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The Exhibition The Book

Image headline: The Book

 "An indispensable milestone
in 20th century knitting literature..."

The assessment is not ours. It stems from a review in the Danish newspaper Extrabladet, where the male (!) reviewer also claims the book to be "a minor revolution in knitting technique... exemplary in transparency and intelligibility".

Naturally, the acclaim the book has received has made us happy and proud. The fact that it is, to the best of our knowledge, the first book on knitting to be reviewed in the scientific magazine Forskning och Framsteg ("Research and Progress") is of course flattering, as well as knowing that the book is used in wood carving education.

We believe this is because Viking Patterns for Knitting is so much more than "just another knitting book" with a set of instructions. Sure, there are 14 complete designs for the reader who prefers guidance all the way. But in addition, there are analyses, with swatches and charts, for knitters who want to create their own Viking sweaters. There are 97 charts of patterns, identical to the ornaments on Viking age artifacts or variations thereof, including the entire runic alphabet. The book enables you to knit a sweater with your name, or some other text, in runes.

But apart from the systematic analysis of the entrelac, there are photos and drawings of a great number of Viking age objects, from minute ornamentation on bone needles to the impressive picture stones and rune stones. People with a general interest in archaeology, cultural history and design have a lot to discover in Viking Patterns for Knitting. To quote the back cover text from the Swedish edition: "A visual adventure of Nordic form, spanning a millennium".

The cover to your right indicates that we are in the middle of a second invasion of Viking culture across the Atlantic Ocean, a bit more peaceful this time, though.

Viking Patterns For Knitting, cover, Swedish editionVikingamönster i stickat
Original Swedish edition 1998
ICA Bokförlag
ISBN: 91-534-1939-1
N.B.: Available in english
Viking Patterns For Knitting, cover, Norwegian editionStrikk i vikingmønster
Norwegian edition 1998
Orion forlag
ISBN: 82-458-0287-5 
Viking Patterns For Knitting, cover, Danish editionVikingemønstre i strik
Danish edition 1999
Høst & Søn
ISBN: 87-14-29475-3
Viking Patterns For Knitting, cover, German editionStricken mit Wikingermustern
German edition 1999
Weltbild Verlag
ISBN: 3-8289-2321-6
Viking Patterns For Knitting, cover, Finnish editionViikinkineuleet
Finnish edition 1999
Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö
ISBN: 951-0-23689-6
Viking Patterns For Knitting, cover, American editionViking Patterns for Knitting
American edition 2000
Trafalgar Square Publishing
ISBN: 1-57076-137-X
Important: Errata page. An updated version of the Yarn substitution and suppliers list will be published soon.

Spread from Viking Patterns for Knitting: artifacts & pattern analysis
Spread from Viking Patterns for Knitting: project Kysmik
Two examples from the Swedish edition of Viking Patterns for Knitting.

The first spread shows how artifacts, swatches and charts are displayed for direct comparison.

The second spread is an example of a complete project, here a man's pullover and a child's sweater, sharing the same pattern: the word kysmik, knitted in runes. This is the old Nordic expression for "kiss me", and was found, carved into a Viking Age piece of bone, in Norway.


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Copyright © unless otherwise stated
 Elsebeth Lavold, knitwear design & drawings
Anders Rydell, text & photos