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Viking Patterns for Knitting: Inspiration and Projects for Today's Knitter [Hardcover]

Elsebeth Lavold , Elsbeth Lavold
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 2000
In Viking Patterns for Knitting, ancient Nordic ornamentation has been translated into an exquisite array of designs for knitters. Featuring 14 projects, clear instructions and charts, inspiring color photos, and 60 Viking motifs.

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From Library Journal

Lavold is a Swedish knitwear designer who combines her interest in archaeology of the Viking period with her delight in patterned, structured knitting to produce the 14 projects in this book, including jackets, cardigans, pullovers, caps, socks, and mittens. More than simply a pattern book, this work provides valuable insight into the mind and methods of a master designer as she analyzes Viking artifacts and adapts their essence to knitting. For each pattern, photographs and charts of knitted motifs are shown adjacent to line drawings and photos of the Viking designs that inspired them. This is a "high-end" knitting-pattern book of classic garments that will appeal to experienced knitters looking for projects at once challenging and fascinating. Highly recommended for large public libraries and academic textile collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Elsbeth Lavold is a Swedish knitting designer.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Book for a Specialized Audience June 10 2004
I love this book, and have made several projects using the patterns. But it is not a book for every knitter, and certainly not for the new or casual knitter. For one thing, much of the book is taken up with archaeological discussion -- interesting, but those who buy the book just for the patterns may not feel they're getting their money's worth. Second, you really have to learn new skills to use it. I am a very experienced knitter, and can use both charts and traditionally-written directions, but it took me a while to grasp this new system (I wrote the code for the charts onto the page of each chart I used, and that helped). And, third, the sweaters themselves are not adaptable, simple, sized for everyone, or even necessarily suited for daily wear. All are very special, unusual designs -- the ball gowns of the sweater world -- and friends will say "Oh, you're wearing your Viking sweater!" every time you do.
That said, let me also say that I submerged myself in Viking knitting for months after buying this book. The stitch patterns are like Aran cables, but they do not go from the top to the bottom in the usual way. Lavold has figured out how to get cables to twine all over the place -- even into medallion-ish closed shapes. I practiced the techniques and designs on slippers and hats and other small projects before attempting a sweater, and found them very usable for alll kinds of projects. If you knit enough to adapt patterns, you will find that the Viking designs will add interest to many other projects and patterns. And if you are a medium-sized person with dramatic tastes, you will love the sweaters, too.
There are more than 14 projects altogether, including a cushion and afghan, one child's sweater, some coats, unisex and women's sweaters, and a number of smaller things like hats, socks, and mittens. All are beautiful and unusual.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A cable knitter's dream Jan. 10 2004
I can't help but echo much of what others have said-- the designs are gorgeous, Lavold's historical research is impressive and thorough, the directions are occasionally confusing and not for beginners-- but for an experienced cable knitter, this last is less of an issue than others have made it out to be.
True, these are challenging designs. Even Frode, probably the simplest sweater design in the book, requires the knitter to juggle three cable designs simultaneously (one with a 36-row repeat, two [mirroring each other] with a 32-row repeat). Yet the pattern directions for front and back don't even require armhole shaping, and the unadorned sleeves are the simplest I've seen. The sweater isn't "simplicity itself," as the pattern instructions claim, but the finished product is a comfortable and flattering weekend-ish sweater.
An important point that I think no one else has mentioned is that the more fitted sweaters (the ones that don't double as coats) tend to run small and would need to be adapted for XL+ sizing.
If you've done some cable knitting in the past, are accustomed to following charts, and are experienced enough to know that many knitting patterns require some commonsense adaptation, you'll find nothing to fear here. Well worth the money just for the dozens of cable patterns.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Knitting Breakthrough March 21 2001
By A Customer
I have knit for years and done tons of Aran knitting, but never could have dreamed up the knots Lavold shows in this book. The pictures, the history, the patterns in the book thrill me, and I look forward to learning how to make these impossible-looking designs come alive with yarn. Not only did I find the history compelling, but Lavold is a great designer. Watch how she runs bands of cables up the front of a cardigan, then they turn a corner at the shoulders and meet at the middle back of the neck to form a yoke. Incredible. I rarely knit from patterns and I have never seen a knitting book from which I actually intend to make so many designs. There are entire patterns -- heavy coats and pullovers of Lopi, a light blouse cardigan of Silketweed, hat and mitten set, pillow and afghan. It's mostly sweaters for women in different weights, but there are few other things for household, child, and men. There are also charts for pieces of cable and motifs so that you can create your own designs, as well as a rune alphabet in case you want to knit a message on your sweater in the stick-like figures; it would look just like a thicket of trees. The more I look through this book, the more I appreciate it. It's up their with Starmore's Aran Knitting for scholarship and design and beauty.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration for the designer May 16 2000
In "Viking Patterns for Knitting", author Elsebeth Lavold presents 54 unique cable patterns she created based on extensive research into Viking ornamentation. While the Viking were not knitters, the patterns the Vikings created in metal bear a strong resemblance to Aran patterns and other cabling patterns. Lavold has chosen patterns that could be adapted for knitting, and has devised several techniques to enable smooth transitions between cabled and non-cabled areas.
Many of the Viking patterns are incorporated into 14 sweaters, primarily for women. Directions are presented in standard knitting notation, with charts for all patterns. Photos of all sweaters are in color. Examples of Viking artifacts and cable patterns are in black and white.
The strength of this book is in the cable patterns themselves, providing a foundation for the designer to create unique textural pieces. The information on the cable patterns is interspersed with the sweater directions, without clear indications of where the directions end and the history and patterns start. A good index of the patterns and a solid table of contents help minimize the confusion.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous cables - a must have for your library!
Oh my! What a gorgeous book. Elsebeth has really done her homework. The hardest part about owning this book is deciding which project to start next. Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2003 by Jody Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Knitting Book
The sweaters are beautiful. I just got the book, and I immediately had to order yarn for two sweaters plus the accessories, which is not typical of me at all. Read more
Published on May 8 2003 by Wendy Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Best collection of cable designs I've seen in 40 years!
I thought this book would be another pretty book about knitting. Was I surprised! Not only has the author done her homework as far as researching her subject, she has supplied... Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2003 by Mme. Defarge
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and interesting book
The patterns are beautiful with some unusual construction,including several interesting hats, pillows, and mittens in addition to gorgeous sweaters. Read more
Published on April 30 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Remarkable Book!
This has been a most welcome addition to my library of knitting patterns. I suppose my knitting skills would be considered intermediate, and I've found the book to be very user... Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2001 by James trippe
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Nordic (stranded) about it; but still inspirational
When most people think of Nordic or Norwegian sweaters, they think of classic, multi-colored designs with snowflakes and reindeer. Read more
Published on March 31 2001 by Carol Peterson Hennekens
5.0 out of 5 stars Viking symbols in 3 -D
this is a fascinating book for anyone interested in Viking mythology and knitting.The patterns use intricate cables in a variety of yarn thicknesses and the instructions are clear... Read more
Published on March 19 2001 by "hberg@tassie.net.au"
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Have" for Aran-style Knitters.
Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elsebeth Lavold is a book long overdue for those of us in love with Aran-style knitting emphasizing textured garments (knit, purl, cables, twisted... Read more
Published on Dec 14 2000 by jvmeadows
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Eslebeth Lavold has done extensive research on Viking designs and it shows in this book. The patterns in the book look much more complicated than they really are. Read more
Published on April 16 2000 by "knitwhit"
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