Want to knit charming Christmas ornaments, decorations, stockings, sweaters or similar Christmas projects? Looking for unique Christmas gift ideas? If you’re enthusiastic about the idea of making handmade Christmas gifts for anyone on your gift list, there’s a brand new book I think you’ll be delighted to find out about. It’s called Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Christmas Knits: Over 70 Scandinavian Holiday Patterns. The items in this book would all make either excellent Christmas gifts, or excellent items for your own use during the Christmas holidays.
What You Need to Know About This Knitting Pattern Book:
Author: Jorid Linvik
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books
Copyright Date: 2019
ISBN 13: 978-1570769528
ISBN 10: 1570769524
Book Format: This book is available in hardcover format, without dust jacket.
Number of Pages: 208
Topics Covered in This Book:
- Basics for knitting the patterns in this book: Knitting back and forth; knitting in the round; rows and rounds; garter ridge; working two-color stranded patterns; dominant color; knitting a thumb opening in mittens; knitting the heel on a sock; seaming with kitchener stitch; applique or duplicate stitch.
- How to read the knitting charts presented in this book
- Yarn, knitting needles and gauge
- How to make pompoms
- I-Cord: How to knit i-cord; i-cord construction; two-color i-cord
- Fringe; Using fringe to make doll’s hair
- Felting: Felting by hand; felting in the washing machine; what to do after felting
- PLUS patterns, instructions and charts (where appropriate) for all of the Christmas crafts and projects mentioned below.
Recommended Knitting Skill Level: Most of the patterns in this book are intended for intermediate and experienced knitters. There is one exception: A pair of wrist warmers with a skill level rating of beginner.
The Focus of This Book:
This book is exclusively focused on giving you patterns for knitting charming Christmas projects. Many of the items in the book are specifically Christmas themed — like Christmas stockings and advent calendar bags.
However, not all of these items have specific Christmas themes. Some of the patterns are useful for making small, gift-worthy items that could be given as Christmas gifts but used all year around –things like hats, socks and mittens. So if you need Christmas gift ideas, or gift ideas for other occasions like birthdays, this book is an excellent reference to use for that purpose.
Knitting Projects Included in This Book:
Advent Calendar Bags
This section of the book includes patterns for making 24 small gift bags you can use as part of your advent calendar. You can place fun treats in each bag to surprise someone you love.
Knitted Doll Patterns
This book includes patterns for knitting 3 different dolls, plus their clothing and accessories.
Knitted Christmas Stocking Patterns
This book includes 5 different patterns for knitting Christmas stockings. These are detailed, intricate designs that are different than any other stocking patterns you might already have in your knitting pattern stash. You don’t already happen to have a stocking pattern featuring a teddy bear on skis, do you?
I didn’t think so.
The other 4 stockings feature interesting design motifs, too:
- Deer, pine trees and a star motif
- Christmas elves and reindeer
- A pony and hearts
- Beautiful bullfinches
These designs include space for personalization. You could include the recipient’s name, or the year, or “Merry Christmas”, or another sentiment, if you like. You get charts for knitting the alphabet in 2 different fonts, plus 1 set of numbers.
The book also includes a blank chart you can use for designing your own Christmas stocking. I suggest photocopying it so you can easily correct any mistakes you might make, and re-use it as many times as you want to.
Christmas Potholder Knitting Patterns
You’ll find 3 different Christmas potholder patterns in this book:
- Pigs on the Run Knitted Potholders
- Gingerbread House knitted Potholders
- Winter Birds Knitted Potholders
If you want to set a festive table for Christmas, these silverware holders are charming projects to consider. You could actually get quite a bit of use out of them, because they don’t specifically include any Christmas motifs like holly or bells on them — so you could use them all year around, if you want to.
There are a bunch of different designs that you can mix and match to make a quaint little village at your table — or you could choose one design to make matching multiples of, if you prefer. Here’s a list of the designs included:
- House with wood siding and a rounded roof
- Gingerbread house
- Christmas block house
- Seed stitch cottage
- Christmas tree
Knitted Pig Amigurumi Pattern
Have you ever wondered why it’s traditional for some people to serve pork for Christmas dinner? The tradition apparently got started in northern Europe and dates back to the ancient Winter Solstice festival of Yule, which long predates the Christian celebration of Christmas.
In Norway there was once a tradition of using a baked pig as the table centerpiece at Christmas dinner. In times past, as part of the annual Yule celebration, Norwegians would bring a live boar into a large hall. There an assembled company of people placed their hands upon the boar and swore unbreakable oaths to it. Then they sacrificed the boar to Freyr, who was the Norse god of fertility. Afterwards, the feast of boar flesh began.
Apparently, judging from this book’s contents, pig imagery is still strongly associated with Christmas celebrations in Norway. This cute stuffed pig toy is one of several pig-themed projects included in Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Christmas Knits, including a pig-themed potholder as mentioned above and a pig-themed advent calendar bag.
In her introduction to this project, Jorid suggests using homemade pigs instead of a baked pig as the Christmas dinner centerpiece.
This prompts me to wonder: Does anyone outside of northern Europe carry on this particular tradition? I’d be interested to know. Personally, growing up, my family rarely served pork on Christmas at all (we usually opted for a turkey or chicken dinner at Christmas, and our centerpiece was usually either a poinsettia plant or a pair of candlesticks).
We’re unlikely to decorate our Christmas table with pigs of any sort — baked, stuffed or otherwise — but the kids I know would love to play with this cute little knitted toy piggie. The pig amigurumi would make a fantastic Christmas gift for any little (or maybe even not so little) stuffed animal enthusiasts on your gift list.
Toy Snowman / Snowman Ornament Knitting Pattern
This cute snowman could be used as a fun toy for a sweet child on your gift list. Alternatively, it could be a snowman Christmas ornament or decoration.
Mini Hats, Mittens and Socks to Use as Christmas Ornaments
You can use these adorable miniature knits in bunches of different ways. The most obvious use for them is to adorn your Christmas tree with them. They’d also make cute additions to other aspects of your Christmas decor — or as embellishments for your Christmas giftwrap. If you have a little girl with a dollhouse, you could give her some of these to use for decorating her dollhouse for the holidays.
Knitted Bow Patterns
There are zillions of possible ways you could use knitted bows during the Christmas holiday season. Whether you need a bow for your giftwrap, your hair or your children’s ensembles, these are fun and cute options to consider. Jorid gives you patterns for knitting polka dotted bows, striped bows and diagonal striped bows.
Winter Bird Accessories: Child’s Sweater and Hat
In Norway, most of the birds fly south for the winter — but bullfinches and magpies remain. Jorid has used these winter birds as motifs for enhancing a whole bunch of different clothing and accessory patterns included in this book.
Magpies and bullfinches both adorn a sophisticated, child-sized sweater — along with Nordic star motifs plus an allover dotted background. The hat matches the sweater perfectly, but the hat features only the bullfinches. These coordinating pieces are sized to fit 2-4 year olds.
Adult-Sized Bullfinch Mittens
This pattern is graded in a men’s size and a women’s size.
Winter Birds Sock Knitting Pattern
Both bullfinches and magpies adorn these warm winter socks, which perfectly coordinate with the mittens mentioned above. The pattern is graded for a man’s and a woman’s size.
Adult-Sized Hat With Magpies Knitting Pattern
This hat echoes the same striped design that’s present on the winter birds mittens and socks — however, in this design, it’s the magpies that take center stage. This hat is graded for both a man’s and a woman’s size.
The Elf Mother’s Heart: Matching Patterns for Knitting a Hat, Mittens and Socks
If you’ve been a Jorid Linvik fan since at least 2016, you might already have the pattern for these mittens in your pattern stash — because this was a pattern Jorid shared in her Facebook group that year. If so, the chances are good that you were also one of the many people who requested a matching hat and socks. Jorid came through with designing the hat and socks as requested, and patterns for the entire set are available here in this book.
These patterns are fun and unique. If you’re new to Jorid Linvik’s work, the chances are good you don’t already have anything quite like these designs in your pattern stash.
On the backs of the hands, the mittens each have 2 elf motifs encased in a heart design. Around the cuffs is a repeating pattern featuring elf faces wearing hats.
The socks and the hat each have repeating heart motifs adapted from the mittens. In between the hearts are motifs that could be thought of as pine trees, or they could just be interpreted as diagonal lines. To my eyes, the socks and the hat look as much like Valentine’s Day designs as they look Christmas patterns.
I’ve reviewed Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Socks, which is another excellent book that I highly recommend. Judging from the contents of Jorid’s other sock knitting book, many of her sock designs are beautifully patterned. However, this one is not. The Durable Socks presented here are solid-colored, practical socks that will become a staple in your gift recipients’ wardrobes. The pattern gives you instructions for making these socks for men, women and children.
Here’s another pattern to use at times when you need a super practical gift. Jorid recommends these mittens as being suitable to wear skiing, carrying firewood, shoveling snow or engaging in any similar cold-weather outdoor activity.
These mittens would be solid-colored if not for multiple stripes around the cuffs. The pattern gives you instructions for making these socks for men, women and children.
Like the Durable Socks and Work Mittens mentioned above, these simple hats are intended to be everyday wardrobe staples for your Christmas gift recipients.
These long mittens are intended to be pulled over the sleeves of your sweater on extra cold days. The design features an allover dot pattern, with a Celtic style lattice pattern encircling the wrists. Instructions are included for knitting a man’s and a woman’s size of these mittens.
Children’s Felted Mittens
This is a smaller version of the felted mittens mentioned above. There are 2 different sizes — a size for children from 2-4 years old, and a second size for children ages 4-8.
Felted Hat and Headband
This hat and headband match the Felted Mittens described above. Both the hat and the headband feature a wide Celtic latticework design that encircles the head. The pattern is graded for a child’s size and an adult size.
Women’s Slippers With Ridges and PomPoms
Jorid recommends these basic slippers as being suitable for women who wear US shoe sizes from 5 1/2 – 9 1/2 / European shoe sizes 36 – 40.
Quick Men’s Slippers With Shoe Strings
Jorid recommends these men’s slippers as being suitable for guys who wear US shoe sizes from 6 1/2 – 11 / European shoe sizes 36 – 40.
Quick Women’s Slippers
If you need a last-minute gift for a lady on your gift list, these garter stitch slippers could be a good candidate. Jorid recommends these slippers as being suitable for women who wear US shoe sizes from 5 1/2 – 8 / European shoe sizes 36 – 38.
Quick Baby Slippers and Mittens With Ties
These items are sized for babies from newborn to 6 months old.
This cowl is knitted in one color and finished with fringe. You can knit the pattern with whatever yarn you happen to have stashed. The book includes photos of two different samples, one of which was worked in fingering weight yarn, and other which was worked in bulky weight yarn.
Wrist Warmers With Buttons and Fringe
These match the cowl mentioned above. Like the cowl, they can be knitted in different yarn weights. This is the easiest pattern in the book, with a skill level rating of “beginner”.
Hat With a Twist
This hat features a lace stripe pattern and a slightly slouchy silhouette.
The Best Things About This Book
If you often find yourself stressing out about coming up with unique Christmas gift ideas, I think you’re going to find this book really interesting, exciting and inspiring. The gift ideas in this book are absolutely charming. They are also unique. You’ll be proud to present these items to the people you know and love.
If there are hard-to-shop-for people on your gift list, this book is definitely worth taking a look at. You’ll find options that are suitable even for the people who “have everything” already. For example, if you live in North America, it’s unlikely that any of the people on your gift list would already have mittens adorned with beautiful Eurasian bullfinches. It’s also unlikely, unless your social circle consists of knitters who are already Jorid Linvik fans, that anyone on your gift list would have mittens adorned with unique elves and hearts. In general, if you live in an area where it gets cold, you can never have too many socks and mittens. Unless you live in southern Florida, or a similarly warm location where you’d never need knitted hats, socks or mittens, you’re pretty likely to find bunches of truly useful gift ideas in this book.
Jorid Linvik has a special talent for designing motifs that just seem to reach out and tug at peoples’ heartstrings. This is, in my opinion, one of the reasons you might want to choose this particular book over other competing Christmas pattern books. One example: I find the deer and pony motifs on these Christmas stockings to be particularly endearing. The elves, too, are simply enchanting — and both the toy pigs and the pigs on the potholders are adorable.
But, for the people on your gift list who wouldn’t want to wear or use things that could be described as “adorable”, there are also plenty of suitable options presented in this book.
Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Christmas Knits features a wonderful mix of patterns intended for men, women and children, plus some appealing home décor items too.
Other Observations About This Book
This book was originally published in the Norwegian language, and intended for a Norwegian audience. The team at Trafalgar Square Books has made the book available to a broader audience by having the book translated into English — which is absolutely wonderful. I think Jorid’s charming, out-of-the-ordinary work deserves the broadest audience possible. I’ve personally witnessed other North American readers on of this website clamoring for more of Jorid’s knitting patterns after reading her other books.
But I do think this book is best appreciated if you firmly keep its origins in mind as you read it and knit from it.
If your family heritage is other than Scandinavian, be aware that this book may introduce you to motifs and ideas that you hadn’t originally associated with Christmas (like the bullfinches and magpies). This could be a wonderful thing if you’re open to experiencing different types of holiday themes than the ones you’re used to. But even if you’re not, there are still plenty of patterns in the book you’re likely to find useful.
One other important note: I think the translation of this book from Norwegian into English was done well; as I was reading, I didn’t notice any nonsensical or quirky passages of text (like you sometimes find in books that have been translated from other languages).
If you’re in need of unique, unusual and sophisticated Scandinavian-style Christmas knitting patterns, OR you’re in need of everyday accessory patterns that are gift-worthy, I think you’re likely to find this book useful. The book offers you a nice mix of knitting patterns suitable for gifting to a broad variety of recipients and personality types.
Where to Buy This Book:
- Click here to shop for this book at Knitpicks.
- Click here to shop for this book at Amazon.
- Click here to shop for this book at the publisher’s website.
Check Out More Scandinavian Knitting Books
- Socks From Around Norway
- Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs
- Winter Knits From Scandinavia — If you want to give handknitted, Scandinavian style mittens, hats or socks to your inner circle, definitely check out this excellent pattern book featuring designs for men, women and children.
Find More Knitting Books by This Author
Jorid Linvik is a prolific knitting pattern designer, and she has written a couple of other excellent pattern books. Check ’em out:
- Free Crochet Christmas Scarf Pattern
- 5 Ways to Crochet a Christmas Wreath
- Click here to find Christmas Crafts at ArtsWithCrafts.com — This page includes ideas for Christmas crochet projects, handmade Christmas cards, giftwrap ideas and more.
Find More Excellent Christmas Gift Ideas
- Christmas 2019 Gift Guide for Knitting and Crochet Enthusiasts
- How to Avoid Giving Unwanted Christmas Gifts
Learn More About Knitting
- Click here to find our picks for 2019’s best new knitting books.
- New to knitting? Check out our beginner’s guide to knitting needles.
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About Your Book Reviewer: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials.
This page was last updated on 12-2-2019.