All of the symbols of their native Scandinavia—snowflakes and stylized stars, Norwegian runic letters and northern lights—have been knit into the most colorful sweaters to sweep America in many a long winter's moon. Denmark's leading producer of hand-knits, Paul Mage of Copenhagen, has 1,600 women in cottages scattered around the land busily knitting his designs, such as the one in Copenhagen blue worn by youthful Sys Brammer at right. It takes one of Mage's knitters up to three weeks to make a sweater, and he is having a hard time keeping up with his American orders. Other designs come from the Faroe Islands, where fisherwives knit two-toned sweaters into geometric patterns; and from Sweden, where the Bohos knitters take their subtle colors from the mountains. And everywhere the story is the same: the demand has never been greater. Now inspiration has leaped across the seas; American knitters, quick to see the design ideas coming from the north of Europe, have created their own galaxy of stars. They, and their Scandinavian inspirations, are photographed in Copenhagen's Frilandsmuseet, its open air museum.
The Kvik rowing team, champions of Denmark, line up dockside at their rowing club in a bright collection of American-made sweaters inspired by the hand-knits of their native land. The stars, the stripes and the heavy knits are a far cry from last year's popular monotone Shetlands. The sweater manufacturers and prices, from left to right, are: Kandahar, $7.95; Himalaya, $14; Puritan, $12.95; McGregor, $10; Himalaya, $12.95; Puritan, $10; Himalaya, $20; Puritan, $10; Van Heusen, $12.95.
Sys Brammer wears a Paul Mage hand-knit: Saks Fifth Ave., New York, $35
Twin cardigans (Catalina, $19.95 each) with Scandinavian designs on sleeves are worn by Birgit Kaufmann and Bjorn Brammer in front of ancient blacksmith shop from Isle of Fyn.
Hand-knit cardigan (left, Paul Mage, $40) is new variation of most popular Danish sweater pattern. Norwegian pullover (right) worn by Mike Sporon will be copied by McGregor in fall.
Pewter-buttoned cardigan (left, Catalina, $16.95) is worn by Reine Pino of Copenhagen. Max Brammer's gaily patterned sweater (Puritan, $12.95) was designed in Norway.