History of knitting in Norway

The oldest pieces of knitted garments found in Norway are from Bergen, and are supposedly made in the 1400s or beginning of the 1500s. They were probably imported. The first original Norwegian knits are from around year 1700, but still it was not so common to knit here.

In the 1840s there lived a girl in Selbu, in Sør Trøndelag municipality called Marit Gudseth Emstad. When she was only 11 she created the Selbu pattern, which is one of the most famous Norwegian patterns. She was inspired by weaving, woodcarving and rose painting, but also things from daily life like coffee pots and pine trees.


In the autumn of 1848 the artist Adolph Tideland travelled in the Setesdal valley where he drew the 22 year old Arne Bjugeson Sagnskar wearing a knitted cardigan. this is the first documented piece of this kind of knitting. The different types of knitted cardigans called “kofte” developed around the country with no obvious relevance to one another.

NOR anvendt Arne Bjugsen Sagneskar, Valle i Setesdal

Read more about Norways knitting heritage here:

Annichen Sibbern – a knitting pioneer

Unn Søiland Dales Eskimo sweater

Setesdalskofta cardigan



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