Welcome to my Blog!

Hi there, nice to have you visiting! I'm Heidi and this is the blog for Heidi Bears. Here is where I post all the happenings in my work and daily life. Here and there you'll find info on things that have caught my attention as well as the odd tutorial. I hope you enjoy your visits. I love to have feedback, so leave me a comment!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Book Review: Norwegian Handknits

Hi! Hope you all had a lovely weekend :) Today I am blogging about a knitting book that I recently ordered.
The title is "Norwegian Handknits" , written by Sue Flanders, Laurann Gilbertson and Janine Kosel. ISBN: 9780760334287, Voyager Press 2009. 144 pages with lovely colour and black and white photographs.

I have developed a love for what we loosely term "Fair Isle" knitting. Really, not all colour stranded knitting IS Fair Isle knitting, but I guess it's a term most people use when referring to the technique of stranding  two or more colours along a row of knitting, more out of ease of habit than technical accuracy. As I also have been quite taken by knitting mittens and fingerless mittens, this book satisfied both desires...

This book is beautifully bound, with a hard cover and great quality paper for the pages. The print quality is also excellent: overall I was very happy with the product.

 The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum's remarkable knitting and textile collection was the inspiration for writing the book. It is located in Decorah, Iowa in the United States, and it is here that the authors spent many years writing up patterns for the items that appear in the book.  

I enjoyed the chapter on the history of this style of knitting, and the authors included some old black and white photographs of Norwegian women spinning, knitting and shearing sheep. Makes me appreciate the online yarn shops that provide the finished product, all pretty and processed....  ; )

The patterns range in difficulty, from very easy to knit (for beginners virtually) baby's hat, adult hat and mittens, right up to "Oh! my goodness that will take me decades to complete!" multi-coloured knapsack (which would be well worth the required time portion of your life, as it is really gorgeous!)

There are aslo very nicely illustrated step by step tutorials for amongst others,making felted balls, making twisted cords and crochet picot cast-on. The authors have added touches of nostalgia throughout the book, including traditional recipes, folklore and short biographies of modern day inspirational artists that keep these artistic endeavours alive.  

There are several felted projects too, if you enjoy felting. By far my favourite pattern was that for the Entrelac sheep, seen below, with their gorgeous little fat bodies and funny little ears! From what I gather, these are not based on an original pattern at the Vesterheim Museum, but inspired by a pair of entrelac socks that do indeed live there ;)

The patterns have been charted clearly, and thank goodness for that...I don't think I would have the fortitude to knit the knapsack with only row-by-row instructions.....

I have added some pics of a few of the patterns in the book, just for inspiration...and because they are so pretty...

I haven't yet knitted any items from this book, so am not sure of any errata... and I searched the web to see if errata had been found, to no avail,so I am going with the "glass half full" crowd, declaring that all could be well on that front...
Overall, in my opinion, a WORTHY buy  :)

On another note: the pic at the top of the post was taken in the Mpumalanga lowveld area of Graskop, in South Africa. The area is beautiful, with countless stunning vistas and nature attractions, and well worth a visit!

Some interesting links: I was amazed by this, and truly astonished by the stupidity of some poor souls when I watched this, and found this eye opening.... we really live in an interesting world folks!!!

I have started my lecture block and will try to post every day...I really will try...promise...  :)

Below is our beloved dog Flash, who is extremely fond of sleeping in the sun on the carpets, but sadly is allergic to them...how could I wake him up when he looked so blissful??

That's all for today :)

Lots of Love,
Heidi :)

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