and not just any school: hv-skola! or handarbetets vänners skola, in english the school of the association of the friends of textile art. a truly wonderful place! a few years ago i took their basic knitting class, seven weekends during the course of almost one year. this time, i’m submerging myself in swedish knitting traditions with stickresan genom sverige, the knitting journey through sweden, where we explore different knitting traditions, techniques and materials in a geographical context (during seven weekends). the journey begins in the south with the traditional women’s jumpers, spedetröjor, from the southernmost province in sweden, skåne. the jumpers are knitted with very fine wool to a tight gauge, often 5 stitches/cm. they are decorated around the cuffs and at the neck with rich fabrics, such as velvet or silk, or patterned ribbons. take a look at the collection from nordiska museet (link to digitalt museum).
one of our tasks this first weekend was to knit swatches with needles ranging from 1,25 mm to 2 mm in order to obtain a similar gauge. one of the swatches i made with 1,25 mm needles yielded a gauge of 5 stitches/cm.
the gauge on this swatch is 4 stitches/cm using 1,5 mm needles
the other task was to decorate a piece of knitted fabric in the spede-manner. our excellent teacher, karin kahnlund, provided us with large machine knitted swatches which we first had to cut…
cut without any kind of measuring or seaming of stitches
…and then decorate. i found some black velvet in my old fabric stash…
pinning fabric to the raw edge
…and some ribbons.
the ribbon is actually green, even though it looks silvery
and a second ribbon…
and a third!
our homework for next time is to finish the swatch. mine is almost finished.
hv-skolan is very closely located to skansen, one of my favourite places in stockholm. the theme that weekend at skansen was flax, wool and linen and visitors were invited to explore the preparation of flax into linen and its different uses in history. we received a special invitation to the delsbo farmstead for a close encounter with traditional jumpers from delsbo.
this was knitted, as you can see on the front, in 1884
knitted in 1865
delsbo farmstead at skansen
next time the journey will continue east, into the middle of the baltic sea…
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