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Medieval-Inspired Knits: Stunning Brocade & Swirling Vine Patterns with Embellished Borders Hardcover – January 4, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The patterns are complex and beautiful—knit in one piece and steeked. They are worked in fine yarn in colors based on how the paintings look today, muted and earthy. Fans of fine colorwork, this is a book worth seeking out.”—Knitty.com

From the Inside Flap

Inspired by the richly decorated interiors of medieval churches in the province of Uppland, Sweden, this gorgeous book is a visual playground for the knitter.

Author, graphic artist, and hand-knit designer Anna-Karin Lundberg provides a stunning photographic glimpse into her country's creative and religious history while explaining her own fascination with the motifs, colors, and shapes of the Middle Ages. Lundberg then seamlessly translates the luxurious swirling vine patterns, graceful borders, and exciting color combinations from dozens of dramatic mural paintings and period textiles into sumptuous modern-day knits anyone can wear.

Knitters will find step-by-step instructions for 20 original projects, including sweaters, vests, jackets, scarves, and gloves. There are patterns for women, men, and children, and tips for sizing and finishing. Throughout, full-color photographs and diagrams provide ample points of reference to ensure unique and striking results.

Medieval-Inspired Knits shines a fresh and glorious light on the look of the Middle Ages, proving that what’s old can indeed be made new again, with yarn and knitting needles as the means of reinvention.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books; 1 edition (January 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570765618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570765612
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Phyllis Staff TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Oh my - a gorgeous book filled to the brim with beautiful patterns and inspirations for the sweaters that you design. Here's my take on "Medieval-Inspired Knits."

PROS:

1. Color - Every pattern is shown in color and multiple views. The photography is wonderful and shows off the patterns to best effect. The medieval clerical designs which have inspired these patterns are also shown in glorious color.

2. Patterns include those for every member of the family - women, men, and youngsters. And these patterns are quite imaginative, not the same color knits we've seen for so many years.

3. Book itself is hardbound (thank you Trafalgar Square Books), so it will remain open while you work. Paper is heavy and glossy.

4. This is a book that inspires me to try something new. Maybe I'll use these patterns, but maybe I'll use this as inspiration to look at art I particularly enjoy and make up something entirely new.

CONS:

None at all!

OVERALL:

This book will give you a joyful boost in the imagination. Just what I was hoping for!

FIVE STARS (but I'd give TEN if they'd let me.)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Couldn't think how to title this-- a feast for the eyes, patterns that are great- the designs really work ! they look like the whole garment is planned--not simply 'take a sweater add a pattern, same sweater add another pattern". these are just BEAUTIFUL! Ms. Lundberg somehow manages to make a sturdy wool sweater look delicate. I haven't knit anything yet but will start with the toddler pullover - which i should be able to get done by the time my great-nephew is big enough to wear it! --and i want the fingerless gloves for ME! then one for my husband and there's one my sister would love---well, i WANT to knit them all! Seriously this is one book that's worth it - even if you don't knit just for the pictures. I have felt like doing reviews before but never strongly enough to actually do it. I just finished reading this book and had to do it! love it, love it, love it!
bks
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a long-ago art history major, I love the many included photographs of the medieval church paintings that inspired the 20 patterns in MEDIEVAL-INSPIRED KNITS. Also, I very much enjoyed reading author Lundberg's text, which describes both the churches (located in Uppland province, Sweden) where the paintings can be found, and the specific elements of the paintings that she decided to adapt for her patterns.

However, Lundberg's unquestionably attractive sweaters strike me as relatively mediocre Fair Isle knitting designs. (There are patterns for 5 cardigans, 11 pullovers, 1 pair of half-gloves, 1 scarf, and 2 children's sweaters; some of the cardigans and pullovers are vests). For me, none of the designs really cried out "knit me!" Probably I would like the designs better if the background colors departed more from the backgrounds in the original paintings, and changed subtly every few rows (as is done in many Fair Isle designs to create color depth and added interest). Experienced Fair Isle knitters can easily change the background colors this way, if they wish.

My favorite designs are the "Harkeberga Twisted Leaf Panel", which uses white yarn in the outlines of leaves so that the stitches resemble beads; the "Sanga Verdigris Panel Sweater", which has an allover snowflake-like motif arranged in rows of light turquoise, dark turquoise, and malachite green on a white background; and the "Norsunda Arch Panel Vest", which combines cables with an intarsia leaf motif to form a striking vertical front panel. (The "Norsunda" vest is probably the most difficult to knit pattern in the book.)

Most of the sweaters are knit in sport yarn on US 1-2 and 2-3 (or US 2-3 and 4) circular needles.
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The book is everything the reviews all say about it: beautiful, lovely designs, well written, interesting, nice charts, great directions. BUT: the yarns used are only available from a mill in Sweden & are impossible to duplicate with anything currently available in the U.S. I'm really good at substituting yarns, and I'll order yarn from the U.K. Or Australia if I have to, but honestly....I have just spent 2.5 hours on line, on the phone, in all my catalogs looking for yarn that would be a good swap.
1) the website listed at the back of the book for the yarn used is in Swedish with no "translate to English" option.
2) the author likely knew this because she directs you to Nordic Fiber Arts for substitutions. However, that site is extremely limited, with terrible color representation and suggests you spend $3 each for color cards before ordering yarn. Even then you will have some major "accommodating" to do since the weight and yardage does not match those used in the book.
Personally, I wish that the author or another reviewer had mentioned this. I'd have taken a pass on this one. I don't need another "coffee table " book. I've got enough already. Just sayin'...
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Finally, a stunningly beautiful book NOT geared toward beginners. Books for experienced knitters tend to be few & far between and this is outstanding. The art history is unique and well researched. The knitting projects are faithful to the art yet eminently wearable. I highly recommend this book to any knitter looking for an original and challenging project.
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