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Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys, and Arans: Fishermen's Sweaters from the British Isles Paperback – June 1, 1971


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 173 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 3 Revised edition (June 1, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486227030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486227030
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 7.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
I haven't knit from this yet but this book is a great addition to my knitting library.
Sierra's Mom
This book is an interesting book about the history of Guernsey, Jerseys, and Arans that also includes patterns and designs of classic sweaters.
Scottish Gypsy
This is an interesting book with wonderful patterns and pictures, and a great history of the various types of patterns of the area.
noliatb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Eberhart on September 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am ordering a replacement copy for a book that has been "Read to Death". I have used the patterns in this book for many sweaters; it has a wealth of knit/purl and crossed stitch patterns for people who design their own knits. The sweater patterns themselves are less usefull, as they are knit very tightly in a much finer guage than most knitters would be interested in. Maybe if you have a machine that will do k/p patterning easily (mine won't). The Seahouses pattern is very lovely; I recommend it. It's also a good read for historical information on the history of these garments in the British Isles, and the author's search for information.
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By E Rice on September 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
when i saw this fabulous book got only four stars.

this in one of my absolute favorite knitting books--only EZ's (elizabeth zimmerman, for those knitters from another galaxy)_knitting without tears_ equals it in my heart. and if a knitter follows the advice and instructions in _knitting without tears_ and becomes a thinking knitter, this book is a delicious piece of cake.

yes, the gauge is british, from the 50s and earlier--before the idea that 'it takes too long' or 'it's too difficult' to use fine weight yarns. yes, you have to know something about knitting cables and purl brocade. but none of that is difficult. i used this book to design the third and fourth garments i knitted, and it has served as inspiration for more.

even if a knitter never actually uses the patterns, the historical information, social and textile, is wonderful.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Nell Benton on November 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I love this book! It is part knitting book, part travelogue and very funny. It not only has many authentic patterns but tells the tale of a determined woman trying to collect patterns from real fishermen. A great read! I can't wait to make all the sweaters. A small intro helps the American knitter decode the English instructions and materials notes, which are somewhat difficult to grasp.

Nell
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Gillian M Davis on October 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a combination of history and knitting class.
As a history book it is brilliant, alive and sentimental.
It is also a wonderful knitting book except, I do believe you need to be a very experienced knitter to attempt these patterns and the language used in the instructions may be a little confusing.
I consider myself to be a very good knitter but I think this book requires another "picture" book to give more visual help to those of us who need to "see" rather than read instructions.
A wonderful read all the same.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David Loomis on August 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
Once more Dover Publishing steps in to insure that good books whose copyright have expired don't simply go out of print forever.

Thompson's book on knitting patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys, & Arans is the result of hundreds of hours of research around the coasts of the British Isles, where each seaport had its own traditional sweater pattern. While this was useful in recognizing drowned sailors, it also is part of the British Folk tradition, which is rapidly vanishing in the face of modern day pursuits, where the young have no time for the old ways. This book preserves many of the traditional patterns of knitting sweaters, called Guernseys, Jerseys, and Arans for the islands on which they originated, so modern knitters can make sweaters in the old patterns, before they are lost forever. A great pattern book for the dedicated knitter, it also preserves these traditional patterns for the time when these sweaters are no longer commonly worn, and stands as an archaeological work of preservation.

Dave
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By TBM Devotee on November 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have lately turned back to Alice Starmore and her tightly constructed garments and in looking for more information on these lovely sweaters, I discovered this book and ordered it.

While I understood the practical purpose for heavy, dense, well-constructed garments for fishermen, I still always believed Alice Starmore held her needles with a death grip. The gauge is always so squeezeyourbumtogetherastightlyasyoucanwhilstwalking tight, it isn't always possible for the average knitter to do. Lots of complaints out there about the "impossibility" of getting the Starmore gauge.

These sweaters are seriously tightly knitted, something like 8 - 9 stitches to the inch on almost invisibly thin needles so if you don't like super small gauges, then you probably won't have fun making random stabs with your needle at the stitches on the other needle. Stick with DK or worsted and size 7s.

I am a loose knitter and have always been uncomfortable with larger sized gauges so I think I have found a home with these teeny, tiny made for pixies gauges.

All that said, the book definitely isn't what *Americans* are accustomed to when it comes to instructions for knitting. I understand that the old European patterns, particularly the Norwegian old school fair isle patterns, simply gave a rough suggestion of how to get the end result. It is presumed (think Dale of Norway) that Norwegian construction, stranding and steeking were learned before walking and talking.

Most American patterns seriously handhold the knitters with step by step instructions for everything from ribbing to finishing.

I'm enthralled and determined to design my own but be warned: it's more like the old Harmony Stitch Guides than a pattern book.

The history, storytelling and old photographs are more than worth the price of the book.
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