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Publisher: Search Press
Release Date: August 2004
ISBN: 094843290X
Format Reviewed: Large Format Paperback
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Genre:   How-To Books/Needlepoint
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:  

Icelandic Patterns in Needlepoint  
By Jona Sparey

    Iceland isn’t as famous as it ought to be, and this book sets out to help change that at least among crafters. Think of Vikings, and their wonderful knotwork patterns writhing with stylized flowers and beasts; here is a bookful of such designs to be worked in wool on canvas.

   Clear diagrams, large, lush photographs, and pictures of finished items grace this book which will look just fine on any coffee table. But this is a lot more than a handsome working primer (as if that isn’t enough) as it also tells the reader something about Iceland, a unique and undervalued place. Somehow the lovely tapestries take on a whole new meaning when you actually sit down and read this book, which tells of the author’s Icelandic forbears. There is a worked poem of the house her grandfather built himself, tales of the author’s childhood trips to the land of her ancestors by trawler, and even a treasured family photograph. Many of the pieces have stories behind them, and the whole book makes fascinating reading. Perhaps a few more photographs of Iceland itself might have been nice, but you can’t have everything, and there is plenty to enjoy here.

   What about the actual instructions? These are easy to understand (particularly to anybody who has previously done needlepoint) and as nine-count canvas is unique, an address is given (in the UK) for ordering. No gallery of advanced work takes up valuable project space here and even a beginner ought to be able to make a bright, vibrant tapestry that they can be proud of. A lovely book.