The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

Selbuvotter Mittens-Finished!

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Made mittens for my friend Kurt, just out here to visit.  Have been eyeballing the book Selbuvotter, Biography of a Knitting Tradition by Teri Shea.  Finally bought it. 

Pattern is NMH#14 by Terri Shea done in Nature Spun Sport on size 4’s.

Ravelry Link:



These were a blast to knit!  Used the two-handed fair-isle technique I learned in a class at The Recycled Lamb in CO and magic looped them. (How can anyone knit fair-isle on DPN’s?  (Thanks Sue!)

Made for a guy so I had to pick muted, guy colors. A challenge since I’m drawn, like a moth to a flame, to bright colors.  The little stripe of green is my stamp.

Selbuvotter knitting originated, in the late 1800’s, in the Selbu district, Norway, about 230 miles south of the Arctic Circle. (I think I’d want a fully fair-isled bodysuit!)  It’s traced to one woman,  Marit Guldseth, a farm girl who “dared” to incorporate natural black and white, two-colored patterns into her knitting, something foreign to them.  This caught on.  She studied local textiles and new patterns emerged, most containing the eight-pointed “selburose” (I mean, star, for the male recipient) now the hallmark design component that varies from geometric to curving and almost flower-like. 

Such mittens were, at times, commissioned for special ocassions, innitials and dates worked into the design.  This knitting became a local source of income, often knitted by women supporting their families in times of financial stress.  (I’d starve if I had to rely on my knitting as income!)  Said in the book, “A good knitter could make a pair of mittens a day.”  Whoa!  I think I averaged about an inch and a half an hour of progress.  Sure I could make a pair in a day, if I didn’t eat, or sleep, or do anything else.

Fun project.  Started some Elizabeth Zimmerman Mitered Mittens. Have  one of two mittens for myself. Pics later when done.  Loving them!  Nice and bright…

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