20 May, 2007

Variations on a sweater

I hope everybody who is knitting fair isle is reading Nanette's blog, Knitting In Color. Her blog is like a class in color knitting, with lots of details and pictures. She wrote the booklet, "Stranded Color Knitting", which is a must for anybody who is new to fair isle knitting. It's like having a friend to show you what to do, how to hold the yarn, how deal with tension problems, the best ways to weave in the ends, and much more. Her latest series of posts has been a master class in knitting gloves. She is so very generous.

The sharp eyed among you may have noticed that two of the sweaters in the recent "inspiration" post were the same. One is a copy of an antique*, knitted in very fine yarn and cut up the front to be a cardigan. It is edged with woven bands. The other one is an updated version in Susanne Pagoldh's Nordic Knitting, knitted in heavier wool and with ribbing at the neck and on the sleeves. If you want to make the cardigan, just follow the pattern in Nordic Knitting, but use thinner wool. Eliminate the sleeve and neck ribbing, and cut up the front. Edge with woven braid.

The Pagoldh book is the only place I have seen a pattern for this sweater, known as "spøta-trøje" from Stord, an island on the west coast of Norway outside Bergen. Though I have seen several other antique examples. Here is another as pictured in Traditional Knitting by Sheila McGregor.

Note the initials and the year 1860 knitted in. I love the way the different star patterns are combined. As usual, click on any of the photos to see them larger.

*1975 copy of an antique sweater from 1846 pictured in "Trollstål og Kjerringspinn" ("Sorcerer's Steel and Women's Webs - Norwegian craft traditions: knife-making, knitting and weaving").
Published by De Norske Bokklubbene in association with the Lillehammer Olympics 1994. This beautiful book reminds us that these three crafts were crucial to survival, knitting and weaving to keep warm, and knife making to keep fed in a country with very little farm land. Lillefix, you would like this book ;)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Hege! Lately I haven't been getting much done in the knitting department - or rather, I keep knitting but then ripping everything out! LOL