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The Inspiration Behind One of Our Most Iconic Designs.

We are back with a new episode recorded in Nusfjord, located in the beautiful Lofoten islands in northern Norway!  This week, we talk about the inspiration behind one of our most iconic designs, which we created during our first trip to Lofoten back in 2007. We’ve now released the Reine hat, which was part of this original collection, and made it available as a pattern in our webshop. The technique is super simple and easily adds some texture and interest to the colourwork.

Click on the photo to purchase the pattern.

Spending time in Lofoten this summer brought a lot of fond memories from our first visit there in 2007. We designed what was going to become one of our most iconic sweaters during that first visit to these beautiful islands north of the Arctic circle, and we have been waiting to do this tutorial until we finally got the opportunity to film there. Check out our video below and get this week’s pattern in our webshop.

Edit: After filming this video, we have received some information about the name of the sweater and the origins of the pattern:

The reason it is called an “Islender” (Icelander) sweater is that a trading company from Iceland introduced this pattern to Scandinavia. As we say in the video, this sweater is most definitely not Icelandic. One of our Danish viewers sent us some links about knitting patterns from the Faroe Islands and it looks like this pattern is part of their knitting tradition. It would actually make a lot of sense if a trading company from Iceland went to the Faroe Islands and then introduced the knitting pattern or even the sweater to Denmark and Norway. In any case, as with so many of the traditional knitting patterns, it got assimilated into our culture and today, this is one of the most recognisable sweater designs in Norway!


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And, as promised in the video, here below is a photo of our version of the “Fishermen’s” sweater. This is the jumper that we designed in 2007 and which is inspired by the traditional Norwegian “Islender” or “Island” sweater. Reine, the hat in today’s tutorial shares the same pattern as our original sweater.

Click on Image to enlarge.


Are you following our road trip around Lofoten? Don’t miss our episodes every Tuesday and Thursday throughout August, click on this link to see all episodes so far. We are also adding a final, bonus episode on September 1st, so keep your eyes peeled!



Arne wearing his new sweater called “Hammerfest 350”.

Ps: In case you would like to have a look at more sweaters from the Norlender brand, here is their website:

    • Verona H on August 16, 2020 at 5:17 pm


    Sorry for my Englisch!
    Love from Nederland

    • Shawnn on August 16, 2020 at 6:53 pm


    I love the red sweater that Arne bought and your fashion version of the Icelander sweater – wow! Love that it has the raglan sleeves and the luxurious, almost cowl like collar. Fabulous.

    • Yun on August 16, 2020 at 9:24 pm


    Dear Arne and Carlos,
    I love your Fishermen’s sweater from 2007 and looking forward to your release of the pattern! I particularly like that it’s a turtleneck. Really enjoying your posts from your road trip in Norway and the vicarious shopping sprees!

    • Nancy on August 17, 2020 at 5:40 am


    Arne, that sweater is YOU! I’m enjoying so much all the postcards from Lofoten and your Sunday posts from there; it’s great to see you both healthy again.

    • Anita on August 17, 2020 at 2:24 pm


    where can I find the pattern for the Icelander sweater – didn’t pop up on website/sweaters? Thanks.

    1. Reply

      We didn’t design the Icelander sweater in the video, so we have no pattern for it. There is only a pattern for the hat in our webshop.

        • Anita on August 17, 2020 at 2:58 pm


        Thank you very much, Anita

          • Anita on August 18, 2020 at 2:31 pm


          I should have asked you right away; where can one find a sweater pattern that matches the hat pattern? Thanks again.

    • BJ on August 17, 2020 at 3:59 pm


    Bet you look great in a hat Carlos

    • Sandy Spaulding on August 17, 2020 at 5:50 pm


    Thanks for the lovely trip. Arne, you look great in the sweater. Glad you bought it 🙂

    • Mo on August 17, 2020 at 5:52 pm


    Love your “iconic sweater” and especially that it has raglan sleeves. The sweater that Arne bought just suits him. Loving the new format.

    • Laurel Quinn on August 17, 2020 at 7:39 pm


    Hi Arne and Carlos,
    I am interested in seeing a pattern for the Icelander sweater. In a class I took with you last year in Maryland, you said that raglan shoulder shaping is the best fit, so will you make the pattern raglan? Also, can you add a waist shaping option for women?
    I want to visit the Lofoten Islands and was ecstatic to see your road trip!
    My best,
    Laurel Quinn

    • Karin Heins on August 17, 2020 at 8:46 pm


    Isn’t it like Bohus knitting? It has the same variation in colour work and knit an purl stitches.
    I knitted a tam from this website:
    It makes your colour work less defined, more blending.

    • Susanne K. Møller on August 17, 2020 at 9:08 pm


    Whan I was a child here in Denmark, we called it a “Færøtrøje” , a Faeroe sweater 😀
    I have a picture of my brother wearing one, it must have been the mid ’50s .
    They were sold in shops with supplies for ships, and also in shops for boy scouts ( Spejdersport) .

    • Joanne barber on August 18, 2020 at 6:05 am


    You look great in the sweater. Love it!

    • Maj-Brit on August 18, 2020 at 9:00 am


    I love seeing your pictures from Lofoten. Never been there. I like your new jumper Arne, it suit you. I was wondering if you are going to write a new book about patterns for socks, hats and jumpers? I have got your lovely book about ‘Greatest Knits’.
    All the best.

    • Becky Wahl on August 18, 2020 at 2:06 pm


    Love the sweater! Can’t wait for you to release your pattern. You both look great! So glad you are well now.

    I sent a message to Githa to get a copy of our group picture from our cruise March 1-9. I never heard from her so I will write her again. Did you ever see our group pictures? I can’t wait to come back to Norway!

    • Dominique Bizon on August 20, 2020 at 1:50 am


    I would be very interested in the sweater pattern too, when you have time to release it. I like the idea of raglan sleeves. Arne, you could not purl correctly because you did not bring your yarn to the front of your work! I am a “thrower’ and thus find colour work very slow and frustrating. I will try the hat pattern and see if I can master purling the way you do, so I can handle both yarns at the same time. I suspect, however, that it could throw my tension right off. Loving the videos, lots of fun to watch! Northern Norway looks a lot like Atlantic Canada !

    • Anita on August 22, 2020 at 2:36 pm


    I know this sounds funny, but have either of you done intarsia with a Norwegian Thimble? I found it very helpful to have both yarns on my left forefinger w/o tangling.

    • Marsha Wiggins on September 2, 2020 at 7:57 pm


    Thank you for the trick about avoiding ladders while knitting in the round. I might try using DPN’s again someday, but they were so fiddly in my hands I changed to magic loop. And no ladders. Arne you make it look so easy! I would love to see the state church which is the inspiration for your mitten design. The mittens are super gorgeous. Please take us there!

    • Rowena on September 4, 2020 at 9:38 pm


    Your Iconic Sweater:
    “Spending time in Lofoten this summer brought a lot of fond memories from our first visit there in 2007. We designed what was going to become one of our most iconic sweaters during that first visit to these beautiful islands north of the Arctic circle, and we have been waiting to do this tutorial until we finally got the opportunity to film there.

    It’s a wonderful sweater, but I’m confused. Please help – it being “one of our most iconic sweaters…….” why wouldn’t you want to sell that pattern?
    Is there a legal dispute occurring between yourselves and those/that folk(s) who claim they were the originators of the pattern?
    Please let us know.
    PS: We love your new designs/book with the 2020 Fall Collection of Rowan magazines.
    Thank you,
    Rowena M.
    Vancouver, WA,US

    1. Reply

      There is no dispute as our version of the pattern is original to us. There is also no originator of the old pattern, as it is traditional. The reason we haven’t released the sweater as a knitting pattern yet is as simple as this: We haven’t had time to write the pattern for the sweater. Designing and manufacturing a ready-to-wear sweater that is produced industrially is not the same as writing a knitting pattern. We would have to start from scratch and we just haven’t had time to do it. There is a lot of work involved in writing this sweater up including grading. All the work when creating the original sweater is useless to us in when it comes to pattern writing because the original sweater was knitted in hand loom machines. So it has to be redone again – everything, from scratch.

    • Jeannie on September 11, 2020 at 5:39 pm


    Hi I love this design, but I do have two questions. First can you do the hat on circular needles and second could the hat be made into a slouch hat.

    • Sabrina on November 6, 2020 at 8:24 pm


    Love the sweater and the combination of the off white and blue! Feels like I found everything that I’ve ever wanted in a winter sweater, plus the design of the gaming squares along with the structured turtleneck and raglan seam borders are so well contrasted. Really can’t wait for the sweater pattern to release!

    • Amy M. on February 15, 2021 at 6:59 pm


    Love the raglan sleeve interpretation of the Islender sweater with the turtle or cowl neck instead of a crew neck….and I love the way the fashion model is styled with the collar turned….so lovely and stylish!

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