Published by Taitoliitto for the Nordic Craft Week 2022
The Korsnäs sweater is relatively well-known amongst people interested in crafts, both in Finland and elsewhere. The Korsnäs sweater represents the latest fashion of the latter half of the 19th century in Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnia in Finland. When crocheting became popular, someone with a creative streak thought to apply it to sweaters that had previously been made by knitting only. People felt that the result was outstanding and began copying and varying the pattern. The tradition of Korsnäs sweaters has survived uninterrupted for over 150 years. Product development combining an earlier way of making sweaters with a new fashion trend was successful. The crocheted and knitted sweaters are known for their unique, decorative and fun appearance. Their functional qualities receive far less attention, though. The Korsnäs sweater can be called the culmination of folk-style sweaters. They demand skill and patience from their makers.
The combination of crocheting and knitting, intricate patterns and bright colours are typical features of the Korsnäs sweater. The interesting process of making these sweaters is what fascinates the makers, whilst the beautiful patterns and the garment’s history is what attracts the wearers.
The Municipality of Korsnäs has adopted the sweater as part of its public image, but the Local Heritage Society of Korsnäs is responsible for preserving the skill and passing it on. A number of masters who can make these sweaters and are teaching the younger generations operate within the local heritage society.
The sweater has become one of the symbols of Korsnäs, the Swedish-speaking population of Finland, Finnishness and handicraft skills in general, depending on the perspective. The Korsnäs sweater’s status as part of the cultural heritage is also largely due to the fact that it has gained plenty of publicity and several museums have these sweaters in their collections.
The first maker of the Korsnäs sweaters is unknown. Masters used to work in the villages, taking orders for these sweaters. Sometimes the sweaters were made as a collaborative effort between three women. This is how a master would pass on their know-how. The sweaters were mainly intended to be worn as men’s formal wear. In wealthier households, the women also occasionally wore Korsnäs sweaters. In addition, these sweaters were made for children, as well. They were given as gifts to prestigious people, such as priests and teachers, and as gifts for bridegrooms. Men still often wear a Korsnäs sweater similarly to the national costume on formal occasions. Nowadays, women wear these sweaters more often than men, and they are also used more commonly like ordinary sweaters.
Korsnäs sweater is included in the National inventory of intangible cultural heritage of Finland.
Source: Making a Korsnäs sweater – Elävä perintö -wiki (aineetonkulttuuriperinto.fi)
More information in Swedish: https://korsnas.hembygd.fi/pa_svenska/korsnastrojan/
Kun virkkaus tuli muotiin Pohjanmaalla 1800-luvun jälkipuolella niin joku taitava käsityöihminen Korsnäsissa keksi yhdistää neuletta ja virkkausta samaan villapaitaan.
Korsnäsinpaita on saanut nimensä Korsnäsin kunnan mukaan. Paidan erottaa helposti tavallisesta neulepaidasta koska siinä on yhdistettynä virkkausta ja neuletta. Kirjovirkatut osat ovat miehustan ja hihojen ylä- ja alareunoissa. Virkatuissa osissa pohjaväri on punainen, joko kirkkaamman tai tummemman punainen ja neulotuissa luonnonvalkoinen.
Korsnäsissa miehet käyttivät paitoja juhlavaatteina. Varakkaammissa perheissä naisillakin saattoi olla Korsnäsinpaita. Naisten paidat tehtiin usein vartalonmyötäisemmiksi. Naiset suosivat jakkuja minkä vuoksi paidat usein leikattiin edestä keskeltä auki ja niihin ommeltiin nappikiinnitys.
Korsnäsin kotiseutumuseossa on hieno pysyvä korsnäsinvillapaitoja esittelevä näyttely. Korsnäsinpaitoja on tallennettuna myös Pohjanmaan museon, Vaasassa sijaitsevan Bragen ulkoilmamuseon ja Helsingissä Föreningen Bragen kokoelmiin. Nordiska museetista Tukholmastakin löytyy yksi paita. Myös joillakin yksityishenkilöillä on tallessa vanhempia Korsnäsinpaitoja.
Korsnäsinpaitojen valmistaminen on valittu elävän perinnön kansalliseen luetteloon, sivuilta wiki.aineetonkulttuuriperintö.fi löytyy mielenkiintoista tietoa paitojen taustasta ja tekemisestä.
Knitting pattern Colourful Korsnäs sweater ”Dancing girls” ladies’ model
Instructions: Jeanette Rönnqvist-Aro, Österbottens hantverk rf, translation Heli Rajavaara.
Photos: Laura Karlin
Pattern is published for The Nordic Craft Week 2022 by The Finnish Crafts Organization Taito. Only for private use, any commercial use is forbidden.
Start the sweater by making generous swatch, where you combine both crochet and knitting. Count the gauge from swatch and compare it with the stitch count given in pattern. It makes easier to work the sweater if you draw on paper the body and sleeve pattern in real size and compare it every now and then with your work. If it looks that the dotted part will be too narrow, you can leave out few narrow colourwork parts both from body and sleeves.
Korsnäs sweater ”Dancing girls”
The pattern is based on child sweater from the collection of Ostrobothnian Museum (58-254)
Technique: tapestry crochet and stranded colourwork
Sizes: S (M) L (XL) XXL
Measurements: circumference 100 (105) 110 (115) 120 cm
Length: 68 (70) 72 (74) 74 cm
Sleeve length: 45 (46) 47 (48) 48 cm
Material: Pirkka-lanka tex 125 x 2, 100 g = 400 m. 100% wool Pirkka wool
Bright red no 226: 350 (400) 400 (500) 500 g,
natural white no 101: 250 (300) 300 (400) 400 g,
green no 310: 150 (150) 150 (200) 200 g
yellow no 109: 100 (100) 100 (150) 150 g.
Crochet hook: no 2-2,5 mm, circular needles no 2-2,5 60 ja 40 cm long or DPNs no 2-2,5.
Gauge for crochet: 30 sts/ 10 cm and 24 rnds/10 cm, for knitting 30 sts/10 cm and 40 rnds/10 cm. Knitting: Stranded colourwork; in the rnd, knit all rnds.
Abbreviatons for knitting:
st = stitch
k = knit
p = purl
RS = right side
WS = wrong side
rnd = round
knitting in the rnd = worked in the rnd with circular needles or DPNs, there’s no need to turn the work.
Pattern repeat = motif, that is repeated the same both horizontal and vertical.
Abbreviations for crochet:
ch = chain stitch
sl st = slip stitch
dc = double crochet
Crochet: Tapestry crochet using double crochet (ds) stitches and following the charts (in the end). Double crochet through the back loops of sts from previous rnd. All colours needed in the rnd are kept on work. The yarns that are not currently used are following inside the sts. Tapestry crochet is worked in the rnd from right side of the work. On one colour rnds crochet additional main colour yarn inside the sts. This way all rnds are same height.
Change of colour: The yarn is pulled through the back loop of the st from previous rnd, you have two sts with same colour on needle. New colour yarn is taken on hook and pulled through both sts. This way you’ll get strict colourchange. (Photos below)
Change of rnd: End rnd by working slip stitch through both loops of the first stitch from previous rnd, work 1 chain stitch and 1 ds on the back loop of same ds and continue tapestry croched with ds. Work chain stitch with new colour if you need to change the colour on the first stitch of the rnd. The body of the sweater is worked in one piece similar to sock cuff. Neckline and armholes are steeked later.
Crochet: Work 300 (315) 330 (345) 360 chain stitches and join to work in the rnd with slip stitch.
Rnd 1: Work ds, on the first round pull yarn through the both loops of chain stitch, you will have neater edge.
Rnds 2-38: Crochet following the chart.
Note! Decreases and increases as follows:
Rnd 10: Increase 0 (1) 2 (3) 0 st(s).
Rnd 14: Decrease 0 (4) 8 (0) 0 st(s) evenly in the rnd, mark for example with piece of yarn the places for decreases.
Rnd 26: Increase 0 (4) 8 (0) 0 st(s) in the same places you did the decreases earlier.
Rnd 30: Decrease 0 (1) 2 (3) 0 st(s).
Knit: Using green yarn, pick up from the edge of crochet 1 st from each ds = 300 (315) 330 (345) 360 sts.
Pull the yarn through back loop.
Work in the rnd following the chart. On the first rnd increase 0 (1) 2 (3) 0 st(s). Work the dotted pattern for 25 (27) 29 (30) 30 cm or needed length.
Calculate: Desired total length cm – crocheted lower part cm – crocheted upper part cm – stranded colourwork part cm = dotted part cm.
Work in the rnd according the chart the colourwork for upper part. Note the changes in pattern repeats, ja work the needed increases/decreases, so that you can work full pattern repeats. Rnd 61: Increase/decrease 0 (+4) -2 (+2) 0 st(s).
Rnd 72: Decrease 0 (2) 0 (2) 0 st(s).
Bind off sts using red yarn.
Start to crochet ds through back loops of bind off rnd sts = 300 (315) 330 (345) 360 sts.
Tapestry crochet following the chart.
Note! Calculate beforehand that the pattern is in the middle of front and back. It doesn’t matter if the pattern is not symmetrical on sleeve edges.
Sleeve is crocheted top down. Work 160 (160) 160 (176) 176 chain sts and join to work in rnd with slip stitch. Crochet following the chart and at the same time decrease 2 sts in underarm every rnd 4 times. Then decrease 2 sts in underarm every 3rd rnd.
Pick up sts for knitting on short circular needles or DPNs and work colourwork according the chart. Continue to work the decreases every 3rd rnd. Try on the sleeve. If it tapers too fast, make the decreases at times more sparsely or vice versa if the sleeve is too wide.
For dotted part knit 12 -15 cm or needed length based on the calculation (sleeve total length cm – crocheted upper part cm – crocheted lower part cm – stranded colourwork part cm = dotted knitting cm.)
Bind off using red yarn. Continue crocheting according the chart (appr. 70 sts for sizes S-L and 86 sts for XL-XXL). At the same time decrease 2 sts on every 3rd rnd until cuff is appr. 11-13 cm wide (circumference for S-L appr. 22 cm, XL-XXL appr. 24 cm).
Turn work inside out before last zigzag motif (the hem is worked from wrong side), double crochet through the back loop. Crochet zigzag motif and then picot edge. Work slip stitch, 3 chain stitches, work slip stitch on 3rd ds, repeat. Turn hem up. Cut yarn. Work the other sleeve same.
Mark the armhole by basting a mark yarn. The armhole height is appr. 25 cm (appr. 3 cm shorter than sleeve width). Using your sewing sew Mark yarn straight stitch and multiple zigzag stitch on both sides of the mark yarn. Cut between the machine stitches and double crochet with red yarn around the sleeve edge, over the edge. Crochet or sew the shoulder seams together. Weave in ends.
Baste and sew the sleeve with red yarn and running stitch on the right side of armhole.
Work the seam also from wrong side with saddle stitch. Try to work so that the seam is as thin and soft as possible.
Mark the neckline basting mark yarn. The depth of neckline is 7-10 cm in the front, 2-3 cm in the back, width appr. 18-22 cm. Sew straight stitch and multiple zigzag stitch above the mark yarn. Cut above machine stitches and work appr. 120 double stitches for under part of neckline using main colour. Crochet 2-3
more rnds. You can modify neckline when crocheting by decreasing sts. Make sure you have now stitch count divisible by 4. When under part is ready, turn work to wrong side and work ds. Pull yarn through back loop. Continue working zigzag motif. Work increases, 3-4 ds’s on every rnd on edges, so that neckline stays flat. Lastly work picot edge. Work slip stitch, 3 chain stitches, work slip stitch on 3rd ds, repeat. You can fasten the edge in few spots so that it stays better in place.
Block to measurements in between 2 damp towels and let dry.