Folk Shawls: 25 knitting patterns and tales from around the world (Folk Knitting series) Info

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Shawls are currently making a huge comeback in the
fashion world, but many people do not realize that the shawl has been
worn for many centuries and in many cultures. This collection of
patterns and traditions features shawls from around the world. From the
Himalayas to Spain, from Iceland to Japan, and from Mexico to Norway,
many of the shawls featured here have been taken from examples of
historic knitted shawls. Other designs have been translated into
knitwear from patterns for woven or lace shawls. Included are 25
patterns as well as historical and cultural information about shawls
that have been used for prayer and mourning, as bridal veils, and as
christening garments. Each design is presented with a full-page color
photo, written instructions, and charts.

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Reviews for Folk Shawls: 25 knitting patterns and tales from around the world (Folk Knitting series):


December 23, 2000

A knitter's delight!
I resisted buying this book for quite a while because I had been disappointed by an earlier purchase of a book about knitted shawls. I'm SO glad I gave in and ordered it! This book had what I missed in the other book - descriptive histories of the particular style or origin of shawl traditions from many countries (mentioned in other reviews). The historical perspective is fascinating and inspires thought about the day-to-day reality of the women who knitted them and the role that shawls and knitting played in women's lives. The shawl is perhaps one of the oldest of garments, worn by women in all kinds of rites of passage: as christening blankets, wedding veils, winding sheets, in celebration, in work, in prayer and in mourning. Surprisingly, while the shawls pictured are faithfully drawn from the traditional style of each country, none of them look dated or dowdy - all are superbly wearable today. The photographic presentation of the shawls is excellent - modeled by the author in a manner to focus on the shawl itself, its drape, its pattern, its construction. The shawls range in knitting challenge from beginner to advanced; from simple garter stitch to intricate lace pattern. The construction variations are fascinating - rectangular, triangular, square, butterfly-shaped, pieced. Each shawl pattern is presented in photograph and line drawing with both line-by-line and charted knitting directions. It is clear that much research, thought and love went into this book. Even if you don't wear shawls ("you just haven't met the right shawl", says the author), this book is a must-have for every true knitter's library.

May 2, 2007

Nice practical book
This is a nice little book of shawl patterns. Although it lacks the sophistication of Victorian Lace Today and A Gathering of Lace with respect to elaborate lace patterns in the light weight lace yarns, it does present a collection of simple, utilitarian patterns in basic worsted weight yarns.

This is a good place for a beginning to intermediate knitter to start learning lace stitches and their effects. Furthermore the patterns provide immediate, attractive fabrics that serve a useful purpose. Although I didn't care much for the style of the Ruanna, it would easily "dress up" with the stitch design and color way for the Robozo in the same section. The Japanese Kimono shawl is a very nice leaf style stitch, which makes a lovely wrap and and allows the newcomer to lace patterns to gain a lot of practice without being overwhelmed by the number of non-repeating rows in a single design or the variety of patterns in combined design. The Aran pocket shawl is very clever, and would be easy for a new knitter to get started.

The photos are very nice, and while the ambiance of the background is not as impressive as the above books, the patterns themselves are well illustrated.

September 12, 2013

Wonderful and easy to understand instructions
I bought this book after admiring a shawl knit by someone in my knitting group(The Wool Peddler's Shawl). I simply had to have it.

There are 25 patterns in the book and stories about each shawl and how they came to be. The shawls illustrated are beautiful and show the craftsmanship and design skills of knitters around the world.

The directions are clear and easy to follow, no matter what level of skill you have. In addition, the beginning of the book shows techniques one needs in order to knit the various shawls. The book illustrates triangular, square and rectangular shawls.

I have enjoyed reading this book to see how various shawls came to be and I can't wait to begin the Wool Peddler's Shawl and show it off to my knitting friends. It's well worth the price and a good value.

December 28, 2009

Charming and useful
Folk Shawls is mostly a pattern book. There are many great anecdotes about the countries the shawls derive from, and historical information about how the shawls were derived. The shawls are all lovely, and range from simple to complex.

Oberle does not waste the experienced knitter's time with a how-to section. There is a "techniques" chapter, but it only gives instructions for specific methods used in the patterns. These are methods that will probably be familiar to experts, but the chapter is informative for beginning and intermediate knitters.

I say it's "mostly" a pattern book, but the construction of each design is broken down in such a way that a knitter of intermediate or higher skill level could adapt it for a different yarn and gauge. So in that sense, it is also a book of inspiration.

May 17, 2012

comprehensive, creative showing of a number of traditional shawls. Some designs are original to the author. Cast-ons, and cast-off choices are considered and explained. Good, clear photos.

Ironically, I have this book b/c other people made shawls from these patterns in other color-ways. The color and yarn choices in the book aren't particularly attractive, at least to my eyes. The Mustaa Villaa variation on the cover shawl sold the book, as far as I'm concerned.

Nice interludes, quotes and research.

April 22, 2010

Many choices of shawls with a few paragraphs or one page of a folk tale to go along with the
shawl, which is interesting Often there is a shorter version of the shawl, as well as the long version.
Many are of the lace weight variety. Particular names of yarns are given and some specify laceweight or
sport weight, but several do not give the weight of the yarn--an important detail for measuring
gauge. Photos are excellent. Charts are good, but small. I would have to enlarge them much to
read them easily, so if you like to knit from charts, this is an extra problem.

November 20, 2008

Beautiful shawls with easy to understand patterns
I've only been knitting for about a year so I wasn't sure if this book would be way out of my league. I think it's going to become one of my favorite pattern books. All of the shawls are gorgeous and the instructions are great for an intermediate knitter like myself. It has a wonderful mix of easier up to more challenging patterns. Right now I'm working on the Victorian Wood Peddler's Shawl. I cannot wait to wear it, and I'm sure at some point I will have made one of each pattern in the book. It's a must have for the shawl-knitter's library.

March 16, 2011

A Shawl for Everyone
I am part of a shawl ministry and am gathering shawl patterns. I wanted to be able to do more than a plain shawl--hopefully cables, other patterns, and lace eventually. Some of these shawls are too fancy for our purposes, but my friends and family would love them. I especially liked the written instructions as well as the "graphed" instructions, the range of shawls from beginner to advanced, and the "fashionableness" of these shawls. They look good. I have almost finished the "Simple Garter Stitch Prarie Shawl". Despite its simplicity, the author said it "was a joy to knit"--and so it is. (I learned KfB and YO on this pattern--you see I am really a beginner.) I think my next shawl will be the Lace Prairie Shawl or the Aran Pocket Shawl. My goal is to do the Wool Peddler's Shawl and the North Sea Shawl and the Rebozo and get the picture. If you like to knit shawls or just want one for yourself or as a gift, I would seriously consider getting this book. These are some lovely ones.

January 30, 2015

Great patterns!
Although this book is just shawl patterns, there's enough variety to keep things interesting. I've only been knitting for a couple months, but found the instructions easy to understand, and the little historical backgrounds for each culture's designs were interesting, short and sweet. There are some really beautiful patterns here, and I'm looking forward to finishing a few.

May 8, 2014

Another nice addition to my knitting library.
This book seems to be written for more advanced knitters. There are illustrations of many cast on methods. Patterns are written and charted. I particularly enjoy the folk lore connected to the various shawls/cultures. 25 patterns are included to suit many needs and tastes. My Scottish Granny wore a feather and fan circular shawl and I hope to replicate it one day. It was she who taught me to knit many, many years ago.

June 16, 2016

Good Pattern Resource
Lots of gorgeous shawls in this book categorized by region, but be prepared for some long projects as many of these shawls are huge! The patterns are not very modern (as one might deduce from the name of the book) but they are pretty.

March 10, 2010

Knitted Shawls...Wonderful!
Having long wished to acquire this book, I have now taken the plunge, feeling that I am ready to tackle some Cheryl Oberle lace patterns. The book does not disappoint. Beautiful, stylish, timeless designs. Can't wait to tackle a few of these. They are not too simple, nor too "clunky" because of large needles and chunky yarns. The instructions appear to be very thorough and clear, not intimidating, but just challenging enough to be interesting.

May 11, 2016

lots of basic patterns
Not my favorite, but it has a lot of basic patterns to make a variety of shawls. It's just not as advanced and informative as I would have liked.

March 26, 2015

Three Stars
I'm not partial to shawls, I find.

November 16, 2014

Three Stars
Folk shawls really provide warmth and beauty

August 29, 2014

Three Stars
Not what I expected

April 29, 2013

some nice patterns
i choose to give this pattern book 3 stars because even though there are some nice, well written, easy to follow although intricate, patterns in the book, as well as some nice tidbits of info, i was disappointed in the selections. there was one pattern in the book that i saw online that i really liked and when i found the book i purchased it. turns out that was the only pattern out of the whole book that i liked or that fit my needs. i am sure an other knitter will be just as enthusiastic about the rest of the patterns. i have owned the book for more than 6 years, have revisited the book off and on and have not been even temped to make one of the others. my advice is to check it out at the library first to see what the patterns look like before you buy it. for me it was worth just having the one pattern, which i have made in 3 different colors and yarn types.

December 5, 2018

Nice shawls
Nice patterns and easy to knit

August 29, 2017

Four Stars
Shawl patterns a lovely, I haven't had the opportunity to make one yet.

January 23, 2017

Thank you
Guidance is what I needed.

February 2, 2016

Good instructions, but yarn!
Sometimes with Cheryl Oberle it is hard to figure out what weight of yarns to use.

June 16, 2015

List of yarns needed here, that can easily be found
This Book has very nice patterns that I think every one would like.........But..........each pattern calls for a Speciality you know these are hard to find...........I think if the yarn called for was given in several Brands, Weights and listed in the book it would be much improved.....I hate tracking down yarn, that you can not find or is no longer made......I love shawl patterns and to have this many in one book is great

March 3, 2015

Folk Shawls
some beautiful shawls in this book, but I am into lace right now. will knit one or two in this book.

February 24, 2015

Great book.
Haven't started the shawl that I want to make. Am excited to get started. Great book.

August 31, 2014

Four Stars
Great book for a great price

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