Many cultures have stories about threads, spinning, and weaving. After all, textile-making used to be an every-day activity (I nearly wrote 'part of the fabric of life' - language is full of textile metaphors). Norse mythology is no different. The norns are female beings of fate, of sorts, and 19th century images often depict the norns weaving at the foot of Yggdrasill (the world tree). I like to imagine the norns as being far less picturesque and a lot more unknowable than most of the imagery associated with them.

I don't know why I chose to call this jumper "Norn" on its Ravelry project page, in other words. Maybe because it reminds me of Scandinavia, maybe because I spend a lot of time weaving threads behind one another (the joys of colourwork).

But Norn it is.

It is working up relatively fast and the luse pattern is really easy to remember.

I am also very happy with the colour choice I made: Rowan Tweed in Bedale for the body, and Bainbridge for the contrast. Bedale is a nice, but not dull oat-meal colour and Bainbridge is a dark red with interesting flecks through it. Essentially I'm knitting Norn with the Danish flag colours but in a not-obvious and completely wearable way.

You can say what you like about 19th century appropriation of Norse mythology (and I don't have many nice things to say), but I do love reading translations of the Poetic Edda that go like this:

Mightily wove they the web of fate, While Bralund's towns were trembling all; And there the golden threads they wove, And in the moon's hall fast they made them.

In case you are interested in reading more about Old Norse texts and the sources of what we today know as Norse mythology, Heimskringla is an excellent place to start and many of their texts are even available in English. Their photo archive may be of interest too if you are of the visual persuasion..


Pope Benedict XVI is visiting Scotland and England over the next few days. I have never lived anywhere with a big Catholic community and it is interesting to see how Glasgow is reacting. I do not know if it is the result of the Glasgow Airport terrorist attack, but the amount of security is quite surprising; The main motorway is being shut down for an entire day, several areas surrounding the park where the Pope will address pilgrims have been shut off and certain trains are designated pilgrims-only. This reminds me of when George W. Bush visited Denmark at his height of his unpopularity - boy, it was fun to navigate Copenhagen that day - but mainly it strikes me as odd that a religious leader can generate so much fuss. Then again I identify as a secular humanist. One of these days I need to make myself a "Humanist; Not a Dawkins Fan", though. One of the Pope's aides have pulled out of the UK visit following an interview wherein he criticises the UK for "a new and aggressive atheism". The media have reacted strongly to this, of course, but I think I know which brand of atheism the aide is referring to and, honestly, it is a form of atheism that makes me uncomfortable too. I need to write more about this, but suffice to say that a) I'm puzzled by the Pope's visit and b) I hope all my Catholic friends in Glasgow will have a memorable and good day.

If course there is one religious belief with which I do feel connected: Forn Sidr or Asatru, the belief in the old Norse gods. I grew up with the stories and while I do not believe, there is definitely a connection. I think it is about growing up in a landscape where you see remnants of the ancient past everywhere and seeing the forces of nature unfold before your eyes. Again, I need to write more about this.

And there is a knitting aspect, of course.

Last night I cast on for Idunn. I assumed this would be a commuter project: The February Beret by sockpixie. I made this hat in orange last year and it turned out to be the most flattering hat I have ever owned - well, apart from the rusty orange hue. As soon as I finished it last year, I  began thinking about those two precious balls of Scottish Tweed DK in "Apple Green" from my stash. Ever since Rowan discontinued Scottish Tweed due to supply issues, I have been acting all dragon-like what with the hoarding and jealous guarding.. but yarn is really meant to be knitted up and so here we are.

And Idunn was a Norse goddess associated with apples.

I don't think it'll be much of a commuter project because I'm halfway done. Just in time for the first autumnal winds and heavy rainfall. I love being a knitter.

PPS. I shall be in Copenhagen November 4 until November 8, so get in touch if you know of any knit night/knit event/yarn sale.