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! 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. 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 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
All 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