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Fisherman's Sweaters: Twenty Exclusive Knitwear Designs for All Generations [Paperback]

Alice Starmore
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 1 Aug 1995 --  

Book Description

1 Aug 1995
The elegant styling and exquisite detail of traditional fisherman's knits are brought to life in Alice Starmore's 20 original sweater designs for men, women, and children.


Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square; Reprint edition (1 Aug 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570760292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570760297
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 31.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,874,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Alice Starmore is a leading knitwear designer and author of books that include The Celtic Collection, Fishermen's Sweaters and Celtic Needlepoint also published by Collins and Brown. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and fail-safe patterns 11 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback
I bought this book many years ago and have knitted almost every adult pattern from it. The techniques are very clearly explained, even for the more advanced styles such as working in the round and using steeks. A lot of the yarns specified (from Rowan) are no longer available but it's not difficult to find newer Rowan yarns that will work well. The charts are easy to follow and there is an excellent section on different casting on techniques and the all-important blocking and finishing.

My own (very slight) gripe is that the photography could have been better - in some of the garments it is quite difficult to see the pattern as dark yarns were chosen. Also, it's important to remember that the sizes are exceptionally generous - the first jumper I knitted (size small - I am a dress size 12) was exactly to the required tension and it was so big it fitted a size 20 friend. If you like very fitted garments then this isn't for you for this reason. The styles of fisher gansies are usually square, there is no shaping in the body, and many have dropped shoulders which results in the generous sizing.

Most of the designs are one colour and patterned with beautiful cables - if you're an avid cabler then you will *love* this book, especially the design Inishmaan which is a tour-de-force and took me three months to knit but it has been much admired. There is also a beautiful Scandinavian three-colour pattern using the Fair Isle technique.

The introduction is a brief history of knitting fisher gansies and it is both informative and personal since Alice Starmore comes from a long line of traditional gansy knitters.

Overall...an excellent book and a must for all knitters - if you are not yet confident to attempt something with cables/in the round then go for it with this book! You won't be disappointed!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By Dianne
Format:Paperback
I bought this on the basis of having seen "Aran knitting" in a bookshop by the same author, and hoped it would be to the same standard (eg a lengthy description of the history of fisherman's sweaters, lots of interesting designs, and so on).

I doubt I'll be making many (or any of) these designs. Why?
1) most patterns - with the exception of the one shown on the front cover, are in very dark and muted colours so it is almost impossible to tell what the design is. The models' poses also make it very difficult to see the pattern.
2) The patterns are knitted in the round which is the traditional method for guernseys - not my preference but it's simple enough to convert this type of pattern to a normal one for those knitters who can't abide knitting in the round! But most of them have shoulder strapswhich are knitted separate to the sleeves - strikes me as fiddly and therefore couldn't possibly be traditional (not according to my copy of Gladys Thompson's "Patterns for Guernseys, jerseys and Arans"). It greatly improves the fit where there isn't neck shaping - but would be simpler and faster to just put in some neck shaping (again, something which advanced knitters could do fairly easily)
3) The patterns are given in only one or two sizes (either men's or lady's, but not both). The patterns have plenty of ease, and are HUGE - they would completely drown out my small frame. Not being able to see the finished pattern clearly makes it difficult to design them smaller. Some patterns are only given in a single child's size (generally HUGE, but not quite large enough for me)
4) the necks are HUGE - as per the cover photo, they are almost all shown with the model wearing a scarf.
5) The patterns are almost exclusively using her own wool - no suggestion for subsitutes

I'm keeping it as a source book for ideas and techniques, to pair up with my Gladys Thompson book. And to remind myself not to buy books on impulse again!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful design, lazily worked out patterns 23 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This would have been a brilliant pattern book if it weren't for two dirty great faults. The designs are lovely, but the patterns are done in the form of charts: great (and the only way) for fairisle but horrendous to work from when doing cable styles. Unless you have the eyesight of a peregrine falcon you need the written pattern as well(or even instead) which, unfortunately, the author has been too lazy to include. The other major problem is that the, admittedly beautiful, illustrations of vapid models pining on bleak seashores are far too busy being decorative and quite often don't show the pattern: either because colour has overpowered it or the jumper is obscured in deference to artistic effect. There are two jumpers that I have no idea what the pattern on them is and a couple of others that you have to piece together from a number of photos. Other niggles are that most are one size and in some cases its hard to work out an alternative yarn as I think some of them are not standard weights. Although I don't count the money spent on it as wasted I do feel I've paid a bit more for a coffee table book to some extent. On the plus side it's nice to see patterns that aren't aimed solely at the beginner and the designs do make you want to get stuck in.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite cable sweater knitting books 15 May 2013
By MJ
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I only cable knit using charts. This book only gives direction and instruction for charts. Its a lovely book. I almost didnt buy a copy due to some of the reviews about the photography, but I have now almost completed my first sweater from it, and I have 3 more ear marked for various members of the family. Great for men because all the sweaters featured are large. The smallest adult chest size is a 38-40", the majority are 44", but they go up to 48' which my husband and brother are. Although mostly modelled by women (who are all far too tiny and slim for the massive jumpers they are sporting), many of the sweaters featured are unisex. Thankfully because I dont knit fairisle, there were only 2 fairilse patterns in this fabulous book. Beware super slim folk, as the jumpers are all on the big side. Very pleased I have this for my pattern collection, Ill be using it for a long time to come.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great designs - wish I could knit quicker
Published 2 days ago by Happy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
Absolutely fabulous and easy to follow, loads of patterns with good instuctions to follow. Fabulous
Published 1 month ago by Jan
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Bad Photography
I bought this book because I was seduced by the photo on the front cover. I love textured patterns and watching the designs unfold as I knit. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stephanie Fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 stars book
spoilt for choice as to which I knit first
patterns clearly explained with good graphs
author clearly loves our knitting heritage
Published 9 months ago by hazel.roberts4
4.0 out of 5 stars knitting book
very good value. clear print, easy to use, added information giving the origins of patterns, techniques used, yarn and substitute yarns.
Published 12 months ago by H. Norris
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT
Oh my word i love this book started the ishmore and it is beautiful, I love the literature re knitting and the patterns are well thought out
Published 16 months ago by Sheila Ferris
4.0 out of 5 stars I bought this book for the picture on the front and was not...
However, as some of the sweaters featured are knitted in dark wool the photography does not do them justice. It is difficult to see them clearly.
Published 18 months ago by teresa laurraine petrie-butler
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much emphasis on the photography
The patterns are ok but the focus seems to be on photography (scenery is beautiful) Unfortunately the detail of the pattern is completely lost. Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by Amanda Woodall
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I have never knitted a garment on a circular needle and this book gave a brilliant introduction to this technique. Read more
Published on 16 Jun 2011 by LMS
4.0 out of 5 stars okay but............
I loved the frontpage on this book, thats why I bought it, but I didn't realise the sweaters are mostly knitted in 1 piece to the armholes- I don't like doing it that way so will... Read more
Published on 23 May 2011 by r green
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