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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the experienced knitter
This is a a survey of Jerseys, Guernseys, and Aran patterns from all around Britain. Gladys Thomson gives local variations on stitches, and detailed instructions on how to construct the jumpers, as well as anecdotes about the places she visited or the person who gave her the pattern.

Charts, photos, and written instructions are given with the variations,...
Published on 3 Mar. 2012 by Sandra Byrne

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a notebook than a text book
I am a beginner to the art of knitting guernseys. I bought this book to inspire me and to help me with knitting the sleeves, and to understand the guernsey fitted together.
It is certainly inspiring. It focusses mainly on the patterns, rather than the form of the guernsey. There are lovely stories about how the author encountered the expert knitters whose designs she...
Published 20 months ago by Jessica Black


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the experienced knitter, 3 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) (Paperback)
This is a a survey of Jerseys, Guernseys, and Aran patterns from all around Britain. Gladys Thomson gives local variations on stitches, and detailed instructions on how to construct the jumpers, as well as anecdotes about the places she visited or the person who gave her the pattern.

Charts, photos, and written instructions are given with the variations, sometimes for whole panels, or entire garments. With a little know how, it is possible to blend together the different stitches to make a unique sweater.

You do have to make your own decisions about sizes, as few are given. The construction of the sleeves, which have gussets added on, makes this easier than it sounds, but you are on your own for shaping the neck. However by looking at those patterns which have full directions, you should get by.

I love this book - a real treasure trove.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a notebook than a text book, 7 July 2013
By 
Jessica Black (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) (Paperback)
I am a beginner to the art of knitting guernseys. I bought this book to inspire me and to help me with knitting the sleeves, and to understand the guernsey fitted together.
It is certainly inspiring. It focusses mainly on the patterns, rather than the form of the guernsey. There are lovely stories about how the author encountered the expert knitters whose designs she describes.
The edition I have is copyright 1979, which perhaps explains the poor quality of the photographs. As an instruction manual, I found it rather lacking. The instructions for a whole guernsey are just text with no corresponding photographs or diagrams, so I found them difficult to understand. They assume a high level of knowledge and I think you need more or less already to be able to knit a guernsey-like garment, then these instructions show you the regional variants on a basic garment type you are assumed already to know.
Most of the book shows the different motifs and patterns from around the country, with accompanying stories of how Ms Thompson discovered them.
The motifs are sometimes illustrated with a photo, and sometimes not. The quality of the photos is variable, and some, especially those of a whole garment knitted in dark wool are of such low resolution that I couldn't see the motifs at all (e.g. p 85, Norfolk II, Sheringham). The photos of the individual motifs are clear enough, though.
There are Charts of many, but not all, of the motifs. The charts are tiny, you'd need very good eyes to knit from them, or you'd need to copy them larger.
There's no index, and the patterns are organised by region. So it's fine if you want to knit a pattern from Norfolk, but not so great if you are looking for a "tree" pattern, or a pattern 13 stitches wide, or variations on cables.

There are also irritating misprints, which you'd think would be edited out by this, at least the 3rd reprint. Page 98 refers to fig 107 when it should be fig 108, and fig 126 (Scottish Fleet Pattern XXII - Chart) is missing altogether. Fig 126 is referenced several times in the text, so this is a bit annoying.
I don't know if this is a problem with the particular edition I have.

In summary, it's a fine compendium of examples and ideas, for someone who knows what they are doing. The passion of the author comes across, and her hard work, expertise, and spirit shine out of the pages.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a book of patterns, 18 April 2006
By 
Euan Bayliss (Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) (Paperback)
This book was recommended to me some time ago, and I've used it both using the patterns in the book and adapting one of the patterns in the book to create one of my own.

Gladys Thompson effectively takes you on a tour up the East coast of England and Scotland and goes into the origins of the patterns as well. It's an excellent introduction and will give you lots of information to start on making your own ganseys. Worth every penny.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on traditional fisherman knitting, 7 Dec. 2011
By 
Peasant (Deepest England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) (Paperback)
Knitting fisherman's ganseys is a bit different to knitting the usual kind of sweater, where you basically make sections then sew them together. Sweaters are worked "in the round" and there are no seams, the sleeves being grafted onto to body. This sounds complicated but is in fact surprisingly easy once you've got the idea, and the end result is both harder-wearing and more comfortable.

I first got this book many years ago when I had taught myself to knit. However, I found ordinary knitting patterns, with their pages of unintelligible code, made my brain hurt and this meant I couldn't knit anything but a scarf. The story of the fishermen and the traditional fisherman's gansey inspired me, but I still couldn't cope with the patterns. I found, however, I could knit the jerseys from the photographs (black and white but very, very clear, showing lots of detail) and from the graph paper charts, using modern "round" needles - two metal pins joined by a long piece of nylon - rather than the cumbersome traditional four needles. However, anyone who can read a knitting pattern will find all they need here too. It is ideal for anyone moving on from basic knitting who wants something a little more adventurous but not too complicated, as all the patterns are made by simple variations on the basic stitches.

The book includes about 72 East Coast and Scottish patterns, and 14 authentic Aran patterns, and a few other bits and pieces. Some have been adapted for children but most are the original authentic fisherrman's gansey. The lack of colour photos isn't really a drawback as all the sweaters are monochrome anyway. Some of the patterns are given as complete sweater patterns, in other cases, just the knitting of the decorative feature is laid out, allowing the knitter to adapt patterns and make up their own combinations. Once you have mastered the basic shape and structure of a seamless fisherman's sweater, you can easily vary both pattern and size, even if you are not an expert knitter.

I found the story of the fishing fleets, of the little herring ports of the East Coast, and how Thompson collected the patterns, fascinating. The background doesn't dominate the text, it enriches it. Nearly 30 years on I still use this book all the time; it is the most interesting knitting book I've come across. For the imaginative knitter, who wants to combine practical advice with social history and background, this is an excellent buy. A lot more men are knitting nowadays, and the designs in here are eminently suitable; I would also venture to suggest that many men may also find it easier to knit from diagrams than from traditional patterns.

If you want a book which also covers multicoloured stranded knitting patterns - what we call "Fair Isle", try Traditional Knitting in the British Isles, but it isn't quite such a satisfactory book overall.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information and some good basic patterns, 18 Nov. 2012
By 
Mrs. F. Huxley (Rugby, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) (Paperback)
This book has lots of information on the different patterns used mainly on the east coast of Britain. There are several basic pattern which can then be used to personalise using the great variety of stitch patterns. The majority of the patterns are unisex but there are two specific designs for women . The size range is not very big as in one or two for each design but given that this book is for more experienced knitters this shouldn't be an issue. I would recommend reading this book along with this book which has a very good history section by Mary Wright - Cornish Guernseys and Knit-frocks. Wendy yarns make the traditional 5ply Guerney yarn in the traditional colours.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is for experienced knitting enthusiasts, 28 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) (Paperback)
All in black and white, some images grainy and the patterns assume knowledge. So it is rather dated and the jumpers shown look like oversized hot-water bottle covers! There's some lovely background history about the seamen who created the designs and photos of them. This book is for experienced knitting enthusiasts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting book, 29 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) (Paperback)
this book is interesting from an historic point of view. It has clear diagrams so that you can make up your own designs to personalise ganseys. I am enjoying doing this and have nearly finished my first one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not really for beginners., 21 April 2013
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This review is from: Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) (Paperback)
I am so pleased with this book. It doesn't contain patterns for the jumpers as such but the designs & methods, & equally as good the history & stories of the authors search for the various stitch patterns with photos (black & white), & memories of some of the people who wore them. I suppose it wouldn't be impossible to use a plain sweater pattern & work the designs onto it. Not yet made anything but I certainly shall & I have enjoyed reading it too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the 1970s cover design, 4 July 2014
This review is from: Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) (Paperback)
Don't be put off by the 1970s-style cover. This is a new reprint of the second edition from 1979, so all the type-face and design is from that time, but the paper is brand-new. The contents, however, is really useful and interesting. I live in North Yorkshire and it's strange to read an American book on (mostly) local North Yorkshire knitting patterns. The only thing to consider is American terminology and needle sizes.

This book is a both a lovely record of historic knitwear as well as an instruction book how to make one. It's relatively simple but you'll need to read the book properly to get all the instructions for a complete garment (the general anatomy is at the start, some important aspects are often at the start of a chapter and the rest of the instructions are under the specific headings. You'll need a little bit of experience in knitting by such instructions, but the techniques are very attainable (mostly knit and purl for the ganseys).

There are many illustrations of historic garments which may not be overly helpful if you need a visual aid when knitting (hence the 4 stars) but otherwise a great little book at a reasonable price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hand Book for Patterns, 6 Mar. 2013
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M. Sparrow (Stoke on Trent UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) (Paperback)
Excellent book with many patterns and their area stories, Not for a novices knitters , Only one pattern for the type of sweater, you add the patterns of your choice , could be confusing to a beginner. Wished I had it when my children were smaller. . This type of sweater when knitted with the right wool is very warm and wind/ shower-proof .
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