Fana Mitts and Breads

Thor requested a pair of fingerless mitts he could wear when he played the guitar.  He asked that they be low enough so as not to interfere with strings when playing and curved to match the slope of his knuckles.   He also requested that they be “unusual.” (How’s that for guidance?!)  🙂

I used a silk-pima cotton blend, probably DK weight.  I knit the remaining yarn into a matching (sort of) hat.  Thor likes his ensemble.

LarryFanahatThose familiar with traditional Scandinavian patterns will see that my design choice was influenced by Norway’s traditional Fana pattern.  As explained Susanne Pagoldh,

“Fana, which is just south of Bergen, gave its name to Fana sweaters (Fanatrøjen) … The sweater, or cardigan, was originally part of the traditional man’s costume in Fana and evolved from an everyday undersweater which was worn under the vest and tucked into the trousers.”  (Nordic Knitting, 46)

To see a picture of my mother sporting a Fana sweater and matching hat (both knit by my grandmother, of course), sometime around the beginning of Germany’s occupation of Norway, take a peek at one of my earlier posts.  Decades later, people still use the Fana design!  If you’d like to see its influence on a modern sweater, take a look at Norwegian book309_fanadesigner Sidsel J. Høivik‘s Bolero Fritt etter Fana.  Stunning!  You may also want to visit Two Strands‘ recent post that opens with modern Fana sweaters for children from Dale Garn Kids’ Book NR 309.

Some (but not all!) of recent breads.

I have been corresponding with a weaver who is also a committed artisan bread maker.  Thanks to her encouragement and guidance, I tackled:

struan21.  A multigrain Struan bread adapted from a Peter Reinhart’s recipe in  Brother Juniper’s Bread Book.  Starting a few days in advance, I made a Struan1biga (white whole wheat) and a soaker (white whole wheat along with an array of goodies – oatmeal, polenta, rye flakes, flax seeds, wheat bran, oat bran, and sunflower seeds).  I made the dough today and, after two proofs, baked it in a Romertopf Clay Baker.  Since this first Struan effort, I have also made it using Humphrey (my rye starter who lives in the refrigerator) in place of the biga.  Works perfectly well!

ThomLeonardLoaf2 ThomLeonardLoaves2.  Two deliciously sour loaves based on Thom Leonard’s Country French Bread (Maggie Glezer, Artisan Baking).  I baked one loaf in the Romertopf Clay Baker and the other in my Emile Henry Bread Cloche.

I use the EH cloche and R clay baker whenever possible; it avoids a lot of burns on my arms that came with turning my ordinary oven into a steam oven.

(Note:  I say “adapted from” or “based on” as I tend to approach recipes the same way I approach knitting patterns:  As suggestions and/or guides!  [I’ve always liked that the word oppskriver in Norwegian translates to either patterns or recipes!])


About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Breads, Knitting, Miscellany and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Fana Mitts and Breads

  1. Thank you; I have always liked the Fana patters. And re bread – me too! Commercial bread tastes awful in comparison … Certainly not worth the calories! I have become one of those people who vacations and brings her own bread! >


  2. fabrickated says:

    What a lovely post – how nice to be ale to shape the gloves exactly as Thor would like them. And the patterning and its history, and the older picture – it is such a romantic expression. Like the bread. Since my husband started with sour dough I cannot eat anything else. Yesterday at a work buffet I just ate the salmon, the dips and the crisps – can’t bear mass produced bread and sandwiches any more.


  3. Hi! Yes, the wonderful smells from a grandmother’s kitchens are amazing memories! >

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tgonzales says:

    Oh Katherine I love the picture of your Mother in her Fana sweater and those fingerless mitts and hat look perfect for your Hubby! The bread looks pretty amazing as well, it brought back memories of my grandmother baking us bread. hugs, Tamara


  5. If you lived near enough for a snitch, I’d give you a loaf! 🙂 >

    Liked by 1 person

  6. salpal1 says:

    love the gloves and hat, and likely would love the bread if I was near enough to snitch a slice. 🙂


  7. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you’re getting good bread to your taste!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Recniky says:

    Oh I just love the shorter fingerless gloves! What a great idea for a guitar player! And thank you for the bread pics and ideas. I am going through chemo, and bread is like heaven to me… a little bit of sweetness and a lot of chewiness. I’ve posted you on my website ( ) and on my Pinterest under favorite blogs… as I truly like your site.


  9. Thank you. It was indeed a good choice for him. (I don’t know how someone could grow up in an area where it snows 5 months a year and not be able to wear wool!!! Poor man!) >


  10. Thank you … nothing like knitting without some oh-so-touchable yarn while the smell of baking bread wafts through the house … 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you. He doesn’t wear them a lot because he says they’re “too nice.” ?!?!?! >


  12. Susan says:

    Great breads and those mitts…….wow. Good job.


  13. Thank you … I think my bread making skills are improving. It’s gotten us rather spoiled; we eat only homemade breads leavened with a sourdough culture! >

    Liked by 1 person

  14. hookednewknitter says:

    The bread is very impressive!


  15. jenyjenny says:

    Beautiful! Love the knitting and the baking!


  16. Rebecca says:

    Lovely design. Excellent yarn choice for your man, no sheep next to the skin but strong and well wearing just the same.


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