Knitting, design, wool and other gatherings….

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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!

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Last February I knit this cardigan. I called it “Tiles”. It´s knit in a sport/dk weight alpaca yarn. It came out a bit on the big side, and the shoulders/sleeves looked horrendous! No fit whatsoever!!

I tried felting it in the washing-machine on a light circle. That did´t work, so I gave it another go in the machine – on the same circle – and BAM! Suddenly it was a bit too much felted… Like negative magic. Sigh!

After drying and some heavy blocking it was wearable, but the shoulders still looked odd – so I put it in the back of the closet and forgot about it.

The inspiration for this stranded pattern came from a cardigan (kofte) I saw once (pic 1). A week ago I found the original pattern (pic 2), and it´s called “Norrøn” (the old nordic name for nordic), and I admit the stranded pattern looks a bit Viking´ish. I liked the repeated simplicity in the pattern – and it reminded me of tiles… I made my “Tiles” from copying the stranded pattern from pic 1, and it turns out I´ve got it wrong. The original pattern has two more rows and two more stitches for every pattern repeat – but I don´t mind. I even think my version looks better… I also used this pattern in my Headband #2 (pic 3) from the last post. Suddenly there were too many signs concerning this pattern to let me keep on forgetting about the cardigan in the closet. So I found it and wondered what to do with it to make it ok? -and decided on using the sewing-machine to form the shoulders. It works – it´s not perfect, but it can be worn. …but I still want to make it again – just to get it right!

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Headband #2…

Whilst I was on it…

This one is knit in Mirasol Sulka Legato in Birch (gray) and Twilight (purple). The stranded pattern is Garnudsalg´s single Italian Tweed in Sol (yellow). It´s lined with a thin 100% wool knitted fabric. The raw edges are sewn together using an overlock sewing-machine. Love it! …and best of all; I´m well off in the headband-departement for the next few years!

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This started out as a hat, and ended up as a headband…

Skiing in the spring always reminds me that I need a headband …or two… same procedure every year. Yet, I never seem to get around to knit headbands. So I decided the hat on the needles were not a hat, but a headband – much quicker! In fact I finished this so fast that I just had to add some time-consuming finishing at the end. The inside looks almost as good as the outside …IMG_6152IMG_6155IMG_6156It´s knitted in Telespinn´s Mari (mohair) in Gray/blue with Turquoise pattern – and lined with Du Store Alpakka´s Tynn Alpakka (alpaca) in orange and pink on needles 3mm / US 2,5.

I´m ready for more spring skiing!