Aleks Byrd Designs


Inspiration & History: Selvedge Magazine "Swatch" on Nordic Knitting

I always enjoy reading the "Swatch" section at the back of every issue of Selvedge Magazine. It's a chance to learn about a new textile technique and tradition that I'm not always aware of. This issue made giddy because the "Swatch" section was about none other than Nordic Knitting! How perfect! 


It covers some of the history I've delved into, but focuses more on ties between Iceland and the UK. It added some more detail information about how places were connected (by trade and folk stories about trading ships) including some that I hadn't come across in my own reading pertaining to trade amongst Dutch, Swedish and German merchants (connection lines to add to my motif maps seen in previous posts). It also discusses the historical ties between Iceland and Denmark and subsequently the emergence of Lopapeysa or the Lopi yoke sweaters as a distinct independent knitting style and cultural identify of Iceland when it became independent.

I also love the illustration they chose to accompany the article. It is a nice mash up of various mitten knitting charts positioned in different directions. When I first saw it, it seemed like an interesting chart to try to knit ( not for a mitten but a general fabric pattern) because it payers so many different motifs with in different shapes that move or point in various directions. I might try adapting this idea for a new design of my own!

Downing, S.J. (2018) ' SWATCH Favourite Fabric No 40: Nordic Knitting', Selvedge Magazine, (Issue 80 Craft) pp. 96.