Book Reviews


Knitted Lace of Estonia:
Techniques, Patterns, and Traditions (Paperback)

Combining some of the oldest knitted artifacts in Northern Europe with authentic tips and expert advice, this distinctive guidebook demonstrates a wide range of knitting knowledge. Featuring 14 heirloom-quality projects, including traditional lace-knitting techniques such as the starburst, twig, peacock, and lily of the valley patterns. Photographs from several Estonian museums illustrate various completed designs. Accessible graphed and written instructions for Estonian-style shawls, stoles, and scarves.

This book is a great addition to Interweave's series of "approachable" knitting technique books. It contains knitting stitch charts for lace shawls and scarves which are typical of Estonian lace knitting, and which span the range from introductory to advanced.

Estonian lace is characterized by a few unique stitch components, such as nupps (knobs of yarn) and nature patterns, including lily of the valley (a graceful arc of nupps). The book begins with a brief history of knitting in Estonia, and describes traditional shawl design and techniques that the knitter will need to know.

The patterns includes 5 lacy scarfs and 9 shawls. Each of the designs is based on an actual Estonian shawl (purchased by the author or in a museum collection), taken from Estonian magazines, or utilizing a documented traditional stitch or pattern. Only two patterns have been previously published by Interweave: Madli's shawl, from Interweave Knits Summer 2004, and Triangular Summer Shawl, in Piecework July/Aug 2008. Each pattern includes information about where it is from and its history, such as a designs created in honor of the Swedish Crown Price and Greta Garbo.

Also included is a small stitch dictionary, 25 charted patterns, 11 lacy edgings, and 2 diamond borders. Additionally, in most cases, the project patterns themselves have their own charts such as for the body and the edging.