The Komi patterns are unusual, rather like Estonian knitting patterns or Latvian--featuring complex crosses and looking a bit like Turkish geometric designs that tease the eye and make a stunning effect.
Though this book features mittens, there are hat and sock patterns too. And the geometric designs look nice on vests and pullovers, so this book can be used by the experienced knitter to design more than just mittens.
I love the colorways in the book--very inspiring knitting.
on 21 April 2004
Charlene Schurch has done a wonderful thing; painstaking research has led her to recreate the patterns of the Komi people, an ethnic group once found in central Russia whose design influences can clearly be seen in the folk art of Finns and Latvians, but seems to have remained uncharted until now.
The designs are clearly authentic, the use of colour unusual and inspiring. You ceratinly get a sense that you are recreating a lost art form when you knit these mittens.
Unfortunately, the geometric designs, to which so much attention seems to have been paid does not seem to be matched by the design of the mitten itself. I find the cuffs to be rather boring and was disappointed to see there was no variation of this - the rather chunky nature of the design is rather masculine. Also the thumbs are exclusively of the sore thumb design (or the 'gore') variety. The Marcia Lewandowski book is an excellent companion to this book for this very reason. Using the latters more varied approach to mitten design it is more possible to recreate the design features of the Komi peoples, but in a way that is less dowdy and more innovative.