A couple of weeks ago, PieceWork
Assistant Editor Karen Brock stopped by my office to show off the Korsnäs
sweater that is featured in the newest Knitting
Traditions. The middle sections of both the bodice and sleeves are worked
in a knitted Lice pattern. But take a closer look at the the maroon pattern at
the hem, cuffs, and neckline—I know it's hard to see on the computer. Yep, these intricate patterns are crocheted! I
get excited every time I discover a new traditional use of crochet!
Young women in Korsnäs Finland, a small village on the west
coast, crafted these sweaters for their fiancés as early as the mid- to
nineteenth century. On other occasions the entire village would gift one of
these treasured sweaters as a token of their appreciation to teachers, priests,
While historians are not certain when the first Korsnäs
sweater was created, crochet came to Scandinavia in the early nineteenth
century and gained greater popularity with the advent of pattern books in the
1840s. It is thought that inspiration for the motifs and colors used in the Korsnäs
sweater came partly from Sweden and the construction from Finland.
The complex crocheted patterns are worked similarly to
tapestry crochet by working over the top of the unused color, but the single
crochet stitches are worked in the back loop only. Because of the elaborate
crochet work, the crochet pattern section of the work was traditionally contracted out to master craftswomen.
As an experienced crocheter, I feel like I already have a leg up on this technique.
includes not only more information on this intriguing tradition, but also two
patterns, a pair of Korsnäs inspired mittens with beautiful crocheted cuffs
and a traditional Korsnäs sweater sized for a range of bust measurements from
39½ to 44.
Before the Korsnäs sweater was returned, I had to grab the
chance to try it on myself. The sample was a bit big for me, but I loved this
cozy pullover. And the striking crocheted Scandinavian patterns have inspired
me to try this technique for myself. What do you think of this traditional
combination of crochet and knit?
P. S. You can now purchase Knitting
Traditions Fall 2011 in the Crochet Me Shop.