The National Nordic Museum is pleased to present our Nordic Knitting Series, a celebration of Nordic fiber art. Join us for a slate of classes presented over the course of three weekends in fall 2023! Scroll down for a full list of classes.
Each weekend will feature a different teaching artist, focusing on different aspects of Nordic textile handwork. All classes will take place onsite at the National Nordic Museum. Please see the linked class pages below for more detailed class descriptions and supply lists.
A course about steeking knitted garments. This course will teach the participants everything they need to know about how to steek (cut) a knitted garment. They will learn how to prep a pattern for doing a steek, if it is not mentioned in the pattern. They will also learn how different yarn types will affect the outcome, and learn different techniques that can be used to secure the stitches that are to be cut open. The participants will also learn how to get a nice edging and a good final result
A course about knitting colorwork. This class will teach the participants the basics of doing colorwork. This will be a perfect class for those who have never tried their hands on colorwork before and want to learn. At this class, you’ll learn things to consider when choosing yarn, needle sizes and patterns. It will also teach you how to hold the yarn and needles for the best result. The class will also teach you some great tips and troubleshooting in order for you to reach a proficient level of colorwork.
REGISTER Saturday, September 16 10:00 am - 5:00 pm $150/Members; $165/Non-Members Skill Level: Intermediate/advanced, with knowledge of stitches (knit/purl) cast on and cast off, increasing and decreasing
A class on the knitting technique entrelac, that can be used for decorative and flexible garments such as socks, wrist warmers, mittens etc.. This technique has a long history in Norway, especially in the border region between Norway and Sweden. This course will teach you everything you need to know to do entrelac. We will focus on knitting a simple garment - wrist warmers - that will allow all the participants to start working at the course and finish the pair by themselves. The course will include a small lecture on the technique at the start of the course, showcasing the usage of the technique both in traditional and contemporary knitting.
Norwegian Mini Mittens
REGISTER Sunday, September 17 10:00 am - 5:00 pm $150/Members; $165/Non-Members Skill Level: Intermediate
A class on knitting mini mittens. This course will take you through all the steps needed to knit a small traditional Norwegian mitten. The final result can be used as a Christmas ornament, or perhaps for a little child. In this course you’ll learn all the things needed to knit colorwork, doing increases for a thumb gusset, the usage of an auxiliary thread to fit in the thumb later, decreases and shaping of the mitten, etc. A pattern will be provided, and Birger will take you through all the steps. There will also be examples of the finished garment available for you to look at.
Join Allyce Wood for a lecture and conversation about the possibilities of knit art using handmade and machine-powered methods. Color, texture and materiality come together to tell stories of the moments that make up our lives. Explore examples from Scandinavian providence and the artists own recent artworks. Ask questions, tell stories, draw and connect!
Explore the potential of graph paper and yarns; these simple materials that can create evocative and graphic images when combined and translated into unique knit cloth. Learn how to draft a functional color chart for hand knitting as well as the ins and outs of tensioning and floats. Bring your knitting needles and two-colors of wool yarns to test your original patterns.
What does knit artwork look like? Examine the possibilities of artistic knit designs that expand from wearable garments into the abstract, the sculptural, or the avant. Explore the expanse offered by color work, texts, coded images and play with knit cloth as a drape, a tapestry, or a three-dimensional object. Let your expression guide your knitting needles.
Exploring the Domestic Knitting Machine
REGISTER Sunday, October 8 10:00 am - 5:00 pm $150/Members; $165/Non-Members
Pattern knitting is a beautiful system of codes and charts. In this class, take your artwork a step further with the help of the Knitting Machine! Artist Allyce Wood will share how to find, refurbish, and then use this intricate piece of technology; the class will share access to her own refurbished 1960’s domestic knitting machine, creating punchcards, knitting samples, and exploring various colorways.
REGISTER Thursday, October 26 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm $85/Members; $90/Non-Members Skill Level: If you can knit and purl, you can thrive in this class!
This class centers on yarn holding in both hands and focusing on new techniques. Students will practice the method that's new to them, then apply it to colorwork. Based on Chapters 1 and 2 of Kristin's book The Nordic Knitting Primer, this class is ideal for colorwork newcomers or those progressing from two-color knitting to three. Knitting with one color in each hand is the simplest path to colorwork mastery, blending Continental and British styles. Before diving into colorwork, students will concentrate on their new knitting method and even create charming fingerless mitts!
Nordic Colorwork Hat/Cowl
REGISTER Friday, October 27 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm $85/Members; $90/Non-Members Skill Level: Adventurous beginner. This is a great first colorwork class!
Based on Chapter 3 of The Nordic Knitting Primer, this class will focus on working stranded colorwork by carrying one color of yarn in each hand. Students will also try carrying two strands of yarn in the left hand, so that they can decide which way works best for them. They can choose to make either the Lasse Hat or the Setesdal Cowl. Both patterns are an excellent intro to Nordic knitting!
Designing and Knitting Selbu Mittens
REGISTER Saturday, October 28 10:00 am - 5:00 pm $150/Members; $165/Non-Members Skill Level: Basic colorwork skills (all adventurous beginners/intermediate knitters and beyond are welcome)
In 1857, a girl named Marit Gulsethbrua Emstad made three pairs of mittens featuring a centuries-old eight-pointed star in bold black and white. The motifs she used were inspired by Norwegian folk art from wood carving, rosemaling, weaving, and even single-color knitting, with the motifs made in relief with knit and purl stitches. These beautiful traditional motifs are packed with Pagan and Christian symbolism. Marit showed off her mittens knit with a black and white Selburose at church and the next week, her friends brought their own. Before long, the whole town was knitting their own Selburose mittens, and a cottage industry was born. Marit was a trendsetter!
This class will focus on designing and knitting a personalized Selbu mitten. Students will learn about the elements of traditional Selbu mittens and delve into the meaning behind each motif. Kristin's new Selbu Name Day e-book has beautiful and symbolic Selbu motifs that knitters can choose to mix and match to design and knit a mitten that tells their own unique story. Knitters may choose to design their piece based on one from Kristin's book, a family mitten, or even a mitten that represents the immigration of their family to America.
*Note from Kristin: if you are overwhelmed by designing a mitten, you can still take this class and knit either my Simple Selbu Mitten from the Nordic Knitting Primer, or my Immigrant Mitten that symbolizes the Scandinavian immigration to North America and personalize it for your family. My hope is that these mittens become heirlooms.
National Nordic Museum Nordfjord-Kofte
REGISTER Sunday, October 29 10:00 am - 5:00 pm $150/Members; $165/Non-Members Skill Level: Basic colorwork skills (intermediate knitters and beyond are welcome)
If you have visited the National Nordic Museum and you are a knitter, there is a chance that you have admired the cardigan hanging behind glass in the Museum. The motif used for these works is called Nordfjord. It’s a traditional Norwegian Kofte, and the one that hangs in the Museum has some particularly lovely features! Kristin's goal was to write a pattern for this beautiful sweater that is easy to follow, and to teach a class that will give you all the skills to make your own Nordfjordkofte.
This class will focus on starting the colorwork of the sweater sleeves and the body, and working the buttonholes into the fabric. After six hours, you will be ready to proceed to the rest on your own! Kristin will assist after the class has concluded via Zoom to check on students' progress.