The History of the Norwegian Lice Pattern
Annemor Sundbø, a native of Setesdal in Norway, has created a fascinating history of a region, a garment, the makers, and the details that place these sweaters in the pantheon of traditional folk garments. Opening the pages of her book is like stepping back in time, with local characters and events of a bygone era. In fact, her photographs of people, places, and advertising are joy to pour over — you’ll find yourself dreaming about these sweaters, so vivid is her presentation of the life behind the design.
Sundbø not only gives us the history of the “Louse Coat,” but she ends the book with detailed instructions on for the characteristically embroidered plackets and cuffs and a long section of patterns from the historic sweaters throughout the book. If you are an experienced knitter, you will have no trouble converting these patterns into sweaters.
If you have less experience, but still long to make your own Setesdal sweater, all you need to do is follow Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Percentage System (EPS) to calculate the specifics of your sweater. Her most refined presentation of the EPS is in Knitting Around , though her other books also have good sections on it. Knitting in the Old Way is another treasure you can mine for the information you need, and one that will place you in the heart of traditional, pattern-free knitting. And, if you’ve never done this before, you have my assurance that it is not at all difficult and that you will be delighted with your results.
Setesdal Sweaters is a rich and wonderful feast for any knitter – I love it more each time I take it off the shelf.