Folk knitting from the Northern, Scandinavian and Baltic countries is a fascinating source for decorative, colourful and textural constructed techniques. The Shetland Islands, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland and Denmark all share an inheritance of Viking traditions, a deep rooted love and appreciation of the natural world, a wealth of traditional handicrafts and a unique history of traditional knitting techniques.
I have always found the folk art from these areas hugely interesting particularly the construction of the knitted folk mittens, gloves and socks. These could range from the simple and utilitarian for everyday wear to the exuberantly textural, braided, tasseled, coloured and patterned reserved for holidays and other special occasions – and each knitted piece would be started with either a deceptively simple, or beautifully exuberant decorative cast on.
These decorative cast on’s bring an energy and excitement to the knitting and are fascinating to study – with names like Herringbone, Fishtail and Old Norwegian Beaded, it is easy to see how they are firmly rooted in folk history and culture and you just can’t help wanting to know more. You soon realise that there are many, many different ways to knit a decorative cast on and that there is much to learn.
I am delighted to be teaching an introductory, three hour Decorative Cast On’s workshop at this years Yarn Folk Festival of Wool on Saturday 3rd August – please do come along and find out more about these fabulous techniques and discover how you can create energy and excitement in your knitted projects using folk cast on’s.
Yarn Folk Festival of Wool is a lovely celebration of yarn and the yarn crafting community and I am really looking forward to being part of it again. Take a look at the Decorative Cast on workshop details here and here (as well as all the other things to do at this years Yarn Folk Festival of Wool).