Over the years I have amassed a rather large collection of classic vintage wool sweaters. They are a staple of my cold weather wardrobe. Living in New England means long frosty winters and having a large stash of festive sweaters helps to brighten things up. Aside from their fetching designs, I love their fine quality. The wonderful worsted and mercerized wools of yesteryear that do not pill and have such a lovely sheen. After all these years I am still finding new additions for my closet because there are so many styles to choose from, many of them with long histories. From Norway there is the Setesdal Sweater with its intricate designs and hand embroidered collar and cuffs as well as the Selbu Star (like my first sweater). Iceland gave us the Lopi sweater with it's bold yoke pattern and from Sweden the more subtle Bohus Stickning patterns. These traditional styles are timeless and beautiful but I'm also fond of novelty sweaters, especially the Mary Maxim styles.
For decades, classic knit designs have made their way into the fashions of the day. Interest has ebbed and flowed but it never goes away. Over the past year popularity has risen again and both designers and retail customers are snapping them up. It will be interesting to see how they inspire the coming trends and collections.
Lopi Sweater circa 1970s
Hand knit mittens from the 1940s with the Selbu Star pattern
Norwegian hand knit cardigan with pewter buttons
Mary Maxim "football" cardigan, early 1960s
Ad from a vintage knitting magazine for worsted wool
1950s ad for knitting pattern, novel interpretation of a Scandinavian classic