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Cornish Guernseys and Knit-frocks Paperback – 1 May 2008

19 customer reviews

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Cornish Guernseys and Knit-frocks + Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) + Knitting Ganseys
Price For All Three: £39.94

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Product details

  • Paperback: 68 pages
  • Publisher: Polperro Heritage Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955364884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955364884
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 0.6 x 18.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 286,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

'Along with a remarkable picture of social history there are instructions as to how to knit a gansey with thirty individual village or family patterns.' (Guardian, 01.01.80) 'a remarkable picture of social history' (The Guardian), 'fascinating reading ... beautifully produced' (Western Morning News). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mary Wright is a specialist knitting instructor. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United Kingdom, and in Japan. Since the publication of Cornish Guernseys and Knit-frocks she has given many lectures and broadcasts.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a vey fascinating read on the economics and folk lore of a community. Few books emphasises the history and traditions of British knitting to this extent. This is done however by focusing upon one community and thier role in the knitwear industry of the 19th. century. Having inspired the reader it provides a skilled knitter with enough information to embark upon their own project. For the beginner I would suggest that it is not recommend as a pattern book. It provides pointers to the manufacture of a garment rather than a complete instruction set.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By AG PHILLIPS on 2 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
The knitting of ornate guernsey jumpers provided a useful source of income for late nineteenth-century Cornish fishing communities, each developing their own distinctive pattern. It was mainly down to the work of this book's author that thirty of these patterns have been saved and preserved for prosperity.

Reprinted in a new, updated edition after many years out of print, this new edition contains a number of new photographs as well as identifying many of the subjects of the photos in the original edition. Information about where to obtain the 5-ply guernsey wool used in the knitting patterns has also been updated. However, I have been told by knitters that this book should be seen as more of a guide for the experienced knitter rather than providing precise patterns for those less gifted.

Purchasing the machine-knitted Cornish guernseys produced by manufacturers such as Seadogs in Penryn is an option available to those who, like me, can only marvel at the patience and dextrousness of skilled knitters. However, this book will provide for the latter, no doubt, an excellent source of challenging and useful fireside activity in the long, winter months ahead.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R.H. on 29 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a knitter of Norfolk 'ganseys' this little book is invaluable in illustrating the development of patterning in the South West. For anyone who cares about local skills and traditions, and the making of beautiful knitwear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeanette Brodie on 21 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a very informative book for anyone interested in either knitting ganseys or the history of the craft. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and looking at the illustrted patterns from the era. There is also a pattern to try out if you would like to try the shape. A good book for beginner and expert to enjoy
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Half of the book is filled with lively stories of how Ms Wright discovered the guernsey patterns, and her encounters with the people who knit them and wear them. The other half has very clear instructions on how to knit 30 of the the motifs. For each motif there is a place and sometimes person of origin, and there is a large clear chart for each one, knitting instructions of the k1p1 variety, and a photo of what it looks like when knitted. Sometimes there's a picture of someone wearing a guernsey with the motif.
At the end there are detailed instructions for how to knit a whole Cornish Guernsey.

It is limited to Cornish Guernseys, as the book title implies.

I liked this book and found it more systematic and easier to understand than "Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys and Arans" by Gladys Thompson. The patterns are clearer, the layout is more structured. The two books make a nice set - a good present for the knitter in your life.

The reason I've not given it 5 stars is because I would have liked even more pictures and diagrams of how to knit the whole garment.

It's a good, clear, encouraging kind of a book, inspiring me to continue with my project, and giving me ideas about the patterns I might put on the sleeves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CP Tjon on 1 Jan. 2014
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The book contains 30 knitting patterns, but it is disappointedly for one basic fisherman's sweater/guernsey. Very uninspiring book. And also many knitting patterns you can get from other books.
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This a very interesting and detailed history of the Guernseys (Ganseys in other parts of the country) from Cornwall. There are lots of stitch patterns from Cornwall and a basic Guernsey pattern. This is not the best book to start knitting a Guernsey/gansey for that I would recommend Knitting Ganseys and also Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys and Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace). Knitting Guernseys/ganseys is not for beginner knitters but a confident intermediate would manage from the Knitted Ganseys by Beth Brown-Reinsel.
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I have been promising myself this book for some time and I am so pleased I finally bought it.
As a "born again" machine knitter I know the designs can be adapted for machine knitting easily enough, however this book makes me itch to take up the needles again and will certainly accompany me on Caravan trips when I'm not allowed to take the knitting machine with me-for some incomprehensible reason.
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