Selbuvotter :: Biography of a Knitting Traidtion
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The Book

Selbuvotter details the history of Selbu knitting, as reflected in the now-iconic black and white star patterned mittens of Norway. I offer thirty patterns for Selbu mittens and gloves, taken from two antique collections: The Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, and Annemor Sundbø, author of "Everyday Knitting" and "Setesdal Sweaters".

A rare occurrence in textile history, the Selbu knitting style can be traced to a single individual; in this case a teenage girl knitting up in the hills while watching the cows graze in summer. Selbu knitting was done for export within and from Norway. Many of the old knitters have passed away, but there are less than a dozen still knitting professionally in Selbu. The story is so interesting; not only in the folk culture traditions that surround the patterns but also in the remarkable business success these couple thousand women enjoyed. Every aspect of business today can be found in the story of Selbu knitting: the vision, production, standardization, outsourcing, branding, marketing, advertising, exporting, the changing tastes of the market, failure, and reemergence. And above it all, thousands of women and men, knitting during any spare moments.

And on top of that are the gorgeous patterns themselves. The Selbu mitten is a masterpiece, marrying the graphic design and structural design inseparably together; once the basic structure is understood, the knitter can create any kind of design imaginable, in any size or yarn. The popular 8 pointed star (selburose, or Selbu rose) can morph into snowflakes, flowers, stars; or use animal motifs or other designs.

8.25" x 10.625" - 128 pages - black and white - perfect bound (paperback)