Holiday knitting for you

holiday knittingPretty projects for a Nordic yuletide

Beth Kollé

Scandinavian design and esthetics have truly enhanced our lives of late, have you noticed? The clean lines of home furnishings, kitchen and bath design, the emphasis on bringing nature indoors, all appeal to our desire to live well, yet simply.

This Christmas, there is a new book to explore for knitters who would like to incorporate Scandinavian style into their homes for the holidays: Scandinavian-Style Christmas Knits by Thea Rytter, published by Trafalgar Square Books. 

This darling book, and I don’t use that adjective lightly, brings out the desire to stop everything, rummage through my yarn stash and dive head-first into holiday ornaments for tree and table. 

holiday knittingThe author, from Denmark, is a seasoned knitter, teacher, and designer, and Carol Huebscher Rhoades has done a fabulous job of translating her book into English. The ideas are elegantly simple in the Nordic way, with classic, timeless design and natural fibers. The book is small enough to tuck into a knitting project bag, at 77 pages with a couple of blank Project Notes pages at the end.

When I first leafed through this book, given to me by a dear friend at a café, I found myself having to tone down my exclamations of delight. If I hadn’t calmed myself, I may have jumped up from the table and crowed out loud.

holiday knitting projectsEach photo is beautifully composed with the dreaminess of a coffee table book. The perfectly written instructions urge the knitter to pull out the needles and yarn stash and cast on. 

I was sold on the cover photo, and itched to start the first project, a small, plump Christmas star for hanging on the tree, or the larger fluffy star for hanging in a garlanded window. I almost swooned at the gnome-worthy mushrooms and acorns, which are engagingly anatomically correct. The Christmas balls dotted with tiny glimmering beads or crisscrossed with gold metallic netting will be perfect for the large crystal bowl inherited from the Nordic side of my family. The deep green leaves can be made in the dozens and attached, along with fir branches, to a charming wreath for the door. Thea Rytter includes instructions for very tiny skeins to use as accent pieces in your wreath.

The knitting instructions are clear, with great advice on yarns, filling, beads, and embroidery options. Finishing your knitted treasure is discussed, as well as ideas for correcting errors without ripping back and re-knitting. 

This book would make the perfect gift for intermediate to advanced knitters. Or even for adventurous beginners. I can’t wait to get started!

Scandinavian-Style Christmas Knits by Thea Rytter of VaskavulaKnit, English translation by Carol Huebscher Rhoades, ©2022, Trafalgar Square Books, is available from local booksellers and online.

Photos courtesy of Trafalgar Square Books

This article originally appeared in the December 2, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Beth Kollé

Beth Kollé is a harper specializing in Nordic music. She lives in Seattle and is involved in the vibrant Scandinavian community.