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Dear Ann,

I feel like we should have saved this post about the Valdres Pullover for last, like the wedding dress at a runway fashion show. I mean: it’s a tour de force, a true showstopper of a sweater. As soon as I saw it, I put it on my personal bucket list of patterns I that have to knit before I die.

But it won’t stay on the bucket list for long, since you and I and everybody are going to be knitting Arne & Carlos’s four designs from MDK Field Guide No. 23: Glow, starting right now!

The more you look at the Valdres Pullover, the more there is to look at. It’s definitely a Norwegian sweater, no doubt about that.

But it’s not like any other Norwegian sweater that I’ve seen. In Arne & Carlos’s reconstruction, the band of striped colorwork is placed mid-body and mid-sleeve, instead of running across the chest and shoulders as in the traditional Setesdal sweater or its fashionable offspring, the Marius sweater, which has been making a splash since 1953. (Click that link for a fun little lesson on Sweater History.)

The long, spiky floral pattern in black and white is bracingly graphic.

The blocks and stripes of rich solid color at the bottom of the sleeves and body make me think of modern art.

But my favorite detail?

The beautiful, plain shoulders, elegantly shaped with raglans instead of the traditional drop shoulder. So crisp. Ahhh.

This won’t be my first knit from Field Guide No. 23. I’m going to limber up my colorwork muscles first with two quick projects, the Setesdal Hat and the Kos Neckwarmer. While I’m knitting on them, I’ll ponder all the ways a traditional—but not too traditional—Norwegian sweater will enhance my look and my life.

I think I’m about to mislead people into thinking I can ski or something.



PS Readers, see you at the Field Guide No. 23: Glow Zoom party today, January 31. You’ll find me, Ann, Arne, and Carlos here at noon Eastern time. Can’t make it? We’ll post the event recording link in Snippets. Sign up below.


  • I keep trying to picture the two charts split apart into two separate sweaters.

    • Funny, I keep thinking about doing this without the black and white part at the top. Not sure how it will look on my short waisted body.

      • Was thinking the same thing. I love the motif but I’m sure it’s way too linear for my sloppy bust. I’m thinking of losing the black and white flowers and doing the whole top and sleeves in black.

  • There’s just enough of each element—bold stripes followed by stranded colorwork patterns A, B, and C—to keep things interesting before the raglan shaping begins. (I assume that it is worked bottom-up. But it’s just as true the other way only in reverse.) More fun than a traditional design, which entails miles and miles of plain stockinette for the torso and sleeves. And imagine trying to make a stranded colorwork motif look coherent with raglan decreases happening within it. A lot of thought went into this design. It will be interesting to see how it works up in various colors.

  • I love how the fair isle elements throw the shoulders into high relief, but it would have been nice to see the sweater on a woman with a bustline! Not sure i’d make this one for myself, but it Would look fantastic on my husband (Not that he’d wear something so colorful – though some men would!)

    • Agree that it will look different on someone with a bust – would be nice to see just what that look is! Adding bust shaping would not be easy with the floral pattern going all the way around, so assume we would just have to knit a larger size and then decrease below the patterning, but that seems sloppy and the back would be quite wide. Maybe Kay can put this higher in her queue so we can see how she handles it?

      • Not only bustier, but 5’ and below 4’11 ish

  • Kay, thanks for sharing the link on the Marius sweater. I learned of the huge impact designer Unn Soiland had on Norwegian knitting, very much like Natalie Chanin’s story with regard to hand sewing and clothing design. These lessons make projects so much more meaningful and enjoyable. I’m constantly amazed at all there is to discover.

  • I started my first sleeve yesterday. I am so excited to see this sweater come together. It is a bucket list for sure! Big thanks to MDK and Arne and Carlos for this beautiful pattern!!!

  • Love this pattern book! Like you, I want to knit every one of the designs. Looking forward to the zoom this afternoon. Thanks!!

  • It’s so beautiful with all the colors…..never knitted a sweater before and its too colorful for my large chest but I can dream of making it someday!

  • I love this sweater and want to make it, but I’m sure my daughter will have one made before I get one started!

  • Thank you for the zoom session with Arne and Carlos. Most interesting.

  • It was a great zoom session today. Enjoyed it. Hat is cast on while watching! Thanks for everyone’s time

  • I am in love with this sweater – going on the must-knit list!

  • Well, you won’t get lost in the snow.

  • I’d like to see it with a lower neckline too—a crew neck is not flattering on me. I’ll watch the projects people do for one.

  • Hi where can i purchase the Valdres sweater!?

  • I’m working on my own Valdres Pullover, but I need some help. I have emailed and posted my question on MDK and have yet to get a reply. Please HELP me!
    The on page 21 in the FG23, the pattern says to start Neck Shaping when the arm holes measure a certain amount for the size being knit. But HOW and WHERE do I measure the armhole for a raglan, bottom up sweater?? Please, Please, someone make this clear for me.
    thank you!

  • Wonderful

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