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Magnificent Mittens & Socks: The Beauty of Warm Hands and Feet Paperback – January 10, 2010


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Magnificent Mittens & Socks: The Beauty of Warm Hands and Feet + Latvian Mittens: Traditional Designs & Techniques
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Xrx Books (January 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933064161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933064161
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Magnificent, indeed. Largess to knitters from an extraordinarily talented team; concisely written and edited text; splendid photographs; and scores of mittens of sheer exuberance—in both design and color."  —Meg Swansen, Schoolhouse Press


"Brings to life Anna's love of color and pattern. This collection offers interesting techniques, from the mittens' unique beginnings to their decorative finishings."  —Nancy Bush, author, Folk Socks 



"Anna Zilboorg has reinvented the mitten and given us clear instructions to knit a bundle of beautiful, warm mittens. I can't wait to try knitting a pair of tip-first mittens."  —Robin Hansen, author, Fox & Geese & Fences



"Anna Zilboorg is a modern master . . . her love of ethnic and antique textiles combined with a natural ability to use color faultlessly creates and outstanding collection of mittens. Fanciful shaped cuffs inspire the knitter . . . This is a book to keep in your library forever."  —Kristen Nicholas, author, Kristen Knits

About the Author

Anna Zilboorg is a knitter, a dyer, a designer, and the author of 45 Fine & Fanciful Hats to Knit and Fancy Feet. She lives in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. Alexis Xenakis is the publisher of XRX Books and resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


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Customer Reviews

I look forward to a day when I might be able to see her and her work in person.
Carole G. Grinstead
The patterns are great but the basic instructions and modifications are even better - written in an easy to understand way and not al all dogmatic!!
C. Davey
An excellent resource for knitters of all skill and experience levels, highly recommended.
Midwest Book Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Luvquilting on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anna Zilboorg pairs up with ace knitting photographer Alexis Xenakis to give knitters a truly excellent book chock full of colorful patterns.

Most knitting books feature a new technique, a dozen or so patterns, and filler at the back. Not in Anna Zilboorg's book!! Three pages of techniques and abbreviations, one page of embroidery and knitting-in beads, two pages of yarn dying recipes for the vibrantly colored yarns used in the photographs (should you desire the exact colors), a few lovely pages from Alexis Xenakis about Anna, and the rest of the book, 143 pages of heart-stopping riotous stranded colored mittens and socks.

Anna explains several new techniques for top down mittens and socks (half stranded socks is my favorite) as well as old methods. Her tone is grandmotherly; but her knowledgeable prowess as a former college professor is still very much her style.

If you think you know everything about making mittens and socks from those "one technique" books, I say, "Ha! Anna has many things to teach us." Thank you Anna, I love this book!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Laura H. Marshall on November 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've got a lot of knitting books and magazines, and have been following charts and patterns for years now. There are books that have beautiful photos and pretty images, and books that have clear directions and well-written text; this is one of the former.

I'm taking a class at my local yarn shop using one of this book's patterns, and it's clear the directions are difficult for even the instructor to follow. Having to flip back and forth from page 35 to page 27 to page 10 and back again before starting thumb one of the first mitten is inefficient and trouble-causing. And on Ravelry, at least one knitter points out that a pattern using black and white yarns is confounding because the chart reverses those colors with no explanation (though for seasoned knitters it's understood that the "master" color is always white and the "contrasting" colors are black or grey, there is no visual key here to clarify that--just the letter A denoting black and B denoting white, though those letters don't appear anywhere in the chart text).

These are patterns for EXPERIENCED knitters, those who can spot the confusion and address it proactively. Still, there's no reason not to make things more clear for those of us who know what we're doing--it saves time and frustration and a lot of page-flipping.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anna Zilboorg has done it again - - She's created an extraordinarily beautiful knitting book that is accessible to intermediate and advanced knitters. Her original book captured the essence and beauty of Latvian mittens and her new book adds socks to the mix. Her mittens are brightly colored in wonderful combinations, always lined with angora and often with long cuffs that go several inches above the wrist. Color patterns might be orange, yellow, purple and black or green, yellow, black, purple and pink. There's a colorful surprise in store with each pattern.

I've knitted her patterns in the past and if you follow her instructions, the mittens come out beautifully. Interestingly, he mitten patterns start from the bottom up utilizing a figure-8 cast-on. It appears counter-intuitive but it REALLY does work.

Her sock patterns start from the toe up and are as beautifully patterned as the mittens. To make the sock patterns easier, Ms. Zilboorg incorporates the mitten patterns into those of the socks.

I give this book my highest recommendation both for beauty and practicality. I live in Alaska where warmth is important. I knit a pair of Ms. Zilboorg's mittens for a dog musher who has used them and 40 degrees below zero. Not only do they keep her warm, they have also lasted seven years with regular use!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By bb on February 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I purchased another edition of this book several years ago and taught myself how to do color knitting using the techniques in the book. All the mittens I made came out beautifully!! Even the first one. They are tricky but if you are patient and look at what you are doing all will fall into place and you will have mittens to die for. Also I lined every pair with baby alpaca so the wearers hands would be extra warm. The best part is if you are active outside and the mittens get wet you hands will continue to be warm which is the beauty of pure wool! If you can stand to give away what you have knitted you will also have warmed not only your own heart but that of the lucky person who gets such a magnificent gift of loving effort. Lately I purchased the newer addition with the sock patterns and will try them soon = warm hands, heart AND feet!!! The "entry level" mittens in the instructions are great! Have made countless of those to have around to walk the dog and anything else that calls for a utilitarian mitten.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Fully illustrated with full color photography and easy-to-follow knitting pattern diagrams, Magnificent Mittens & Socks lives up to its title with 42 charted mittens, interchangeable cuff charts, 13 edge finishes for cuffs, 7 embellishments for color and texture, linings, dye recipes for mitten colors, detailed instructions for socks using mitten charts, and more. An excellent resource for knitters of all skill and experience levels, highly recommended.
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