Fishermen's knits from the coast of Norway A history of a life at sea and over 20 new designs inspired by traditional Scandinavian patterns

Line Iversen

Book - 2022

"Three hundred years ago, Norwegian fishermen went to sea no matter the wind or weather--and they needed warm, comfortable, durable sweaters to protect them from the cold while they worked. Now, photographs and documentation of surviving examples have been brought together to form the foundation for this collection: timeless traditional patterning applied to modern styling and shaping, for a selection of sweaters, cardigans, hats, mittens, vests, and more, for men and women, rooted deeply in the rich tapestry of Norwegian history."--

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 746.432/Iversen Checked In
North Pomfret, Vermont : Trafalgar Square Books 2022.
Main Author
Line Iversen (author)
Other Authors
Margareth Sandik (author), Carol Huebscher Rhoades (translator)
Physical Description
172 pages : illustrations (black and white, and color) ; 28 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 170-172).
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Iversen and Sandvik offer an in-depth narrative on the origins and customs associated with their country's knitting patterns, which are based on a story about survival at sea, as sepia-colored photographs of family and the fisherman's life illustrate. Readers will learn about innermost to outermost garments (the latter called hyre), family work, and the special Spelsun breed of sheep, whose plucked fleece can hold significant moisture without feeling wet. Not quite an afterthought, 20-ish patterns reflect very traditional designs in multicolor, cables, and lightly textured woolens. Directions are clear, with charts as needed and plentiful photographs. Yarns listed aren't always available in the States, though there are "where to find" tips in the appended yarn information. Also appended are a cross-stitch alphabet, notes and sources. Intermediate and seasoned knitters welcome, if not necessarily beginners.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Iversen, a museum curator, and Sandvik, a Norwegian professor at OsloMet, celebrate Scandinavian tradition in this fascinating hybrid history of and guide to making traditional Norwegian fisherman's clothing. The first half uses 19th-century photographs and lithographs to illustrate the long legacy of fishermen's mittens, pants, sweaters, and knitted red stocking caps, for example, which boys in Hordaland were given at three years old and wore up until their death (often, they were buried with them). Then come 22 gorgeous knitting patterns inspired by various regions: a pullover made of cables and raglan shaping comes from Traena Bank, while the felted mittens with embroidered initials take inspiration from the Orkney Islands, and a lambswool sweater hales from West Tampen. Though there are some easy patterns, such as the Fladen red hat and the Fugloy Bank scarf, the majority of the projects are best suited for experienced crafters. The impressive mix of history and crafting know-how puts a unique and rewarding spin on standard knitting fare. (Dec.)

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Review by Library Journal Review

This work by historian and textile curator Iversen and knitwear designer/professor of Norwegian (Metropolitan Univ. of Oslo) Sandvik provides a detailed overview of the history of not only the Norwegian fisherman's sweater from the 18th to 20th centuries but also of Nordic fishermen's wardrobes, domestic lives, and labor. After a thorough discussion of the circumstances that led to the designs and materials used in these sweaters and other outerwear, the second half of the book contains patterns that can be adapted into four different sizes. The book is beautifully illustrated; the authors explain how they created the patterns from careful examination of historical documents, such as photographs, paintings, oral histories, and preserved items of clothing. Their relating of the detective work involved in determining whether an item of clothing is representative of the times and not just a unique item from a museum is fascinating and could easily have been expanded. The majority of the patterns are either for knitters of intermediate or experienced skill level, and all patterns have clearly defined instructions. VERDICT For experienced knitters and those interested in textile history.--Julie Feighery

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