VintageNPotW 400

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This week’s pick: Fishermen’s Sweaters: Twenty Exclusive Knitwear Designs for All Generations by Alice Starmore

Source: Gifted to me by one of my students who found it for $1 in a thrift shop.

Publication date: 1993

Status: Reprinted by Collins & Brown in 2010.

Condition: Mild wear on dust jacket.

Craft: Knitting

Fishermens Sweaters cover

In her introduction, Alice Starmore explains that “knitting fisher ganseys entirely in the round is the most technically and visually sophisticated” knitting tradition in the world.  (Tell us how you really feel, Alice!)  Her purpose in writing Fishermen’s Sweaters is “to revive interest in this technique, to celebrate its achievements and to carry it forward with new developments.”


The book is organized like a journey where each design represents a certain location.  Starmore starts in her home country of Scotland and ends in the New World.

Eriskay from the Scotland chapter.
Eriskay from the Scotland chapter.

This is an oversized hardcover book, and it definitely has a coffee table book vibe to it.

The cover page for the England chapter.
The cover page for the England chapter.

The patterns include written and charted instructions along with schematics.  For example, the Inishmaan sweater includes seven charts for different pattern stitches.

Inishmaan from the Ireland chapter.
Inishmaan from the Ireland chapter.

I confess that the Caribbean-American in me has a preference for the colorful, Scandinavian influenced designs.

Norway from the Points North, South and East chapter.
Norway from the Points North, South and East chapter.

For whatever reason, the New World sweaters don’t really seem that North American to my eye.

Nantucket from the New World chapter.
Nantucket from the New World chapter.

Ravelry members can see all 20 designs from the book here.  Although the book is clearly intended to inspire you to knit a sweater, it has some nice stitch patterns which can be used for other projects.  The charting makes it easier to use the stitch patterns whether you prefer to knit flat or in the round.

Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: Fishermen’s Sweaters

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