Leave a Comment

  • These sweaters are beautiful! I am about to start knitting my first sweater after years of making hats and other small things. I love the idea of knitting a tiny sweater first. I will be buying this book.

    • Pat, making a small sweater is a great way to prepare for knitting your first adult-sized one! Especially if you are like me & need to DO to fully understand a pattern. I knit my first sweater (newborn-sized raglan cardigan) about 8 months after I taught myself to knit, and it helped me understand basic sweater construction and not be intimidated about making adult-sized sweaters.

  • The original version was one of my first knitting books too. Knitting the tiny sample was perfect. I’m sure it’s why I am able to think “I will knit that but with a different collar” without qualms.

  • I framed my miniature sweater I made in one of Beth’s classes and right now I’m in the middle of completing a friend’s gansey. Her teaching style is clear, concise and supportive. I definitely need this updated version.

  • Gracefully, thoughtfully, intelligently written. I guess we shouldn’t expect any less from Franklin. I love the part where he points out that as a Living Art, knitting, like language is constantly changng, and is no less so because of those changes. I hope the pattern for the child’s gansey remains relatively unchanged. I have Beth’s first book and would like to knit that charming little sweater from that edition. Eventually I will buy her revised one, but right now Other Things intervene. Chloe

  • What I remember most about the original _Knitting Ganseys_ is the appeal (as well as the utility) of knitting that miniature sample gansey. I have very clear memories of being at work, looking forward all day to continuing that juicy, rewarding project when I got home. Talk about sparking joy!

    BTW, it shares that distinction with Jacquiline Fee’s 1983 book, _The Sweater Workshop_, which also walked this knitter calmly and undramatically through a plethora of techniques via knitting a quirky sampler. As a result of having had that experience early on, I never learned, for example, to dread the Kitchener stitch.

    Those two books, along with the original 1987 _Homespun, Handknit_ (wherein I learned to knit socks by making the Wee Sock at the end of the book and then proceeded to make my kids huge Christmas stockings out of dimestore acrylic), were my pre-internet knitting lifelines.

  • I forgot that I owned the original when I bought the updated version (autographed!!!). But I wouldn’t part with either one!

  • I bought the revised version when it came out, read through it then put it away. Your excellent review pointed out several areas in the book my cursory reading failed to retain, and I now want to go back and delve deeper, perhaps knitting one of those miniature sweaters. Thank you for your perceptive and thorough discussion of the book’s merits.

  • I also have a copy of the original book, which I had autographed! I attended a class of hers on knitting Norwegian Mittens about 10 years ago, and brought along my miniature sweater I had knit from the Gansey book. I found knitting the mini was a great way to learn, ripping back a mistake in something small is not devastating!

  • Well, I have just updated my Amazon wishlist. Now I have to make some room in my bookcase. These books sound amazing! I already have the new version of Vogue Knitting, but there is always room for more. Honestly, I think I spend more time reading about knitting and looking at patterns than actually knitting. I need to change that! Either way, it’s fascinating.

  • I groan softly to myself every time I see we have a book note from Franklin. I know I’m about to add to my book stash (which rivals my yarn stash). Then I plow right in to see what I’m going to acquire this time. Luckily for me, I already have this one. However (actually, also luckily for me), Tudor Roses has slotted itself near the top of that “To Acquire List”. Hugs to Franklin.

  • I agree wholeheartedly with your comments and have recently added this edition to my small collection of knitting books. Thank you. Joanne

  • A hardcover format makes it difficult to use but I will perhaps check it out from the library. for the information The problem with books is that I would only ever use one or two at the most, which makes those patterns very expensive. I’ve found that there are so many patterns you can buy separately that buying a book is almost always not the best option.

    • When I have difficulty keeping a hard or softcover book open I take the book to the nearest Office Depot/Office Max and ask them to cut off the spine and coil-bind it. It costs a few bucks but it makes the book a lot more usable. I do not recommend doing it to library books. ;-}

      • What a great idea! I have a couple of books that this would be a perfect working solution for..a knitting book or two and one for translating Tibetan Buddhist texts. Thanks for sharing

    • This is so much more than a collection of a few patterns. Really.

    • This is about learning the history, and appreciating the totality of the techniques and design elements. It’s not about buying and slavishly following a discrete pattern. You misunderstand the purpose of the book.

  • Franklin, not only is this an informative an intriguing review, it also is beautifully written.

  • Agree that the new version is a wonderful update! I actually just knitted the miniature example sweater from this book as a prelude to knitting a gansey for myself. Only I resized the example so it fits my Dolores doll! 🙂

  • I have had the recent pleasure to take her Gansey class and I can testify that she knows her stuff and is a wonderful teacher to boot. This book is worth every penny even if all you do is knit the wee sample sweater.

    • I took her Gansey class years ago at a weaving conference. She’s a wonderful instructor. I learned to make cables and tried the three needle bind off. Great techniques to know. I guess it’s time for me to replace her original book with the updated version.

  • I would like to see the mini gansey, perhaps modeled by a svelte guinea pig.

  • Loved the article Franklin! I love Beth and her teaching style. She is so patient, helpful and encouraging. I have been to 2 of her Vermont retreats. I got my own signed copy of the new Gansey book at last fall’s retreat.

  • Thanks for the review! Excellent coverage, as usual.

  • Since you mention Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Workshop, which version do you recommend the original or the revised version?