Knitting, design, wool and other gatherings….

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A bit of sewing…

I´ve had this thin cotton fabric in my stash for nearly 10 years. I “stumbled” upon a little unlikely fabric shop in the less popular end of the main street in a small town here in Norway. I think I have a fine-tuned intuition. That is, -it´s only tuned towards yarn and fabric. I can smell it! Wether I´m in London, Riga or Copenhagen, trust me to find the fabric- and yarn shops! (…much to my fellow travelers` annoyance…suddenly I´m just off – and they know there will be a 30 minutes delay – while I ramble through the shelves for local jewels!)

This little shop looked like something you would find in a Harry Potter novel, a shop you could place right in to “Diagon Alley” – and the owner definitely looked the part. She must have been nearly 90 years old – and with her thin white hair gathered in a knot in the back and her Half-glasses, I was not surprised she was a seamstress – the old school sort…

This grand old lady clearly knew her CPI – and had, every 10 years or so… taken the time to re-price her fabric accordingly – and the small white price-tags attached to the rolls of fabric by some string (remember those?) had several over-crossed numbers on them. Each number a great deal higher than the former… I´m guessing this shop were her project – not her income… Which meant I could find treasures from the 60´s and 70´s among the dusty teak-shelves, while she strictly informed me what I could, -but mostly – what I could not use this fabric for… One of my best spent 30 minutes – ever!!

The pattern is from Burda; magazine 10 / 2012 (you can find it here). I´ve done a few mods – added piping -made from cotton bias tape and some thin, round elastic, and I´ve lined it.

I had at some point cut a piece from this fabric – and had to replace a bit (right pic. over) to make the pattern fit – but it´s hardly visible… I´m not sure I´ll ever wear this skirt though…? The resemblance to my grandmothers apron is clearly there… Maybe, if I wake up very courageous one fine summer´s day…

The bottom pic. shows the other fabrics I also managed to save from eternal “dustification” among the teak-shelves that great day… Better put it to use before I end up like that grand old seamstress…

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From my treasure-chest…

While searching through my substantial and treasured stash for something quite different – I found some embroidered edging for traditional Norwegian knitted sweaters / cardigans (kofter).


As far as I´m aware, this kind of edging was originally used on the historic “Setesdal-kofte”. Setesdal-kofte has been worn by men since approx. 1850 – and is today a part of the male version of Setesdalsbunaden. This kind of embroidery is called “Løyesaum”, and was only used around the neck and the sleeves, because the sweater was worn inside the trousers. It was not until the 30´s they started cutting the sweater open to a cardigan / jacket.

If you want to read more about “Setesdalskofta” I can highly recommend the book Setesdal Sweaters by the renowned Annemor Sundbø.

The wool embroideries are made on thin black or dark blue wool, and the sweater / cardigan is closed by pewter hooks. The left and middle pic. are the “Setesdal” pattern (link to ravelry), and the right pic. are the “Valdres” pattern (link to ravelry).

I´ll better add a suitable “kofte” for my edgings to my already far too long list of things to knit…

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A Purple Shawl…

I´ve finally finished my PurpleShawl. I started this in febuary, and it always feels good to finish an “in-between-project”, like this was, because I tend to get very tired of it in the end…

I decided this shawl was finished when the purple yarn was out. I haven’t measured it, but it goes twice around my neck and is featherweight. A great, colorful summer-shawl.

  • Yarn: Mithril by The Verdant Gryphon, col. Wild Pansy
  •          Italian Single Tweed by Garnudsalg, col Sol
  • Needles: 4mm / US 6

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17th of May… Norwegian Constitution Day (wikipedia).

Norway is the only country, that I´m aware of, where we celebrate constitution day with Childrens-parades. Every child in school-age in every little fjord or village, town or island gather for the Childrens-parade in the morning of 17th of May, dressed in their finest outfits – very often in a bunad – national costume (wikipedia). Later in the afternoon we all gather again to watch the Peoples-parade – again, a non-military parade, that shows every community´s organizations – like sports clubs, choirs and theatre groups. Both parades are filled with marching bands and there´s a lot of singing and waving of flags. If you ever plan to go to Norway – be sure to make 17th of May a part of your stay. You´ll be stunned! I´ve seen foreign, grown-up men cry watching the Childrens-parade!

In between all the walking, singing and waving we make sure to eat well – and of course there´s ice-cream! As much as you can eat! (My daughter claims to have eaten 16 ice-creams one 17th of May…)

Mum: -how did that make you feel? 

Daughter: -nauseous…!

After the Peoples-parade we often gather in the local school-yard for “Syttendemai games” and lot´s of fun. Of course there´s more ice-cream, cake and a hot-dog or three…

When your feet feels like they have been run over by a steamroller, your bunad threatens to explode due to too much ice-cream, hot-dogs and cake, junior has lost a hair ribbon, a tooth, and her bunad looks like something you found in the trash – the party´s over and we all go home. If it´s not a work-day the day after you might continue the celebration, but most commonly you put your feet high and say: “What a great day – and thank God it´s 364 days till next time!”

Hurra for Syttendemai!!

Note! All pictures are randomly picked from the internet.

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Bunad – the Norwegian National Costume.

In its narrow sense the word bunad refers only to clothes designed in the early 20th century that are loosely based on traditional costumes. The word bunad in itself is a 20th-century invention.

The bunad movement has its root in 19th-century national romanticism, which included an interest for traditional folk costumes not only in Norway, but also in neighbouring countries such as Denmark and notably Germany. However, in Norway national romanticist ideas had a more lasting impact, as seen in the use of folk inspired costumes.” (wikipedia)

These bunads may look very similar – but I can tell which part of the district of Hordaland on the West-Coast the particular bunad comes from. Some parts of Norway – like Hordaland has a strong and varied bunad-tradition – while other districts does not. (pictures from Norsk Flid – where you can find a bunad-gallery)

Common for all the different bunads are a white linen or cotton embroided shirt, beautiful silverwork and traditional “bunad-shoes”. All the textiles used are 100% wool, silk or velvet, typically silk brocade in different patterns. The textiles may be decorated with wool-embroidery, intricate cross-stitch motifs, glass-beading or/and a variety of beautiful woven silk or wool ribbon. The headwear vary a lot, and it also varies within the same type of bunad – traditionally to show where in the life-cycle you were… young/old – married/not married… I´ve never worn my hat – few do…

I come from the district of Rogaland – where the different bunads are less varied, and you can´t really tell by looking at a persons bunad where in the area they´re from – you choose the bunad you like best, more or less. My bunad is the same as the one one the left, but I have the same vest as the one on the right. You are not bound to chose the bunad from your area, but if I complimented a person for his/her bunad and found that they had a “root-less” bunad – I would consider that person to be a bit flamboyant – and you don´t want to come across as flamboyant – being Norwegian…! You would at least need a great-grandmother to blame it on – that would be considered within. So there´s absolutely possibilities – should you want a new bunad.

Most girls get their “grown-up” bunad at the age of 14/15 – in connection with the celebration of their Confirmation -religious or not. Men don´t have the same tradition for wearing a national costume, but I´m happy to see more and more men in bunad. My daughter celebrated her Confirmation two weeks ago, and chose a Rogaland-bunad – the vest proudly made by her mum. I´ve also made the vest on my own bunad. Mother & daughter on the left. I´ve also made the man´s-bunad in the right picture. Grand-daughter and grandfather sporting their bunads!

Next opportunity to wear the national costume is just around the corner. 17th of May is Norwegian Constitution Day – when we put on the bunad and go to town to watch the Childrens-parade. More on Norwegian Constitution Day – on 17th of May!