In today’s blog post, we’re asking Sari Nordlund, prolific knitter, designer and beta knitter for the Borrowdale collection, to share her own wool story. Take it away, Sari!
Sari Nordlund’s Wool Story
I wish my wool story started with a sweet image of a little girl learning to hold needles and yarn with her grandmother. That never happened though.
In Finland, the winters are cold, so knitting used to be more than just a hobby – it was a life skill. While modern winter gear means that people no longer need to knit to keep warm, kids are still taught knitting in school. Every elementary student has to knit a pair of socks and a pair of mittens.
My wool story started with mittens I knitted so tightly my fingers hurt. I can still remember how the yarn creaked between the two needles. Then, I tried to knit the socks looser but dropped the needles all the time so the socks were full of holes.
Always a bit of a perfectionist, I vowed never to touch anything even remotely resembling knitting ever again. I held that promise for over 10 years.
When I started to study in college, some of my classmates were avid knitters bringing their colourful scarf projects to the lecture hall and knitting away while making notes.
I’ve always been restless, doodling on the sides of my notes and shifting my legs. Concentrating on the lectures was hard for me. My friend suggested I try knitting as well but as Finns are expected to know how to knit, I could not bring myself to tell I never learned. I said I would think about it.
I learned to knit in secret with my aunt’s textile work handbook from the 1940’s. The instructions were still valid as I learned to knit in just a couple of nights! Soon I, too, was knitting the hours away in the lecture hall.
I love knitting, as it can be both mindless and completely absorbing. It can be the baseline to keep my restlessness at bay, but it can also be a way to express myself artistically.
I love how it produces something concrete and tangible; something I can use. When I started to knit, my idea of knitting was plain socks with ribbed cuffs. Now, I know it can be so much more.
The game changer was when I realized there was an entire community of knitters that I wasn’t aware of. At first, it was just me knitting alone. My boyfriend’s (now husband) friends made fun of me being all “granny”. Then, I found Ravelry and it felt like the Holy Grail of knitting.
Soon after that, knitting started to become trendy and spread over Instagram and other social media. I found out there were many others like me all over the world – even in my hometown.
Nowadays, I no longer call knitting my hobby. It is a lifestyle.
I love how knitting brings people together. I’ve made valuable friendships over the mutual love for everything fibre-related. I love how I can still learn and be inspired by this craft. And I love how I can, in turn, be an inspiration to others and teach them.
I hope one day my wool story will end with that sweet image of a child learning to knit with their grandmother.
In this blog post, Sari wore her Brandelhow sweater, which she beta knitted for us. It is a design by Natasja Hornby and she used Lore in shade Logical. You can find Brandelhow and 20 more designs in our Borrowdale collection, designed for everyday adventures.