cover image Nordic Hands: 25 Fiber Craft Projects to Discover Scandinavian Culture

Nordic Hands: 25 Fiber Craft Projects to Discover Scandinavian Culture

Anita Osterhaug. Schiffer Craft, $34.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7643-6691-8

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.)