Knitting in the Old Way - Book

Knitting in the Old Way: Designs & Techniques from Ethnic Sweaters by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson; 2005; soft cover; 312 pages.

This book is definitely not for everyone. I would recommend it for any knitter who wants to design his/her own jumpers or to better understand the principals of design and knitted garment structure. The material is drawn from the how-to of knitting before there were line-by-line instructions. If you are familiar with Elizabeth Zimmermann’s percentages method, then this book will be no stranger.

The chapters are: Origins, Traditional Yarns, Equipment, Knitting Methods, Techniques, Tools for Planning a Sweater, Evolutions of Shapes (Basic Blouse, Basic Gansey, Steeked Jersey, Shaped-Steek Jersey, Sweater with Locked Turning Stitches, Sweater with Laddered Opening for Sleeves, Sweater with Square Armholes, Sweaters with Gussets and Saddle Shoulders, Sweater with Straight Saddle Shoulders, Sweater with Shaped Saddle Shoulders, Sweater with Raglan Sleeves, Sweater with Full Yoke, Sweater with Shoulder Yoke, Shaped Vest, Shaped Sweater, plus cardigan variations and neckline variations), Style Alternatives, Color Stranding (Norway, Sweden, Great Britain, Iceland, Faeroe Islands, Samiland, Cowichan Sweaters of Canada, American Folk Art Designs), Intarsia, Texture (Denmark, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Austria and Germany), Geometric Patterning, Crochet-Enhanced Knits.

This book is choc-a-block with useful information. The section on necklines is great along with a neat way to make a shawl collar. There are gansey and stranded graphs.

This is not a book for beginners but rather for someone who wants to be free of dependence on patterns. If you’ve used and liked Jacqueline Fee’s book “The Sweater Workshop”, you’ll appreciate this book, too.

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albert's picture

I am sorely tempted to buy this book. If I ever write a book, Jesse, I will surely try to finagle a review from you!

albert's picture

From your review to Amazon's ear- I bought it.

Looks like a terrific book. Some day when I advance far enough.....