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Re: [nordicknitters] Sami knitters

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  • Tuulia Salmela
    Hi everyone! I d also like to know what is meant by Sami knitting. Sheila McGregor refers to some mitten patterns (in Traditional Scandinavian Knitting, p.
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 8, 2008
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      Hi everyone!

      I'd also like to know what is meant by Sami knitting. Sheila McGregor refers to some mitten patterns (in Traditional Scandinavian Knitting, p. 140) found in the Sami region, but doesn't define "Sami knitting" at all.

      As a researcher of the Sami culture, I wouldn't use the term Sami knitting unless there is a verified technique specifically typical to the Sami region. I do not know if such a technique exists, as the numerous Sami people I worked with never mentioned such a thing, even when we visited the Sami crafts museum and saw some elderly, who were extremely skilled in all the tradtional Sami crafts. However, I only worked with Finnish Sami, so perhaps such a technique exists in the other Scandinavian countries. Also, I am not a Sami craft expert so there could be a vast gap in my knowledge, but I'd love to know more!

      The traditional Sami duodji (tr. Sami crafts) include bone work, working with animal skins, silverwork and various textile crafts (mainly decorative sewing). The traditional craft items would include their religious items (such as the drum), household items (such as spoons, needles), clothing and jewelry (especially riskus). Knitting or crocheting are not considered traditional, typical Sami crafts. Some artists and designers use the traditional, typical Sami colors (bright reds, greens, blues and yellows) to produce items that one may call "Sami-inspired". However, these would not be considered traditional Sami items. Many of these garments and items are called Lapp or Lapland (mittens, for example) but they cannot be considered traditional garments (and the name "Lapp" is very derogatory to the Sami).

      As the Sami population gradually settled down, living in houses and farming land, they may have picked up knitting from the surrounding population, but originally, the Sami used materials easily available to them in their surroundings (bone, skins, and so on from their reindeer and animals they hunted or came accross in the wild), and may have exchanged their skins and meat to silver and woven fabric to produce garments. The Sami are notorious for the way they adapt to their surroundings and it is not at all impossible to think they would've picked up needlework techniques from the main population, but as far as the Sami as people are considered, they would not include knitting or crocheting to their traditional duodji. However, their use of colors and intricate detailing may have inspired knitters to design garments with their traditional colors, and they, naturally, are extremely beautiful.

      If anyone knows anything about this particular term Sami knitting, I would be very interested to hear more!

      Tuulia

       
      tuuliasalmela@...
      http://tuulia.blogspot.com


      ----- Original Message ----
      From: sapetn <messa@...>
      To: nordicknitters@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, January 8, 2008 1:02:44 PM
      Subject: [nordicknitters] Sami knitters

      Sue mentioned Sami knitting./ Is there more information as technique
      and/or where it can be learned? Any and all would be wonderful. Thank
      you

      nance




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    • Barbro Wilhelmsson
      Thank you Tuula for a very interesting information! Barbro _____ Från: nordicknitters@yahoogroups.com [mailto:nordicknitters@yahoogroups.com] För Tuulia
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 9, 2008
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        Thank you Tuula for a very interesting information!

         

        Barbro

         


        Från: nordicknitters@yahoogroups.com [mailto: nordicknitters@yahoogroups.com ] För Tuulia Salmela
        Skickat: den 9 januari 2008 02:10
        Till: nordicknitters@yahoogroups.com
        Ämne: Re: [nordicknitters] Sami knitters

         

        Hi everyone!

        I'd also like to know what is meant by Sami knitting. Sheila McGregor refers to some mitten patterns (in Traditional Scandinavian Knitting, p. 140) found in the Sami region, but doesn't define "Sami knitting" at all.

        As a researcher of the Sami culture, I wouldn't use the term Sami knitting unless there is a verified technique specifically typical to the Sami region.
        I do not know if such a technique exists, as the numerous Sami people I worked with never mentioned such a thing, even when we visited the


        Tuulia

         

        tuuliasalmela@ yahoo.com
        http://tuulia. blogspot. com

         

      • akv3
        ... Sue mentioned Sami knitting./ Is there more information as technique and/or where it can be learned? Any and all would be wonderful. ... Tuulia s expert
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 11, 2008
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          --- In nordicknitters@yahoogroups.com, "sapetn" wrote:
          Sue mentioned Sami knitting./ Is there more information as
          technique and/or where it can be learned? Any and all would be
          wonderful.
          ---
          Tuulia's expert answer covered pretty much everything, but since I
          happen to own a Finnish book on Lapland patterns, I thought it's at
          least worth mentioning as a reference. "Lapin malleja punomaan ja
          neulomaan" by Irma Veriö, ISBN 951-1-00760-2, published in 1974, 75
          pages.

          The book is mainly in black and white and it contains simple
          knitting patterns as well as traditional Sami braids. (Or how would
          you translate 'pirtanauha'? It's a simple weaving method, producing
          narrow ornamental ribbons. Does heddle weaving or inkle weaving ring
          a bell?)

          The author hints that the Sami patterns distinguish from other
          Lapland patterns but doesn't elaborate on that. The knitting
          patterns are relatively simple and do not compare to traditional
          Fair Isle or Norwegian sweaters. The author says that she has tried
          to find smallish patterns which can be combined or repeated if one
          wants to knit something more substantial. A rough translation from
          the book: "While the Sami haven't knitted any large garments, the
          patterns of their colourful mittens can be used for decorating
          woollen caps, sweaters and dresses."

          The Finns amongst us might appreciate the following
          sentence: "Yksimittaisen puvun helmassa kaunis raita antaa puvulle
          sen omaperäisen leiman, jota ei voi olla tehdasvalmisteisessa
          puvussa. Jokaisella on näin mahdollisuus suunnitella itselleen
          saamelaistyyppinen asu, varsinkin urheiluasuina ne ovat asiallisia,
          tyylikkäitä ja niistä saa yksilöllisiä."

          If anyone is interested in this book, I could keep my eyes peeled
          whenever visiting second-hand bookshops but obviously can't promise
          instant results.

          AnneV
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