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SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition Paperback – November 30, 2007
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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.
There are a few errata in the book--in fact, more than a few, but you can go to the author's site and download a complete list of errors, corrections including corrected charts. I did find an error not listed in the errata--there is a duplicate chart "C" in the Annemor #15 gloves--simply use the FIRST chart C for the pinky finger (it has a double line to line up with the same double line on the hand) and then the second chart "C" for the rest of the fingers.
This is a great addition to your library of folk patterns and the history of knitting, but has useful glove patterns as well. Recommended for all knitters who love colorwork.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The patterns are awesome and it's very easy to knitt by them.