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September 03, 1989|Judith Sims

Twined Knitting: A Swedish Folkcraft Technique by BIRGITTA DANDANELL AND ULLA DANIELSSON, TRANSLATED BY ROBIN ORM HANSEN (Interweave Press; 1989)

THE PEOPLE AROUND Dalarna, Sweden, must have been the best-dressed peasants in Europe; they all got to wear exquisite caps, socks, gloves, jackets--beautiful clothes, all knitted with a twined, or twisted, two-strand technique that gives the finished garments a non-elastic, durable, soft, almost lustrous quality. Knitting was so much a part of their lives that women of the area joked that they could knit a stocking in a one-mile walk.

Although there are instructions and diagrams for re-creating some of these gorgeous garments, the fascinating parts of the book deal with the history of the people and the craft: photographs of women, sure enough, walking and knitting, and examples of old and new garments, including a modern white coat with knitted sleeves and monk's hood attached to a wool body.

Instructions are given with metric measurements, and although they are easy to follow, they go into very little detail regarding decorative patterns and variations. A challenge, certainly, but who couldn't use a nice pair of hand-knitted socks? For skiing, if one must have a purpose. ($18.95)

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