Off the needles – Traditional Norwegian Sweater from Fana

Fana6 As you may or may not know by now, I was born and grew up in Norway but my parents are Swedish and I have a Swedish passport, and generally consider myself Swedish in all aspects. Add the love / hate relationship between Sweden and Norway as a nation and you can guess that my loyalties lie with Sweden at all levels. Apart from a few exceptions.

There are 3 things I think they do better in Norway; Hot dogs, Chocolate and Knitwear!

I am a massive fan of the Norwegian knitwear tradition and the patterns used, and you will have seen in a few posts that I was working on yet another Norwegian traditional Sweater. Trust me, you can never have too many handknitted Norwegian Sweaters! Fana5 So last week, I finally finished this one, and I predict this will be a good contender to my Marius Sweater this year! The pattern is named after the region it originates from, that is, you guessed it I am sure – Fana, which is an area near Bergen on the West Coast.

The Fana Sweater is one of the most popular and well known patterns in Norwegian knitting, and has been made since around the 1850’s in some shape or another. Fana2 If you know your Norwegian knitwear traditions you will be able to recognise a Fana from miles away due to the stripes with the incorporated lice, and the traditional Roses around the collar. In the original Fana sweaters there is also a checker-board pattern around the cuffs and hem, but in my pattern they had skipped that and gone with just a ribbed edge, I modified it to a twisted rib instead as I think it sits much nicer (I realise a lot of you guys have a very limited idea of what I mean about different ribbed edgings etc. but you know, for especially interested this might be of use)
Colour wise, the Fana is usually knitted in white as the main colour and then a contrast colour of red, blue, or black Β or just any you like really) I don’t think there are really any “rules” as such, but there is usually white in there somewhere. I very nearly went with blue and white, but changed my mind when I saw this beige / camel colour in the store, and I am really glad I went for this instead, as I think it goes lovely with the blue!
The yarn is a blend of alpaca and wool which is super soft and also gives it a slightly fluffier look due to the loose hairs in the alpaca yarn, but alpaca smells a bit like wet dog when wet so I better not get caught in the rain too often
Fana3All in all this took me around a month and a half to complete and I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t the cheapest yarn I have bought, and it can definitely be knit in cheaper yarns and be just as nice, but I wouldn’t want this one any other way. Let’s just say that I could not make knitting a full-time job – people would not want to pay for the cost of materials and the man-hours that go into making one of these, but as a hobby, it works!

Size-wise this fits me perfectly! Yay for that! – as I mentioned earlier I took a bit of a risk and did not make a swatch to check my gauge and decide on a size before I started, I just went with what I thought was right. Lucky for me it worked out this time – it doesn’t always!

So what next? I made it a goal to make a lot more smaller items this year, like mittens, socks scarves and hats, but that was before I bought that book with Norwegian traditional Sweater and cardigan patterns so hmm.. Is it sad I already have my eye on another Norwegian Classic? I should really be focusing on some of the unfinished items and sweaters I have at home, but oh – the temptation! it is definitely there! And don’t even say anything Sarah because I know what you are thinking right now! haha

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27 Responses to Off the needles – Traditional Norwegian Sweater from Fana

  1. I think it would suite me way better than it would you πŸ˜‰ I can’t believe you haven’t knitted me one yet. What kind of friend are you? I know – a none mould eating, non-knitting jumpers for Sarah kind of friend!! hehe.


    • haha what can I say – I am only friends with you to et close to Leo these days! I am sorry I let you down on the mould-eating 😦


      • Holly says:

        If you don’t send it to Sarah I would totally take it too!! I love it so much, especially the little hearts! I have done zero knitting this week :/ so I won’t be posting anything knitting-related tomorrow!


      • It’s good to take a break sometimes though. – yeah the heart are cute eh – they are referred to as lice in Norway, they were usually knitted in to provide extra warmth with that second strand of yarn running at the inside.


  2. adales8 says:

    Well done! It looks brilliant!


  3. Love your sweater, so pretty–I’m 1/4 Norwegian and the rest Swede and “German” by marriage. Love all your blogs and photos that you send. Thanks so much.


  4. I’m completely in awe of you Cecilia!! Your knitting skills are incredible! I seriously cannot get over the fact that you made this jumper! It looks like a gorgeous piece I’d spend lots of $$$$ on! Just beautiful! Can’t wait to see more of your creations (hope you share them on the blog!) x


    • Thank you so much Carly! See the problem for me now is when I see expensive jumpers that are lovely I’m more reluctant as I “can just knit one myself” and then I never end up doing so!
      Yeah I will definitely share more on the blog as I finish stuff – keep your eyes peeled! πŸ™‚


  5. Sophie says:

    Gorgeous!! Everytime you show one of your creations I’m THIS close to going off and learning how to knit … this sweater would retail for a LOT in a store, at least in Canada!


    • Thank you lovely πŸ™‚
      And do it do it! Once you know how to knit and get some practice in, it’s fairly easy to make sweaters like these – I had a bit of practice since I was a kid, but a lot of the techniques I learnt on my own via youtube – ah modern technology!


  6. bevchen says:

    This is gorgeous! I would definitely pay you for one.


    • haha, careful what you say now, I think with the cost of material and then miminum wager for the man-hours I’ve spent it would probably come up to around Β£350 for a sweater – not sure I would pay for that myself – it’s har dto put a price on handicrafts though πŸ˜‰


  7. This sweater is stunning!! I love it. The beige and the blue do go so nicely together. I’ve had a bit of a thing for Scandi jumpers ever since The Killing – I’d love to be able to make this, although sadly my knitting skills aren’t beyond the scarf making stage. Very impressed by your skills! xxx


    • Thank you – that’s really nice of you to say! πŸ™‚

      Yes The Killing has got part of the blame for the revival of Fairisle knitwear recently I think! There are lots of patterns out there for how to knit “the killing sweater” – sometimes I think it should be considered as it’s own part in the show..


  8. Kerri says:

    I don’t even know what you are talking about. But the pattern is kinda cute πŸ™‚

    Ribbed… tehehe


  9. danniellek says:

    So pretty!! I’d love to be able to do these things, but I have no patience. I can’t even finish a friendship bracelet these days, can’t believe I used to spend hours on them when I was younger.


  10. Kristen says:

    i loved learning about it πŸ™‚ it looks super cute, and i kinda want one now.


  11. Laura says:

    ah, the jumper is beautiful! i really want to learn to knit well enough so i could do something like this, but i always get too frustrated, haha.. also, i never realized that sweden and norway have a love-hate relationship, but i suppose it’s sort of the same as with sweden and finland, ha! πŸ™‚ x


  12. Michelle says:

    Sweden and Norway both do knitwear far better than in the UK!
    This is just lovely (and I quite like the smell of wet dog so I could live with that!)
    M x


  13. Pingback: Postcards from // Wander to Wonder, Elise and Life, A Girl Who Reads, Bows Bangles & Bakes, Cecilia in the Rain and The Lilac Linnet - Sunny Sweet Pea

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