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Let’s talk about the stories behind the iconic XO pattern!

We were overwhelmed with the response we got after we published the first episode of our new miniseries “Norwegian Knitting Patterns and the Stories Behind Them” a few weeks ago! So, we decided to take advantage of this momentum and publish the second episode as soon as possible. This week on our channel, we are going to tell you the stories behind the most iconic pattern in Norway, the XO pattern, which has been used in the traditional lice sweaters from Setesdal since colour work came to Norway, in the 1850s.

We hope you enjoy this week’s history lesson as well as learning more about what the XO pattern really means. See the video below:


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As promised, here are a few references to some of the books that we talk about in the video:

This book by Annemor Sundbø is called “Setesdal Sweaters: The history of the Norwegian Lice Pattern in English”. Click on the image for more.

Click on the image for more information about Laila Durán’s excellent books on Norwegian Folk Costumes!

Here is a book about Norwegian Stave Churches which is available from Amazon. Click on the image for more.

This week, on our web shop, you can purchase the pattern for both hats on the picture above: Tobias and Sveinung, as well as the pattern for our latest hat, Annemor. Click here to access the webshop or click on the photos of each hat below to access them directly:

Sveinung hat. Click on image to purchase the pattern.


Tobias hat. Click on image to purchase the pattern


New! Annemor hat. Click on image to purchase the pattern.



February 29, 2020: Meet and Greet at Rowan’s global flagship store, Rowan at Osprey in St. Albans, UK, from 10:30am to 2:30pm.

March 2 – 9, 2020 and March 8 – 16, 2020: Knitting under the Aurora Borealis onboard the Norwegian Coastal Express, Norway. 2 cruises. (sold out)

March 27 – April 7, 2020: Knitting Cruise in New Zealand (sold out). 

June 4 – 10, 2020:  English Stately Homes, Gardens and Knitting in the U.K. (sold out)

September 11 – 24, 2020: Knitting Along the Most Beautiful Coastline in the World, Onboard the Norwegian Coastal Express, Norway. The classic roundtrip. (Only one spot left. Click here for more)

October 9-12, 2020: Knitting retreat in Tono, Japan. Priority will be given to local knitters from the Tohoku area and to members of the ARNE & CARLOS Fan Club JAPAN.

And: The reason why we didn’t do a blog post last week is that we went on a marathon tour of South Africa and spent 5 days travelling like crazy (luckily there is no jet lag as there is only 1 hour time difference) as we are busy planning an exciting knitting trip there in November 2020, where we will visit the Karoo region to learn everything there is to know about the best Mohair in the world, as well as to knit in the stunning wine country around Franschhoek and also to knit while on safari. An official announcement is coming and sign ups will open up very soon!

Wishing you a great week ahead!

From our safari in South Africa earlier this week. Keep you eyes peeled for the launch of the knitting trip of a life time!!



PS: We have received many complaints about the books we posted in the previous video. Many people found them to be extremely expensive and we’d like to address this issue: If the books are out of print, and it seems as the English translations of the books we recommended might have been, it is sometimes possible to buy them used, and perhaps, that’s the reason why they are so expensive. We really do not know and don’t have any answers as to why they cost so much, as we are just the messengers here. Unfortunately, we have no control or no say over how the prices are set. We purchased our copies in Norwegian language a long time ago and at a normal price.