Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown-Reinsel

  • Read in: English
  • Rating: “*****”


Note: I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.

Two of my hobbies are history and crafting (knitting, crochet, cross stitch, sewing). Crafting something from an old pattern, in an old technique or based on a historical object is always very cool. Even though I am intimidated by knitting an adult-sized sweater, a gansey or fisherman sweater has been on the top of my wishlist for the longest time. When the new (revised and updated) edition of Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown-Reinsel came up for review I couldn’t help myself.

I don’t know the 1993 edition, so I can’t compare both editions. My review just focusses on this 2018 edition by itself.

This book is a combination of history and patterns. The book starts with a chapter on the rich history of ganseys. The following chapters let you knit a small sampler gansey. Each chapter explains a technique in great detail, from casting on (describing several different cast-ons, in continental and English methods) to the gusset and the neckline. After working through the first 10 chapters and finishing your sampler, you have knit your first (small) gansey and have used all needed techniques. The book then continues with instructions on how to design and knit your own gansey. This chapter includes instructions on sizing, adjusting fit, charting a pattern. It even has a worksheet and special calculations to help you with your design. The book finishes with 9 patterns for complete ganseys for men and women. I especially love “alouette”, which is a gansey dress!

All-in-all this is a very complete book, that helps even the most unexperienced knitter design and knit their own gansey, all while learning about the history of ganseys. I can’t wait to start on my own gansey. Maybe one for our boy? He’s small, I’d be done quickly. Five out of five stars from me.