Additional Information

The literature on ganseys and
gansey knitting is substantial and, thankfully, growing

The following is a list of recommended readings which explore the history, techniques and design features of traditional fishermen’s knitted garments. Some of these books may now be out of print, but they could still be available through your local library, second-hand book shop or on a number of internet sites.


Compton, R., Complete Book of Traditional Guernsey and Jersey Knitting, London 1983, ISBN 0 7134 4125 9

de Marly, D., Working Dress: A History of Occupational Clothing, London 1986, ISBN 0713450286

Harvey, M. and Compton, R., Fishermen Knitting, London  1978, ISBN 085263 4218

Munro, H., They Lived by the Sea: Folklore and Gansey Patterns of the Pentland Firth, Caithness 1983, ISBN 0 9506860 3 4

Nargi, L., Knitting Around the World: A Multi-Stranded History of a Time-Honoured Tradition, Minneapolis 2011, ISBN 0760337942

Pearson, M., Traditional Knitting: Aran, Fair Isle and Fisher Ganseys, New York 1985, ISBN 0 00 412056 6

Ruhe, S., Dutch Traditional Ganseys, Baarn 2013, ISBN 9058778983

Ruhe, S., More Traditional Dutch Ganseys, Baarn 2015, ISBN 978-1-78221-508-0

Rutt, R., A History of Hand-Knitting, Loveland 2003, ISBN 978-1931499378

Rutter, E., This Golden Fleece: A Journal Through Britain’s Knitted History, London 2019, ISBN 978-1783784356

Shaw, A., ‘Wholegarment Knitwear: New Ways of Making Clothes’, in Text: for the Study of Textile Art, Design and History, 36, 2008-09, pp. 10-16

Taylor, R., Lougher, L., Hillier, J., and Little, L., Sheringham Ganseys: People, Places, Patterns, Sheringham 2017

van der Klift-Tellegen, H., Knitting from the Netherlands: Traditional Dutch Fishermen’s Sweaters, London 1987 ISBN 0-8521-9709-8


Blacker, S., Pure Wool: A Knitter’s Guide to Using Single-breed Yarns, London 2012, ISBN 978-1-4081-7180-6

Bliss, D., Traditional Knitting: From Scottish & Irish isles, London 1991, ISBN 0-7126-4720-1

Brown-Reinsel, B., Knitting Ganseys, London 2018, ISBN-13: 978-1632506160

Dominick, S., Cables, Diamonds & Herringbone: Secrets of Knitting Traditional Fishermen’s Sweaters, Camden 2007, ISBN 978-0892726882

Pearson, M.R., Traditional Patterns of the British Isles: Fisher Gansey-Patterns of Scotland and the Scottish Fleet, Esteem Press 1980, ISBN 978-0906658055

The Moray Firth Coastal Partnership, Fishing for Ganseys, Moray Firth 2011

Norbury, J., Traditional Knitting Patterns: From Scandinavia, the British Isles, France, Italy and Other European Countries, London 1962 ISBN 0-486-21013-8

Starmore, A., Fishermen’s Sweaters, London 1993, ISBN 978-1-84340-597-0

Thompson, G., Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys and Arans, New York 1979, ISBN 0-486-22703-0

Weston, M., The Traditional Sweater Book, London 1986, ISBN 0-86318-179-1

Wright, M., Cornish Guernseys and Knit-frocks, Stanfords 1979, ISBN 0-906720-052


Flamborough Marine Ltd.,

Gansey Nation,

Ganseys, Identity Emotional Investment & Design,

Norfolk Gansey Project,



Sheringham Museum’s ‘The Gansey Page’,

The Knitting History Forum,

The Moray Firth Gansey Project,

The Net Loft,

University of Glasgow’s ‘Fleece to Fashion – Economies and Cultures of Knitting in Scotland’,

%d bloggers like this: