Icelandic Handknits is a rich and varied collection of patterns inspired by the traditional hand-knitted artifacts at the Textile Museum in Blönduós, Iceland.
It's more than just a knitting book.
It includes Icelandic folklore and culture, vintage photographs, and 10 classic Icelandic cooking recipes.
Hélène Magnússon shows us old traditions in a new guise in an extremely unusual and creative way.
Hélène Magnússon is a leading knit designer in Iceland. Born in 1969, she has both Icelandic and French nationality but was brought up in France. She began her professional life as a lawyer in Paris before she made a complete life change and moved to Iceland in 1995. There she learned the language while working in a sheep farm and soon after studied mountaineering and Textiles and Fashion Design at the Iceland Academy of Arts.
She worked as a cook during the winter and a mountain guide during the summer. The varied skills she learned in those early years richly inform her work today and make for her unique approach to design and sense of style.
Hélène’s passion for textiles led her to extensively research Icelandic knitting traditions.
She is the author of two important patterns books about Icelandic knitting: Icelandic Intarsia Colour Knitting brought back to life the unique Icelandic intarsia as seen in old shoe-inserts and Icelandic Handknits gives an overview of the various knitting traditions in the 19th century and beginning of 20th century. Her expertise has earned her the respect of textile historians and museum curators in Iceland and worldwide. Hélène believes the best way to preserve traditions is to continue using them.
This is what led her to found The Icelandic Knitter in 2010, dedicated to the Icelandic knitting heritage. Hélène’s aim is to revive traditions and give them new life: she publishes unique patterns inspired by the past with a modern twist, produces specialty Icelandic yarns Love Story, Gilitrutt, Katla and Grýla, teaches, lectures and organises hiking and knitting tours in Iceland for knitters around the globe.
Along the way, she shares her love of Iceland’s breathtaking nature, her insights into traditions and culture, and her knitting expertise through workshop intensives making for a one of a kind experience and an unforgettable journey to the land of fire and ice.