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Knitting Around the World: A Multistranded History of a Time-Honored Tradition Hardcover – October 24, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This is a global review of knitting’s past and present, though to call it a true history would be a miscue to avid stitchers. What Nargi does, she does well: provide a documented and photographic survey of traditions and patterns, starting in the Islamic world and finishing, some 260 pages later, in Central and South America. Much information is borrowed from (and attributed to) other writers, more scholarly in their intentions; she extends beyond the predictable in her spotlight of 20 knitting artisans. Meet Veronika Persche, an Austrian native who sculpts with machine knitting, or the recently deceased Olga Alexandrovna Federova, queen of gossamer knitting (think lighter-than-air shawls). Add to those individuals major sidebars on breeds of sheep and occasional oddities (Habu Textiles, in Manhattan, is the only non-Japanese repository-store of Asian yarns). --Barbara Jacobs

Review

Knitting began in the 12th century in the Arab world but spread quickly. Nargi (Astounding Knits!) takes knitters on an around-the-world tour of traditional knitting. The history is the heart of the book, but there’s so much more here, including interviews with well-known knitting experts, descriptions of unique yarns and techniques, and projects focused on each region’s styles and traditions. This excellent—and very readable—reference to global knitting traditions belongs on the bookshelf of any knitter interested in the history and development of knitting. - Library Journal XPress
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press; First edition (October 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760337942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760337943
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.1 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #731,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fairbanks Reader - Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Knitting Around the World: A Multistranded History of a Time-Honored Tradition, is a large, luscious history of knitting the world over. It begins with the history of knitting in the Islamic world, proceeds to Western Europe and then on to The British Isles and Ireland, Scandinavia and Iceland, the Baltics, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, Australia and New Zealand, the United States and Canada and South and Central America.

The book is filled with historic patterns and even some patterns that can be knit now. It goes into the techniques of knitting specific to each geographic area and what makes each area unique in its approach to knitting. The book spotlights designers of reknown and discusses what makes them famous. There is a section on where to find some of the artists, knitters, and historians featured in this book and their websites are provided. There is a wonderful bibliography and index as well.

The book is formatted as a coffee table book and would be wonderful to have on display to look at regularly. It is a real treasure.
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I was looking forward to a history book of knitting. If you go for pictures/prints of paintings of people from older days knitting, it is very beautiful, but the text gives you no surprises about historic knitting. The magazine Traditional Knitting from Interweave is much better, they manage to give you real knowledge of what we know about knitting history today. Knitting around the world gives you a presentation of knitting designers that are still (young) and active in their work , and whom is presented in the everyday mags and book we hobby knitters are reading all the time.
From my country, Norway, Annemor Sundbø is the one. She has of course done a lot to export Norwegian patterns abroad, esp USA. She is more known there than in Norway. She has written books that tell a story of knitting in our country. Her books are translated to English, so everyone can read them for themselves. One day Annemor will be named in the history books together with other famous knitting Norwegians, like Unn Søiland Dahle (the Marius skisweater),Peer Spook, Ellinor Flor and a lot of others that is still working today. Annemor , I hope, has still some years to go, and is too young to be in a history book.
How many books and mags shall we buy and read before we see something else than the white and blue "islamic" socks from India? Some pictures (wonderful!) are showing modern patterns of socks and mittens that it is possible to knit if you go to the source for the pattern. In Traditional Knitting you get patterns to knit and thus you can find out how it was to knit different garments in old fashioned ways.
I agree with the person who says it is a coffe table book, but that was not what I wanted to buy. I am interested in knitting history. My husband liked it though, but he has not read anything of knitting history before.
A beautiful book, but it tells the wrong story.
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My main complaints about the book are:
A lot of rehashing of well-known books that have aready covered the history of knitting (Rutt, MacDonald, Lewandowski)in the west;
A good number of pictures have been reprinted from sources I already have or have seen;
Really poor citations for the pictures -- often only credit to the photographer, but no mention of the sources (many from published books);
Poor citations for many sources, especially those that are not quoted directly;
Rather poor editing -- one page ends in the middle of a paragraph, and I haven't found the rest of it yet;
Somewhat confusing layout, which makes it hard to tell if a page is planned to highlight a designer or region, or if the text from the previous page just continues.\;
A lack of thorough editing of the text. For someone who claims a background in journalism, I expect a higher quality of writing than appears in this book;
Thin coverage of "new" parts of the world that haven't been heavily covered in already-existing through regional knitting histories, for example Kashmir and China. There are a few great knitting-related pictures in the section on China, but nothing of knitted items from China, and the section is very short. It would have been great to have more about it.

I think there's room for a second edition that fills in gaps in research and citations with more polished writing.
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This book covers the history of knitting, and knitting around the world, with an attempt to cover current popular knitters and the current "knitting scene", which will be the knitting history that we care about a hundred years from now. I don't find the material on current knitters all that interesting, but it's reasonable to include. The coverage is broad and there are some remarkably beautiful and inspiring pictures, as well as varied and interesting historic material. While there are a few patterns, these seems to be just for historical purposes or to illustrate something, rather than patterns for things to knit like in most knitting books. I seem to be more browsing rather than really reading, but I can come back to it again and again just to enjoy looking at the pictures. And I've found lots to be inspired by to come up with my own designs (if I ever had time to do everything I wanted to do...sigh)
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