Friday, September 30, 2005

Everything Old Is New Again

Book Cover: Traditional Scandinavian Knitting

I got a new knitting book--the first one in a year. (I've been showing great restraint, always reminding myself that I don't play with all the toys I have already.) Sheila McGregor's Traditional Scandinavian Knitting (1984) was long out of print, but it's back, and quite reasonably priced (in contrast to most of the new books aimed at today's many novice knitters). Here's the blurb from the back:

An expert on traditional Scandinavian knitting explains the distinctive craft's origins, its various types, and techniques, in this classic guide. Sheila McGregor's in-depth treatment ranges from the regional styles of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark to those of the North Atlantic Islands of Faeroe and Iceland. Vibrant patterns for an array of garments include: Jerseys; gloves and mittens; stockings; and caps. Illustrated with 191 black-and-white and 19 color pictures, this volume is well known and prized among longtime practitioners of the craft. Its return to print will delight a new generation of knitting enthusiasts.

Book Cover: Traditional Fair Isle Knitting

My copy of McGregor's The Complete Book of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting is the original British version, and I've had it since the early eighties. I sold my Alice Starmore books on eBay last year--they turned out to be just so much eye candy as far as I'm concerned. This is the book that I turn to every time I knit color work of any kind, and I've spent hours pouring over the photos and patterns. I'm giving my new book the same treatment. Hey, look! Eleven ways to decrease for the top of a cap, on page 156. Let's try 'em all! Stocking heel turnings I've never seen before. Twined knitting! Z-twist yarn!

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