Knit Bernie-Like Mittens: Free Pattern!

Knit Bernie-Like Mittens: Free Pattern!

No one can escape the Bernie memes today, and it has filled us with all sorts of craft-loving joy to know that his now infamous mittens are upcycled and handmade by a fellow Vermonter (check her out HERE). We are partial to practical warmth in New England, and chunky wool mittens are just the ticket.

In the spirit of sharing inspired by yesterday’s events, and inspired by our Senator’s Vermont style, we’re offering a free mitten pattern with simple diamond blocks in black and gray from our bestselling book MITTENS FROM AROUND NORWAY. There is a cross inside each block and the thumb is knitted in a typical fishbone pattern, with several features in common with typical men’s handwear from the Gauldal district of Norway, dating around 1868.

For more information about MITTENS FROM AROUND NORWAY, visit the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

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

Best Craft Books of 2020

Best Craft Books of 2020

As we quite happily turn the page on an incredibly challenging year, we look back to see what we accomplished in the midst of the madness. Here are the craft books we published in 2020:

January

Entrelac Knitting by Heidi Eikeland and Mette Hovden

Entrelac was an entry in Norway’s official “red list” of endangered handcrafts: a traditional design element so rarely worked in contemporary patterns that knowledge of it had been deemed at risk of dying out. This collection of 40 projects captures the exceptional and distinctive “woven” look of entrelac, including both striking multi-color designs and elegant single-color patterns.

March

Wild Mittens & Unruly Socks 2 by Lumi Karmitsa

Lumi Karmitsa, author of the bestselling WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS, is back with a brand-new collection that features her trademark eye for color, unmistakable style, and sense of fun.

April

Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knits for Kids by Jorid Linvik

Bestselling Scandinavian knit designer Jorid Linvik’s latest collection draws on her characteristic ability to fill every pattern with warmth, charm, and color, in 45 delightfully distinctive designs for kids from newborn to eight years old. 

May

Norwegian Knitting Designs–90 Years Later by Wenche Roald and Annichen Sibbern Bøhn

Over 30 exquisitely adapted patterns from the timeless Norwegian classic by Annichen Sibbern Bøhn. Includes a fully translated facsimile edition of the original 1929 book!

September

Favorite Rag Rugs by Tina Ignell

Creating rag rugs has enthralled weavers for over a century. Now you, too, can recycle your favorite fabrics and transform them into unique rugs that will bring a striking personal touch to every room in your home. Tina Ignell’s superb selection provides you a wealth of inspiration, conveniently paired with practical instruction.

September

Scandinavian Sweaters by Kristin Wiola Ødegård

Knit designer Kristin Wiola Ødegård has brought together some of her best-loved original patterns alongside brand-new designs to form a striking and eye-catching selection of sweaters and cardigans, for women and men, featuring her signature attention to detail, skill with unusual color combinations, and distinctly Scandinavian style.

November

Squares, Stripes & Lice by Hanne Dale and Siri Angela Gamborg, edited by Ann Kristin Ramstrøm

One of the oldest textile factories in Norway operated outside Bergen for over 130 years, producing thousands of sweaters and other durable everyday clothes such as wool and cotton underwear and woolen socks. The technical limitations of the knitting machines of the day gave rise to timeless geometric motifs with strikingly distinctive features―motifs which inspired this striking collection of handknit garments.

December

Nordic Knits with Birger Berge by Birger Berge

Knitting superstar Birger Berge combines his own distinctly modern style, a love of contrasts and dynamic color combinations, and the classic beauty of Norwegian patterning in a collection of gorgeous knitwear designs. 

December

Knitting Baby Blankets & Cuddle Bags by Marta Skadsheim Torkildsen

This collection of soft, sweet patterns is a wonderful place to find inspiration. With dozens of designs—ranging in size from snuggly cuddle bags to complete child-sized bedspreads, and including a variety of colors, styles, and difficulty levels—there’s something here to offer every family warmth and comfort.

We are so grateful for all our authors, and for the readers and viewers whose support is essential to our company’s survival. Wishing everyone a safe and peaceful New Year.

The TSB Staff

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

We’re Grateful This Holiday Season

We’re Grateful This Holiday Season

The snow has piled high outside the TSB offices in Vermont, and we are feeling grateful for many things.

In a year that challenged us all in ways few of us ever expected, we are grateful to all the readers, crafters, and lovers of knitting, crochet, and weaving who have supported our amazingly creative and talented authors and our small company’s mission to publish high quality books “where beautiful crafts begin.”

Thank you, and Happy Holidays from all of us at TSB.

Caroline, Martha, Rebecca, Kim, Amy, Lizzie, and Marilyn

FREE Spooky Socks Pattern!

If you want to be freaked out by your feet, we’ve got a FREE knitting pattern that’s just the terrifying ticket. One of 22 unique patterns in Lumi Karmitsa’s WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS 2, a collection of imaginative pattern concepts using vivid yarns, these hard-partying skulls will bring a smile to your face, whether knitting them, wearing them, or watching them dance away.

CLICK HERE to download your FREE pattern.

WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS 2, and Lumi Karmitsa’s first book WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS, are both available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order now.

Happy Halloween!

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

Celebrating Sweater Weather

Celebrating Sweater Weather

Fallen leaves, ripe apples, a touch of frost: fall is in full swing, in all the best ways. For handcrafters, there’s nothing quite like a crisp, cool autumn day wearing your favorite sweater … or making one! Sweaters are a knitter’s paradise—the possibilities are endless, the sheer variety mindblowing. Cardigans or pullovers, buttons or tie belts; cables, colorwork, or textures; steeks, bands, ribbing, or edgings of all kinds, for just the right finishing touch. The perfect sweater for everyone is out there, just waiting to be knitted.

Cardigans Are “It” This Year

Everybody loves the thought of wrapping themselves up in a stylish long cardigan. We’re seeing all the big celebs trot the style out this year. Comfortable, versatile, and the perfect easy-to-throw-on extra layer as the days grow shorter, cardigans are a classic for a reason; and the drape and warmth of a long cardigan give it that extra something special. Long cardigans worked in thick, soft yarn are the perfect replacement for a jacket or a fleece, wearable indoors and out, textured and touchable and ready to keep you warm all season long.

See these delicious examples from our book FAROE ISLAND KNITS:

Give It Something “Extra”

So many of the timeless traditional sweater patterns from cold-weather regions are worked with stranded knitting in multiple colors, and it’s easy to see why: multi-color knits are naturally layered, making them a little extra-chunky—and extra-warm! It’s just a bonus that classic sweater motifs are so striking and never go out of style, and can be worked in any selection of colors you please.

Consider these designs from NORWEGIAN KNITTING DESIGNS–90 YEARS LATER and SCANDINAVIAN SWEATERS:

Make It Cable

And of course a sweater is the ideal project for cable combinations, sturdy and cozy and perfect for fall. A soft tweed or heather yarn in a gorgeous earthy tone is all you need to make a few cables really pop, and who doesn’t love a hand-worked Aran knit? Cables are a perennial favorite of knitters everywhere for warm, comfortable garments with both elegance and flattering fit, the ultimate addition to everyone’s autumn wardrobe!

Try these patterns from CABLE KNITS FROM NORDIC LANDS and TWEED YARN KNITTING:

No matter the look you’re after or the colors in your stash, you can welcome fall in style with the right sweater. How’s your closet looking this October—and what are you thinking about adding to it? Let us know…we love to hear from you!

CLICK HERE to learn more about any of the books mentioned in this post or to order from our online bookstore (we have free shipping in the US!).

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

J. Lo Just Rocked a Fab Cardigan–Here’s a Free Pattern to Get the Look

J. Lo Just Rocked a Fab Cardigan–Here’s a Free Pattern to Get the Look

InStyle recently shared a photo of J. Lo out and about in a terrific cardigan we just love…

…so we took a look through some of our great knitting pattern books and found one to give to you all!

This gorgeous, long, high-collared “jacket” is from the book FAROE ISLAND KNITS by Svanhild Strøm and Marjun Biskopstø, which highlights designs inspired by the Faroe Islands, a far-flung archipelago lying halfway between Norway and Iceland that has a rich and longstanding knitting tradition.

Ready to get your knitting needles moving? CLICK HERE to visit the book’s page and download your FREE PATTERN!

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

Christmas in August

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The best time of the year can start whenever you want it to—and there are a lot of advantages to a little Christmas spirit in August! There’s nothing quite like personalized, handmade gifts for capturing the sense of closeness the holidays bring with them (and which many of us are missing right now), but part of what makes them special is the time they take to create. Once the Christmas season is in full swing, it can be a challenge to set aside a moment to tackle that project you’ve been meaning to finish or get all those decorations done.

TSB’s classic pattern book 55 CHRISTMAS BALLS TO KNIT from Scandinavian knitting superstars Arne & Carlos is a perennial favorite of fans everywhere, and the versatility and adaptability of the basic Christmas ball pattern yields endless possibilities. Give yourself some breathing room and plenty of time to work, and you’ll be delighted by how readily you master the design and all the motifs. After all, there’s no such thing as too many Christmas balls, when they can be not only hung from a tree, but dangled from wreaths, stacked on windowsills, positioned as centerpieces for table settings … and, of course, given as gifts.

As the name suggests, JORID LINVIK’S BIG BOOK OF CHRISTMAS KNITS is positively bursting with holiday-themed projects of all shapes and sizes: dolls, hats, slippers, mittens, and a sweater or two, plus fun place-settings for the dinner table, adorably miniaturized decorations to fit even the tiniest tree, and even a delightful Christmas pig! Make your own countdown to the day itself with a set of Advent calendar bags—just big enough to hold a perfect little surprise inside them. The more bags you knit…the sooner you can start counting down!

The year-round crocheter has an ideal companion in COLORFUL CROCHET, featuring patterns categorized by the season for which they were designed: spring and summer, fall and winter, and, of course, Christmas! String together a crocheted chain of stars or hearts, or prepare a place for the tree in advance with a round Christmas tree rug. Then, hand-make everything that goes under the tree with help from CROCHET THE PERFECT GIFT.

In uncertain times, when many of us may be feeling particularly far apart from the loved ones we cherish, there’s nothing like the reminder of Christmas to bring us together and remind us that better days lie ahead.

All the book featured in this post are 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.

All the Best Knitting, Crochet, and Weaving Books ON SALE!

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We like to make fireworks…so here we go! Swing by our online bookstore www.TrafalgarBooks.com and buy one of our craft books, and you’ll receive 35% off the rest of your order, PLUS free shipping in the US!

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up our newest knitting, crochet, and weaving titles, this is a great way to bolster your library and make sure you have plenty of crafting ideas for the months ahead…whatever they may hold.

Our newest release:
NORWEGIAN KNITTING DESIGNS–90 YEARS LATER

 

One of our recent bestsellers:
SELBU MITTENS

 

A favorite bestseller in a new format:
55 CHRISTMAS BALLS TO KNIT

 

CLICK HERE to see what else we have to offer…and thank you for supporting a small independent publisher and all our wonderful, talented authors!

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

 

Let’s Hear It for the Boys of Knitting

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These days, the first thing a lot of non-knitters picture when they hear the word “knitting” is someone’s kindly grandmother in a rocking chair, needles clicking away. But that wasn’t always the case! When knitting first arrived in and spread through Europe in the Middle Ages, it fell under the jurisdiction of established guilds for handwork, where professionals—men—were required to study the craft for years to progress from journeyman to master. (Ordinary women learning to knit for themselves and their families, probably thanks in part to leakage of industry secrets, seems to have been something of a labor revolution.) Even after knitting spread all the way to Scandinavia and the Baltic, it was still common for men to engage in all kinds of fibercrafts; shepherds could use long quiet hours in the fields productively, and walking from place to place was time that could be spent knitting!

Today, knitting’s popularity among just about everybody is on the rise, and men who knit are everywhere, including TSB books! Take Arne & Carlos, the fan-favorite Scandinavian knitting superstars. Both grew up with knitting and crochet all around them and picked up handcrafts readily. As fashion designers, they’d been running their own label for years before they started to notice that their knit designs had the most flair, got the best response—and were the most fun for them, too.

“We discovered what we really wanted to do was right in front of our noses the whole time,” they say, and they promptly turned knit design into a career of 15 years and counting, with inspiration drawn from everything from wildlife in their own backyard to vintage Mexican embroidery, and over half a dozen books to their names.

Martin Storey was taught to knit when he was young, inspired by a teacher who saw nothing unusual in passing along a love of handcrafts to girls and boys alike—and is now one of the best-known knit designers in the world. It took years, and dedicated encouragement from a friend who was an art student, for him to pursue his love of knitting and turn it into a lifelong career. His work for influential yarn and knitwear design companies like Artwork and Rowan has led to multiple stunning pattern collections, and 10 books and counting, showcasing his love for cables, contrasts, and dynamic colorwork. Martin is a master at his craft and knows what knitters want—together with a fantastic eye for texture and color, this guarantees his garments are a joy to look at, to knit and, most importantly, to wear.

Ivar Asplund learned the basics from his grandmother when he was just five years old and found himself smitten right away. He loved to look at the projects she was working on, asking her to explain how she’d made them—and the answers were never as complicated as he feared. His grandmother taught him not only how to knit, how to work cables, and how to construct sweaters, but also to be willing to try new things and take risks: you’ll always learn something in the attempt, even if the results aren’t perfect the first time around! This has led him to favor deft, complex colorwork patterns, and stunning combinations of intertwined cables. Ivar’s grandmother passed away when he was 17, “but she continues to be with me in all my projects,” he says, “because handwork was how we talked to each other.” His first book to be made available in English, CABLE KNITS FROM NORDIC LANDS, is dedicated to her memory.

No matter how knitting might have come into your life, it’s worth inviting it to stay: knitting is enjoyable, relaxing, and productive, and all you need to get started is one pair of needles and a skein of yarn (even if you end up with … a little more than that, before you’re done!). It’s been both men’s industry and women’s work, and at the end of the day its appeal is undeniably universal.

Who do you know who might love to learn to knit—or might need encouragement to give it another try?

Find books by these authors and many others at the TSB online bookstore. CLICK HERE to explore our craft books now.

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

Spotlight On: Hen Knitting

Spotlight On: Hen Knitting

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Photo by Alexas Fotos/Pexels

“Hen knitting” doesn’t have anything to do with chickens—unless you want it to, that is! The term was coined by Danish knitter and author Kirsten Hofstätter in the late 1960s, as a way to describe knitting that wasn’t following strict pattern instructions: knitting that was bright and colorful, that used up leftover yarn instead of being made with purchased kits, and that gave the knitter freedom to choose pattern bands and motifs and create a design all their own. Danish knitters embraced the concept, and hen knitting became a wildly popular and well-loved form of self-expression. It’s fun, stylish, and a perfect way to make a beautiful, wearable statement about who you are and what you love.

How do you do it? 

Pick a handful of motifs to repeat around in pattern bands, one at a time, and before you know it you’ve got a personalized garment focused around any theme you want. Maybe an animal theme, for the kid who can’t get enough of four-legged friends from the barnyard—or safari! Or perhaps a lovely flower sweater in full bloom, for a gardener? Whatever you can imagine, you can do it with hen knitting; anything and everything that interests you can be combined to form a pattern that’s the perfect fit in every way.

And it doesn’t stop at patterns—or at sweaters, for that matter. Knit in abstract designs, symbols, or even words or a name. Work the ultimate personalized pair of socks or mittens, a skirt, a cowl, or a pillow or two (and you can visit our website to try out a free pillow pattern with its own set of reusable, rearrangeable motifs—CLICK HERE). Anything you can fit a repeating pattern band around can be hen-knit; all it takes is a few designs you like and some yarn in your favorite colors.

Hen knitting can even tell a story, or express the treasured personal memories you hold dear. One of the authors of KNIT YOURSELF IN, Linn Bryhn Jacobsen, designed a hen-knit sweater for her father, who comes from Stokmarknes—very far in the north of Norway. She decided she wanted to capture the beauty and the spirit of his native landscape: the clarity and intensity of the Arctic sunset, the wildlife, the high gray mountains and grassy hills, the seaside cliffs teeming with birds and the whales often spotted in the wild along the coast …

Whether your style is fun or funky, sweet and colorful or bright and adventuresome, the perfect hen knitting pattern is waiting for you to invent it. There’s no better way to make your knitting inimitably, incomparably, uniquely you.

CLICK HERE to find out more about our book about hen knitting, KNIT YOURSELF IN.

Thank you for supporting small businesses!

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