Happy Birthday – Hurra for Deg som Fyller Ditt år!

Today I woke Thor up by an enthusiastic rendition of the Norwegian birthday song, “Hurra for Deg som Fyller Ditt år!” (Click here to hear a more polished performance than mine.) I couldn’t wait for him to open his gift!

20121112-140050.jpg I used a cable called “Ragna” Elsebeth Lavold worked out in The Viking Knits Collection (see p. 54). It is a large cable set in between a set of smaller cables; I centered it on both the front and back sides of the vest. (If you aren’t familiar with Lavold’s work, you may want to take a peek at her designs. I am a fan.) I designed the pattern (it’s simple and really shows off Ragna), and knit it out of Tahki’s Chelsea Silk. (Anybody remember Chelsea Silk – 65%/35% silk/wool, 50g/150 y? Sadly, I didn’t have enough skeins in my stash to knit a whole sweater for Thor.)

20121112-140523.jpgFor newer knitters: Here is a picture of my gauge swatch for this project. Notice it is large! When designing with cables, it is important to remember that your gauge over cables will differ – often substantially – from your gauge in straight stitch. Cables tend to “pull in.” Thus it is critical you gauge, and depending on your pattern, your gauge swatch has to be large enough to judge the effect of the cable. For large cable repeats, make sure your swatch holds at least one cable repeat. In this project, my gauge over straight stitch was 4 stitches per inch, and my gauge over the 40 stitch cabled section was 5.72 per inch. With those figures in hand, after calculating the width of my center panel and the equal sized-straight stitch panels on either side, I could determine how many stitches I needed to cast on for both the front and back pieces.

About sweatyknitter

Fiber artist, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
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26 Responses to Happy Birthday – Hurra for Deg som Fyller Ditt år!

  1. Tina says:

    Lovely! I really do love Elsebeth Lavold’s cablework designs and wish I had more time to knit them all!


  2. that cable is beautiful!
    all my cables have holes in them, but yours look perfect!


  3. Socioknit says:

    I LOVE Elesbeth Lavold, especially her Viking Knits designs. I adore working with her Silky Wool line. That looks awesome! I am a huge cables fan and as you said, cables can be tricky since they are 3-dimensional and generally work at a different gauge that the other stitches in your design. In some cases, the cables pull and flare can really work to shape a garment, while flare along a neckline can look pretty wonky.😀


  4. Gorgeous vest! Were you able to knit it as a surprise? That’s impressive.
    I’ve made about a dozen vests for my husband- he wears them under suits so good way to wear hand knits.


    • It wasn’t exactly a surprise – given that I designed the vest so he had several fittings and I wanted to ensure it was just what he wanted. I actually started designing it in April, and by the time the hot weather hit I had finished the two pieces. I set it down while it was hot, and then when the weather cooled I took about 10 days to wash, block, finish, wash it again, block it again and dry it. He hadn’t seen me work on it since early summer, so it was SORT of a surprise. Re your husband’s vests, what weight yarn do you use given he wears them under a suit jacket?

      Sent from my iPad


  5. Curls & Q says:

    Q – LOVE Lavold. Have a few of her books. What a fabulous present! Lucky Thor.


  6. What a fabulous vest! Thor is very lucky indeed! I have made my own version of Ragna and will blog about it tomorrow adding a link to your post! Lavold’s cable designs are unique! I also loved hearing that you chose to sing a Norwegian birthday song to him!


    • Thank you! I am pleased it came out quite nicely – but then Ragna probably would make anything look nice! It was too warm in San Francisco to wear it yesterday (70F/21C)! I am not too sure Thor appreciated me loudly singing so early in the morning – or acting out the song – but I had fun.:) I had to set down the Dew Drop Shawl jacket (for me) to finish the vest for Thor’s birthday, and my needles are clicking furiously working on a top-down raglan pull over for a jul present for grandson O. (Granddaughter F’s knit poncho with matching cloche crocheted by a friend for her are already finished.) I have warped out a multi-colored scarf for my daughter’s jul gave and need to finish that. THEN I finish Dew Drop, which will be followed by two other sweater/jackets for me!


  7. Claire says:

    It’s beautiful! And great color!


  8. Claire says:

    And Happy Birthday Thor!


  9. kyred says:

    Gorgeous!! Cables always get my attention.


  10. kiwiyarns says:

    Happy belated Birthday to Thor! The vest looks great, and I love those cables! I’m dying to cast on something cabled myself… just have to finish off the last teeny tiny bits of my two projects!!


  11. Pingback: Cables Galore | Linda Marveng

  12. textileshed says:

    Lovely indeed. Do tell me – do you do a raw and dressed gauge before you knit something like this? My current project involves cables and the gauge swatch changed considerably after I pulled it through water, and that is what I am going by. The same applies to the body, it looked mini, and after I pulled it through water (not just steamed it), it ‘came into its own’, the width grew by many inches.


    • If it is a good plied wool with a good firm twist, I make a sample large enough for two repeats of the largest cable. If I am using a more slippery protein fiber, i will not knit a complicated cable pattern – though yes I will wash and block carefully. Alpaca and llama cables tend to flatten and pull out of shape. I shy away from cables in cotton or linen again because they flatten.


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