Vintage-Modern Style: Norwegian Knee-High Stockings

Handknitted socks are a timeless way to add a dash of style to any wardrobe. When you knit a pair of traditional Norwegian knee-high stockings, it’s like taking a step back in time, but the look is anything but old fashioned. Designer Terri Shea fashioned her “Norwegian Stockings to Knit” after the knitted stockings of Selbu, Norway.

Terri Shea lives and designs in Seattle, Washington. Fascinated by Norwegian knitting techniques, she is the author of Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition (Seattle, Washington: Spinningwheel, 2007), which explores the rich history and traditions of Norway’s iconic black-and-white mittens. These Norwegian knee-high stockings were featured in the PieceWork special issue Knitting Traditions Winter 2011.

Terri explains:
“Fancy patterned knitted stockings traditionally were used as wedding gifts in Selbu, Norway, and became popular skiwear across Norway and beyond. These knee-high stockings are patterned in a simple repeating Selbu rose motif, which is decreased at the back of the calf. Each stocking has an unshaped peasant heel and no gusset shaping, both of which often are seen in old stockings from the Selbu area. I worked the sole in an overall pattern of diamonds in a lattice: I re-created the pattern from a photograph in Norske Strikkemønstre by Annichen Sibbern Bøhn (see the included article, “Annichen Sibbern Bøhn Preserver of Norway’s Knitting History, Wartime Resistance Fighter”), as well as my examination of other Selbu-styled stockings from the early twentieth century.”

Norwegian knee-high stockings

These Norwegian knee-high stockings are patterned in a simple repeating rose motif, which is decreased at the back of the calf. Photo by Joe Coca.

Download the free instructions and charts for Terri’s traditional Norwegian knee-high stockings and the companion article “Annichen Sibbern Bøhn Preserver of Norway’s Knitting History, Wartime Resistance Fighter.” For more information about Terri Shea and her book Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition, visit www.terrisheaknits.com.

Happy sock knitting!
Elizabeth

Posted February 20, 2014. Updated November 20, 2017.


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