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24 Reviews
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource
This is a great book for those who like to learn new techniques and appreciate beautiful designs with history behind them.

The whole book is an interesting read, with a section on the history of Selbu knitting, techniques used and then the patterns.
The mittens and gloves are recreated with great attention to detail and with thoughtful treatment of the...
Published on April 17, 2008 by W. Black

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good patterns, but problems
This book has some great patterns, and history, but it has some big problems when it comes to making the mittens. Almost every mitten comes out a little off... not centered, the thumb in the wrong place, the pattern not on the back of the hand, instead wrapping around to the middle of the palm. While she does publish corrections for some of the patterns she has not done...
Published on November 23, 2008 by C. Smith


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource, April 17, 2008
By 
W. Black (N. California, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Paperback)
This is a great book for those who like to learn new techniques and appreciate beautiful designs with history behind them.

The whole book is an interesting read, with a section on the history of Selbu knitting, techniques used and then the patterns.
The mittens and gloves are recreated with great attention to detail and with thoughtful treatment of the modern knitter and the originators.

Yarn structure is addressed so this book is good for the handspinners who wish to use their own yarns and knitters will find the suggested yarns or suitable replacement yarns easily available.

Shea's openness in describing the reproduction process of these gloves and mittens gives the adventurous knitter more confidence to branch out and adapt the patterns to their own needs, but I love them as is.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Norwegian Folk Knitting and excellent gloves and mittens!, November 25, 2008
This review is from: SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Paperback)
Selbuvotter are patterns from Selbu, Norway. This region of Norway, though near the Arctic Circle, enjoys a milder climate than one would expect due to the Gulf Stream nearby and is home to a tradition of folk knitting. Terri Shea takes us through a quick run of Norway's history (first a country under Danish rule, then Swedish) and shows how home-knit items supplemented farm income, as in so many parts of the world. Selbu patterns, including the famous Selbu Rose, are familiar to anyone who watched the Olympics in Lillehammer or who loves skiwear.

Through the magic of knitting, the 5 stitch-7 row proportion transforms itself into a perfect diamond when you knit a snowflake or a rose on the diagonal. This magic is the heart of Selbu patterns, though there are a lot more motifs, including grids, leaves, ravens, dogs, and reindeer, of course. The author includes a method for knitting dates and initials into the knitting as well--handy for knitting MITTENS for SCHOOLKIDS who LEAVE THEM ON THE BUS--you know what I mean.

The book has many clear charts for making folk knit style mittens and absolutely beautiful gloves; the "Annemor #17" -- a snowflake and arrow design is good for beginners to knitting gloves. The book is only mittens and gloves, but if you are determined to make something else, the patterns are easily usable for stocking, hats or sweaters. I plan to make the Annemor #17 first (a beautiful glove) and then try some mittens with initials for a few youngsters. There are some interesting cuffs--not as elaborate as the fringed and braided Latvian cuffs, but still more interesting than simple 2x2 knitted rib.

There are a few errata in the book--in fact, more than a few, but you can go to the author's site and download a complete list of errors, corrections including corrected charts. I did find an error not listed in the errata--there is a duplicate chart "C" in the Annemor #15 gloves--simply use the FIRST chart C for the pinky finger (it has a double line to line up with the same double line on the hand) and then the second chart "C" for the rest of the fingers.

This is a great addition to your library of folk patterns and the history of knitting, but has useful glove patterns as well. Recommended for all knitters who love colorwork.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Selbuvotter, May 29, 2008
This review is from: SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Paperback)
A good Norwegian name! Mittens from Selbu, and I had to find an American book to get some really GREAT patterns. Sure, we have patterns galore, but the older patterns disappear and you have modern versions. Nothing wrong with those, but some of the older patterns are really great, although knitted on what can only be termed "sewing needles" with laceweight yarn. I thoroughly recommend this book, better than most Norwegian knitting books for mittens I have seen!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good patterns, but problems, November 23, 2008
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This review is from: SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Paperback)
This book has some great patterns, and history, but it has some big problems when it comes to making the mittens. Almost every mitten comes out a little off... not centered, the thumb in the wrong place, the pattern not on the back of the hand, instead wrapping around to the middle of the palm. While she does publish corrections for some of the patterns she has not done so for every pattern, so you might end up doing some recalculations with this book, but the end result is quite nice once you figure everything out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good History, black and white photos, January 23, 2010
By 
Shire Dweller (MO, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Paperback)
This is a great book. That said, if you're looking for Alice Starmore, you won't find her here. HOWEVER, this book stands on its own and as a classic in its own right. BE AWARE that all photos in this book are black and white.
This book is divided into three sections. The first section is about the HISTORY of Selbuvotter knitting. Terri Shea's writing style will take you on a great journey: on a cold winter day you can curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and this great book and find yourself sitting along side the Selvubotter knitters, listening to their tales told to the background of clicking needles inside and howling wind and yes, bombs and marching invaders' boots echoing outside. The second section is TECHNIQUE. Terri does an excellent job of (symbolically speaking) pinning the specimens to a dissection board and performing a mitten autopsy for you: she diagrams and explains the components and mechanics of mitten and glove in a way that is interesting and fun (and made me realize why my own past attempts at knitting these types of projects didn't always turn out so well). The last section is PATTERNS - over 30 of them. Who knew a pair of mittens could say so much, contain so many symbols, and make so many statements about knitter and wearer? "Dancing ants?" Yes, it's in there. Lilies that symbolize purity and the Virgin Mary? That's in there too, on page 101.
If you're looking for Alice Starmore-type color work patterns, you'll need to buy an Alice Starmore book. But if you're looking for something with depth and adventure, that goes beyond the design to the history and symbolism behind it, then this is definitely the book for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice book, but it's missing some details., March 26, 2009
By 
This review is from: SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Paperback)
I love the book. There are many different patterns to choose from and the designs are lovely. However, if you really want to knit the mittens properly, you'll have to chart the inside of the thumbs yourself because the book doesn't include that. I'm not sure why that fact doesn't seem to bother anyone - I find it slightly annoying. Other than that it's a great book and I will have fun knitting many of the patterns.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Inspirational!, December 12, 2008
By 
Dori in SF (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Paperback)
I have a fairly substantial knitting book collection, and this has got to be one of the most inspiring books ever! The patterns are marvelous and very clearly explained. An entertaining history of the Selbu mitten/glove tradition is also included. I had never made mittens before, and I've made two pairs from this book so far without a problem. Another reviewer mentioned having trouble. Please note that full errata is available for the first editions of this book. If you have an earlier version, please don't forget to check the errata on the publisher's website (something you should do with ANY knitting book). A corrected edition was published in Jan 2008, too, so if you buy now through Amazon, you'll get the new one. For Ravelry members, Selbuvotter has its own group, and the author often posts with suggestions and help for knitters. This is just amazing book that makes me want to knit every single project (a first for me, as far as knitting books go).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice History...Pattern Directions Lacking, January 5, 2011
This review is from: SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Paperback)
I really did have high hopes for this book. This is my first attempt at making fair isle gloves and the finished examples on Ravelry are beautiful. My main gripe is the pattern for the glove I started - Annemor 8 is incomplete in my mind.

Not everything is explicitly spelled out. For example on the palm-side of the fingers, a notation indicating the range of rows that makes the pattern would be nice instead of direction to knit as established. A slight miscalculation might give you vertical stripes on the backs of the fingers if you didn't know any better instead of the crosshatch pattern.

Maybe if I was a more experienced glove knitter, it would be more obvious on how to adjust the patterns for the parts that were not obvious to me. For example there is a single finger chart but no tips on how to adjust for the different stitch count for index,middle,ring or pinky.

Not the end of the world, but definitely a challenge if you expect your finished product to look like the picture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Math doesn't add up, December 10, 2011
By 
L. Gouge "Avid Reader" (Pacific Northwest, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Paperback)
virtually all of the mitten patterns have problems, particularly the directions for making the thumb. The number of thumb stitches in the chart may not be the same as the number in the written directions. If you compare the written directions for the thumb with the chart, the math just does not add up - the written directions may specify fewer and sometimes more than reflected in the chart. Subsequently, the person knitting the mittens has to figure out a way to make everything add up. This makes it necessary to change the pattern. Additionally, the chart pattern may not be the same as the picture of the knitted sample. Look at the pattern for NHM#1 mitten. The knitted sample shows contrast color diamonds which break up the long main color rows up both sides of the stars. Most of those diamonds are missing from the chart. This was easily correctly. The patterns in this book are beautiful. It is a shame there are so many mistakes in the patterns. This book definitely is not a book for the novice knitter because of the mistakes, and because there is so much the knitter has to figure out on his or her own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Gem!, October 6, 2010
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This review is from: SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Paperback)
I was overjoyed to find this book online after looking for years for "real" Selbu patterns. There is a pattern for everyone in this book, and she freely invites the reader to be creative with color and patterns and to branch out from the material given. I want to knit everything in here, no joke. The title is really quite perfect, and there is some lovely history in here, especially at the beginning. Everything is in black and white, but since the premis of the Selbu designs is built on contrast, it isn't a problem for me. I love the fact that most of the patterns include a photograph of a new mitten accompanied by the antique mitten it was designed from. I love this book and I would very highly recommend it to any knitter.
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SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition
SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition by Terri Shea (Paperback - November 30, 2007)
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