My mailbox has been a happy place lately! I’m a book collector and the latest addition to my library is a treasure. Icelandic Handknits 25 Heirloom Techniques and Projects, by Hélène Magnùsson is my favorite kind of book, it includes simply everything! Part scholarly treatise on historic Icelandic knitting, part pattern collection, part technique tutorials, part visual travelogue and even… part cookbook! You really can’t ask for anything more!
The designs in the book are inspired by artifacts found in the Textile Museum in Blönduós, in northern Iceland. The book is divided by category of inspiration, Mittens, Traditional Costumes, Lace and my personal favorite, Footwear. I’ve been obsessed with the knitted shoe inserts ever since I got a copy of Hélène’s previous knitting book, Icelandic Knitting: Using Rose Patterns. Last summer, Gudrun and I were intrepid travelers, driving all the way from Reykjavik to Blönduós just for the purpose seeing the inserts housed in the Textile Museum, quite an adventure!
The museum did not disappoint, and Hélène has included some wonderful images of the items that served as springboards for her patterns. Here is Gudrun – wearing her Lopapeysa- at the museum, notice the grass growing on the roof!
The book includes a wide range of patterns to please just about everyone; mittens, a bag, hats, lace shawls, swweaters, a throw, beaded wristletts and even a skirt based on traditional knitted slips. My favorite I think, are the colorwork socks wildly worked with short rows, so the stranded sections are topsy turvy. CLEVER! The inspiration was the woven bands used to wrap around socks to keep them staying up, which Hélène’s socks cleverly mimic.
The landscape photographs by Arnaldur Halldörsson are spectacular, and his fashion images gorgeous, many were taken during a snowstorm! Undaunted those Icelanders!
Gudrun and I were so lucky to meet Hélène in her house in Reykjavik – taking time to see us and treat us to an Icelandic breakfast of smoked salmon and other goodies, even though she was in the middle of renovations and it was the first day of school for her kids. Keep up with Hélène at her blog and website. Don’t miss out on her many other books. As a souvenier when we visited she gave us her sweet and funny little book The secret of good vinaigrette revealed to Icelanders. I use it ALL THE TIME! Icelandic Handknits includes several recipies including a soup with moss as the main ingredient…others recipies are made with easier to find ingredients so don’t overlook this charming feature of the book.
Vivacious and unstoppable Hélène leads amazing hiking-knitting-workshops that I’ve always dreamed of going on. The one called Hiking and Knitting with the Elves is one I’m particularly fond of, reading the description over and over! Best of all would be to attend Hélène’s summer workshop from July 31 – August 6, 2013, Icelandic knitting traditions: Textile Museum and North Iceland focusing on the 19th century Icelandic traditions covered in the book. All the designs from the book will be on exhibit at the Textile Museum, from June 1st to August 31st and throughout the first months of autumn by request.
The kind folks at Voyager Press are providing a book for me to giveaway to one lucky reader! Don’t miss out – leave me a comment about knitting or Iceland or even elves before next Tuesday April 30th – midnight.
The Blog Tour Continues:
April 4th, 2013: Gudrun Johnston – theshetlandtrader.com
April 11th, 2013: Donna Druchunas – sheeptoshawl.com
April 18th, 2013: Woolly Wormhead – www.woollywormhead.com/blog
May 2nd, 2013: Susan Crawford – justcallmeruby.blogspot.com
May 9th, 2013: Terri Shea – spinningwheel.net
May 16th, 2013: Alana Dakos – www.nevernotknitting.com
If you don’t win, you can buy a copy here.
Deborah Barr says
I plan to buy this book if I don’t win it….the pictures of Iceland and the lovely designs are very enticing. Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway contest!
Emma Murphy says
The book looks gorgeous! Iceland is on my list of places to see before I get too old – be great to have a guide!
I’ve admired the designs in this book on Ravelry, but didn’t realize it had such lovely scenic photography as well. Now I want a copy even more!
Iceland is on my list of places I want to visit. I love the photography and projects in this book.
I love this kind of book! patterns based on historic patterns and loads of research and history to go with them! On the topic of Elves I did see a wildly interesting episode of Destination Truth where they went looking for Elves and had all sorts of mischievous things happen like cameras knock over on their own.
Dale P says
This book looks great. I love the shawl on the cover and love stranded knitting.
I’ve wanted to go to Iceland since LONG before it became the place where all the knitters want to go. . . and I definitely hope to encounter, in the most polite way, one of the elves. If I won this book, I could be attired in style when I finally do get to go!
Mary Jane, I’m sitting here finishing up the sweater for my tripe to Peru, but I have many fond memories of Iceland last summer. I’d love to win the book.
How do I edit my comment? Tripe…really? Let’s try “trip”.
Vicky DePersiis says
I don’t have a website, may I still play? Of course I would love this book!!!!
What can I say? I guess I have knit in Iceland with elves… and you!
And if you don’t win you can go and buy one in Iceland. 😉
Iceland…on my list to go….
This book…on my wishlist too…
Would love to have this book to get me even more in the mood…..
Love my Lopapeysa…
Love Icelandic yarn…
And Love you even more than I already do….if I win that book..
XXX from over the Ocean..
I am halfway through my first Lopi sweater and dying to learn more about Iceland and its knitting traditions. This book looks wonderful.
Gorgeous book! I’d love to win a copy, but if not, I will certainly buy one. I cannot resist a combination of fabulous knitwear and my favorite country to visit ever.
P.S. I also am counting the days until I get to return to life on the Penobscot and hope to meet up with you between your travels hither and yon.
Sarah Churchill says
I was lucky enough to make a trip to Iceland many years ago. I had not knitted in over 10 years at the time. While there, I purchased yarn and needles to make a traditional Icelandic sweater. Because it was so heavy and I lived in a fairly mild climate, I cut my first steek for a cardigan…. after letting it rest for another 10 years! I wore the jacket a lot for a while, then passed it down to one of my daughters. I loved that trip and I loved wearing the sweater I made. Having this book will stimulate and satisfy memories and serve as a source of knitterly inspiration. If I don’t win it here, I will surely purchase it for myself eventually.
On my way to Iceland in June. Really need this book to know what yarn to buy!!!
Hi, I live in Iceland and today was the socalled First Day of Summer, according to the old Icelandic calander. It was partly sunny and partly snowing and freezing temperature. People went on parade and I am sure the elves did as well ….. Now we have the bright summer nights ahead of us :).
That looks like an amazing book. We went to Icleand earlier this year and I would love having this book as a commemoration of our trip. 🙂
I still have those beautiful pics you took of your visit there in my mind – love Iceland. This book is on my wish list, so I will have it in my hot little hands by hook or crook!
I really hope to visit Iceland someday, but in the meantime here’s Helene’s yummy book filled with beautiful icelandic knits to make and while dreaming of going there ^^
I’ve been seeing more Scandinavian and Icelandic designs lately, thanks to two friends, and I am falling in love — Thank you for the lovely giveaway!
Yes please! Can’t wait to get hold of a copy of this book – Icelandic knitting is so inspiring. Love those socks.
i’m currently knitting with three natural tones of ‘leinen los’ and have been thinking was great colors they would be for icelandic knitting. perhaps there’s a pattern in the book i could use the leftovers of my current project on…would love a copy.
Laura Nelson says
I am in the middle of knitting a Lopi Icelandic sweater. This book is gorgeous and I fantasize of taking a tour of Iceland and all the textile , fur and scenery.
I was to meeting with Helene Magnusson in Copenhagen las Sunday. It was great! Very inspiring, I am ready to Islandic Knitting! 🙂
The book sounds lovely! I really enjoy knitting books that include history, historical artifacts, great photography and food! I hope you are enjoying your spring and the blackflies haven’t appeared yet at your place. I’ve seen a few here but not many. Take care!
My tomtens here would love for me to win this book!Thank you for this opportunity.
Gorgeous book! I’d love to win a copy, but I’ll happily buy one if I don’t!
Lars Rains says
I am always thrilled to see new Icelandic knitting patterns.
Iceland + Knitting = Dream come true!
Sylvie chavanne says
Great book, I really love islandic knitting and discovering new traditonnal techniques. Following Gudrun and Helene for a long time. Thank you for the giveawsy.
This book looks great, and the photos are amazing, adding a trip to Iceland to my to do checklist!
On my bucket list – vist Iceland. I want to see the museums in real life, not in books anymore!
I just bought my first Lopi wool and went to an exhibit at the Kennedy Center in
Washington DC. Iceland looks amazing! I would love to receive this book! Would it help if I
Told you it was my birthday this week????? 🙂
This looks like a fantastic book! It has a little bit of everything. Would love to have it in my library. Thanks for another great giveaway!
Thanks for sharing this book!! How exciting & beautiful!! I would love to see it in person.
On another note, I JUST bought yarn today (Isager) for your Craftsy fair isle vest!! 😀
I have wanted to visit Island for quite some time….on my list.
I just must knit those socks! I just love the Icelandic sweaters…stunning!
It would be lovely to go to Iceland and look at their knitting in person. Short of that, reading this book would do.
Thanks for the opportunity to win the book!
Laura Nelkin says
This book has been in my queue for quite sometime… it looks STUNNING!!!!! Any chance to read/learn more about Icelandic Knitting? Count me in : )!
Icelandic sweaters are my new favorite knitting Thing. My last sweater is from Helene’s collection of patterns, Fletta. It’s my favorite sweater, and it has lots of competition so that’s saying something! This book sounds fabulous!
I’m in love with everything Icelandic and especially their yarn and knitting. This book looks wonderful! Bookmarking Hélène’s blog and hoping I can be a winner 🙂
Aish S says
Reading this book willtake me to this beautiful country and knitting:)till i can go in person.
Thankyou for the opportunity to win this book.
love and want this book!
oh and ummm,…. elves!
What a beautiful book! I collect knitting books, too, and this one looks lovely! One of the things I love about knitting is that there’s always something new to learn!
Serena O. says
I was once told by a friend from Iceland “Greenland is full of ice, and Iceland is very nice.”
The Shawl on the cover is lovely.
Ooh, love those socks! Please include me in the drawing, thanks.
I would love to go to Iceland someday. Really enjoyed following your blog last year when you and Gudrun went to Iceland.
I could use some nordic magic in my life!
I just learned about Iceland’s legal system during the 11th century. They had no executive government so justice was a blend of civil and criminal. Very interesting.
My dad has come back from an arctic circle cruise raving about Iceland and the knits he saw, and is now requesting I make him some – so I would love to see this book!
I ‘d love to go to Iceland, and reading Hélène ‘s blog is as a part of my journey.
Knitting and Iceland is a great mix , I have to join one of Hélène ‘s trips!
Iceland would be a wonderful place to visit. This book is so inspiring with the beautiful photos! The shawl on the cover is stunning.
We went to Iceland in 2007 and it really was the trip of a lifetime. We are thinking about going back, but we want to do ALL the things and yet absorb everything in leisure. A difficult combination, especially since we don’t drive and will have to plan everything with buses.
Maria David Castro says
I don’t know much about Icelandic knitting, but would love to find out more!!!
Maria Gomes says
I ‘ d Love To win the BOOK ! It looks AMAZING! THANKS for the opportunity!
Love this book, beautiful photos and beautiful project!!!
Recently finished my first lopapeysa for my son, now I’m knitting one for me. I would love to win this book!
this book looks like so wonderfull! I will be so glad to win it!!!♥
Julie Ferguson says
Would just love , love , love to have this book !!
I really love this book. Any chance to win it is even better!
I have only made a few pairs of socks, only once did I try using more than one colour! It is very challenging for me!
Kate M says
I’m already a shawl-fiend and am now planning my first lopapeysa – Icelandic wool ties with Shetland as my favourite fibre for intricately-textured, long-lasting garments. Very excited about this lovely new book from Helene and the chance to learn more about textile culture in Iceland.
Kathleen R says
This book looks like so much fun! Thanks for the giveaway!
Sarah W says
Intricate colourwork is the main area of knitting that I’m not very good with yet and I’ve love a great excuse to practise – this book looks like just the inspiration I need!
What a gorgeous book , I will have to by a copy
What a dream—hiking AND knitting in Iceland. The book should compensate somewhat.
This book IS dreamy. I bought it for my library (my day job) and it has been a huge hit! Thanks for the links about all of Helene’s endeavors. What a talented lady!
It looks like the Icelandic elves have inspired a beautiful book! I love the idea of adding history, culture and gorgeous pictures to knitting books. Looks like a coffee table book to me.
I browsed through this book recently, and it’s fabulous and well done. A real treasure. Thank you for your offer!
Iceland is one of the places I have always wanted to go…and that book looks lovely!
Sharon Williams says
Looks like an interesting book taking Icelandic knitting to a new stage for me.
Linda Rumsey says
I love knitting and Iceland is on my must-travel-to list for both the views and the yarn. This book would keep me going till I can actually get there!
lindarumsey on Ravelry
Helen Summers says
Would love to win this book looks amazing
This is a beautiful book and so much more than the yolk sweater.
Yes, oh Yes! It looks as if this book will take you to Iceland with a click of your knitting needles!
i’ve been wanting to make a shawl like the one on the cover for years- this book is gorgeous!
What a gorgeous book! It’s on my list of must haves. Thank you for the opportunity! 😀
What a lovely book and a great way to learn more about Icelandic knitting!
A beautiful book! I’d love to add it to my library.
i must link up with this lady, knitting and geomorphology are constant interests throughout my life. Due to work commitments I can’t make her trips this year so I do hope she repeats them next year. A copy of the book would be great compensation
I’ve had my eye on this beautiful book (love those socks). If I don’t win I might just have to break down and buy it myself.
Pat Prahl says
I would love to have this book. This type of knitting is so beautiful. I am just starting to get into color work. I have been watching for this book to be published and it would be great to win it.
I have been admiring this book from afar for awhile! I started to do a bit of color work knitting this winter and love it 🙂
This book looks wonderful- I would love to have a copy!
I would love to visit Iceland some day. Thanks so much for sponsoring this giveaway.
Carin Aschan says
I knoe they do have 13 different Santa’s doing mischief before Christmas! I’d love to win the book!
Knitting with elves in Iceland sounds like a delightful vacation. 😉
Elizabeth-Anne kukurs says
Many years ago I knit a couple of Icelandic sweaters.. First time using a circular needle..looks like a very inspirational book:)
Amy K. says
I would love to go Iceland!
Laura P. says
I’ve added Iceland to my travel wish-list after reading about your trip there last year. One of these days….. In the meantime, Helene’s book would be a great introduction!
I would love to visit Iceland, and have one of Helene’s photos as my desktop wallpaper. Maybe winning this book would be the next best thing.
Beautiful designs. I’d love to try them. And the book looks really inspiring.
What a gorgeous book with such beautiful designs – would love to win it!
the socks are my favorite as well – beautiful!
Iceland AND elves! Sign me up 🙂
Visited Iceland during the volcanic eruption but I wasn’t there long enough to knit much. I plan on going back to visit the blue lagoon as soon as possible.
Shell ~ says
~ Oh, so exciting is the Land-Of-Knitting-with-Helene-&-MaryJane ~
Knitting & Elves, you say ?
well,,,,, my Waldorf Handwork students & I have sponsored in the best way we could this year, (being that our school is so small),purchasing postcards, by Anna Maria Lind of the Icelandic goats at the farm of Johanna Bergmann Þorvaldsdóttir and Thorbjorn Oddsson, Geitur og Rosir. The older children are sewing felt Icelandic goats for their Handwork projects. I purchased Icelandic wool from Helene for the goats little wool coats. I’ve enjoyed presenting Icelandic knitting patterns to the children and explained how Helene rescued these traditional folk patterns putting them in her wonderful books.
Elves ? Certainly, elves & goats always go together in stories. I believe they’ve always been the best of friends. The youngest children in my Handwork classes are knitting Tomtens, a Scandinavian elf, who I’m sure if given the chance would befriend any Icelandic goat or sheep.
~ On my bucket list is a *Helene Knitting Trip*, besides also returning to Maine, but first more realistically, is collecting her knitting books & MaryJane’s too ! ~
……..even my oncologist is Icelandic, must be a theme. ~
Oh…I’d love to win this book. Thank you for the opportunity:0)
Those socks look like a really interesting project!
marianne farrell says
Inspired by the best read for a long time – Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss – I’ve been reading up on the heritage of Icelandic knitting. How timely is your giveaway! (Particularly love the shawl… delicious!)
This book looks fantastic Mary Jane! I’ve been to Iceland several times and will always go back, I love it. My favorite is their plötulopi but the swimming, skyr and horses aren’t too shabby either. Thanks for the chance to win the book!
I have fallen in love with Icelandic knitting, very inspired with all the tonal colors. I would like to visit some day, winning the book would be wonderful!
Connie K. says
I checked this book out from the library, and fell in love with Iceland just from the pictures. I would love a copy for my very own, then all I need will be lots of yarn and a chance to visit Iceland.
I really want this book but amazon won’t ship it to Canada! I fell in love with so many of the patterns. The colors are amazing and I love the historic aspect.
I went to Iceland a couple of years ago, and it was probably the most wonderful trip I’ve ever been on. Reliving it through knitting until I can make it back again would be fantastic.
Hélène’s work is gorgeous and it would be very nice to win a copy of her new book. Thank you.
Iceland is a magical place. I was lucky enough to visit in 2006. I haven’t done any Icelandic knitting yet though, so this book would be perfect! Thanks for the giveaway.
I have had my eye on this book. Her work is beautiful, so inspiring! Thanks.
I’ve always loved Icelandic knitwear. I don’t think I’ll be traveling there anytime soon, so having the book would be great.
The photo of the three of you was such a treat – love seeing the faces behind the designs. If the book comes my way, I think the socks are a must. I’ve been puzzling over the wonky stripes, never thinking someone could be so madly inventive as to use short rows in socks. Brilliant!
Mari Raus says
I´m knitting all the time. Just finised designing my first Haapsalu shawl pattern(Estonian lace shawl). Sample is done. But I also really need a nice triangular shawl, already bought a yarn. Inspiration and pattern needed… “Icelandic Handknits” would be greatly appreciated 🙂
Tina S says
I think Iceland is waaaaaay cool, for so many reasons!
I’ve just started learning about traditional Icelandic knitting, and would love to have a copy of this book. There is so much romance surrounding Iceland–it’s stunning landscape, history, and culture. At this point, I’m fascinated by all things Icelandic!
Kathode Ray Tube says
A place I would like to visit and some knitting patterns I would like to knit!
Gorgeous! I’d love to knit it!