It's always a good day when another book for stranded knitters becomes available! Mary Jane Muckelstone's newly published 150 Scandinavian Motifs is an excellent companion to her 200 Fair Isle Motifs directory.
Scandinavian knitting covers a very broad area, so this collection is not, of course, comprehensive. However, Mary Jane has compiled a good cross-section of motifs. What differentiates this book from others on Scandianvian knitting is the way the motifs are presented: each is shown as a black-and-white chart, a chart with two colors filled in, another chart with three colors, and finally a knitted swatch that shows the motif in combination with other motifs.
In addition to a brief discussion about Scandinavian stranded knitting and how it differs from Fair Isle knitting, the introductory material covers garment design, steeking, 3-color-in-a-row techniques, fixing mistakes, and so on. 150 Scandinavian Motifs also includes patterns for a few simple garments to get you started--all in all, an excellent introduction to the field.
After gaining confidence with Mary Jane's book, you might want to explore more Scandinavian motifs and designs. Sheila McGregor's humble Traditional Scandinavian Knitting (1984) is an essential collection of motifs, construction pointers, and historical photos. Vibeke Lind's Knitting in the Nordic Tradition (1981) is another well-loved general look at Scandinavian garments (now out of print, but lots of used copies are available).
Oh, dear--once I start looking at the books on my shelf, I realize that there are too many books on Scandinavian knitting to discuss here today! Here's a quick list of my favorites:
- Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition by Terri Shea
- Everyday Knitting: Treasures from the Ragpile by Annemor Sundbo
Norwegian Mittens and Gloves by Annemor Sundbo
- Knitting with Icelandic Wool by Vedis Johansdottir
- Knitting Scandinavian Slippers and Socks by Laura Farson
- Icelandic Handknits by Helene Magnussen
- Swedish Handknits: A Collection of Heirloom Knits by Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel
- Norwegian Handknits: Heirloom Designs from Vesterheim Museum by Janine Kosel et al
and I could go on! Go ahead, plunge in! As for me, I'm inspired to purchase some beautiful, natural cormo yarn from Elsa Wool when I'm at the Taos Wool Festival in October--I think a classic lusekofte is in my future!