Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Ethnic Knitting: Exploration Lithuania, Iceland & Ireland

BookDepository Link; Ravelry Link

Impressions: It's a slightly different book. Photographs are there to inspire, the garments are sketches, and it requires you to do some maths. It and it's companion Ethnic Knitting Discovery are more an exploration of how you would go about using yarn, patterns and styles to create a basic jumper. It's really not a book for absolute beginners but a book for intermediate to advanced knitters. Though, if in doubt try, what's the worst that can happen? You have to rip it? It's not the worst thing that could happen.
The initial garments are mostly jumpers but there are instructions for adapting for cardigans in a couple of different ways. There's also a capelet that's basically a practice piece without sleeves or a body for a yoked sweater.

She starts with an introduction to some techniques, some useful charts about yardage, guage and a few others and then explores the knitting traditions of Lithuania, Iceland and Ireland. The Lithuanian Chapter has some colourwork patterns, a fingerless mitten pattern; a Ragland Pullover with a Border pattern; a Raglan Pullover with Multiple Patterns and the chapter ends with suggested ways of working with Large Motifs.

Iceland is the next chapter. Another country where the "traditional" is modern, the icelandic yoke-style is a 20th Century innovation, she talks about how to knit with the unspun Loki Yarn and gives some traditional patterns. Then we have the Caplet, a pullover with horizontal bands on Yoke and a steeked Cardigan with horizontal bands

Ireland is the next chapter where she walks about Aran designs (though Baineen is probably more correctly White-ish, from the word Ba/n meaning white and een meaning little, or small; natural is close). She goes through knitting a swatch and how to make a swatch with cables more square! Her samples show, not only a photograph of what's going on but the photograph has an outline showing where the repeat is. The first pattern in this chapter is a poncho. As it's basically two rectangles sewn together you could probably change it to a wrap or throw. Then there's Aran Pullovers with Saddle Shoulders. There's a note about the Aran-style cardigan for an adult on the cover. She admits herself that she prefers working arans in the flat due to the pleasure she gets from the rest rows, but she does include instructions for knitting in the round.

The last chapter is about cardigans with three techniques, all for round-necked cardigans.

It's an interesting book, it requires some work from the reader but overall if you're looking for some designs from these countries it's a good place to start.

Types of patterns: Clothing

Number of Patterns: 9

Split of patterns: mostly jumpers with a pair of fingerless gloves and a capelet thrown in

Size Range: It's based on your numbers so technically any size

Colour/Black & White: Black & White

Schematics: yes

Target Audience: more for intermediate to advanced knitters than beginners.

How to knit guide: no, but a fair number of tips and tricks.

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Pretty Classical

Buy/Borrow: it's not a book for someone who wants quick and easy work, this one needs work. It's packed with good advice though and would be invaluable for someone on the path to learning to design.

Where found: Found in Cork County Library via Borrowbooks, I also bought my own copy.