I'm sure you have seen this book floating around. Knit Nordic by Eline Oftedal.
I have always been a big fan of those vintage Nordic sweaters. Can you imagine finding one now? Let me just say, I learned a lot of Nordic knitting history from this book. The Norwegian word for "sweater" is "genser", which derives from the word "gansey". "Gansey" is the name of the traditional Guernsey fishermen's sweaters. The nordic design in the book all have a fascinating heritage. Some have a long history, others have a shorter one. The book was inspired by four of the classic Norwegian patterns: Marius, Setesdal, and Fana and Voss.
The Marius sweater first appeared in the 1950's but traces its roots back to the Sedesdal pattern. Handknit sweaters were the height of fashion in the postwar era. Bitten Eriksen was a knitwear designer who created designs for a wool mill. She was also the mother of the well-known skiers Stein and Marius Eriksen; Stein won a gold medal at the Oslo Winter Olympics in 1952. Bitten's husband, also named Marius, was a gymnast who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics.
The pieces in the book that derived from that design are a handbag, a racerback top, hotpants, a teddybear and a stocking.The Setesdal sweater dates back to 1848 when the artist Adolph Tidemand made a sketch of a young man wearing the sweater while visiting the Setesdal valley in the southern part of Norway. The sweater was, and still is, knitted in black and white or grey and white, with a series of borders.
The pieces in the book that derived from the Setesdal pattern an ipad cover, a necktie, slippers, wristwarmers and a beanie.
The Fana sweater originates from the west coast of Norway in a region named Bergen. Bergen was the main trading town in Norway, so foreign fashions came to Bergen first before spreading to the rest of the country. Photographs of fishermen wearing this sweater n Bergen date back to the late 1800's. The Fana design is made up of a striped pattern, with a star design at the top and a checkered pattern at the bottom.
The Voss sweater is a relatively new pattern in knitting, but has been around for centuries in embroidery. This design is geometrical and often includes squares with a pattern inside.
The pieces in knit nordic that are derived from the Voss design are a toilet roll cover, potholders, a snood, a cushion cover and an iphone cover.
The techniques section in the back of the book, highlights many needs of a knitter. Especially one getting started with nordic knitting and is a great reference to have on file.
If interested in winning a copy of knit nordic, please leave a comment before Wednesday the 26th, 9am EST. I'll have the random number generator choose a name.