Free Pattern! Red-White-and Blue Ocean Motif Pillow

Free Pattern! Red-White-and Blue Ocean Motif Pillow

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Summer…it’s ON! Fireworks and cookouts and beach time abound. So let’s celebrate all the happy things that come with the sun, and a safe, peaceful Independence Day with friends and family.

In honor of red, white, and blue, TSB is giving away a FREE PATTERN from the marvelous book KNIT YOURSELF IN by Cecilie Kaurin and Linn Bryhn Jacobsen. This Maritime Pillow is designed in the Danish “hen knitting” tradition, which features knitting motifs that tell a story.

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“One of the most exciting and inspiring knitting books I’ve come across in a long time. Every detail about the book is lovely…remarkably colorful, interesting,
eye-catching, and fun!”—KnittingandCrochet.net

To download your FREE PATTERN, CLICK HERE.

KnitYourselfInKNIT YOURSELF IN is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE. CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

Wishing you a wonderful Fourth of July holiday!

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

 

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Weaving Refuse: Handwoven Art with a Message Made from the Ocean’s Garbage

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We are all facing the growing crisis of plastic refuse overwhelming our oceans. One TSB author is using her crafting skills to turn garbage into art with an eco-conscious message. Mette Handberg’s books NORWEGIAN PATTERNS FOR KNITTING and SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS bring the history and artistry of Scandinavian knitting traditions to knitting aficionados everywhere. Recently, however, she has set aside her knitting needles and made her hands busy weaving the garbage found on the beach near her home into striking tapestries.

“Since I came to the magical Norwegian island of Stokkøy (in 1965), which is by the coast of Troendelag, I have been studying everything that brought by the ocean and landed on the beach,” Mette explains. “Years ago it was mostly oil that I found, in big brown lumps, often unbroken light bulbs and glass bottles, probably from Russia, driftwood of all sizes, and many other kinds of waste, likely from boats. In the last 20 years, however, this has all changed, and now it is mostly plastic.

“I have always had a reaction to all kind of unnecessary waste,” she goes on. “It has been too simple for people to just throw things over board and think, ‘That’s that!’ But it does not disappear. It does not go away. It ends up somewhere. This is pollution of the worst kind, and it is changing our globe dramatically.”

We asked Mette to share a little about the kinds of objects she has found and the inspiration behind the tapestries she has created, weaving the found objects together into stories intended to inspire discussion, and hopefully, action.

“I have always gathered interesting objects from the shores—maybe a well-used toy, a nicely shaped root, or whatever. About five or six years ago I thought that maybe some of these found items could be used in a handwoven tapestry, and so I started with my first, which I called ‘Plastic Sea.’ All of the materials were gathered by the shore at Stokkøy—a lot is everyday household waste…too much plastic. Do you remember ‘Kinder Suprise,’ the hollow chocolate eggs with small plastic toys for children inside? They still exist and I’ve used them in my tapestries.”

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“Look carefully at Plastic Vortex and you might see the tale of a whale trapped in it. A diver is about to cut it loose. Ropes and old fish nets are a death trap for lots of kinds of animals, and they suffer a slow and horrible death. Luckily, in my tapestry, someone is able to come to the rescue, and this brave diver is really a hero.”

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“The Japanese artist Hokusai made a fantastic and very well known woodblock print called “The Great Wave,” and this iconic masterpiece has been inspiration for many artists. In my tapestry “Plastic Wave,” instead of a Japanese boat you will find life boats filled up with too many refugees, and they are wearing life jackets, which will be of no help if the boat is sinking. These life jackets will actually drag people down into the deep. After the tsunami on the coast of Japan, entire towns were pulled out into the sea. All kinds of materials ran ashore along the West Coast of North America—a lot of these materials were of course plastic. If this sunami had happened a hundred years ago, it would have looked different. All the unnecessary pieces of our everyday households, which in earlier times would have been degradable, will almost forever be floating around us.”

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“My inspiration just comes to me—it is, in fact, my main job as a textile artist. I went to a weaving school for half a year after I graduated from college. After that I spent three years at art school, and it might be compared with a bachelor degree. I learned a little bit of everything in school, not just tapestry weaving, but it just happened that weaving became my special field.

“All together I have made about 240 tapestries in my career—big and small ones. The technique has changed as the years have passed. To create tapestries you just have to learn the hard way. Nowadays looms seem to have disappeared from art schools, and other schools as well. This profession is dying. Some guardian angels have been giving courses in the profession, but it still seems to be dying. Lucky are the ones who have grandmothers to help them with a loom of some kind!

MakingArtOutofOceanGarbage-trafalgarbooks“One of my tapestries is at Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum [National Museum of Decorative Arts], in Trondheim, Norway. I have participated in a long list of exhibitions, both alone and together with others. The world will see nothing if I don’t exhibit them. But many artists want to exhibit, so there is a lot of competition, and it is enormously hard. Anyway, I will only be one of many who are interested in making this point—it’s a trend nowadays. I hope more and more people will ‘wake up’ and not leave their waste all over! I ask everybody reading this to bring a little garbage bag wherever you go, and gather waste when you find it where it shouldn’t be. Always leave a place as if no one has been there. Use less plastic and only if it seems necessary and you have no other option. Plastic is here to stay; use it wisely.

“I hate fleece!!”

Mette Handberg’s knitting books NORWEGIAN PATTERNS TO KNIT and SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS are available from the Trafalgar Square Books online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small company based on a farm in rural Vermont.

Free Summer Flower Coaster Pattern by Arne & Carlos!

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Lemonade. Iced tea. G&T. Homebrew. ALL your summer drinks deserve to rest their laurels on these floral coasters by Scandinavian knitting and crochet rockstars Arne & Carlos! We’ll toast to their fabulousness and share this pattern from KNIT-AND-CROCHET GARDEN for FREE!

FreeCrochetCoasterACPin-trafalgarbooksWe know…crochet flower power is just what you needed to get over your hump day. So just CLICK HERE to download the pattern and get a move on your happy.

Did you know? In 2010, Arne & Carlos’ first craft book, 55 CHRISTMAS BALLS TO KNIT, became an immediate Norwegian bestseller and consequently went on to become a best-selling book in North America, Europe, and Asia. Today, Arne & Carlos have published 10 books, which are enjoyed by people from all over the world. Their books are available in Norwegian, English, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

The Scandinavian designers have collaborated with many prestigious international brands, including Urban Outfitters and fashion label Comme des Garçons. Today, they design for and work closely with Rowan, Regia, and Schachenmayr yarns.

Arne & Carlos’ books are available in North America from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont. 

 

Nina Granlund Sæther in the US!

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The fabulous Nina Granlund Sæther, author of the bestselling MITTENS FROM AROUND NORWAY and all new SOCKS FROM AROUND NORWAY, has made her way to the US where she will have limited appearances on the East Coast.

Nina grew up in Asker, Norway, just outside Oslo. Her love and interest for knitting, crochet, sewing, and embroidery started before she was school-age. She is educated as a craft teacher, and worked for a short time in a high school before moving to a career in journalism with the Norwegian arts-and-crafts magazine Norsk Husflid. Nina creates designs in the Scandinavian knitting tradition for Norwegian magazines and her own striking books.

In or around Boston? Meet Nina at JP Knit & Stitch in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, on Friday, April 26, 2019, from 7 to 9 pm as part of the kickoff to JP Knit & Stitch’s Anniversary Sale, which runs through the weekend. (Plus, Local Yarn Store Day is Saturday, April 27! Yippee!)

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Nina’s books MITTENS FROM AROUND NORWAY and SOCKS FROM AROUND NORWAY are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

 

Elsebeth Lavold Explains the Figure Eight

Elsebeth Lavold Explains the Figure Eight

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Photo by Anders Rydell from Viking Knits & Ancient Ornaments

Ever since her ground-breaking book VIKING PATTERNS FOR KNITTING was published, Elsebeth Lavold has been recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on cabling. In the book, described as “an indispensable milestone in 20th century knitting literature,” she introduces her own innovation, using lifted increases to create interlace patterns instead of just to shape garments, and to bring new life to the ornamental heritage of the Vikings as adornment on modern knitwear.

With more than a decade of added experience and continued research, she took the concept a step further, studying cultures from all over the globe to find similar types of patterns. This resulted in VIKING KNITS & ANCIENT ORNAMENTS, a fascinating compilation of ornamental expressions, ancient as well as contemporary, which she again uses as a launch pad for her own unique designs.

 

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Detail from Viking Knits & Ancient Ornaments

Elsebeth genuinely enjoys sharing her knowledge. In addition to the abundance of beautiful garments presented in the book with complete instructions, she analyzes a huge number of pattern types and displays them in both swatch and chart form, to allow you to make your own designs based on her research. Consider her discussion of the Figure Eight:

“Just as you can weave a band through a ring, you can weave it through a Figure Eight,” Lavold writes in VIKING KNITS & ANCIENT ORNAMENTS. “The Vikings, however, didn’t make much use of this pattern, leading me to believe for some time that it was my own invention. This was until I identified it on the abundantly ornamented mount from Solberga, Sweden, where it appears along with Twists, Overhand Knots, Trefoils, Elongated Trefoils, Twisted Wing Loops…to name a few.

“The Figure Eight on Band makes another appearance framing the Gospel According to John on one of the pages of the Egmont Gospels, a medieval illuminated manuscript from England (not shown). Later, in a French illuminated manuscript from the 9th century, I discovered the twin version, where two mirrored Eights are placed side by side with a pair of crossing bands twined through them.”

 

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Detail from the French illuminated manuscript from Viking Knits & Ancient Ornaments by Elsebeth Lavold.

Learn more about the fascinating history of viking patterns and how they can inspire beautiful handknit garments in VIKING KNITS & ANCIENT ORNAMENTS, available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

 

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

FREE Yoked Pullover Knitting Pattern

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Happy Free Pattern Friday! Let’s celebrate the weekend with a new knitting project. Here’s a delightfully simple pullover with a pretty star-studded yoke from TRADITIONAL SWEDISH KNITTING PATTERNS by TSB author and knitting designer Maja Karlsson.

FreeYokedPulloverPatternPin-trafalgarbooks“The color scale of the sweater reflects lonely forests and barren heather-covered moors,” says Karlsson. “The silhouette of this design was inspired by the 1960s, with thoughts of the sweaters worn by Malin on Saltkråkan [a fictional island created by Astrid Lindgren for a Swedish television series ‘We on Seacrow Island’].”

In her book, Karlsson delves into the fascinating history of Swedish fibercrafts and its rich tradition of multi-color patterning. Flowers, borders, geometric figures, landscapes, people, and animals, on their own or together, form the backbone of traditional Swedish stranded patterns.

CLICK HERE to download your FREE PATTERN for the star-studded yoked pullover.

Karlsson’s next book, MAJA’S SWEDISH MITTENS, will be out May 2019. Watch the trailer here:

 

CLICK HERE for more information about TRADITIONAL SWEDISH KNITTING PATTERNS.

CLICK HERE for more information about MAJA’S SWEDISH MITTENS.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

Your Dog Is Your Brand…So Wear Him!

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If immortalizing your favorite pup as a trendy tattoo is highly unlikely and yet you still wish for a way to display your doggy devotion for all to see, then it’s time to dance that celebratory shimmy! That’s right, DOGS ON SWEATERS, the new book by the immensely popular creators of Best in Show and Knit Your Own Dog Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, is now available! Hold on to your Huskies, here are step-by-step instructions for knitting your pooch’s likeness into everyone’s favorite cozy garment. Get ready to flaunt your puppy love with fashion!

DogsonSweatersPin-trafalgarbooksDOGS ON SWEATERS pairs simplicity and flexibility with a variety of knitwear patterns and styles for men, women, children, babies (and yes, even dogs). Choose between basic sweater designs: raglan, long-and-loose, relaxed-fit, and more. Then pick your favorite canine breed from the 18 featured motifs—or adapt the directions as described for customizing your own. Play around with colors and markings, positions, and shapes, and add words, initials, or your four-legged best friend’s nickname. Plus, you’ll find patterns for dog-adorned accessories, like hats and scarves, a baby blanket, and a charming coat for those with four legs instead of two.

Don’t be the last to live your brand! Break ground, inspiring others in your pack to recognize their dogs’ friendship…for kniternity!

IMG_1913Fun Fact: Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne first found fame when Princess Diana wore their “black sheep sweater” to a polo match. You can see the original sweater as part of the permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

(Photo from http://www.muirandosborn.co.uk)

 

DOGS ON SWEATERS is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order (and watch the book trailer below).

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.