Nordic hands 25 fiber craft projects to discover Scandinavian culture

Anita Osterhaug

Book - 2023

"For makers who love the timeless Scandinavian aesthetic and way of life, this is an armchair tour especially for you! As you explore each cultural aspect of the Nordic region, learn how those values are reflected in customs, crafts, and folk arts. Allowing beginning crafters to achieve beautiful results and experienced crafters to try new designs, the 25 projects mix unusual and more-familiar patterns and techniques, ranging from danskbrogd pillows and monk's belt guest towels to knitted bags, rosemaling with wool, a rug inspired by Icelandic terrain, and many others"--Page 4 of cover.

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  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. In Search of Scandinavia
  • In the Beginning: The Nordic Lands
  • An Abridged History of Scandinavia
  • Scandinavia Today and the Nordic Brand
  • True North: Crafts for a Nordic Life
  • 2. Nature in Nordic Life
  • Living the Friluftsliv
  • Glad Midsommar: Welcoming the Light
  • Escape to the Hytte
  • Bringing the Summer In: Rosemaling by Many Names
  • Nature in Nordic Design
  • Projects
  • Nordic Summer and Winter Throw
  • Glacier: A Cozy Rug for the Home or Hytte
  • A Telemark Bouquet
  • Brightly Finnish Flowers
  • 3. The Value of Community
  • The Strange Laws of Jante
  • The Social Ritual of Coffee: Fika, in Many Forms
  • Bunads. Group Singing, and Other Signs of Solidarity
  • Hygge, of Course
  • Community in Nordic Arts and Crafts
  • Ale Bowls
  • Skillbragd
  • Cloth for Protection and Prosperity
  • Projects
  • The Art of Kaffe: Cozies for a Festive Fika
  • Pick-Me-Up Napkins
  • Rustic Linen Place Mats
  • Monk's Belt Towels of Welcome
  • A Sweet and Simple Runner
  • 4. Nordic Craftsmanship
  • Artistry in Wood: Acanthus Carving
  • Artistry in Cloth
  • From Folk Art to Art
  • The Beauty of Bands
  • Sticks and Strands: Scandinavian Knitting
  • Shine Like the Sun: Scandinavian Silverwork
  • The Sølje
  • Projects
  • Sølje Curtains to Celebrate the Sun
  • Handsome Danskbrogd Pillows
  • A Nordic Sweater for Your Laptop
  • Acanthus in Lace
  • Nordic Flowers Tray Hanger
  • A Tapestry to Tote
  • A Cheerful Band of Mug Mats
  • 5. The Beauty of Sustainability
  • Sustainability as Realism
  • Sustainability as Tradition
  • Sustainable Architecture, Then and Now
  • Sustainability as Art and Craft
  • A Seat for the Ages: The Kubbestol
  • A Tradition of "Slow Cloth"
  • Projects
  • Rags-to-Riches Rug
  • Towels to Treasure
  • Towel-Hanging Tabs
  • Why Knot? Market Bag
  • A Fletted Braid for Bags and More
  • Cup Cozies to Go
  • Rya to Keep Your Pins Cozy
  • Afterword: Where to Go from Here
  • Notes
  • Knitting Abbreviations
  • Weaving Glossary
  • Resources
  • Selected Bibliography
  • About the Contributors
  • Index
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Osterhaug debuts with a vibrant volume of knitting, felting, and weaving projects that reflect what the author contends are the "values and beliefs core to Scandinavian life": community, craftsmanship, nature, and sustainability. Exploring how these principles "are reflected in the customs and folk arts of different Nordic regions," she explains that a love for nature can be found in "Midsommar" festivities celebrating the return of warm weather with bonfires and maypole dancing, and that the longstanding practice of covering roofs with sod to provide insulation exemplifies Nordic tradition's emphasis on sustainability. Osterhaug provides fiber-based projects that take inspiration from the four values, as when she details how to knit a teapot cozy and coasters as tribute to fikas, or customary coffee breaks for catching up with friends and loved ones. Other projects include felted oven mitts designed to resemble rosemaling (a traditional style of decorative floral painting) and throw pillows made using the geometric danskbrogd weave. The cultural history enlightens, but beginners might be intimidated by the elaborate color charts and omission of knitting, felting, and weaving basics. Still, more experienced crafters will be eager to give these varied projects a try. (Nov.)

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