Top positive review
60 people found this helpful
Inspirational and fail-safe patterns
on 11 October 2008
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!