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.

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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.

Your Chance to Get Your Hands on Arne & Carlos’ Favorite Designs

Your Chance to Get Your Hands on Arne & Carlos’ Favorite Designs

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Scandinavian knitting and design rockstars Arne & Carlos have had an exciting couple of weeks! First they announced that they are two of the featured instructors in KNIT STARS 3.0, an online knitting summit with participants from all over the world. Knit Stars 3.0 will take place November and December 2018 and spotlights 12 incredible knitting teachers from 5 different countries!

Are you stuck in a knitting rut and feeling uninspired?

Do you live in an area that the top knitting designers and teachers never visit?

Would you rather not deal with the travel and expense of an in-person show or event?

When you do attend a workshop, do you find it hard to remember everything you learned?

Are the classes you want to attend always booked up?

Or are you just plain old busy (with work, home, family) and you need flexibility so you can learn when it’s convenient for you?

Knit Stars is an online summit and instruction is taught through video lessons. The lessons don’t expire, so you can view them at your own pace and watch them as many times as you need, all from the comfort of your own home.

Enrollment in Knit Stars 3.0 is currently closed, but registration will reopen in the fall, so make sure to join the waitlist (you can unsubscribe anytime). CLICK HERE to join the waitlist.

In addition (yes, there’s MORE), Arne & Carlos have an unbelievable new book out and it is available now!

Crafters from all over the world have learned to look to this dynamic design duo for what to make next. Over 15 years and 7 uniquely beautiful instructional books, they have built their brand, and 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. ARNE & CARLOS FAVORITE DESIGNS has something for everyone, whether hardcore fan or neophyte. Not only do they share their greatest hits in fresh and exciting ways, they also provide 15 never-before-seen projects that are sure to cause a stir. With 85 masterful designs in total, this is a makers’ dream-and-scheme book not to be missed!

ARNE & CARLOS FAVORITE DESIGNS 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.

Free Spring Wrist Warmer Knitting Pattern!

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With the coming of spring-like weather (well, at least for some of us) our inclinations when it comes to knitting may change. Unless we’re working months ahead (and there of course those organized individuals who certainly are), we veer away from cozy and toward decorative…away from sweaters and toward shawls. Instead of a blanket, a table runner appeals, and rather than boot toppers, perhaps pot holders.

In all likelihood we’ve put our mittens away for the season, but when the sun still hasn’t gained its full summer strength and the light doesn’t yet linger past eight, hands and arms can still be chilled, especially when short sleeves begin to make an appearance. These openwork wrist warmers from our book ONE-PIECE KNITS by Tine Tara are the perfect segue from covered to bare. They add a bit of warmth and a bunch of style to your spring collection of handknit accessories.

Download the FREE PATTERN HERE.

OnePieceKnits FINALONE-PIECE KNITS features 24 seamless patterns knitted in the round and is 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 Knitwear Designer Jorid Link

MeetJoridLinvik-trafalgarbooksWe just love Jorid Linvik’s additions to our knitting pattern wishlist! Her unique style has lots of needles working overtime to recreate her colorful collections of mittens and socks.  From the number of pattern books she’s already had published, you’d think Linvik had been a professional designer for decades…but guess what? She was one of us before she started “living the knitting dream,” working a “regular” sort of desk job (so she could afford to go yarn shopping!)

Linvik was born in Meløy, a small community in the north of Norway, in 1960. She is now married with three grown children and resides in Bodø, a town of about 50,000 people. For years she worked as a technical artist, later pursuing further education in web design and IT, which she eventually taught herself at the high school level.

In 2012, Linvik took a year off and worked at a cafe so she could have more time for her “big passion”: knitting. She started designing and selling her own patterns, and lo and behold, they became very popular, allowing her to go ahead and work with knitting, art, and design full time.

“My hobbies were originally knitting, drawing, and painting,” Linvik admits, “but since my hobbies are now my job, I must say that my new hobbies are my dog, the birds in my garden, and nature!”

Linvik loves nature and animals, which is reflected in her knitting patterns.

Linvik’s workshop is in an industrial building surrounded by plumbers, carpenters, and car repair shops.

“Just men!” she says. “But in the evenings the area is quiet, and then I have my knitting club in my office with skilled knitting ladies. We talk, share patterns, and knit together. I always learn a lot from them.”

Does she have one piece of advice for all the rest of us regular-like, hobby knitters?

“Never give up before you get the result you want!”

Jorid Linvik’s BIG BOOK OF KNITTED MITTENS and BIG BOOK OF KNITTED SOCKS 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. 

 

Capture the Beauty of the Faroe Islands in Your Knitting

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Trafalgar Square Books is excited to announce the release of FAROE ISLAND KNITS by Svanhild Strøm and Marjun Biskopstø. 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 a striking collection of all-new patterns.

52 traditional Faroese designs come to life on hats, sweaters, ponchos, slippers, and more, in a unique and eye-catching trove for any knitter with an interest in the twists, turns, and hidden treasures of Nordic knitting history.

This remarkable collection of knitting patterns is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

 

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