Norwegian Handknits, a book review

My collection of knitting books has recently been enhanced by a new addition that promises to reign among my favorites.  Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel have truly outdone themselves in Norwegian Handknits. A caption under the title says ‘Heirloom Designs from Vesterheim Museum’ and I concur for the designs in this book are heirlooms.  The book is not only rich in beautiful heirloom quality knitting designs that will be handed down to subsequent generations, it is rich in Norwegian traditions.  And to go along with the Norwegian traditions are several Norwegian recipes scattered here and there throughout the book.

One such tradition is about the Nisse, a Norwegian folklore elf who is recognized by his red stocking cap.  On that particular page spread is a recipe for the Norwegian Cream Porridge called Rommegrot, the lyrics to a traditional Norwegian folk song, the history of the Nisse and a pattern to make a Nisse Hat.  Sizes are given for a child, a Teddy bear and an egg.  I’m told Norwegians like their eggs and apparently they like their eggs to wear Nisse Hats, too!

I knit a couple of these hats using some leftover Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn.  The bear on the left is a Gund Bear that the hubster gave me 28 years ago when we were dating.   We named him “Gee-Bear.”  The bear on the right is a Boyd Bear that my daughter gave me when she was a little girl.  She was already given a name by the Boyd people.  They named her “Anissa Whittlebear.”  Aren’t they adorable wearing their Nisse Hats?

Wouldn’t it be fun to knit a child a Nisse hat and gift a little Nisse bear along with the hat?  I see a new tradition about to begin here in our family….

One of my dear friends just gave birth to a baby boy so when I saw ‘Ruth’s Cap’ in the book I immediately pictured it knit in a sweet baby blue color.

I love the beauty and simplicity of this pattern – garter stitch columns paired with stockinette rows that are dotted with a garter ridge.

The pattern has a fluffy pom-pom on its crown and I have not decided whether or not to put one on mine.  I think my indecisiveness comes from having never made a pop-pom before.

What do you guys think?  Add a pom-pom?  Leave it alone?  Are they difficult to make?

I just may have to declare this The Year of the Norwegian because there are several other patterns in the book that are enticing me.  I love the knapsack on the front cover and these Norwegian Cross Country Skiing stockings are inviting………….

5 Comments on “Norwegian Handknits, a book review

  1. Two cute! I need to look up this book. I have a renewed
    interest in Norweigan knits. All of my grandchilren have
    the Jan Brett books. BTW, have you worked on your
    Sirdal and if so, are the motifs lining up?

  2. I do love to visit your blog to see the wonderful things you are knitting. This post was particularly interesting. I really like the little red hats, the bears and the lore associated. I will look for this book. As for pompoms, they are incredibly easy and I encourage you to try them. I don’t put them on baby hats, though. They add a little weight to the top that the baby doesn’t need and as the baby grows, they become a handle to pull off the offending hat. Many a Mother has cursed them. Your hat is very beautiful as it is. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I vote for a Pom Pom. It just seems it would be the crowning touch.

    Thanks for the book review…that is on my list of books to get anyway and I’ll move it up to the top after reading your review.

  4. I love your Nisse hats. The blue one is cute, too. I would leave off the pom pom, just because i don’t like them much. I do like those tassels that dangle from a cord, though. 😉

  5. I love that little blue hat! I wouldn’t put a pom-pon on it, I think they are rather in-elegant. But to make one is simple, that isn’t the issue.
    One thing that I did with my little one’s hat, corkscrew fringe. It is probably not traditional for the Norwegian knitting, but it makes me think of fireworks, fireworks make me happy, fireworks on a baby hat amuse me to no end!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

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