In the last ten years knitters have been considering our craft with a certain amount of reverence: knitting is couture; knitting is an artist’s medium; knitting expands our understanding of ancient cultures. But 150 years ago in Scandinavia, knitting served a more utilitarian purpose: workaday wear that was darned until there was more hole than sweater, then repurposed as insulation. Both uses served the purpose of blocking out the winds of winter—just a bit more externally the second time around.

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