I was vaguely aware of this book when it was published a few years ago (2007). I saw blog entries about it and noticed mittens and gloves being knit from the patterns, but I never took an active interest in it until a customer came in to the shop where I work and requested it. We ordered a few copies and I flipped through it when it arrived. The little bit of history I was able to read on the spot was intriguing enough for me to put it on my mental “might buy it someday . . . maybe” list. However, it wasn’t until I learned how to do stranded color knitting that I revisited the last copy of Selbuvotter on the shelf. Because I had recently purchased a ridiculous amount of fingering weight yarn to knit a mitten pattern, I figured I would buy the book and knit with what I knew would go unused otherwise, since I only needed a small quantity of 8 different colors for those mittens. I had no idea I’d become hooked on the compelling patterns in Selbuvotter (and stranded two-color knitting in general). While the original Selbu color palette is based on the natural wool colors of white and black, I figured I could stray from that with yarn I already owned, although now I’m exploring someday getting some actual Norwegian yarn brands to try. And now, I seem to be less interested in that mitten pattern that calls for 9 different colors.
There is a respectable dose of Selbu history and an interesting story about the first woman to knit these designs on her mittens, eventually spawning a successful cottage industry and later, a worldwide interest in Norwegian motifs.
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