Do you enjoy knitting warm accessories for winter including hats, mittens and socks? Would you enjoy having new stranded color knitting accessory patterns suitable for women, men and children? And, are you looking for unique, playful, fun and eye-catching patterns that have distinctive personality and style? If those types of knitting projects appeal to you, I think you’re going to be excited to learn about a brand new knitting pattern book called Winter Knits From Scandinavia: 24 Patterns for Hats, Mittens and Socks by Jenny Alderbrant.
This book is really not for wallflowers. If you prefer non-descript fashion that nobody notices and comments on, this is not the knitting pattern book for you. If you want to wear lovely accessories that make people stop, do a double take, and then ask “Hey, where did you get those fabulous mittens?” (or if you want to make such accessories for the other people in your inner circle) then go buy yourself a copy of this book, pick up a pair of knitting needles and some fingering weight yarn, and get busy knitting.
I think this book’s author, Jenny Alderbrant, is an absolute GENIUS of a pattern designer.
Because, with this book, she has delivered an impressive collection of highly wearable, desirable, stylish and out of the ordinary knitting patterns. Not only that, these accessories also manage to be classics you’ll want to keep wearing for decades. She’s ultra talented, and I’m really glad to have discovered her work. I’m betting you’ll love it, too!
What You Need to Know About This Knitting Pattern Book:
Author: Jenny Alderbrant — She’s also known as “JennyPenny” online.
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books
Copyright Date: I’m reviewing the English-language translation of the book, which has a copyright date of 2018.
ISBN 13: 978-1570769108
ISBN 10: 1570769109
Book Format: This book is available in hardcover format.
Number of Pages: 110
Book Price: This book is an AMAZING value for the money you spend on it. Why? The author, Jenny, usually sells this type of small accessory patterns individually for prices ranging from 30 kronor to 50 kronor. Converted to US dollars, that translates to about $3.36 – $5.61. People are happy to pay those prices for her designs, because the patterns are so lovely and so unique — they’re worth it.
BUT, when Jenny’s fans found out she was releasing a pattern book, bunches of people immediately lined up to pre-order it, because the book offers such a fantastic value over the single-pattern prices. The cover price of the book is
$22.95 US dollars (although if you shop for it on Amazon, you won’t pay that much, because Amazon is heavily discounting this title).
In comparison, I was able to find 16 of these 26 patterns available for sale individually on Ravelry – and all together, the prices of those 16 patterns amounted to KR 600 SEK (about $64.69 US dollars.) The other 10 patterns in the book don’t seem to be available individually on Ravelry, so I’m not able to tell you exactly what you’d pay to buy ALL these patterns individually – but you can clearly see this book is an exceptional bargain. If you enjoy stranded colorwork knitting, and you’d want to knit at least 3 of the author’s patterns, you could save substantially by buying this book instead of downloading individual patterns.
Topics Covered in This Book:
- Two-color stranded knitting
- Color choices for knitting
- Knitting mittens and socks
- Knitting gauge
- Duplicate stitch and Kitchener stitch
- Blocking knitting
- Garment washing and care
- Materials and tools needed for knitting the projects in this book
- Indie dyers, moods of color and manduzana
- Knitting abbreviations and symbols
Skill Level: Experienced knitters will get the best value from this book – but I’d recommend picking up a copy of this book even if you haven’t yet achieved an advanced level of knitting skill yet, IF you are determined to put in the time and practice it takes to reach that level. I feel safe in making that recommendation because the patterns in this book are truly inspiring; if you need the motivation to push yourself to advance your skills, this book is an excellent candidate for that.
Knitting Projects Included in This Book:
This book includes patterns for knitting 13 different pairs of adult-sized mittens.
There are 2 different patterns for kids’ mittens included in this book – a snail themed pattern, and a butterfly themed pattern.
Child’s Hat Knitting Patterns
The 2 child’s hat patterns match the mitten patterns; there’s a boy-friendly, unisex snail hat pattern and a pretty butterfly hat pattern. So, if you like these patterns, you could knit matching sets of mittens and hats for the kids in your inner circle.
Adult-Sized Hat Knitting Patterns
There are 5 different adult-sized hat patterns included in this book.
Adult-Sized Sock Knitting Patterns
There are 3 different sock knitting patterns included in this book, all of which are sized for adults.
Evening Star Cowl : An Adult-Sized Knit Cowl Pattern
The one and only adult-sized cowl pattern included in this book matches one of the hat patterns, so you could make a matched set including both accessories if you like. OR you could make either as a standalone wardrobe piece.
Matching Sets of Knitted Accessories
Some of the patterns in this book are standalone items that you’d want to make and wear separately. Others are for coordinated accessory sets that you could make and wear either way – either together, as sets, or separately, as standalone items. Here’s a breakdown — you get
- 6 coordinating hat and mitten sets
- 1 hat and cowl set (as mentioned above)
- 1 coordinated set of mittens and socks
- 10 patterns for knitting standalone items that don’t seem to specifically match any of the other items included in the book.
The Best Things About This Book
The projects in this book are spectacular! They are creative designs that have mass appeal.
These projects are all totally, completely wearable. You know how, sometimes, when you take a chance on ordering a craft pattern book, there are a few wearable items, and the rest are sort of weird? Well, that’s not an issue with this book. Every last pattern in the book is wearable right NOW – and I think nearly all these items are also classic designs that will still be wearable decades from now. (The cowl is the only exception; I’m not convinced that cowls, in general, will stay on-trend for years on end. They might, but I think that’s unlikely. I don’t have a crystal ball to know that one way or the other – but if you like cowls, and you’d want to wear one right now, this one is a lovely one to knit and add to your wardrobe.) And I’d bet money that the mittens, socks and hats included in this book are all going to be wearable for decades, maybe even forever, assuming you take good care of your projects after knitting them.
There’s an interesting variety of design themes included in the book – and it’s a pleasing mix that I’m positive will appeal to a broad variety of knitters (not to mention the people they knit for). Many of the patterns will appeal to nature lovers; they depict wildlife, flowers and botanical motifs – foxes, snails, butterflies and tulips are just a few of the design themes you’ll find adorning these projects. Domesticated animals such as cats and horses are also depicted in these patterns. Some of the other patterns feature geometric motifs and updated depictions of traditional Scandinavian style motifs.
The photography in Winter Knits From Scandinavia is simply captivating. I’ve spent quite a bit of time studying the photos in this book; every last photograph drew me into the narrative and held my attention.
I LOVE IT that men and boys are not left out of the fun with this book! My opinion: The majority of the patterns featured in the book are likelier to appeal to women than men — but there are some suitable projects included for men, too.
One of the publisher’s (Trafalgar Square Books) specialties is English-language translations of books that were originally published in Europe. I’ve reviewed quite a few of this publisher’s knitting and crochet books, and I’ve found many of them to be interesting from the “armchair travel” perspective. This one is too, but even more so than usual. If you’re yearning to take a trip to Sweden, this book is the next best thing to actually getting on a plane and traveling there to see it with your own eyes. If you never gave Sweden a second thought, there’s a good chance you’ll want to visit that country after looking through this book.
The models in this book are real people — not mannequins or supermodels. The photos show them engaged in everyday activities like hauling firewood and drinking hot beverages. They’re also interacting with their animals; sweet little lambs and adorable horses adorn these pages, along with one plump, happy looking chicken.
The images are all delightful, yet they aren’t overly artsy. They do an excellent job of showing you the knitting projects. And when I look at these photos, I feel assured that I’m looking at honest photography of projects that ordinary mortals (like me! like you!) can actually succeed with knitting, wearing and integrating into our own wardrobes.
The styling in the book is realistic and approachable.
11 test knitters are credited, acknowledged and mentioned by name in the book. Not only that, some of the patterns in this book are the author’s most popular and successful patterns on Ravelry, which means that countless other knitters have already worked them. All of this gives me confidence in knowing that these patterns have been well tested. If you sit down to knit one of these patterns, the odds are exceptionally good that you’ll end up with a usable, beautiful finished project in the end. Considering that your time is the most valuable thing you possess, well-tested patterns are a wise investment (assuming that finishing projects is your main agenda when you sit down to knit – which is not the case for every knitter. But it’s true for the majority.) Knowing that the patterns have been extensively tested, I would feel confident in working any of these designs, even though I have not yet attempted to knit any of them for myself.
Other Observations About This Book
Although the front cover of the book promises 24 projects, I actually counted 26 projects all together – a bonus! It looks like the discrepancy in project counts has come about because the team at Trafalgar Square Books is counting the two children’s hat and mitten sets each as a single project instead of counting the socks and mittens as individual projects.
These designs all include charts, which will provide an intuitive knitting experience for those of you who prefer working from charts. There are also written instructions, but the written instructions refer you to the charts for the color changes. So if you enjoy knitting from charts, you just hit the jackpot with this book; but if you prefer to follow written out text instructions from start to finish, you should probably find a different book. I say this because the text instructions in this book cover the important things you need to know, like the cuffs, gauge and finishing, but they do not repeat the information that is already included on the charts.
With the mitten patterns in this book, the right and left mittens are mirror images of each other – in particular, this is true of the mitten pairs where you’d need to hold your left and right hands together to see a completed animal face (the foxy mittens; the cat mittens). With these patterns, you will need to read the knitting chart from right to left when you knit the right-hand mitten, and from left to right when you knit the left-hand mitten. This is prominently noted in every pattern where it’s relevant – and you’ll definitely want to be aware of that as you knit to avoid ending up with two right mittens.
More than half the projects in this book are mittens – which is fantastic if you want to knit mittens and not-so-great if you’d prefer to knit other types of projects.
Overall, I think there’s a lovely mix of accessory patterns included in the book, and I would highly recommend buying this book if you want to knit mittens, socks, and hats (as I mentioned, there’s also one cowl pattern included, and it’s excellent). If you want to knit long flat scarves, this is not the book for that – there are no flat scarf knitting patterns included. If you want to knit stranded colorwork scarf patterns, I highly recommend Martin Storey’s Easy Fair Isle Knitting book, which includes multiple outstanding scarf patterns plus a variety of other lovely Fair Isle knitting patterns.
If you’re specifically looking for sock knitting patterns, the 3 sock patterns in this book are exceptionally lovely ones – and I highly recommend them. But the majority of the patterns in this book are not socks, so if socks are your go-to projects, you might want to consider picking up a copy of Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Socks in addition to this title.
The majority of the patterns in this book are sized for adults – but the two sets of children’s hats and mittens included in this book are completely ADORABLE. They’re my favorites in the entire book. If your list of knitting gift recipients includes any children, either boys or girls, I think you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of this book, even though children’s patterns are not the main focus of the book.
I’m delighted to recommend this book to other knitting enthusiasts, particularly experienced knitters who enjoy knitting from charts. If you aren’t yet an advanced knitter, I’d still cautiously recommend the book to you – but only assuming you’re determined to advance your knitting skills. I think this book will inspire you to make the effort to advance – and if you need that kind of motivation, the outstanding, creative patterns in this book are likely to provide it.
Where to Buy This Book:
- Click here to shop for this book at Amazon.com.
- Click here to shop for this book at the Publisher’s website.
Similar Knitting Books and Related Resources
Winter Knits From Scandinavia will give you what many people would agree is a lifetime supply of mitten patterns to knit. BUT if you knit zillions of mittens — perhaps you have a big family, or you knit for charity — and you’d like to look at even more options for mitten patterns, there are a couple of other books you might like to check out:
- Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Mittens
- The Big 3 Knitting Techniques: Knit Sweaters, Mittens, Hats and More
If you’re interested in stranded color knitting plus armchair travel, I highly recommend Knit Yourself In, a lovely knitting pattern book from Norway that’s published by the same publisher, Trafalgar Square Books. I’m not sure which is more appealing — the colorful, creative knitting patterns in the book, or the lovely photos that give you glimpses of the Norwegian landscape. This title is one of my all-time favorites.
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This page was last updated on 8-20-2019.