Guest Author - Lisa Linnell-Olsen
Knit Nordic is a collection of 20 patterns that feature one of four traditional Norwegian stitch patterns. These are the patterns that are splashed across Norwegian ski patterns or mittens, the patterns many knitters have come to know and love.
The book opens with a brief history and introduction to each of the four stitch patterns; Setesdal, Fana Voss, and Marius. The first three patterns are associated with specific regions in Norway. Marius is a new derivation of Setesdal, the o-x-o type pattern.
The pattern section of the book is organized by these stitch patterns. The first section is Marius, and includes a handbag, teddy bear, racerback style tank top, hotpants, and Christmas Stocking. Setesdal includes a necktie, fingerless gloves, Ipad cover, and beanie style hat. The Fana set of patterns includes a french coffee press cozy, a round tam hat, a shoulder warmer style half sweater, and cozies for drinking glasses. The Voss patterns include a potholder, a toilet paper roll cover, a snood, a throw pillow, and an Iphone cover.
After reading that list, you have a good idea right there if this is a book that would interest you. This is basically a collection of items that you may or may not want, all with very traditional Norwegian stitch patterns. Personally, I think the idea of having a french coffeepress cozy is brilliant, as the presses make nice coffee, but chill down too quickly. A coffee press cozy with some of my favorite knitted designs is very appealing to me. On the other hand are the patterns like the toilet paper roll cover and the knitted drinking glass cozies. These seem to me to be the kind of thing that someone would knit either as a gag gift or because they have an over the top knitting obsession. I can think of far more attractive and useful places to put Norwegian stitch patterns besides a toilet paper roll cover or cozy for a cold drink glass.
The knitted hot pants initially were a big turn off for me. Author Oftedal points out that the hot pants may not be the kind of thing that your grandmother would have knitted, but that they are great over tights on the weekend. I tried really hard to picture myself hanging out at home in the winter, wearing these hotpants over leggings, and answering my front door for an unexpected guest while dressed in the hotpants. Not for me! i then showed the Hotpants photo to my 13 year old daughter, and asked if she would ever wear them, and she told me she wants me to knit them for her - so it may be a generational thing.
Patterns I am particularly interested in include the coffee press cozy, the knit teddy bear, and the Christmas stocking. Each one of these patterns looks very traditional and timeless. The teddy bear has a plain, solid face, and a patterned body, as though he is wearing a permanent ski sweater. The Christmas stocking looks like a Norwegian sock knit to the dimensions of a Christmas stocking.
At the end of the book is a brief explanation of techniques necessary for knitting the Nordic patterns. Knitting in the round has a brief explanation of how to use double pointed needles and circular needles. Stranded knitting explains how to hold the two colors and what the common pitfalls are in relation to gauge and switching colors. Using charts and finishing tips are also included. None of these techniques include a step-by-step photo tutorial to guide someone through. Because of this, I think the book is appropriate for intermediate level knitters who are already familiar with two-stranded knitting, circular knitting, using charts, and finishing projects. It is good that the book has this material, but it is suited more to being a reference for someone who is familiar already than someone trying these for the first time. If you love these patterns and want to use this book for your first foray into Nordic two-stranded knitting, you may want to find some online tutorials, or a trusted, experienced knitter who can show you what you need to know.
The patterns use worsted and double knitting (DK) weight yarn. These are common yarn weights that can be found easily in many price ranges. The amount needed for each is given in grams rather than meters or yards, so be prepared to look for yarn weight of yarn you purchase for these projects. Each pattern is given a skill level, ranging from easy to advanced. These levels do not correlate to the standards given by the Craft Yarn Council of America - you need to be comfortable with two color stranded knitting for each of these patterns.
The projects are all beautifully photographed, and show the stitch patterns well. Intermediate and advanced knitters who really love traditional Norwegian stitch patterns and want to make more modern projects featuring these stitches will find something to love in this book.
FTC requirements: the publisher provided me a free review copy of this book. All of my reviews are my honest opinion. I received no compensation from the publisher or book author for this review.