Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Review: Traditional Knitting

The Complete Book of Traditional Knitting
Rae Compton
Dover Publications

This is a republication of the Complete Book of Traditional Knits from 1983 with the original list of suppliers removed.
It begins with a good introduction to the history of knitting explaining the four other techniques often confused with knitting: stitches made with a single needle, knotless netting (i.e. nalbinding), sprang, and embroidery.
The rest of the book is divided into different regions and their knitting traditions: Shetland and Fair Isle, Britain, Aran (Ireland), Iceland and The Faroe Islands, Sweden, Norway, Central Europe and Northern Lace. Each chapter looks into the different patterns and techniques which form a part of each of these traditions.
At the end of the book each tradition is represented by a pattern - mostly sweaters. As the book was first published in 1983 it does have quite an outdated look about it. Especially, the pictures in the middle do bring you back to the 80s.
But the content is not outdated and makes for very fascinating reading on the whole. I for one can't wait to get stuck into making some Fair Isle sweaters for my husband and myself. Lovely warm ones protecting us against wind and weather when we are outside working.

Reviewed by Eddie

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