Monday, 9 May 2011

Scandinavian Knitting

So, back to the impetus for our Scandinavian holiday - the Killing. Not only an excellent crime drama, but also the launch pad of a knitting phenomena, the Sarah Lund sweater. Classic Scandinavian fair isle design. The original is a bit pricey at 280 euros, so knitters got busy. [Incidentally, The Killing was not the first programme to whet my interest in Scandinavian sweaters. I also lusted after the garments in the Wallender series (the Swedish original, not the Kenneth Branagh ripoff), but Wallender didn't seem to take the UK quite by storm as the Killing did, so I didn't get the chance to share my enthusiasm. It's available on DVD if anyone wants to check it out.]

Sarah Lund in THE sweater of the season
A friend from my knitting group finished her Sarah Lund sweater shortly before we planned our Copenhagen holiday. I was tempted to try to whip up my own version for the trip, but settled on the more achievable goal of buying the wool in Copenhagen.

Which I promptly did at Strikkeboden on our first afternoon in town. They had the exact sweater all knit up in the window, so I knew I had come to the right place. I just asked the proprietor for enough wool for a sweater in my size, and she threw in the pattern (in Danish) for free. Fortunately, if google translate doesn't make any sense of it I can ask the Danish lady who works at my yarn shop for help with the instructions. The wool, Ístex Létt-Lopi, cost a little over £30 for 8 balls, and was the only reasonably priced thing we bought in Copenhagen.

Me gloating over my cheap yarn and enjoying a very expensive Carlsberg

Other than the Lopi, which is from Iceland, Strikkeboden seemed to carry a lot of French yarn and Noro. Since I wanted to find yarns I hadn't seen elsewhere, I moved on to Uldstedet just around the corner. I was very tempted by their kits, particularly the Hanne Falkenberg designs, but they didn't have any of the projects I wanted in the right colour or size, so I turned to the Isegar yarn (appropriately, a Danish company). Turns out Marianne Isager makes both yarn and pattern books, and conveniently I had bought her book of Japanese Inspired Knits several years ago and never gotten around to making any of the projects. Here was my opportunity to finally crack open one of my unused knitting books, so I bought four skeins of Isager Strik Tvinni in burnt orange shades to make the maple leaves cardigan.

the cardigan
the wool

The last shop I visited was Wilferts, which carries their own line of yarn. Lots of lovely stuff, but unfortunately by this time I had far exceeded my original yarn budget, so I could only afford a few skeins. I went with the Lisboa, a bulky wool with wonderful depth and shine. It complements some Manos Wool Classica I have in Poseidon, which I'm thinking of knitting into fingerless mitts or arm warmers. And then maybe a chunky fair isle hat from the Lisboa.

So, it looks like I have my Fall knitting already all planned out. Now to just get going on my Spring and Summer knitting!