Craft & Design Yarncraft

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Scandinavian Needlecraft by Clare Youngs. CICO Books, $19.95, 2010; cicobooks.com
I love every single project in this gorgeous book inspired by traditional Scandinavian design. Clare Youngs has created a beautiful and diverse set of projects, whether it’s a seat cushion embroidered with a stunning bird, a sweetly stitched dress for a little girl, or an elegant quilt made from found textiles. She’s remained true to the clean materials (felt, linen, waffle-weave cotton) and clean look of the far North, but uses bright colors and easy techniques to make objects anyone would love. I have Finnish heritage and friends from Finland, Sweden and Norway, so the book has totally captured my imagination, but even if your familiarity with Scandinavia is limited to Ikea, I suspect you still won’t know which project to start on first.
We’re sharing a pattern for making a felt bag embroidered with an abstract floral design inspired by an antique wooden trunk. Download the project excerpt PDF to make this charming embroidered felt bag and enter the giveaway after the jump.


Download the PDF
(Right click to save the PDF to your desktop. Having problems? Please see our directions on downloading PDFs.)
Book Giveaway Time!
One lucky Craft reader will win a copy of Scandinavian Needlecraft. Just tell us why you would like this book in the comments. All comments will be closed by Noon PST on Wednesday, June 2, 2010. The lucky winner will be chosen randomly and announced later on the site. Good luck!

162 thoughts on “Book Review + Giveaway + Pattern: Scandinavian Needlecraft

  1. I am lovin’ on this book because not only are the projects awesome if made as is, but they can be adapted and switched up for other decor and themes. I dig it much.

  2. I love the cover of this book. It makes me want to dig out my embroidery needles. I haven’t seen any of the other projects in this book but the cover promises simple fresh designs and I’m ready for this look!

  3. I have already made the embroidered felt bag, and am falling in love with all these traditional patterns.

  4. I’d love a copy of the book. I’ve been doing needlework since I was 10 years old. I love creating many different items from a single design.
    I belong to our local medieval group (society for creative anachronism SCA) and try to find historically accurate patterns.
    I’d love to be able to add your book to my library and share it’s knowledge with others.

  5. I love Scandinavian folk art, and I want to find a pattern that I can use for a chair seat I want to recover.

  6. I’m a child of the 60’s and my parents filled the house with Scandinavian furniture and accessories. I’d like to do the same, but making as much as I can.

  7. My father is 2nd generation Norwegian, and I LOVE Scandinavian needlework. My great-aunts were extremely talented sewers, quilters, and knitters. I would love to make these projects!

  8. thank you for such a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a great giveaway! I’m in love with the book just looking at the cover! can’t wait to find out who the winner is! Good luck to all.

  9. Swedish/Scandinavian design is the best, but being of Norwegian heritage, I’m probably biased. I’d love to make some new pillows to match a danish chair that I just bought, as well as creating the bag on the cover. Too wonderful!

  10. I would LOVE to have this book because I’ve been eying it for months and months! I browsed through it in a bookstore and had a real “Aha!” moment. It fit to a tee one of my favorite styles of needlework, but I didn’t realize it had a name. I actually said out loud, “Oh! I like Scandinavian designs!” Sort of funny not to have known that…. Anyway, it’s been on my wishlist ever since, so I was psyched to see it show up here. Thanks for the opportunity!

  11. I love the felt bag project. The patterns would help me make beautiful gifts for the Scandinavians in my family!

  12. I have friends who decorate in the Scandinavian style and I’m always looking for good ideas for something to make for them. This book looks like it would be perfect!

  13. My husband is part Scandinavian so it would be great to make some projects that have influences from his heritage!

  14. This book looks like it has alot of projects that I would love to get my hands into. I would make Rose (Golden Girls – Betty White) proud!!

  15. So cute! I recently started to learn more about my Swedish heritage and to be able to combine that with crafts? In one word: awesome!

  16. I’ve always wanted to learn embroidery, and the bag on the cover is adorable! I also love all things Swedish!

  17. My name is Swedish, my step grandfather was Danish and raised me to feel Danish and my heart was broken by a Norwegian. Despite that, I love Scandinavian things and would love to learn how to craft like the women in my Bestefa’s family.

  18. Due to recent job situations, I have been finding myself with a lot more time to craft. I think this book looks brilliant, and I would love to make a bunch of the things in it!

  19. I’ve been dying to learn more about Scandinavian embroidery. I learned Hungarian embroidery techniques when I lived there, but I don’t have any northern European patterns. This book looks wonderful!

  20. I’d love this book because I’ve had to delay a dream trip to Scandinavia thanks to lack of money and making these crafts would tide me over until I could afford to go.

  21. I would love to present this book to my sister who has retired and is getting back into the crafting world. She is also all about Scandinavia as that is our heritage.

  22. Really I need to say why? :D cause this book is amazing! I would like to win it.
    Hugs and thanks for the giveaway :)

  23. I too would love to give my Indian house a Scandinavian touch :) Keeping my fingers crossed! Love u guys!

  24. This book looks absolutely beautiful. I would love to make some of those projects for my Mom, who has Norwegian in our family tree, and loves to celebrate that fact. Thanks for the opportunity to play along.
    Betsy

  25. I love the bright colors and simple lines of Scandinavian design. These look like much fun to stitch up!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  26. This book giveaway has finally broken down my resistance to registering for an account just for leaving comments. I just checked out the preview for the book at the publishers website and the projects are simply wonderful.
    Thanks for offering the giveaway and for the free PDF pattern!

  27. I’m mostly just interested in the pretty embroidery patterns–also in learning how to sew a bit better with simple projects.

  28. I’d love to receive this book, because I’m trying to take more time to do fantastic craft projects to restore the work-life balance I’ve lost due to rampant workaholism.

  29. I would love to have this book. I HAVE to keep my hands busy-during my daughter’s track meets I embroider or crochet. Both the boys and the girs watch me. One 9 year old was interested enough that I traced her initial on fabric, she stitched it (PERFECTLY), then I sewed it into a drawstring bag. She is currently working on a pillowcase I drew dolphins on. So, I am looking for simple patterns for her to stitch. This book seems perfect for her.

  30. I would love a copy of this beautiful book. The first embroidery books I ever purchased where Scandinavian & this would fit right in!

  31. my partner is norwegian & i am always trying to find ways to incorporate his heritage into my crafting. what better way then with this so-adorable-i-think-i-may-pass-out book!

  32. Uff Da! Since I can’t afford to get to Norway to see the land of my ancestors at the moment, this book will go a long way in making me feel a little closer to the motherland.

  33. I would absolutely love this book! It reminds me of a book I used to have while in Japan. They have such similar tastes of elegance and simplicity!

  34. I love the free project and the project on the cover of the book! I look forward to seeing more. I like the combination of embroidery and fiber. Thanks!

  35. I’ve been trying to pare down my style to just white with some colourful accents (a la Scandinavian design), and this book would be perfect for crafting along those lines!

  36. I’ve had the itch to embroider lately, and this book would be just the ticket. Thanks for the chance!

  37. I came across this book a couple of months ago at B&N and had to keep myself from drooling on the pages! I’ve been coveting it since!

  38. I would love to try some of the patterns in the book, great shapes, and add some needle felting to the designs as well.

  39. Not sure “why” I should get the book, I just want it, and I would love it, and take it for walks and feed it twice a day. Can I have it please?

  40. Rarely do I see a book with so many projects that I actually like. I would love to have my own copy of this book.

  41. Scandinavian design: quiet, clean, clever. I need more of all that in my surroundings. Pick me! I even have a drop of Danish in my genes. Does that help?

  42. I’ve been stalking this book for ages now; it’s just gorgeous. I’d love it because it has a design for an embroidered tea-towel which is based on a classic crockery design that my norwegian grandma and aunt collect, and they would go absolutely nuts if i could make it for them.

  43. Though my parents are German, their affinity for the northern European regions has certainly rubbed off on me. I give my mom and my Oma most of the credit for my growing love of Scandinavian design–it’s simple, clean and has such a warmth about it.
    As an interior designer, I enjoy the aesthetic because it is classic. Traditional Scandinavian designs look fresh and contemporary still.
    I was laid off from my job over seven months ago, just as my divorce was being finalized. Though I’ve lost a lot in such a short time, I’ve found that all the upheaval has revealed a few things that are really valuable to me: my family, my friends and my resourcefulness. I’ve been able to divert my attention from the frustrations of being jobless (and newly single) by spending time making things. I’ve been refashioning my clothing instead of buying new, I find ways to refresh my home with found items or thrift-store finds, and I’m working on setting up my own blog celebrating all things hand-made.
    I think this book would be a wonderful inspiration for me and keep me busy making beautiful things for a long time to come!

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