In honor of the Blizzard of 2015 I’ve decided to review 150 Scandinavian Motifs: The Knitter’s Directory by Mary Jane Mucklestone (love that name, by the way; it just sounds great!). Why? Well, Scandinavia is known not only for vikings but also for being cold and snowy. It’s also known for its sweaters and hats and mittens made using Scandinavian color work. Why? I’m not really sure, actually, but since it’s stranded color work, it’s definitely warm. It also has a lot of winter and cold weather motifs and inspirations, which is really cool, so it definitely fits.
The book, of course, is primarily a resource of motifs all done in the Scandinavian style, both traditional and modern. It does this really well, and that’s really to be expected. What makes the book stand out, though, is what else it brings to the table. It talks about the tradition of the style and shows a really cool picture of a class photo in Norway where every child is wearing a Scandinavian sweater. It also talks about the yarn to be used, both the traditional yarn and how newer yarns differ from it. For instance, traditional yarn is single ply, grabby to accommodate the long floats, and is generally only done in a couple of colors. Modern yarns need a little more consideration for use with this technique, and it talks about that a bit.
There’s actually quite a bit of information on knitting in this style that’s outside the motifs. I found the section on steeking particularly informative, and I like how it explained yarn dominance. I feel I understand yarn dominance a lot better from reading this book than from any other resource I’ve looked at thus far.
The book ends with a few patterns done using the motifs in the book. My favorite in particular is the Reindeer Hat. It’s a very pretty looking hat, and I love the reindeer motif. I also adore the use of blue and white together. I don’t know why, but I think it might be my favorite color combination.
All in all, it’s a good book and absolutely essential if you’re interested in Scandinavian color work. Keep warm everyone!