques are shown and explained how to do the stitching, or even casting on. That portion explains why you should one method over another and why.
There is a sample small gansey to make to give you an idea of the techniques that are being taught only using 4 oz. of yarn rather than making a full sweater-but that is also included here, the patterns, etc.
Lots of tips along the way. Tools and step by step instructions how to prepare for your own design are also included.
There are also 9 full size patterns.
Each pattern comes with a title, color photo, finished sizes, yarn suggested, needles, list of notions, guage, featured techniques and other notes.
Instructions for each of the sections along with charted gussetts.
I like that some are made for men and there is also a woman's section for the same gansey.
Measurements are also done in inches and metric. Resources and supplies list is also included. Abbreviations and also metric onverstions are included.
Dedication, acknowledgement and about the author are included at the end along with an index.
Other resource books from others are also highlighted if you wan to check further into the different techniques.
Loved reading parts and learning all new things along the way along with the designing aspect of this book. Ends with how the gansey tradition continues.
What I did not like was showing the patterns in very dark colors. I realize those are the true colors but for showing them in the book I felt they could've used lighter shades.
Received this review copy from the author via F+W Media and Interweave via Netgalley and this is my honest opinion.
#KnittingGanseys,RevisedAndUpdated #NetGalley
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LibraryThing member madmoon
Excellent resource on how to design and knit gansey sweaters
LibraryThing member PinkPurlandProse
My thanks to Netgalley, F + W Media, and Beth Brown-Reinsel for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

What is a gansey? A gansey is a type of knit sweater that is knit in the round so that it is seamless and has a simple square shape with dropped shoulders. Fishermen loved these roomy sweaters
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because they weren’t restricted when doing their jobs and they lasted longer because there was less rubbing of fabric They use a heavier yarn and the sweaters come out with a heavy and dense fabric that protect you from the elements. They are made with beautiful patterns of knit, purls and cables.

This books is beautifully shot and has gorgeous patterns. But it is not only a pattern book. Beth Brown-Reinsel has really done her homework. She offers you so much information about the history of ganseys, what kind of yarn and tools to use. Bu the major bulk of the book offers a complete, piece by piece, section by section deconstruction of the garment. For example she will take the underarm gusset. She explains the shape, the function, and how it is knit. There are always diagrams that the illustrate step by step instructions. Then she offers a sampler, a small piece that you can knit yourself so you can understand how it all works and fits together. She doesn't’ just leave it there. She then offers maybe ten different variations of gussets with charts and diagrams that will make your mind explode. By breaking down each part of the garment and offering such detailed instructions, with visual diagrams and charts, and then a wide variety of options she is offering you the tools you need to create your own gansey. It is like opening a jar of beads, big ones, small ones, shiny ones, plain ones, all ready to string up into a necklace of your own design. It stirs up your creative juices because the guesswork has been taken out of it. But, if you choose to only dream, no problem. There are nine patterns for you to follow, step by step, with charts and beautifully shot pictures of the finished garment for you to follow.

Whether as a coffee table book, or a pattern book, or a road map to making your own gansey, I don’t think you will be disappointed in this book. Knitting books are expensive and it is nice to now that this has multi purposes. I think time and effort that it takes to invest in one of these sweaters will be well worth it when it is finished. I feel inspired and I love the idea of wearing mine on coast of Ireland with the waves crashing around me, or the moors of Scotland protecting me from the high winds. More realistically, in my backyard, walking my dog in the middle of a Canadian winter.
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LibraryThing member calotype
Excellent book for knitters who like to work from a technique or theory, rather than follow a completed pattern. Brown-Reinsel clearly and concisely describes all the steps needed to knit an authentic Gansey from the sturdy, attractive Channel Island cast-on (not "unduly laborious," rather
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eminently suited to the special requirements of the garment) to the method of calculating shapings. A few finished patterns are included, but on the whole this will appeal most to knitters who enjoy a challenge and wish to design their own sweaters. Makes a good companion to Gladys Thompson's book of Guernsey, Jersey, and Aran stitch patterns.
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LibraryThing member djrco
Only a few patterns in the back of the book. Gives an extensive history of Gansy sweaters and their uniques construction. Excellent graphs and knitting diagrams. All black and white pictures.
LibraryThing member aukestrel
a bit overrated; cast on technique is unduly laborious
LibraryThing member aphroditespins
Definitely a book for process knitters, though there are a couple of patterns in the back for the rest of you :D
Learn how to build a bottom-up Gansey sweater to your own specifications, then run with your new knowledge and put a sweater on every back in the family - without making the same sweater
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over and over!
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LibraryThing member RochesterKnittingGui
Ganseys are sweaters that developed in 19th-century England as hard-wearing garments for hard-working fishermen. Characterized by their dense, dark yarns, rich pattern combinations, and dropped shoulders, these simple square garments provide the modern knitter with a template for a wide variety of
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classic designs. Detailed, step-by-step line drawings and photographs, sidebars, and formulas help the reader build a foundation of skills. Pattern graphs and instructions for six of the author's own designs are included.
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LibraryThing member Dokfintong
This valuable book is an update of a book of the same name published in 1993, also by Interweave. I don't have a copy of the first edition at hand to compare them, but Ms Brown-Reinsel has spent the interim traveling worldwide hunting out knitting traditions. This update is enriched by her
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research. It also looks better than the first edition, she says. There certainly are lots of cultural notes and historical photos included here.

The tremendously complex text is crammed with ideas, photos, diagrams and instructions for designing your own gansey from scratch. I was overwhelmed till I saw that the final third of the book is 9 complete patterns for men and (Interweave's usual slender) women. Start with these and then move to designing you own. Whew!

The book reads for an advanced knitter but the stitches are not hard. The clarity of the text suggests that anyone who takes the time to read closely will do well. There is also a funny little doll sweater sampler to knit up quickly if you want to test your skills using scrap yarn.

One problem with the photos in this ARC is that a few sweaters are shown in the traditional navy blue and there is not enough contrast in these dark samples for the patterns to show. I hope the final edition has had some color adjustment.

I received a review copy of "Knitting Ganseys, Revised and Updated: Techniques and Patterns for Traditional Sweaters" by Beth Brown-Reinsel (F+W Media: Interweave) through
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