From around 1875 to 1950, Dutch fishermen wore sweaters with characteristic knit and purl stitch patterns, sometimes cable. These jerseys, known as ganseys, became an intrinsic part of the identity of the Dutchmen who wore them. Many of the children in these fishing families wore ganseys too, and numerous photos have been discovered in recent years of schoolchildren dressed in the knitwear seen on their fishermen fathers.

Stella Ruhe returns with over 40 sweaters to knit from 30 different Dutch villages this time, for your little ones to wear and ramble in. Based on the original designs shared by families and discovered in archives, Stella has created recreations of these historically important garments for our contemporary life that ooze classic style with modern minimalism. With these designs, you are offered not only a chance to pay homage to the women who lovingly knitted the jumpers and to share in a beautiful Dutch tradition, but also give something for your child to treasure for years to come.

The sizes of the ganseys run from 1- to 14-years old, but can easily be adjusted to any child’s size by following Stella's straightforward measuring instructions in her chapter on knitting know-how. In the same chapter you learn that every gansey is a standard shape, meaning the beauty of each sweater is in the variation of pattern motifs and finishing details, which varies from village to village. In the gallery of knitting designs, each jumper is accompanied by knitting charts the pattern repeat clearly shown for easy garment adjusting, a diagram of the jumper and styled, modern photography.

With a wealth of fascinating background information and historical photos of the original designs alongside every design, this is an inspiring book for the ambitious knitter looking for unique, classic knitwear, and a brilliant read for anyone interested in craft, culture and heritage.

Traditional Dutch Ganseys for Children

£17.99Price
  • Stella Ruhe taught visual arts in Amsterdam, is a publisher/editor at the publishing house Cantecleer and is faculty supervisor and co-developer of learning content and teaching methodology in the department of visual arts at a number of national educational centres. Stella Ruhe has hosted major events such as the Cantecleer Fashion Prize and the Week of Creativity, and is author of Dutch Traditional Ganseys, More Traditional Dutch Ganseys and Traditional Dutch Ganseys for Children.