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SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition Paperback – November 30, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 127 pages
  • Publisher: Spinningwheel LLC (November 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979312604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979312601
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #992,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joanna D. #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2008
Format: 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.
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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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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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