My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.



Today was my last day of work until January 3, 2012 (although there are a couple of things I’ll have to deal with remotely from home next week). But that is not the fabulous to which I refer in the title. It’s this:

This is Michael Pearson’s Traditional Knitting by (not surprisingly) Michael Pearson. It was published in 1984 by Van Nostrand Reinhold (a company acquired by Wiley a while back) and is out of print. You can find copies here and there but they are generally not cheap.

But this is a fabulous book and I think the best resource I have for gansey patterns. And I have a lot. The author traveled around the U.K., visiting remote fishing villages to find patterns and visit knitters who knit them. There are approximately 75 pages on fisher ganseys chock full of charts for patterns I’ve not seen elsewhere, as well as photos of sweaters knit using the pattern stitches.

There is a very nice techniques section in the front of the book with considerable information on the structure of these types of sweaters.

There are also sections on fair isle knitting and aran knitting. The fair isle section has some nice pattern charts, but I do have them in other books as well. The aran section has a number of cable stitch patterns (written out, not charted) and there are a couple I don’t think I’ve actually seen before.

So, all in all, a gold mine!

And I’m still plugging away on the front of Cromarty — I’ve got it about half done at this point.

Miss Lucy does not wish her nap to be disturbed.



  1. This book is fabulous. You can get it for a high price used, or you can preorder the new edition from Amazon, which is going for less than $13.

  2. I just pre-ordered the new revised edition that will be coming out in March. Thanks, Wendy, without your blog I would never have known about this book!

  3. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    Just wanted to wish you all wonderful holidays! Enjoy your vacation, Wendy.

    Maggie and Max send happy holiday wishes to Lucy!

  4. I am lucky to be the owner of a copy of this book. After Eala Bahn, a traditional gansey should be on my needles.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  5. Sharen Warren says:

    Hurray for a holiday ! Enjoy, make a cup of tea and plan a gansey 🙂 Isn’t it wonderful that some of the out of print classics are being republished. This afternoon I paged through the new edition of Knitters Almanac at Barnes & Noble. Merry Christmas to all!

  6. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the book from a library book sale. Very interesting book, lots of information. I just ned to get the time to knit some ganseys

  7. Wendy, this is so much fun to see, that you have started a ball to roll for an old challange renewed. Before long everyone who loves more defined knitting will be happ with this challange.

  8. That book is a treasure trove! How wonderful that you have a copy. I look forward to see the design that you come up with.

    Until then, happy holidays to you and your readers!
    Linda´s last blog post ..Thursday Thoughts – Calm Amidst the Frenzy

  9. Lucky you, Wendy, enjoy your time off…Have a very Merry Christmas and the most wonderful of New Years…! And, Happy Hanuka too!

  10. Lucy mite like to watch this,,,,Merry Christmas

  11. I have wanted this book for years! I got all excited that it had been republished, then let down, then excited again when I read the comments. Enjoy your time off! Jo

  12. radmeister says:

    Fabulous indeed! If you love ganseys, even from a distance, this is one of the best books. I think it is like those beautiful gourmet cook books one pages through just to drool over the pictures and the descriptions. Yum. Have a wonderful holiday season and all the best to Lucy!

  13. lists several copies in the UK and Australia that are much cheaper than Amazon even with shipping. Thanks for the info – I ordered one.

  14. Meg Caulmare says:

    It was great news to see that Michael Pearson’s book was being reprinted. I got mine eons ago from Meg Swanson at Schoolhouse Press (who is also carrying the new reprint), and have Linus-ed it around ever since. It’ll be great to have a new copy to back up the old one. There are lots of Fair Isle sweaters in particular that he identifies by knitter. Good research and documentation, and I particularly loved seeing the color photos of the FIs.

  15. I have that book! Love it! Have a great break from work!
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