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Norwegian Knitting Patterns Lesson #1 ::

Garnstudio has a pile of free knitting patterns (a.k.a. gratis strikkeoppskrifter) on their site. A few that have been translated into English but the majority only available in Swedish (), Danish () or Norwegian (). The following, by the way, is all Norwegian. I get a few words here and there in Danish and Swedish, but trying to pass on my patchy knowledge would be both very confusing and probably not worth the effort.

Here are patterns for, among other things,
dam(er) :: women
herr(er) :: men
Norsk :: traditional Norwegian sweaters
barn :: children
docker :: dolls
tilbehør :: accessories
tovet :: felted things.

I think we'll go through this Silke-Tweed jacket which I remember having seen in the American ads ... with me sticking in extra translations as we come to them. I'll figure out a way to make this organized and printer friendly a little further on.

Jakke i Silke-Tweed med border


Oppskrift means pattern. The -er at the end of words is the plural indicator, like -s in English. So far I've found patterns for the following ... if anyone pokes around and finds a pattern for something not listed, leave a comment and I'll add it on.

jakke :: jacket
genser :: sweater/pullover
kofte :: cardigan
topp :: shell
bukser :: pants
skjørt :: skirt
kjole :: dress
dress :: suit (in knitting, a one-piece suit for a baby, but can also mean a man's suit. Confusing, eh?)
lue :: cap
votter :: mittens
sokker :: socks
strømper :: stockings
sett :: usually a coordinated set for a baby
veske :: bag
hette :: hood
skjerf :: scarf
sjal :: shawl
løshals :: dickie
skuldervarmer :: shrug


Størrelse means size. While this pattern is obviously using English sizes, you might also come across ...

liten :: small
stor :: large
medium :: well, medium.


Mål means measurement. Not all of these patterns give measurements, but thankfully most do.

overvidde :: circumference around the widest point, usually the chest
brystvidde :: chest circumference
(hel) lengde :: length
ermlengde :: arm length
omkrets :: circumference
bredde :: width
høyde :: height
måneder (mnd) :: months
år :: years


Materials will all be in Garnstudio yarns. In the US, Garnstudio's yarns are distributed by Aurora. Making sense of the yarn descriptions isn't too difficult since most terms for materials are the same (nylon is, likely, nylon the world over). And this page gives information on their yarn in English. For the record ...

ull :: wool
bomull :: cotton
silke :: silk
lammull :: lamb's wool
"ren, ny" :: pure, new

Now, for the other stuff you'll come across...

gr :: grams
m :: meter
farge (f) :: color

pinner (p) :: needles
    rundp :: circular needles
    ermp :: double pointed needles
    strømpep :: sock needles (double points)
    heklenål :: crochet hook
All needle sizes in Norwegian patterns will be given in the European Metric Range. Equivalents available here.
glidelås :: zipper
knapp :: button

So, to summarize, the jacket pictured above uses Silke-Tweed which is 52% silk and 48% lamb's wool and 200 meters per 50 grams. The requirements are ::
300 (300-350) grams color number 01, natural
150 150-150) grams color number 06, black
50 (50-50) grams color number 12, mustard
Circular and double pointed needles sizes 2.5mm and 3.5mm (forgot to mention that , means . when it comes to numbers.)
5 buttons (Drops Inka number 531)

Norwegian Knitting Patterns Lesson #2 ::


Strikkefasthet means gauge. Keep in mind that needle sizes are in metric sizes. Oh! and I forgot to mention that both knitting in the round and knitting flat is usually done with circular needles. So just because a pattern gives needle sizes in circular needles doesn't necessarily mean that it's knitted in the round.

Strikkefasthet : 23 m x 30 p på p 3,5 og mønster = 10 x 10 cm.
Expanded : 23 masker x 30 pinner på pinner 3,5(mm) og mønster = 10 x 10 centimeter.
English : 23 stitches x 30 rows on 3.5mm needles and over pattern = 10 x 10 centimeter.

maske(r) :: stitch(es)
pinne(r) :: needle(s), which in this case is referring first to rows then to needles
1.p :: first row (2.p :: second row, etc...)
mønster :: pattern
10 cm :: 3.937 inches... most gauge statements treat this as 4 inches.

Husk pinnenr er kun veiledende!
Remember that needle size is only a suggestion. In other words, "be sure to check gauge".


Mønster means pattern, whether it be a color pattern or a stitch pattern. (Whereas monster means monster. Have I pronounced this wrong? You betcha.)

Se diagram (1 diagram = 1 rapport). Mønsteret i diagrammet sees fra retten. Hele mønsteret gl(att)strikkes.

See diagram (1 diagram = 1 repeat). The pattern in the diagram is seen from the right side (huh?). The whole pattern is knitted in stockingette stitch.

Breaking that down requires knowing that...
se :: see
sees :: is seen/visible
rapport :: repeat
hele :: whole

Then a bunch of important things come to mind...

glattstrikk :: stockingette stitch
retten :: the right side
rett (r) :: knit; "k 1" is written "1 r"
vrangen :: the wrong side
vrang (vr) :: purl; "p 1" is written "1 vr"
rillestrikk :: garter stitch (two rows of garter stitch = one "rille")

Rille (frem og tilbake på p): 1 rille = 2 pinner. 1.p: rett, 2.p: rett
Garter stitch ridges (knitted flat, lit. forward and back on needles) : 1 ridge = 2 rows. Row 1: knit, row 2: knit.

hullmønster :: lace (lit. "hole pattern")
ribbestrikk :: ribbing
fletter :: braids/cables also called Aran
striper/stripet :: stripes/striped
perlestrikk :: moss stitch

Perlestrikk: 1.p: * 1 r, 1 vr *, 2.p: * strikk r over vr og vr over r *. Gjenta 2. p oppover.
Moss stitch: Row 1: *k 1, p1*, row 2: *knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches.* Repeat row 2.

Note: Stockingette (glattstrikk) is, of course, knitting the right side rows and purling the wrong side rows. In Norwegian patterns, a knit row on the wrong side is written "1 p r fra vrangen" and a purl row on the right side is written "1 p vr fra retten."

Helpful to know when our pattern says

Kant: Strikk 7 cm glstrikk, 1 p vr (= brettekant - herfra måles arb), 2 p glstrikk. which means ::

Hem/Edge: Knit 7 cm stockingette st, then purl one row (=folding edge - work is measured from this edge from now on), then 2 rows stockingette st.

kant :: edge, kantmaske means edge stitch, while kant at the bottom edge would be a hem
(å) brette :: (to) fold
brettekant :: folding edge
(arb)eidet :: the work
(å) arbeide :: (to) work
(å) måle :: (to) measure
måles :: is measured
herfra :: from here, hereafter

Norwegian Knitting Patterns Lession #3 ::

We'll be moving into a more conversational type of Norwegian in the pattern itself today. I think it may be worth mentioning some very simple Norwegian noun construction... please don't shoot me.

First of all, nouns have a gender - masculine, feminine or neuter. The gender is indicated by tacking either en, et or ei onto the word.
If it's written before the word, it's the same as the English article "a".
If it's tacked on after the word, it's the same as the English article "the."
If an -r is at the end of the word, it's like adding an -s.
And if there's an -ene, it's like adding both "the" and "-s".
There are some exceptions (after all hvis det var lett, så ville alle gjøre det.*) But generally things will go something like this...

* If it were easy [to speak Norwegian] everybody would do it.

The first word in this knitting pattern is bolen. The noun itself is bol which means torso/trunk, so
en bol :: a torso
bolen :: the torso
boler :: torsos (ooo, is that a word? Actually, it's torsi and this is getting complicated.)
bolene :: the torsos (the torsi... tee hee.)
Point is, if a word has one of these (or the -et ending or an -a ending) you'll want to look for the root word, which is likely all you'll need for knitting purposes. While we're at it, I'm going to give verbs as their root word with (å) before them which is the English verb "to."

Onwards and upwards ::

Bolen: Jakken strikkes frem og tilbake på rundp.

The body of the sweater: The jacket (see how that was helpful?) is knitted forwards and back on circular needles.

(en) bol :: body
(å) strikke :: to knit
frem :: forward
tilbake :: back

Legg opp 216 (232-244) m (inkl 1 kantm i hver side mot midt foran) på rundp 2,5 med sort og strikk Kant.

Cast on 216 (232-244) stitches (includes 1 edge stitch in each side towards the middle front) on 2.5 mm circular needles with black and knit hem.

legg opp :: cast on
inkl(udere) :: includes
hver :: each
side :: side
mot :: towards
midt :: middle
foran :: front
med :: with
og :: and
på :: on, upon, in, at, into, to, of, after

I hate to have to go into prepositions here, since they just don't make life any easier. is a very common and a very tricky little word. It often means "on" but if that doesn't fit, then try all the prepositions you know and pick the one that makes most sense.

Sett en merketråd i hver side; forstk = 52 (56-59) m, bakstk = 112 (120-126) m.

Set a marker in each side; front pieces = 52 (56-59) stitches, backpiece = 112 (120-126) stitches.

sett :: set
(en) merketråd :: a marker (lit. marking thread)
forst(ykke) :: front piece
bakstk(ykke) :: back piece

Strikk neste p slik: 1 kantm, 107 (115-121) m av M.1, 107 (115-121) m av M.2 - start ved startpil, 1 kantm.

Knit the next row as follows: 1 edge stitch, 107 (115-121) stitches in Pattern 1, 107 (115-121) stitches in Pattern 2 - start at the arrow, 1 edge stitch.

neste :: next
slik :: as follows, like this
av :: of (can also mean "off")
start :: start
ved :: at, by, near, on
pil :: arrow
startpil :: arrow indicating the starting point
M(ønster).1 :: Pattern 1 (there's a chart)

Fortsett mønsteret oppover.

Continue the pattern upwards... in other words, continue to work back and forth in pattern. I didn't realize until just now that the pattern involve working color patterns on the wrong side rows, but indeed it does.

Norwegian Knitting Patterns Lesson #4 ::

Etter M.1/M.2 byttes til rundp 3,5 og det strikkes glstrikk oppover med natur.

After Pattern 1/Pattern 1, change to 3.5 mm circular needles and knit on in stockingette stitch with natural.

etter :: after
(å) bytte :: (to) change
til :: to
oppover :: onwards/upwards
natur :: natural, in this case referring to yarn color

Samtidig etter kanten økes det i hver side på hver side av merketrådene på hver 1 m x 3 (3-3) = 228 (244-256) m (inkl 2 kantm).

At the same time, after the hem, increase, in each side, on each side of the markers, every 6 cm: 1 stitch x 3 (3-3) = 228 (244-256) stitches (including 2 edge stitches).

This sentence gets a bit awkward in the middle, but is saying to increase on both sides of each marker. There were earlier instructions to place two markers, one at each side at the underarm points. It's calling for increasing 1 stitch on each side of 2 markers (ie, 4 stitches per increase row) every 6 cm (2 1/3 inches) 3 times, for a total of 12 stitches increased.

samtidig :: at the same time
etter :: after
(å) øke :: (to) increase
(å) felle :: (to) decrease
i hver side :: in each side
på hver side :: on each side

That is a fairly important bit of information stuck further down in the pattern than one would expect.
For future reference : Translate the whole pattern before you start knitting. Please.

Norwegian Knitting Patterns Lesson #5 ::

A little note first: Kirsty left a comment on a previous lesson reminding me of a few terms we haven't come across in this pattern but that are quite common and very important ::

hals :: neck
skulder :: shoulder
venstre :: left
høyre :: right
vrangbord (abbr. vrbord) :: border, usually referring to the ribbing which is found on the bottoms of sleeves or mittens and sweaters as well as the ribbed edging at the tops of socks
omgang (abbr. omg) :: round in circular knitting
(reminder: pinne :: row)

Now, for the next line...

Husk på strikkefastheten!

Husk på strikkefastheten! :: Remember to check gauge! Presumably meaning "periodically throughout the pattern to be sure it's consistent". Good advice and something I seldom remember to do.

Når arb måler 31 (31-32) cm strikkes neste p slik: 53 (57-60) m forstk, fell 4 m til ermhull, 114 (122-128) m bakstk, fell 4 m til ermhull, 53 (57-60) m forstk. For-og bakstk strikkes ferdig for seg.

When work measures 31 (31-32) cm knit the next row as follows: 53 (57-60) sts of front, cast off 4 sts for armhole, 114 (122-128) sts of back, cast off 4 sts for armhole, 53 (57-60) sts of front. (Afterwards) the fronts and back are finished separately.

når :: when
(å) måle :: (to) measure
(å) felle :: (to) cast off/decrease
å felle can be a bit confusing as the pattern usually doesn't indicate which you should do. When the instructions say fell av it's always referring to casting off. Sometimes the instructions go on to explain a specific decrease like k2tog or ssk so that you'll know exactly what to do. But here the writer is assuming you'll know that for an armhole the best thing to do is cast off stitches.

ermhull :: armhole
ferdig :: finish
ferdig for seg :: finished separately

Forstk: = 53 (57-60) m.
Videre felles til ermhull på hver 2.p:
3 m x 2 (3-3), 2 m x 3, 1 m x 2 (2-3) = 39 (40-42) m, samtidig når arb måler 31 (32-33) cm felles til hals
på hver 4.p: 1 m x 2,
på hver 2.p: 1 m x 13,
på hver 4.p: 1 m x 3,
på hver 6.p: 1 m x 2. Fell av når arb måler 53 (54-55) cm.

Front = 53 (57-60) sts.
Continue to decrease for armhole on every 2nd row:
3 sts x 2 (3-3), 2 sts x 3, 1 st x 2 (2-3) = 39 (40-42) sts, while at the same time when work measures 31 (32-33) cm cast off/decrease towards neck on
every 4th row: 1 st x 2,
every 2nd row: 1 st x 13,
every 4th row: 1 st x 3,
every 6th row: 1 st x 2.
Cast off when work measures 53 (54-55) cm.

videre :: further, "from this point onwards"
til :: to, towards
til hals :: towards neck opening
Til is another one of those pesky prepositions. Most often it means "to" but here injecting "to" sounds a bit strange: "to armhole/neck". Til when it has the meaning of "in the direction of" would translate more to "towards" so that's what I'll use here. Here are some other possibilities for til.

Bakstk: = 114 (122-128). Fell til ermhull som på forstk = 86 (88-92) m.
Når arb måler 51 (52-53) cm felles de midterste 44 (44-44) m bak til hals.
Deretter felles det 2 m på neste p mot halsen bak. Fell av når arb måler 53 (54-55) cm.

Back: = 114 (122-128) sts. Decrease towards armhole as on the front = 86 (88-92) sts.
When work measures 51 (52-53) cm cast off the centermost 44 (44-44) sts of the back towards the neck (for the neck opening).
Then cast off/decrease 2 sts on the next row towards the back of the neck. Cast off when work measures 53 (54-55) cm.

de, det, den :: the/that
Generally speaking, just like en/et/ei mean "a", de/det/den mean approximately "the" or "that".

midt :: center, middle
midten :: the center
midterste :: centermost (is that a word? It should be. What I mean is "the most center.")
deretter :: then, afterwards, thereafter
mot :: towards, against (more on mot here.)
mot halsen :: towards the neck

Which finishes the body! Next up :: the arms.

A bit about LEXIN :: It's a simple, yet lovely, online dictionary for people learning Norwegian as a second language. The main search page is here for Norwegian to English. If a word comes up with a little flower next to it, it means there's a picture available, just click on the flower to go there. It might be worth knowing that what you're going to want is Bokmål which is the more widely used of the two written versions of Norwegian. The other is Nynorsk (New Norwegian) and well, I'm not going to go there. If you're interested, you might want to read this. <

Norwegian Knitting Pattern Lesson #6

The Sleeves

I may have mentioned this before, but...
høyre :: right
venstre :: left
erme :: arm, sleeve

Høyre erme: Legg opp 60 (60-60) m på ermp 2,5 med sort og strikk Kant, deretter strikkes M.1 x 3 i høyden.

Right arm: cast on 60 (60-60) sts on 2.5 mm double pointed needles with black yarn and knit edge (as given earlier in the pattern) then knit Pattern 1 three times in a row.

ermpinner is another way to say double points, I assume. They're called "sock needles" or "arm needles" at various points in patterns ... I suppose that's in order to leave it up to the individual knitter what type of needles to use given that it's a fairly small circumference piece. Leaving instructions open to interpretation seems fairly typical of Scandanavian knitting patterns - they're not going to hold your hand and spell it all out for you, you're going to have to do some deciding on your own.

strikkes M.1 x 3 i høyden translates lit. to "knit Pattern 1 x 3 i height". I had to take a peek at the picture to make sure I understood this bit - and indeed pattern 1 is knit 3 separate times in a row up the sleeves. I imagine it's saying "in height" to distinguish what this pattern is asking you to do rather than knitting a pattern repeat "in breadth." Some knitting patterns specify how many times a stitch or color pattern is to be repeated around a sleeve (or whatever) but this pattern is expecting you to do that bit of math yourself. It's a 60 st sleeve and the pattern (M.1) is a repeat of 20 stitches - so you'll do it three times around the the sleeve. So...

høyde :: height
brede :: breadth

The next line says: Bytt til ermp 3,5 og natur og strikk glstrikk oppover til ferdig mål.

Meaning: Change to size 3.5 needles and the "natural" colored yarn and continue to knit in stockingette stitch until the piece is the correct length.

bytt :: change, trade
glstrikk :: glattstrikk or "smooth knitting", ie. stockingette stitch
oppover :: upwards
nedover :: downwards
ferdig :: finished
mål :: target, or measurement - here referring to the length.

Samtidig etter M.1 x 3 økes det midt under ermet: 2 m x 17 (19-19) på S: Hver 4.omg, M+L: Hver 3.omg = 94 (98-98) m.

At the same time, after pattern 1 is knitted three times, increase at the center under the arm: 2 sts x 17 (19-19) by increasing for size small: every 4th round and for sizes medium and large: every 3rd round, ending up with 94 (98-98) sts.

samtidig :: at the same time
økes :: increase
midt :: middle, center
ermet :: the sleeve

Når arb måler 44 (42-43) cm felles det 4 m midt under ermet og det strikkes ferdig frem og tilbake på p.

When the work measures 44 (42-42) cm, bind off 4 sts at the center of the underarm and finish working back and forth on the needles.

måler :: measures
ferdig :: finish
frem :: forward
tilbake :: back
på p(inner) :: on the needles

Videre felles det til ermtopp i hver side på hver 2.p: 3 m x 1, 2 m x 6 (5-5), 1 m x 6 (11-11), 2 m x 6 (5-5), 3 m x 1, fell av. Arb måler ca 57 (57-58) cm.

Continue to decrease for the top of the sleeve (shaping) in each side every 2nd row: 3 sts x 1, 2 sts x 6 (5-5), 1 st x 6 (11-11), 2 sts x 6 (5-5), 3 sts x 1, then bind off remaining sts. Work measures approximately 57 (57-58) cm.

videre :: continue, "go on to"
felle :: decrease
ermtopp :: top of the sleeve
i hver side :: in each side
arb(eid) :: work
ca. (circa) :: approximately.

Venstre erme: Legg opp og strikk som hyre erme, men strikk M.2 i stedet for M.1.

Left sleeve: Cast on and knit as for the right sleeve, but knit Pattern 2 instead of Pattern 1.

legg opp :: cast on
i stedet for :: instead of

Next time: Finishing!

2004-2005 Theresa V. Stenersen