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Ethnic Knitting Exploration: Lithuania, Iceland, and Ireland Paperback – March 16, 2009
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For the designer and do-it-yourself knitter who doesn't want to rely on packaged patterns, this is a real boon. If you are not an advanced knitter, there are mini-projects to understand the construction idea, such as a capelet that goes over the shoulders in two color knitting. This capelet is nice by itself, but it teaches you the idea of round yokes as in Icelandic knitting. The Aran knit project shows you how to construct the drop shoulder sleeve or to do a raglan.
There are a number of motifs charted but mainly this book is about construction and it is a blueprint for making your own designs. Therefore, a good stitch dictionary will be a great adjunct to "Ethnic Knitting Exploration" and there are many to choose from, such as Barbara Walker Treasury and 440 More Stitches. There are many more including ones specific to Aran and Nordic patterns as well as Baltic (Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian.)
If you want to know about knitting in Iceland & Ireland, a number of excellent books have far, far better & comprehensive information. Lithuanian written sources are sparse; even sparser in English. But this book doesn't fill the gap. It falls so far off the mark, that it is an exaggeration to say that it doesn't come close.
This leaves the projects themselves, as simply projects, rather than as ethnic projects. As such they might be ok. In all honesty, I didn't look too closely at the project directions. They offer just about nothing to the experienced, or even intermediate, knitter. Skimming through them, I didn't see any special techniques described, or any interesting directions. The material offered here has been covered many times in other publications. Perhaps it offers something to the beginning knitter.
So long as the beginning knitter understands that she/he is learning about basic knitting, rather than about ethnic knitting of any kind.
If I were recommending books for the beginner,though, I would not recommend this one. There are far more interesting, better books, that would move the beginner along faster & in more interesting directions.
When I first learned of this book, I thought I would order it right away, because of the Lithuanian knitting. I am glad I looked at it first. The gap between its title & its content is an extreme disappointment.
I guess I will have to wait to see if someone would put together a publication that would include more original Lithuanian patterns and projects.
The sweaters are great fun to design and knit--make one for a teddy bear or a special baby, then remember to make one <or more!> for yourself, as they're entirely too luscious not to knit. Enjoy!