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Pohjolan Emäntä Sweater

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Louhi is the mistress of Northland (Pohjola), Northland’s old and toothless wizard, a mother of breathtakingly beautiful daughters, a woman who defends her possessions by transforming her- self into a bird. Louhi gave me inspiration for a sweater combining softly rustic Finnish wool, shades of a forest, and mystic symbols of powerful Northern women.

The seventh rune of Kalevala gives floor to Louhi, a character of contradictions: she is good and evil at the same time. She is a hospitable hostess who helps Väinämöinen in his anguish. She rules the Northland (the master of Northland is mentioned only shortly in Kalevala), and has given birth to the most beautiful daughters of the epos, the maidens of the Northland. At the same time, she is a ruthless, self- serving, and feisty character.

Kalevala is a compilation of Finnish and Karelian epic poetry for which Elias Lönnrot collected material during his field trips in the early 19th century. Even though Kalevala is based on oral folklore and spells, it is a creation of Elias Lönnrot in its present state. Nevertheless, in between the lines we can read hints of the social status of women in the ancient Finnish society. In the Scandinavian culture, these women had simultaneous roles as a mother and a warrior, as good and evil, as a mistress, a matriarch, and an independent operator. Even if Kalevala portrays women basically either as a fair virgin or an evil whore, the independent and opinionated character of women shines through the national romantic thinking of the 19th century.

The colorwork pattern of the sweater constitutes of a Scandinavian rune denoting fertility, a wise woman symbol found on shaman drums, and a snowflake element resembling the ones found in Nordic and Baltic embroidery.

The garment is worked seamlessly from the bottom up with a V-neck and dropped shoulders.

Yarn
Tukuwool Fingering (100% Finnish wool), colors H23 Selja and 05 Anga. 50 g skein = 200 m/213 yds

Needles
Circular needles (80-100 cm/32-40”) in sizes 3 mm/US2.5 and 3.5 mm/US4; Double-pointed needles in size 3 mm/US2.5; One double-pointed
needle in size 3.5 mm/US4 for the three-needle bind-off method

Notions
Stitch marker, waist yarn or stitch holders, locking stitch marker (optional)

Gauge
26 sts x 30 rounds = 10 x 10 cm/4 x 4” over Stockinette Stitch in the round using 3.5 mm/US4 needles

Size/ Yardages
XS 4 + 1 skeins(or 820 + 122 m/896 + 134 yds)
S 5 + 1 skeins (or 958 + 143 m/1048 + 157 yds)
M 6 + 1 skeins (or 1100 + 172 m/1203 + 188 yds)
L 6 + 1 skeins (or 1257 + 188 m/1375 + 205 yds)
XL 7 + 2 skeins (or 1418 + 212 m/1551 + 232 yds)
XXL 8 + 2 skeins (or 1588 + 237 m/1737 + 260 yds)
3XL 9 + 2 skeins (or 1768 + 264 m/1933 + 289 yds)
4XL 10 + 2 skeins (or 1957 + 292 m/2140 + 320 yds)
5XL 11 + 2 skeins (or 2155 + 322 m/2357 + 352 yds)
You will get the following files:
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