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Peg's Art By Arnie Original Hand Knitting

Norwegian Sweater Patterns

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Norwegian cardigan My stats tell me that many knitters come to my site looking for free Norwegian sweater patterns. I stopped using patterns years ago, as I found them confining and often poorly written. If you own a single Norwegian pattern, it will provide you with enough information to create your own unique Norwegian sweaters. I'll share some pointers, but leave the best unsaid because it's contained in my publication Knitting Beautiful Scandinavians.

There are a few exceptions, but the vast majority of Norwegian sweaters are nothing but tubes knitted from the bottom up, then cut apart where needed. Where a tube will eventually be cut, one places steek stitches. I've found six to be a good number, as there is enough room for machine seaming without excessive yarn waste. A cardigan requires steeks all the way up center front. The sleeve steeks are added at the proper places, as are placket steeks. My above mentioned publication explains how to precisely calculate the placement and commence the steeks. By applying a bit of logic, the knitter can figure this out.

As for motifs, I hunt around to find ones I like, customizing my sweaters with all my favorites. (Here's a great online source.)

Upon establishing gauge, calculate a stitch count for the sweater circumference that will yield proper size. Make whatever adjustments are then necessary to the count to accommodate any rib border, "lice," or other motifs you wish to use in the body. For cardigans, the round join should be in the middle of the front opening steeks, with mirror image alignment of motifs on either side. For jumpers, the round join should be up one side, and be sure to apply jogless rounds.

The yoke must be centered at front and back, on either side of the sleeve steeks. Be sure to mirror it on either side of a front opening/placket. If a deep yoke is begun before starting the sleeve steeks, don't be concerned with the mismatches under the arms--they won't be seen.

Use wrapped steeks to bridge the neck opening so as to continue working in the round while shaping the neck.

Upon completion of the body, I finish it before commencing the sleeves: machine edge and cut the steeks, join shoulders, add neck and front opening borders as required, apply necessary facings, try it on.

The sleeve designs should be centered opposite the increases. Because Norwegian sweaters have drop shoulders, be cautious so as not to knit the sleeves too long. Pay close attention to gauge so that the finished sleeves will fit properly into the openings. I provide mathematical computations for achieving a perfect fit of sleeve to opening, provided the gauge has been kept consistent. This is contained in my above mentioned publication.

Sew the sleeves in. My publication explains how to do this proportionally for a perfect fit. Cover the cut steeks with the facings and stitch them down.

Rev. 3Apr.04

Copyright 2002-2007 by M.L. Arnoldussen. All rights reserved.