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The Knitter - - Contents -

FAROE IS­LAND KNITS by Svan­hild Strøm and Mar­jun Biskop­stø (£21.50)

KNIT­TING HAS long been cen­tral to the culture of the Faroe Is­lands, and its var­ied colour­work pat­terns, handed down through the gen­er­a­tions, were doc­u­mented by Hans Mar­ius Debes in the 1930s. Now, the mother and daugh­ter de­sign team of Svan­hild Strøm and Mar­jun Biskop­stø have breathed new life into the tra­di­tional mo­tifs col­lected by Debes, cre­at­ing 25 con­tem­po­rary knits for all the fam­ily.

The Faroese fish­er­man’s sweater is the first clas­sic de­sign given a mod­ern twist. The steeked sweater, sized 36in-52in, can be knit­ted in a choice of six all-over mo­tifs, in­clud­ing the iconic streak and bar, and the in­trigu­ingly named ‘Grand­mother’s Touch’.

Tak­ing their cues from fish­er­men’s sweaters are a range of fem­i­nine de­signs. ‘Si­grid’ is a long, high-col­lared jacket in chunky Nor­we­gian wool. A turtle­neck sweater dress, whose mo­tif uses seven stars in a rhom­boid pat­tern, com­bines an alpaca yarn with a strand of silk-mo­hair for a lux­u­ri­ous feel, and ‘Urd’ is a flow­ing raglan sweater fea­tur­ing a com­bi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent fish­er­man’s mo­tifs.

The sec­tion on ‘In­ner Sweater’ mo­tifs fea­tures jumpers with nar­row stripes filled with tiny colour­work mo­tifs - a pop­u­lar knitwear style on the Faroe Is­lands. A more highly dec­o­ra­tive vari­a­tion can be seen on the ‘One Big Fam­ily’ sweater, which is sized for chil­dren aged from one year up to a men’s XXL.

The so­phis­ti­cated pat­tern­ing adorn­ing the bodices of Faroese na­tional cos­tume are used to great ef­fect on a range of cardi­gans, jack­ets and jumpers for women. The beau­ti­ful ‘Beinta’ short cardi­gan, for ex­am­ple, is worked in tra­di­tional blue and white with tiny high­lights of yel­low, and uses the pat­tern called ‘eight-petaled rose in di­a­mond trel­lis’. ‘Jose­fina’ has a black and white pat­tern on the lower body, while a panel of red roses winds its way around the up­per body.

Na­tional cos­tume mo­tifs ap­pear on a range of hats; they also give a so­phis­ti­cated look to the long, flow­ing ‘Maria Christina’ jacket, with its shawl col­lar and large pock­ets, and to a men’s jacket, also with a shawl col­lar, and with tex­tured pan­els across the shoul­ders. We love the range of

skóleis­tar knit­ted house slip­pers, and the colour­work pon­cho with a clever open­ing at the front that en­ables it to be worn with a baby’s sling un­der­neath.

The stun­ning pho­tog­ra­phy adds to the ap­peal of this book, as does the chap­ter on the knit­ting his­tory of the Faroes.

There are 25 cosy projects for men, women and chil­dren

Faroe Is­land Knits is pub­lished by Trafal­gar Square Books, priced £21.50, and is avail­able to buy from Ama­zon.co.uk or www.trafal­gar­books.com

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