5 Knitting Tips You Need to Know

5 Knitting Tips You Need to Know

 

5KnittingTipsYouNeedtoKnow-trafalgarbooksDON’T YOU LOVE IT when someone who has mastered a craft shares a trade secret? Something that ensures your creation comes out with the polish that comes with years of practiced expertise? Yeah, we do, too, which is why we have collected five great tips from some of our top authors.

 

KNITTING TIP 1

It’s a traditional saying in parts of Scandinavia that if you put aside knitting in the middle of a row, a sailor will drown! (Much like stepping on a crack is said to break a person’s back, in parts of the US.) While you probably don’t have to worry about that particular consequence, it isa good idea to finish the row you’re on before you set a piece aside, if only to avoid dropped stitches or pattern mistakes when you pick it up again. (Tip from TRADITIONAL SWEDISH KNITTING PATTERNS by Maja Karlsson.)

 

KNITTING TIP 2

Cables are beautiful and fun to knit—but they can be a little tricky, too! Wrapped stitches are a quick and relatively easy way to add a little visual interest withoutknitting a cable: just place a small number of stitches on a cable needle, wrap the yarn clockwise twice around those stitches, and then slip them to the right needle without working them. (Tip from THE CABLE KNITTER’S GUIDE by Denise Samson.)

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KNITTING TIP 3

It’s usually a good idea to use the needle size recommended by the manufacturer of your yarn—but you don’t have to! Fine yarn on big needles will come out light and lacy, and thick yarn on reallybig needles will come out looser and drapier. Or go smaller for a denser, sturdier knit—perfect for a handbag or a change purse! (Tip from ONE-PIECE KNITS by Tine Tara.)

 

KNITTING TIP 4

When you’re binding off on a circular needle, it’s important to remember to knit the first stitch of the round one more time before the previous stitch is passed over it. (Tip from KNITTING DETAILS START TO FINISH by Ulla Engquist.)

 

KNITTING TIP 5

Even in the most complicated pattern knitting, there might still be single-color sections—and when those sections are more than 5 stitches across, it’s a good idea to catch the float (the strand not in use) on the wrong side! Otherwise, it’s easy for floats to catch on your fingers (when putting on a garment) or on something else (the hook of a clothes hanger) and pull, or even break. (Tip from MEDIEVAL-INSPIRED KNITS by Anna-Karin Lundberg.)

These books, and many more bestselling knit, crochet, weaving, mosaic, and other craft books, are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE to learn more.

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

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Winter on Trafalgar Square Farm.

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Danish Knit Designer Vivian Høxbro Featured at 20th Anniversary Madrona Winter Retreat

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We are thrilled to announce that Danish knitwear designer and TSB author Vivian Høxbro will be a keynote speaker and teacher at the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington, February 14-17, 2019. Not only is Madrona celebrating 20 years of hosting their popular event, it will also be the last as organizers have announced their retirement.

traditionaldanishsweaters-trafalgarbooksVivian Høxbro’s Friday night talk will explain her recent research of the Danish Nattrøjer (“night sweater”) and the distinctive star and cross patterns that were traditionally on them. She will also share samples from her forthcoming English-language edition of the book TRADITIONAL DANISH SWEATERS, which will be published by TSB in July 2019.

Høxbro will teach a class she calls “Star Struck” Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, which will show students how to knit the 19th-century Danish star motifs featured in her book. There are many different kinds of stars, and they can, in turn, be used in a variety of fabulous patterns. To register for the Retreat and Høxbro’s classes, CLICK HERE.

Høxbro has been designing for knitters for more than 30 years and is well known for her books on Domino Knitting and Shadow Knitting, as well as her patterns on Ravelry.

traditional danish sweatersCLICK HERE for more information about her book TRADITIONAL DANISH SWEATERS.

Hope to see you in Tacoma!

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

6 Must-Have Norwegian Knitting Books

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Do you have these 6 Norwegian knitting books? Here’s why they should be added to every serious knitter’s reference-pattern-and-technique-book collection:

 

norwegianknittwist-trafalgarbooks1 NORWEGIAN KNITS WITH A TWIST by Arne & Carlos

Knitting rockstars Arne & Carlos derived the inspiration for this book from numerous Setesdal patterns. Many were found in the attics of old houses, in books, on postcards, and from old knitting patterns. Through experience gained from working alongside Scandinavia’s most respected knitters, many of whom still use centuries-old techniques, Arne & Carlos seek to preserve tradition while creating pieces that are fresh and modern, giving Setesdal’s cultural heritage a little twist. You will find 33 patterns for gorgeous sweaters in bright colors, to suit both men and women, plus ideas for accessories such as mittens, hats, wrist warmers, stockings, small and large pillows, teddy bears, and much more.

 

knitsfromheartnorway3002 KNITS FROM THE HEART OF NORWAY by Irene Haugland

Recognized as one of Norway’s most talented knitwear designers, Irene Haugland blends her love for the natural beauty, people, and cultural heritage of Telemark with her contemporary sense for color and pattern in these 30 inspiring works of art. Perfect for the ski slopes, a chilly country afternoon, or a busy city sidewalk, these designs include sweaters, cardigans, socks, hats, and mittens for men, women, and children, with step-by-step instructions, gorgeous color photographs, and the occasional finishing touch of traditional Norwegian embroidery.

 

nopafo3 NORWEGIAN PATTERNS FOR KNITTING by Mette N. Handberg

Mette Handberg was a designer for Dale of Norway and designed the official sweater for the 2006-2007 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams. Her book includes more than 20 knitting projects inspired by traditional Norwegian garments and suited for an active lifestyle. Innovative patterns include a variety of options, such as striking vests, beautiful jackets, warm mittens, and stylish hats.

 

handknitsfromnorway-3004 HANDKNITS FROM NORWAY by Karen Marie Vinje

This step-by-step knitting book melds classic Scandinavian knitting patterns with the latest Norwegian designs. Traditional, quintessentially Norwegian favorites like the Setesdal and Marius sweaters rub shoulders with funky modern tunics and chic berets. This book includes dozens of designs for all kinds of knitted clothes and accessories: vests, jackets, dresses, gloves, scarves, socks, and much more.

 

mittens around norway-trafalgarbooks5 MITTENS FROM AROUND NORWAY by Nina Granlund Sæther

Take a trip to Norway—without ever setting down your needles! Let Nina Granlund Sæther guide you through Norway’s mountains, rivers, and countryside as you delve into 400 years of Scandinavian knitting history. Reconstructed from historical sources or drawn directly from the author’s familiarity with Norwegian pattern knitting, more than 40 textile treasures are collected here, from the well-loved Selbu mittens to lesser-known delights whose fascinating origins have been carefully traced. Resting on a foundation of formidable research, with stunning photographs by Guri Pfeifer and clear, helpful pattern charts, this book is a brilliant combination of design inspiration and historical reference.

 

socks from around norway6 SOCKS FROM AROUND NORWAY by Nina Granlund Sæther

Coming in February 2019! Nina Granlund Sæther is back with an all-new guide to Norway’s hidden treasures—this time, featuring your feet! Explore centuries of Scandinavian sock-knitting history, with dozens of classic patterns and more obscure design delights drawn from the author’s in-depth knowledge of Norwegian knitting and reconstructed from carefully-researched historical sources. Beautiful photographs and easy-to-read pattern charts complete the experience, making this the ultimate handbook for any Scandinavian sock enthusiast—and another stunning compendium of Norwegian knitting tradition.

 

These Norwegian knitting books, and many other fine craft titles, 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. 

 

 

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.

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.

Our Holiday Gift to You: 6 More Free Patterns!

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At TSB we love supporting the maker in each of us. In the 12 weeks running up to the holiday season, we have been giving away FREE PATTERNS from our bestselling knitting and crochet books. We shared a roundup of our first six free patterns in a post a couple weeks ago (click here). Now, here’s your key to the final six—there are a LOT of fab ideas here to start your New Making Year with busy hands and lots of yarn.

Check it out! Click the links or the images to download the free pattern PDF:

Stylish Garter Stitch Wrist Warmers from Knitting with Beads Made Easy by Liv Asplund and Jane Asprusten.

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Dance in Circles Warm Slipper Socks from Crochet in Black & White by Constanze Diehl-Hupfer and Magdalena Melzer.

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Honeycomb Brioche Poncho from Ponchos to Knit by Denise Samson.

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Hand Towel from Classic Crochet the Modern Way by Tove Fevang.

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Elves Knitted Socks from Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Socks by Jorid Linvik.

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Bobbled Potholder from 35+ Potholders to Crochet by Beatrice Simon, Eveline Hetty-Burkart, Beate Hilbig & Dagmar Neubert

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Click each link above to download your 6 FREE PATTERNS, click here to read our blog post with the first 6 FREE PATTERNS, and follow Trafalgar Square Craft Books on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get others in the new year ahead!

Happy Handmade Holidays!

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