About knitting, children’s fashion and trends from Scandinavia

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Known from the number one kids and mums fashion style blog, Norwegian Charlott Pettersen, has a beyond knowledge and insight in what’s hot for tots. Her styling tip for mum and mini has attracted devoted fans. And according to the Scandinavian style guru, it’s nothing more precious than exquisite handmade children’s clothes. And according to Charlott, everyone can learn how to!

Charlott Pettersen (32) (the stunning blonde seen in the photo above, together with the little models on a recent shoot in Oslo) is mum of Herman (4), she’s is a journalist, author and kids fashion blogger.
Charlott’s book ‘Handmade for boys’ was published last Autumn. The book became hugely popular as it’s an endless source of inspiration with beautiful imagery together with useful knitting patterns. And she’s keeping busy! This Spring she launched the website Ministrikk.no, Norway’s first website for knitted children’s clothes. There’s also english versions in the pipeline. We’ll keep you posted! Meanwhile, we had a chat with Charlott, about knitting, children’s fashion and trends from Scandinavia.

Knitting and Scandinavia, what’s the story?

Knitting and homemade are a natural part of the Scandinavian heritage. Our grandmothers in the 50s’ and 60’s made all children’s clothes themselves, as there were sparsely with money and buying children’s clothes was expensive.
After the high street stores entered the Scandinavian market in the 80’s and 90’s the knitting pins and sewing machine were stored away, as it was cheaper buying children’s clothes in store than making them yourself.
But today we see a change in the market. Knitting has become a sign of awareness, and reaction towards mass consumption. More and more parents are looking for sustainable, natural materials when buying children’s clothes, and knitting has become fashionable as it’s a way of sourcing handmade quality children’s clothing with a reasonable price tag.

What does knitting mean to you?

Knitting has been part of my life since I was a little girl. My grandmother knitted the most precious clothes for my brother and myself. The sort of children’s clothes that would be saved and handed down, to the next generation. My son Herman is wearing some of it today, and the quality is the same as it was 30 years ago. Timeless children’s clothes, unbelievable, no!? Then I wanted more of it for my son, but found it hard to find, and ended up at my grandmothers in my search for her original patterns. Among others, these are now the patterns that I shared in the book ‘Handmade for boys’. This Spring I’ll share more of my findings on the website ministrikk.no -It’s important to share so these nostalgic and timeless patterns, part of our Scandinavian culture and heritage do not get lost, but will be passed on to future generations.

Isn’t knitted garments for the colder months only?

Historically knitted garments have been associated with winter, and you could store away your knitting pins in Spring. But there’s no reason to do so! Yarn is so much more than wool, especially for you living in the UK, with access to such a selection of yarns, suited for Summer garments. I’m in fact a bit jealous on the selection both in terms of of qualities and colours that are available in the UK…

Well, you are welcome to visit anytime, Charlott! So yarn for Summer, what do you recommend?

Bamboo is a fantastic summer yarn, sharing the same characteristics as wool; it’s temperature regulating, it cools you down when it’s hot and it keeps you warm on colder days. This is especially important for newborns to regulate their body temperature. It’s excellent for children with sensitive skin and allergies, as it’s kind to skin. It’s also worth considering alpaca and silks, linen or combination yarn of merino wool and cotton, all weel suited for beautiful handmade children’s summer clothing.
My favourite for the colder months is merino wool. It makes soft and lovely garments.

But if you can’t knit, if you never mastered the art, what to do, where to start?

If you are new to knitting, there’s no better thing than to start with a children’s garment. It’s highly motivating with knitting a small garment as you’ll quickly be able to see progress. You’ll also get the satisfaction of being able to create something with your own hands.
My tip is to start with something simple, but not too simple, as you might get bored with it. Stay away from scarfs and baby blankets as these are some of the most boring things to be knitting.

(Hmm.. That’s exactly what I chose to do, finished it, but got bored… If we only had this chat sooner!

Oh, no! You should start with something you really want for your child, such as a hat or a sweater. If you get stuck there’s always the internet and YouTube at hand, or pop over to a neighbour who masters the art of knitting. When you are struggling, do not take a break! If you do you’ll put it away, for good…

…and you’ll discover the half finished project years later in a bag, stored away!? Sounds familiar…

Thank you, Charlott for sharing your insight and knowledge of handmade with us!
I might look around for a few of those bags now, to consider taking them up again. Or perhaps use the yarn for a hat or sweater instead. And with the internet at ministrikk.no easily at hand, there’s nothing stopping me this time.
If you are not entirely convinced, I’ll leave you with the images Charlott shared with us. If these will not inspire you to pick up the knitting pins, nothing will. Enjoy!

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© CharlottPettersen.no – Do not share without permission

Photo: Helena Krekling Styling: Charlott Pettersen

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