Let’s Fall in Love with Roosimine and Vikkel – Aleks Byrd’s New Book is an Introduction to Contemporary Estonian Knitting
For a small country on the Baltic Sea, Estonia’s tradition and love for handicraft greatly surpasses its size. The latest release by Finnish publishing house Laine Publishing, Traditions Revisited: Modern Estonian Knits, is a celebration of contemporary Estonian knitting. On its pages, the traditional Estonian knitting techniques blend seamlessly with modern knitting styles.
The author, Aleks Byrd, is an illustrator and knitwear designer living in Bath, UK. Thirty-year-old Aleks – whose mother is Estonian Canadian and father American – is particularly well-known as a moderniser of Estonian knitting traditions. She has introduced techniques such as roosimine (an inlay technique that creates the look of embroidery) and vikkel (a twisted stitch pattern that creates a cable-like pattern) to knitters around the world. For Aleks, knitting has been a way to connect with her Estonian roots. She has learned the traditional techniques herself, with the help of old knitting books, workshops and local crafters.
Traditions Revisited: Modern Estonian Knits includes 19 patterns, ranging from mittens to sweaters. You can find illustrated tutorials for each of the techniques used in the book and read about their history. In Estonia, the knitting styles are mostly local, and different regions have their unique colourwork patterns, techniques and colour palettes. This can also be seen in the book: the knits have been inspired, for example, by the traditional sock styles from the island of Kihnu or the folk costumes of the Mulgimaa region.
Aleks gives her knits a distinctive graphic touch and creatively applies the traditional knitting techniques. This way, the knitwear also becomes easier to make and wear. Aleks’ aim is to get knitters to try out new techniques. With the help of this book, she wants to build a bridge between the Estonian knitters and the international knitting community.
“I believe that these days, knitters are not only interested in where the yarn comes from but also in the background and the story behind the techniques,” Aleks says.
Traditions Revisited: Modern Estonian Knits will be released on the 20th of May both in English and in Finnish. Even before its publication, the book has aroused interest around the world. Laine Publishing is an international publishing house located in Finland, known for its successful knitting publications.
For more information, please contact:
Sini Kramer, producer
+358 40 540 2221