Folk Mittens: Techniques and Patterns for Handknitted Mittens Paperback – Jan 23 2003
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Because mittens are useful, warmer than gloves, and fast to knit, the art of knitting them is highly developed and has resulted in many traditional patterns unique to a geographic region. In Latvia, a young woman would knit mittens for all the guests at her wedding; in colonial America, mittens often carried a knitted-in Bible verse or poem. Folk Mittens details these and other traditions of various countries. The basic shaping instructions are clearly written, and all color charts are shown in color. Although the few monochromatic knit-purl patterns have charts that are difficult to read, most knitters will be too thrilled by the marvelous color patterns to notice. If you don't knit yourself, this would be a wonderful gift to inspire your favorite knitter (especially if you need a new pair of mittens).
From Library Journal
Following a section on knitting techniques, including valuable information on the Eastern method of circular knitting and on working with double-pointed needles, Lewandowski launches into some 40 different projects for mittens based on the traditions of Europe, Asia, and North and South America. She includes full-color charts, graphs, and instructions, along with the history of each type of ethnic mitten. Although a beginning knitter could learn to knit mittens from this book, Robin Hansen's Sunny's Mittens (Down East, 1990) would be a better choice for those with no previous knitting experience. Highly recommended for all knitting collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not a book for inexperienced knitters, however. Some prior knitting knowledge is required, because many patterns have color-work techniques that are difficult to master, and some patterns' charts could be very complicated if a beginner were to attempt them.
Over all, I thought the book was fantastic. It is also a good reference source for charted designs to include in other knitting projects. It is a must-have for the well rounded knitting library.
For sheer number and variety of mittnes, this book can't be beat. My personal favorites are a beautiful pair of cabled aran mittens and a fairly simple but elegant two-color pattern from the Faroe Islands. I do, however, have one criticism. The section on thumbs is, well, pathetic. The different kinds of thumbs are each given a short paragraph, but there are no diagrams or proper explanations as to how to go about knitting them. Thumbs are not terribly difficult, but as they are particular to mittens and gloves I do think that a book devoted entirely to the mitten should cover their construction clearly and thoroughly. A relatively new knitter, or even an experienced knitter who has never made mittens before, will likely need a step-by-step book with diagrams or a personal teacher to show them the thumb on their first attempt at mittens.
Thumb section aside, this book is very fine, with simple but clear photography that more than adequately shows what the mittens really look like. No specific yarns are listed for each pattern, but the weights and gauges used in ihe models are listed, so unless you want to make an exact copy of the model (and where is the fun, or for that matter the "folksiness" in that?), it should not be a problem. Overall, I highly recommend this book.