Meet Knit Designer Lumi Karmitsa

Meet Knit Designer Lumi Karmitsa

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Visit Lumi Karmitsa @lumikarmitsadesign on Facebook!

In September, TSB released WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS by Lumi Karmitsa, an addictive collection of stranded knitting patterns with funky cool motifs that are sure to stand out in a crowd. This month, we had a chance to ask the designer a little about her life in Finland and what inspires her.

“All Finnish children used to learn the basics of knitting at school, and so did I,” Karmitsa said. “However, I was never into knitting, until one day, out of the blue, I decided to knit a pair of stranded mittens for a friend. I found a nice pattern and followed it. The end result was pleasing enough, and this first introduction to colorwork knitting made me realize that I could design my own patterns. A few years later my first knitting book was published! Surprisingly, it was a sensation in Finnish knitting society and allowed me to become a full-time knitwear designer.

“I now live a secluded life in a little house in a small village with my Chihuahua mix, Caleb,” she went on. “As well as being the most agreeable and handsome fellow on the planet, Caleb is also a professional model. He poses in both my books!”

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“My hobbies include taking super long walks with Caleb, writing, reading, renovating, drawing, painting, and indulging in any kind of activities that result in a more beautiful world. I work at home in my tiny old house. In the winter there’s a fire in the fireplace; in summertime, I often knit in the shadow of an apple tree. Wherever I choose to sit and knit, that’s where I sit and knit—until Caleb decides to leave my lap.

“Sometimes I’m inspired by what is right in front of me (Caleb is portrayed in my Chihuahua mittens and socks). However, most of the time there is no obvious source of inspiration, just hard work thinking and trying what might work. Every piece is first my favorite, then my enemy, and when it’s finished, it is my favorite again—until it’s time for a new piece to go through the same process!”

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We asked Karmitsa what she would say her happiest knitting memory was. “Signing the publishing contract of my first knitting book,” was her reply, “and later on hearing the book was gonna go all the way to the United States!”

Wild Mittens and Unruly SocksWe have to say, we’re thrilled her book made it all the way here, too! WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

 

Enjoy this knitting tip from Lumi Karmitsa:

When following a colorwork chart in a book, attach a piece of paper to the page with a paperclip or a hairpin, covering the part of the chart you haven’t knitted yet. Move the paper to reveal a row at a time. This way your eyes find the right row immediately and your risk of errors decreases.

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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Brand New Pattern Book: Winter Knits from Scandinavia

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There’s nothing quite as cozy as multicolor stranded knitting—and with quick, fun projects, clear instructions, and easy-to-follow charts, it’s never been simpler! In WINTER KNITS FROM SCANDINAVIA, knit designer Jenny Alderbrant has collected 24 of her best-loved patterns for mittens, hats, and socks, with dozens of colors and delightful motifs that’ll keep you warm all winter long.

Try out time-tested classics like flowers and starry snowflakes, or get creative with cats, butterflies, and more! Featuring easy-to-adjust sizes, for children and adults, and eye-catching designs to suit every taste, from traditional Scandinavian and Christmas patterns to unique renditions of snails, foxes, and happy tulips. Pick your own favorite colors, add pompoms, and work faux-cabled brims, ribbed cuffs, or picot edges with these wild and wonderful winter knits.

 

Winter Knits from ScandinaviaWINTER KNITS FROM SCANDINAVIA is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE to order.

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

The Best Craft Books of 2018

The Best Craft Books of 2018

We may not be huddled in Times Square (yet), but we’re well outfitted for the cold with all the hand-knit and hand-crocheted garments and accessories we’ve made this year. And the source of inspiration? The amazingly talented authors of our craft books! We are so proud to publish these innovative creatives from around the world, and we have a whole lot more exciting ideas for makers in store. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a quick look back at the books we published in 2018.

Our Year in Craft Books: 2018

 

Faroe Island KnitsFaroe Island Knits (January)

The Faroe Islands, a far-flung archipelago lying halfway between Norway and Iceland, have a rich and longstanding knitting tradition—knitting was once one of their largest export industries, as well as a dearly-loved pastime. Now, inspired by this bountiful heritage, knit designer Svanhild Strøm and her mother Marjun Biskopstø have brought contemporary style and classic Faroese motifs together in this striking collection of 52 traditional Faroese designs on hats, sweaters, ponchos, slippers, and more.

 

Knitting with Beads Made EasyKnitting with Beads Made Easy (February)

It’s never been easier to knit with beads! From pretty pearls to classic silver or gleaming glass, beads are the perfect way to add a little glitz and glamour to any knitted project-and knit designers Liv Asplund and Jane Asprusten have finally made it as simple as it sounds. Using their straightforward technique, novices and veterans alike can take their pick of dozens of gloves, hats, headbands, wrist warmers, bags, and scarves, in thin yarn or thick, with small beads or large, and craft fun and fancy accessories in style.

 

Medieval-Inspired Knits PBMedieval-Inspired Knits (March)

Now in paperback! Inspired by the richly decorated interiors of medieval churches in the province of Uppland, Sweden, this gorgeous book is a visual playground for the knitter. Author, graphic artist, and hand-knit designer Anna-Karin Lundberg provides a stunning photographic glimpse into her country’s creative and religious history while explaining her own fascination with the motifs, colors, and shapes of the Middle Ages. Lundberg then seamlessly translates the luxurious swirling vine patterns, graceful borders, and exciting color combinations from dozens of dramatic mural paintings and period textiles into sumptuous modern-day knits anyone can wear.

 

ArneCarlosFavoriteDesignsArne & Carlos Favorite Designs (April)

Knitters, crocheters, felters—crafters from all over the world have learned to look to the dynamic Scandinavian design duo and style influencers Arne & Carlos for what to make next. Over 15 years and 7 uniquely beautiful instructional books, Arne & Carlos have built their brand, from breakout phenomenon to reliable supplier of how-to information and creative inspiration. Now they have gathered their pick of the “Best of the Best”– 70 of their favorite techniques and patterns from their previous books and pet projects: balls, dolls, birds, slippers, sweaters, scarves, mittens, and more–and combined them in one glorious, highly illustrated package. There is something here for everyone, whether hardcore fan or neophyte: Arne & Carlos not only share their greatest hits in fresh and exciting ways, they also provide 15 never-before-seen projects.

 

Carefree CrochetCarefree Crochet (May)

May Britt Bjella Zamori is firmly in love with the possibilities of dynamic openwork, playing with yarn weight, and crochet that’s easy and undeniably wearable at the same time. In this fabulous collection, you’ll find soft, lovely crochet pieces for both summer and winter use; big and small projects like scarves, short and long vests; heavy, cozy yarns for long-sleeved sweaters and light, drapey yarns for dresses and skirts; plus cushions, accessories, blankets, and so much more.

 

Knitting for the Fun of ItKnitting for the Fun of It (June)

Get ready to be immersed in the strikingly vivid world of handcrafting designer Frida Pontén, who’s brought some of her favorite patterns together, 44 in all into a brilliant celebration of all things knitted. Whether you’re seeking an airy summer jacket, a cozy poncho for cool days, a warm striped scarf, enchanting wrist warmers, or fun and funky blankets, look forward to breathtaking designs that are sure to be a highlight of your home or wardrobe.

 

Fave Scan Proj Weave PB CoverFavorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave (August)

45 timeless designs specially chosen from the popular Scandinavian weaving magazine Vävmagasinet offer all the help and inspiration you need to create a delightful and unique focal point for any room in your home. Each pattern is intentionally versatile: choose from a wide array of fabrics to suit your individual style; change the size and color of blankets, pillows, and rugs to complement a room’s décor; or match the color of table linen to your favorite china.

 

Wild Mittens and Unruly SocksWild Mittens and Unruly Socks (September)

Review some of the basic techniques of working with multiple colors to help you find your footing, and then get ready–get set–and go wild! With fierce tigers, brilliant peonies, looming giraffes, cute Chihuahuas, and creeping jellyfish, this collection of over 20 different stranded patterns for socks and mittens is bursting with inspiration.

 

Easy Cable and Aran KnitsEasy Cable and Aran Knits (October)

This stunning collection features 26 luxurious projects with all the delight of classic textured cable patterns, plus renowned designer Martin Storey’s trademark contemporary appeal. With a versatile range of garments–including scarves, hats, mittens, shrugs, sweaters, and more–this book provides a unique opportunity to expand your repertoire of stitch patterns.

 

Big 3 Knitting TechniquesThe Big 3 Knitting Techniques (October)

Ann-Mari Nilsson’s comprehensive pattern treasury covers the “big three” knitting design techniques, from easy to challenging: multi-color, slip stitch, and relief stitch. The book includes basic templates for a wide variety of garments; mix and match with whatever catches your eye from the library of over 80 charts for pattern knitting, and work your choice of accessory with whichever design you like best.

 

Beaded Wrist Warmers from LithuaniaBeaded Wrist Warmers from Lithuania (November)

Beaded wrist warmers are a vital, beloved, and beautiful part of Lithuanian traditional costume. That’s how Irena Felomena Juškienė discovered them: As a member of a group of artists dedicated to classic Lithuanian dance and music, she wore them during performances. When she decided to explore the roots of these knitted accessories, Irena found they were a fascinating part of the regional history and culture of Lithuania. The results of her journey have now been brought together in a compilation of beaded knitting patterns that spans centuries, dialects, and multiple museum collections.

 

Winter Knits from ScandinaviaWinter Knits from Scandinavia (December)

Knit designer Jenny Alderbrant has collected 24 of her best-loved patterns for mittens, hats, and socks, with dozens of colors and delightful motifs that’ll keep you warm all winter long. Try out time-tested classics like flowers and starry snowflakes, or get creative with cats, butterflies, and more! Featuring easy-to-adjust sizes, for children and adults, and eye-catching designs to suit every taste.

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Our very best wishes for a safe, peaceful, and very happy New Year.

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

Knitting Patterns That WOW!

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All knitters already have the ingredients they need to succeed with stranded knitting: a few colors they love, a set of needles, and the courage to give it a try—plus, of course, a quick, fun pattern they just can’t put down!

WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS by Lumi Karmitsa is as fun as the title suggests. It is full of WOW-worthy patterns, including fierce tigers, brilliant peonies, looming giraffes, cute Chihuahuas, and creeping jellyfish. With over twenty different stranded patterns for socks and mittens, the book is positively bursting with inspiration.

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“All Finnish children used to learn the basics of knitting at school, and so did I,” says Karmitsa. “However, I was never into knitting, until one day, out of the blue, I decided to knit a pair of stranded mittens for a friend. I found a nice pattern and followed it. The end result was pleasing enough, and this first introduction to colorwork knitting made me realize that I could design my own patterns.

“My firm belief is that with some patience anyone can do stranded knitting. That is the whole message of WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS, since I myself started to design its contents with only the experience of just one pair of stranded mittens!”

WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE. (It’s the most fun you’ve ever had with your knitting needles!)

CLICK HERE form more information or to order.

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

Warm Your Wrists This Winter

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Beaded wrist warmers are a vital, beloved, and beautiful part of Lithuanian traditional costume. That’s how Irena Felomena Juškienė discovered them: As a member of a group of artists dedicated to classic Lithuanian dance and music, she wore them during performances. When she decided to explore the roots of these knitted accessories, Irena found they were a fascinating part of the regional history and culture of Lithuania. The results of her journey have now been brought together in a compilation of beaded knitting patterns that spans centuries, dialects, and multiple museum collections.

In her new book BEADED WRIST WARMERS FROM LITHUANIA, Irena shares over 60 designs organized according to their place of origin within the current and historical borders of Lithuania. Projects are presented with straightforward instructions and easy-to-follow charts, along with full-color photographs of sample wrist warmer pairs. In addition, readers will find thoroughly researched discussions of the origins of wrist warmers in each region, a catalog of further historical examples of the craft, and personal accounts shared by local contributors.

Watch the book trailer here:

BEADED WRIST WARMERS FROM LITHUANIA is available now 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.

Want to Weave Like an Expert?

Want to Weave Like an Expert?

Tina Ignell is a journalist who trained as a handcraft consultant and spent many years as director of a handicraft center. She is also editor of Vävmagasinet, Scandinavian weaving magazine, which she and her husband, a photographer, run together.

Ignell knows that many of us not only want to be surrounded by gorgeous handwoven textiles…we want to weave them ourselves! That is why she chose 45 designs from her popular magazine and compiled them in her book FAVORITE SCANDINAVIAN PROJECTS TO WEAVE, which is now available from TSB in paperback. Behind each one-of-a-kind pattern is an expert designer and weaver to guide you, providing straightforward, step-by-step instruction as well as how-to and troubleshooting tips. Materials are easy to find and fun to use, and many can be woven on a loom with four shafts and four treadles.

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Ignell’s book includes:

  • Almost 50 unique projects developed and tested by professional weavers.
  • Step-by-step instructions, charts, illustrations, and color photos.
  • Most projects use 4 or 8 shafts; some are plain weaves.
  • Work with linen, half-linen, cottolin, wool, paper, and piassava.
  • Versatile ideas for pillows, throws, rugs, curtains, table linens, and more.

As an added bonus, Ignell includes a special section on the care and handling of textiles, with guidelines and hints about featured fibers.

FAVORITE SCANDINAVIAN PROJECTS TO WEAVE is available now 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 craft and equestrian books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

Arne & Carlos On Tour!

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We at TSB are so excited that our knitting rockstars Arne & Carlos have a fall teaching and speaking tour planned in the United States, October 18 to November 11, 2018!

Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison launched their Arne & Carlos knitwear line in 2007, gaining notice with their witty reworkings of classic Scandinavian motifs—for example, sweaters festooned with space invaders rather than reindeer. Their brand hit big when Rei Kawakubo of cult fashion house Commes des Garҫon saw the Arne & Carlos “holiday balls” they’d knitted for family and friends, and immediately placed an order for 400. Arne and Carlos thought they were to be used for storefront decoration, but went to the boutique in Paris and found them for sale for €100 each.

“We laughed at the price,” claims Carlos, “but it was provocation, too. We felt nobody should pay so much for something anybody can make. So we thought, let’s write a book giving people all they need to do it themselves.”

ArneCarlosFavoriteDesignsThe association with Commes des Garҫon led to a holiday mini-collection of garments studded with Swarovski crystals in 2008, and a line of sweaters, hats, and scarves for Urban Outfitters in 2009. Perhaps more importantly, the Parisian “provocation” inspired Arne and Carlos’ first book, 55 CHRISTMAS BALLS TO KNIT, an international bestseller, now translated into seven languages, and published in English by TSB. One how-to knit book begat seven more, including their newest—ARNE & CARLOS FAVORITE DESIGNS: GREATEST HITS AND NEW INSPIRATIONS, released in April of 2018.

Arne and Carlos are teaching classes and speaking at shops, guilds, and retreats across the country, beginning in October. Register for classes near you now, as many are already sold out!


Greater Boston Knitting Guild, Boston, MA .
Oct. 18. Lecture: The World of ARNE & CARLOS.
Oct. 18. Class: Selbu Wrist Warmers. SOLD OUT!

Webs, Northampton, MA.
Oct. 20. Class: Christmas Balls.
Oct. 20: Class Crochet Primrose Throw.
Oct 21. Class: Solveig Hat.

String Yarns, New York, NY. 
Oct. 22. Lecture: The World of ARNE & CARLOS. SOLD OUT!

Knit One Quilt Too, Barrington, RI.
Oct. 27. Class: Sock Master Class.
Oct. 27. Lecture: Using Old Knitting to Inspire the New.
Oct 28. Class: An Introduction to Norwegian Colour Work. SOLD OUT!
Oct 28. Class: Christmas Balls.

Colorful Stitches, Lenox, MA.
Oct. 30. Class: An Introduction to Colour Work. SOLD OUT!
Oct. 30. Class: Knitted Birds.

Yarn Cupboard, Jamesville, NY.
Oct 31. Class: Lille-Tuva wrist warmers.
Oct 31. Class: Knitted Birds.
Oct 31. Lecture: The World of ARNE & CARLOS.

Another Yarn @ the Haraseeket Inn, Freeport, ME.
Nov. 2. Lecture: The World of ARNE & CARLOS. SOLD OUT!
Nov. 3. Class: An Introduction to Norwegian Colour Work. SOLD OUT!
Nov 3.  Class: Aslaug Mittens part 1. SOLD OUT!
Nov. 4. Class: Aslaug Mittens part 2. SOLD OUT!

Three Bags Full, Northbrook, IL.
Nov. 5. Class: An Introduction to Norwegian Colour Work.
Nov. 5. Class: Primrose Crochet Throw.
Nov 5. Lecture: The World of ARNE & CARLOS. SOLD OUT!

The Sows Ear, Verona, WI.
Nov. 6. Lecture: The World of ARNE & CARLOS.

The Yarnery, St. Paul, MN.
Nov. 7. Lecture: Using Old Knitting to Inspire the New.

Screen Shot 2018-09-21 at 11.48.16 AMVogue Knitting Live, Minneapolis, MN.
Nov. 9. Opening Speech.
Nov. 9. Class: Solveig Hat. SOLD OUT!
Nov. 10. Class: An Introduction to Norwegian Colour Work. SOLD OUT!
Nov. 10. Class: Knitted Birds. SOLD OUT!
Nov. 11. Class: Sock Master Class. SOLD OUT!

Books by Arne & Carlos will be available for sale at their tour stops. You can also find their fabulous instructional titles on the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE to find out more about Arne & Carlos books.

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