Our favourite knitting books
Create gorgeous, timeless gansey sweaters - and design your own unique projects - with this wonderful book
IT HAS been 25 years since Beth Brown-Reinsel published her influential book on gansey knitting, and this revised edition has been fully updated with new patterns and more information on gansey traditions.
It’s a must-have book for anyone interested in knitting gansey sweaters, and particularly for people who’d like to design their own. More than 100 pages are dedicated to deconstructing the traditional gansey, in a series of chapters examining each specific design element.
These include chapters on special cast-ons, ribbing and welts, underarm gussets, shoulder straps, sleeves, necklines and neckbands, and much more. There is also a comprehensive section on stitch patterns - background motifs, diagonal and diamond patterns, vertical and horizontal stitches, and picture motifs such as anchors, trees, hearts and stars are all charted out for knitters to follow.
The pages are filled with detailed instructions and photos to show how to work each part of a gansey, and Beth offers a wide range of design variations for each element. Techniques can be practised by knitting the mini sample gansey, before you start a full-size sweater.
Beth aims to give knitters the tools they need to design their own unique gansey, and there is detailed advice on planning your pattern, including how to create a schematic, calculate stitch counts, and chart your body and sleeves. Worksheets are provided, and knitters can fill in the blanks with their own stitch counts.
This book also contains full instructions for nine gansey projects, with chest sizes typically ranging from 34in to 54in. There are styles which we’d identify as being ‘traditional’, such as the ‘Newhaven’ sweater with its horizontal panels of knit-and-purl patterning; ‘Jorn’s Gansey’, unadorned except for rugged ribbing; and ‘Eriskay’, featuring nd simple yet elegant motifs highlighted by small cables, and shoulder straps.
More modern designs include a lovely gansey dress, called ‘Alouette’, which has short sleeves and a flared skirt. ‘The Big Easy’ is a drop-shoulder gansey with a loose fit, a wide neck with a rolled collar, and decorative, traditional motifs. The book also contains a feminine cardigan version of the classic gansey sweater.
Beth Brown-Reinsel has been teaching gansey knitting for many years, and her experience, knowledge and enthusiasm is distilled into this comprehensive yet easy-to-follow and inspiring book.
The book explores the fundamental gansey techniques
Knitted Ganseys, Revised andUpdated is published by Interweave Press on 31 August, priced £22.99. To order a copy, call 01206 255777