Weaving in Another Language: Vocabulary

HusflidensvevbokI had a Norwegian speaking family where knitting was commonplace and, in fact, never even looked at an knitting pattern in English until I was almost 30 years old.  Now while my wrist heals, weaving has again captured my attention.  Reading through Husflidens vevbok by Tone Elsabeth Paulsen (1983), a book long-buried in my bookshelf makes me wish someone in the family had been an active weaver!

As any fiber artist knows, each art and craft has a vocabulary onto itself.  This means that unless skilled in a specific art or craft, even a native speaker of a language most likely will not know the vocabulary specific to that art or craft.

So now I’m learning to read a Norwegian weaving pattern and quickly adding to my Norwegian vocabulary.  In the bottom of this post are JPGs of my Norwegian weaving-specific vocabulary to date.  (I’ve included the words for some basic colors too.)  The list is available as a downloadable PDF on a static page at the top of my blog.  I welcome all corrections and/or additions.  Upon receipt I will update the static page.

Thank you to Linda Marveng for connecting me to Nodland Vestol.  I knew that “lerr” meant canvas (as in a picture’s) and had a hunch it meant tabby.  Thank you to Arvid Noland for confirming that!

In my next post, I will explain how to translate a Norwegian weaving draft (draw down) and basic written instructions.



About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
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11 Responses to Weaving in Another Language: Vocabulary

  1. It would be great if weavers who have mastered craft-specific vocabulary in more than one language could come together and create a guide. >


  2. Suzan says:

    Yeah, that’s the problem…. it’s difficult to find out as there are no weaving guilds or anything. You can learn it as a profession, but it’s specialist knowledge then and not easily accessible. Stupid, huh. 🙂


  3. Pingback: Norwegian Weaving: Veskje (Threading Explanation) | The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

  4. Sadly, I don’t know any Germany weaving words, just knitting.


  5. Suzan says:

    This is just great – though I’m not speaking Norwegian, this is exactly what I’m missing too for German… and I’m trying to build a table like this as well. I just still lack most of the German terms for everything… 😉


  6. It probably depends on the pattern. If it’s a pretty basic, graphed pattern with a schematic, you should be able to figure it out. Have you seen “Knitting Languages” (sadly out of print, I think)? And DROPS has a pretty good knitting translator online.


  7. lissymail says:

    This is terrific. I once found a sweater pattern in Danish that I wanted to knit, and I spent a long time wondering about whether a translation would be possible just based on understanding construction . . . turns out that there is a lot to be potentially lost in translation 🙂


  8. Afrikaans is related to Dutch, correct? So that makes sense. I’ve seen several Dutch movies and been able to follow some of the dialogue. >


  9. Thank you … yes, indeed, Norway has an amazing knitting tradition. I was regularly bedecked in Norwegian ski sweaters growing up in sunny California. 🙂



  10. Very interesting what a fun post! And Norway has an awesome knitting tradition!! More of this please, Johanna


  11. Awesome post. Loved checking the Norwegian words to English, some makes sense for me since they remind me a little bit of the Afrikaans words, a language we speak here. 🙂 Looking forward to more.


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