nordic knitting

For my birthday (a few months ago now), I received a wonderful parcel of Nordic goods from my lovely neighbourhood geologist, aka the volcano enthusiast for whom I made the socks earlier this year. Among other things, in this parcel were four beautiful balls of undyed Icelandic Lopi wool, each in a different shade of sheep colour – cream, grey, faun and charcoal. I love the colours of undyed sheep, and am always amazed at what an incredible range of shades there is before you even think about adding artificial colour to the mix.

Anyway, I wanted to make something suitably wonderful from this wool, but I couldn’t think what would be most fitting. Until I hit upon the idea of a Christmas stocking! I made one a couple of years ago in red and white, which had ‘JOYEUX NOEL’ knitted boldly around the middle. So I chose some jolly Norwegian knitting designs from my book on traditional Scandinavian Knitting and set about combining them into a stocking that Father Christmas would be proud of. It meant of course that I had to re-master the art of the Latvian Plait and the two-colour continental cast-on, neither of which is any mean feat when you’re me (we have a difficult history), but I managed it in the end.
Just as I eventually managed to work out how to make the stripes line up when commencing work on the foot – it drove me crazy for a whole evening, and I had to ignore this project for several days in a frustrated grump, until I realised that Christmas would take me by surprise if I wasn’t careful. But I finished it in time to give it to the original wool donor as a Christmas present, who will be taking it to spend Christmas in the Seychelles (lucky bugger). I even attached three little jingle bells to the cuff, for added seasonal effect.
I really love the finished stocking, and I think it was the perfect use for this wool. It seems right to use Nordic wool with traditional Nordic patterns (and we can gloss over the fact that I blended the products of two entirely different countries in this one project). I only hope Father Christmas can find it in time.