First is Viking Knits & Ancient Ornaments by Elsebeth Lavold. The designs are what Lavold calls interlace patterns. Think of gorgeous, super-complex cables. There are photographs and sketches of her inspirations. Amid Viking pieces are bits of stone made by Mayans, Roman mosaics, carvings from Nigeria, and lots more. There are patterns for some really beautiful and challenging sweaters. I have no immediate plans to make something from this book, but I expect that I will. Lavold's book Viking Patterns for Knitting is coming out in paperback next year. I've already got it on order at Amazon. Maybe I'll start with that one.
The other book is Norwegian Knits with a Twist by Arne & Carlos. I enjoyed the previous Arne & Carlos books that I have, so I knew I'd like this one. The book explains the various parts of a traditional Scandinavian sweater. It's the kind with bands of patterns and then most of the body is one color with single stitches of a contrasting color on it. I learned that the single stitches are known as lice. Somehow, I think I could've lived my life happily without that particular piece of information. The patterns are based on the traditional sweater but with the twist from the title. Light and dark switch their usual places. Sweater designs appear on hats, pillows, rugs, socks, and even a teddy bear. That last one is probably what will get me first.