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Northern Knits Paperback – April 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Interweave (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596681713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596681712
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A gorgeous collection of designs." - Twist Collective blog

"Wow. Beautiful projects...Pretty, pretty." - Austin American-Statesman

"Fans of Guy who know the author only for her whimsically illustrated kiddie knit lit will be happy to see how charmingly her classic aesthetic grows up. Visiting Northern Europe on her needles, Guy celebrates the folk knitting prevalent in that part of the world...It's a grand tour, indeed." - Yarn Market News

"Part knitting book, part armchair traveler's guide, Northern Knits is perfect for anyone who wants a deeper knowledge of the history of the knitting cultures of Iceland, Shetland, Norway, and Sweden...Knitwear and textile designer Lucinda Guy is your guide to learning the time-tested Nordic techniques of knitting in the round, steeking, lace, cables, Fair Isle, twined knitting and embroidery." - Scandanavian

"Charming and beautiful." -

"The designs are wonderfully feminine and light feeling, not the heavy, thick yarned sweaters sometimes associated with these regions. It has a fresh quality." -

"Lucinda Guy's Northern Knits is a gorgeous collection of designs, all inspired by the knitting traditions of a particular corner of the Western Hemisphere that is almost as famous as Lucinda Guy is among knitters for a particularly charming take on the knitted garment. It's a natural combination, and the result is a book that will most likely tempt you to make a few things." - Twist Collective Blog

About the Author

Lucinda Guy is a knitwear and textile designer with more than 20 years of experience. Creations developed under her own label have been represented by retail outlets such as Paul Smith, the Conran Shop, and The Crafts Council (UK), and she has successfully sold designs to Edina Ronay, Laura Ashley, Marks and Spencer, and Rowan Yarns. She is the author of more than five books, including And So to Bed, Handknits for Kids, and Kids Learn to Knit.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Lynne E. TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a book of knitting patterns (by well-known knitting author Lucinda Guy). It is not a book about knitting history or the ethnic knitting designs and traditions of Scandinavia, Iceland, and the Shetland Isles.

The cover photo ("Pia Laceweight Pullover") is a good example of the kind of patterns included. The patterns are for "simplified" Scandinavian, Icelandic, and Norwegian garments, in that the designer uses traditional ethnic motifs, designs, and techniques, but makes the garments themselves a little bit easier and faster to knit by choosing less-fine yarns and by limiting the amount of patterning on each garment.

For example, the "Unnur Icelandic Pullover", which uses the classic Icelandic rose motif around the yoke and above the ribbing, looks traditional but lacks fine patterning detail--because the yarn is Lopi and the gauge is 14 stitches and 18 rows to 4 inches.

As another example, the "Effie Fair Isle Pullover" has patterning detail, because the sweater is knit at 30 stitches and 34 rows to 4 inches--but the traditional shifting of background colors beneath the horizontal Fair Isle motifs is kept to a minimum, meaning fewer ends to weave in but a final fabric that is less interesting.

As a third example, the "Crowning Glory Cobweb Shawl", which is knit with cobweb lace yarn at a daunting gauge of 42 stitches and 50 rows to 4 inches, uses three somewhat challenging Shetland lace patterns--but arranges them in horizontal sections on a stole, so that the project is far simpler to knit than a traditional Shetland lace wrap or shawl that combines several lace patterns.

However, there is nothing wrong with a book of "simplified" patterns, if the garments produced by the patterns are attractive and wearable!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Northern Knits' by Lucinda Guy is published by Interweave Press, the publisher of my favorite knitting magazine, Interweave Knits. Usually, a book put out by them is good and dependable. This is no exception.

The book is divided into four primary sections: Iceland, Shetland, Norway, and Sweden.

My favorite Iceland pattern is the Unnur Icelandic Pullover, a classic Icelandic design. I was somewhat disappointed that there were not more classic designs in this section.

Under the Shetland section, there are several beautiful designs. The Crowning Glory Cobweb Shawl is absolutely stunning. I found the Nell Shetland Cap adorable and so 'Shetland'.

The Norway designs were a modern take on classic patterns. I especially liked the Annemor Pullover which I intend to knit myself. I don't feel in a rush to knit any of the other Norway designs in this book.

The Swedish designs are, again, a modern take on classic designs. I love the Ola Placket Pullover. However, if I were to knit it, I would make it longer. The Pia Laceweight Pullover is lovely as well. The Marta embroidered bag is a gem. I think this may be the strongest section in the book.

MY only disappointment is that there are not enough patterns. I felt somewhat shortchanged. Some of the patterns were not really what I would have expected from the geographic area that they were supposed to come from. All in all, though, this is a nice book, one that is a positive addition to my library.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marge on October 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Northern Knits: Designs Inspired by the Knitting Traditions of Scandinavia, Iceland, and the Shetland Isles by Lucinda Guy. The first thing I noticed about the book was that I wanted to make all of the patterns within it. The second thing I noticed was no steeks. Steeks are the traditional way to work Norweigen and Fair Isle knitting.

The knitter knits in the round to the neck and then cuts their knitting to make openings for the armholes and button bands. The fear of cutting your knitting is what keeps many knitters from attempting this type of knitting. The reason for working in the round right up to the neck is so the knitter always has the right side of their knitting facing them. By having the right side always facing the knitter it is easy to see the pattern of the two color work, which is nearly impossible to distinguish on the wrong side with the strands colors being carried along.

Ms. Guy's patterns are lovely and look like traditional Northern Country knits, but with the back and forth knitting from the arm holes up, may make it more appealing to those who have never tried stranded knitting. On the other hand, although there is no need to cut when you work back and forth, a whole other set of problems arise. The inability to see the pattern in one, but even more importantly, the ability to keep a steady tension is harder to do when you are stranding on a purl side. When working in the round and then switching to back and forth knitting your gauge may change dramatically, so be very careful.

If you are one of those knitters who would like to do multi-colored knitting, but have been afraid to because of the whole cutting thing this is your opportunity.
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