River Ganseys

A typical blurry inland waterways photo. Gives you an indication of what we were working with, when researching this! Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society.

Just realised I’ve made no mention of the fact ‘River Ganseys’ is available for pre-order.:

I feel like I wrote ‘River Ganseys’ a million years ago. It is a foray into the arcane world of the inland waterways ganseys, put in the general context of the history of Yorkshire knitting (I hope). There will be patterns; several of mine, and one an ‘authentic’, historic, previously unpublished pattern from a 1950s’ inland gansey knitter – I’m longing for these to go live so I can see other people’s versions of them! There is also a chapter on handspinning for gansey yarn, and a ‘101’ gansey making chapter, as well as charts and of course, lashings of Yorkshire knitting history.

‘The Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales’ is available in the US from Cooperative Press, also Schoolhouse Press. I will be selling it direct from this site, as well, very soon so the UK people can get hold of it. Freyalyn also stocks it – hopefully she will comment here and let us know which shows she’s attending, this year!

I’m now working on the next book. Have to keep it under my woolly hat, for now – but it’s a project that is really, really, REALLY exciting. Even more history (and a few historical patterns) and…. a twist.

Lizzie Lee, 1856, Reuben Chappel. A Humber vessel.
Lizzie Lee, 1856, Reuben Chappel. A Humber vessel. Image courtesy Goole Museum

5 replies on “River Ganseys”

Hello Penelope, I have long enjoyed your posts on Ravelry. I am also a lover of Gansey jumpers and their history. I knew that a book was in the works and ordered it with great anticipation when you sent this blog post. That was in March. I have made a few inquiries of the Cooperative Press and was told they had a delay due to a problem with pictures. The expected shipping date was June. I asked in August how it was going and got no answer. While I do regret troubling you with this, I am hopeful that you may know if & when your book is coming. I want to read it. Thanks for your time, Kathi Reyes in Calif.

On Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 7:44 AM, The Knitting Genealogist wrote:

> theknittinggenealogist posted: ” Just realised I’ve made no mention of the > fact ‘River Ganseys’ is available for pre-order.: > I > feel like I wrote ‘River Ganseys’ a million years ago. It is a foray into > the arca”


Hi Kathi

Yes, the last I heard (about a fortnight ago) there were problems with the images for one particular gansey. Trust me, when the book is finally out I can tell you all about the delays we have had – it has seemed to hit problem after problem; none of them the fault of anyone, just bad luck. As the book has a chapter about gansey superstitions, this seems ironic…

I’ve been told that the publishers are aiming at having the book out for Rhinebeck this year and that is as much as I know, at the moment. I am standing by to give a blog post as soon as the book is out, and I’m assuming those people with pre-orders will probably know the book is finally out, before I do! (The fate of most writers, I’m afraid – we’re usually the last to hear). I just looked it up and Rhinebeck looks to be on next month..? I already have another book in the pipeline, hopefully for next year. I don’t want to jinx it by posting about it, though. Thanks so much for your lovely comments. I hope you find ‘River Ganseys’ is worth the wait.


I ordered and paid for River Ganseys at the same time as I ordered the book on Yorkshire knitting, when your edition became available. That turned up, and it was fascinating, but I have heard nothing about River Ganseys. Is it actually available now or are they still waiting for enough people to order before they print? Regards, Peter Mactaggart.


Hello Peter. I haven’t been given a date for publication but I know in the case of Old Hand-Knitters, once it was up for Pre-order, it wasn’t so long before it came out. I will email them and get back to you with what they say. I have now signed off all my work on it, so hopefully it won’t be long? Am glad you like The Old Hand-Knitters. Hope you enjoy River Ganseys too.


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