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Viking Patterns for Knitting: Inspiration and Projects for Today's Knitter Hardcover – March 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Lavold is a Swedish knitwear designer who combines her interest in archaeology of the Viking period with her delight in patterned, structured knitting to produce the 14 projects in this book, including jackets, cardigans, pullovers, caps, socks, and mittens. More than simply a pattern book, this work provides valuable insight into the mind and methods of a master designer as she analyzes Viking artifacts and adapts their essence to knitting. For each pattern, photographs and charts of knitted motifs are shown adjacent to line drawings and photos of the Viking designs that inspired them. This is a "high-end" knitting-pattern book of classic garments that will appeal to experienced knitters looking for projects at once challenging and fascinating. Highly recommended for large public libraries and academic textile collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Elsbeth Lavold is a Swedish knitting designer.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157076137X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570761379
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Haden VINE VOICE on June 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book, and have made several projects using the patterns. But it is not a book for every knitter, and certainly not for the new or casual knitter. For one thing, much of the book is taken up with archaeological discussion -- interesting, but those who buy the book just for the patterns may not feel they're getting their money's worth. Second, you really have to learn new skills to use it. I am a very experienced knitter, and can use both charts and traditionally-written directions, but it took me a while to grasp this new system (I wrote the code for the charts onto the page of each chart I used, and that helped). And, third, the sweaters themselves are not adaptable, simple, sized for everyone, or even necessarily suited for daily wear. All are very special, unusual designs -- the ball gowns of the sweater world -- and friends will say "Oh, you're wearing your Viking sweater!" every time you do.
That said, let me also say that I submerged myself in Viking knitting for months after buying this book. The stitch patterns are like Aran cables, but they do not go from the top to the bottom in the usual way. Lavold has figured out how to get cables to twine all over the place -- even into medallion-ish closed shapes. I practiced the techniques and designs on slippers and hats and other small projects before attempting a sweater, and found them very usable for alll kinds of projects. If you knit enough to adapt patterns, you will find that the Viking designs will add interest to many other projects and patterns. And if you are a medium-sized person with dramatic tastes, you will love the sweaters, too.
There are more than 14 projects altogether, including a cushion and afghan, one child's sweater, some coats, unisex and women's sweaters, and a number of smaller things like hats, socks, and mittens. All are beautiful and unusual.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Viking Patterns for Knitting is a beautiful, inspiring book that should engage both hand-knitters and other artisans interested in Viking design work. The sweaters Lavold has designed are, for the most part, glorious -- attractive and challenging even for an accomplished knitter -- and she shares the artifacts that inspired her designs. She also gives charts for variations on the different cabling patterns to lead the reader to design her own sweaters or to amend Lavold's.
Unfortunately, the book often gives away the fact that it's the first translation from Lavold's native Swedish. The text could definitely have used a more detail-oriented editor both for the descriptions or the projects and the background on the Viking designs as well as for the directions for the sweaters -- in my first perusal, I found one mistake in a pattern.
If you're interested in knitting cabled works of art, this book will appeal to you immediately -- I can't wait to get started on several of the sweaters -- but be prepared to spend some time deciphering the directions. The pattern directions are terse and often require a lot of interpretation by the knitter, which may mean that this book is intended for someone with advanced skills. That said, the ambitious new knitter shouldn't be turned off, as long as she's game for some trial and error as she figures out how to make all of the cable charts work together.
I heartily recommend this impressive book.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Sara Benson on May 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In "Viking Patterns for Knitting", author Elsebeth Lavold presents 54 unique cable patterns she created based on extensive research into Viking ornamentation. While the Viking were not knitters, the patterns the Vikings created in metal bear a strong resemblance to Aran patterns and other cabling patterns. Lavold has chosen patterns that could be adapted for knitting, and has devised several techniques to enable smooth transitions between cabled and non-cabled areas.
Many of the Viking patterns are incorporated into 14 sweaters, primarily for women. Directions are presented in standard knitting notation, with charts for all patterns. Photos of all sweaters are in color. Examples of Viking artifacts and cable patterns are in black and white.
The strength of this book is in the cable patterns themselves, providing a foundation for the designer to create unique textural pieces. The information on the cable patterns is interspersed with the sweater directions, without clear indications of where the directions end and the history and patterns start. A good index of the patterns and a solid table of contents help minimize the confusion.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By "knitwhit" on April 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Eslebeth Lavold has done extensive research on Viking designs and it shows in this book. The patterns in the book look much more complicated than they really are. Her technique for increasing and decreasing for cabled designs are simple and give excellent results. I condsider myself to be an intermediate skilled knitter and found the patterns quick and easy to execute. I stronly recommend this book to any knitter looking to expand their skills, or to anyone you likes cabled designs. Some of the yarns used for the sweaters in the book may be hard to locate,but substitute yarns are readily available. Eslebeth Lavold's designs rival the work of Alice Starmore although they are much easier to knit.This book belongs in your knitting library.
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