Saturday, February 21, 2015

Crafting Your Heritage: Knitting in Shetland

Knitting: A Work in Progress

While it is quite satisfying to locate a set of 6x great-grandparents and fill in two more boxes on a pedigree chart, it can be equally satisfying to do something that our ancestors did everyday. For some people this is gardening, attending the same church, or cooking family recipes. For me one of these activities is knitting.

Both of my grandmothers knit, but my maternal grandmother, Karin Nordstrom Hood, is the one who taught me. She was taught the continental method by her mother, Linka Larsen Nordstrom, and that is the method I learned. This small connection to my Norwegian heritage pleases me more than it probably should.

This story from NPR profiles the tradition of knitting in Shetland. Even if you had no idea there was an island named Shetland let alone that they knit there, you would probably recognize a Fair Isle pattern. 

I'm not sure I would be a good descendant from Shetlanders. I don't like color knitting and lace frustrates me. I much prefer the texture of cables.

nb. This post first appeared on The Historian's Family in July 2014.

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