Posted on November 13, 2020November 13, 2020 by Kay — Leave a commentThe story of MARIUS – Norway’s most famous knitting pattern Modern Marius sweaters by Rauma You have probably seen the knitted sweater in the colors of the Norwegian flag, red, white, and blue, but do you know the origin of this famous pattern? The origin of the Marius pattern A former model and one of Norway’s first female entrepreneurs, Unn Søiland Dale (1926–2002) was the woman behind the Marius. An avid knitter from her childhood, she studied languages in England and France before becoming a stewardess. Then she moved to Paris, working as a catwalk-model, before becoming a model in London at the fashion house Hardy Amies. There was a lot of waiting on photoshoots, and she used every available moment to knit. Her work quickly became popular among her model friends, and she started taking orders, eventually establishing her own business, Lillunn Sport in 1953. Norwegian Sweaters After a successful start with her sweaters being sold in exclusive sportswear shops and being portrayed in fashion magazines in both London and Paris, she quit her modeling job and went all in to develop her business further. After returning to Norway, she hired knitters from all over the country, and soon she had over a thousand women knitting and delivering sweaters to her company. “Norwegian Sweaters”, inspired by old traditional knitting patterns and folk costumes, soon became fashionable and her designs were seen in many international fashion magazines. The original Marius sweater by Unn Søiland Dale (Norsk Folkemuseum) Marius in the movies The pattern for the Marius sweater was designed by Unn Søiland Dale in 1953, and it has since been the most popular knitting pattern in Norway, sold in over five million copies. In 1954, a well-known war hero from the Second World War, fighter pilot and alpinist Marius Eriksen, got cast in the Norwegian movie “Troll i ord.” Unn Søiland Dale made the sweaters for everyone in the main cast. Marius Eriksen starred as the handsome ski instructor in the movie and the name “Marius” was established. The movie created a great knitting-hysteria in Norway. The Marius sweater in the movie “Troll i ord” Everyone wanted to knit the Marius sweater, and the demand for both yarn and pattern was huge. To this day the pattern is very popular, both in Norway and internationally. Digitalt Museum digitaltmuseum.no The classic Marius The classic and most popular Marius has the colors of the Norwegian flag: red, white, and blue. When the designer made the pattern, she based it on another traditional Norwegian knitting pattern, the “Lusekofte” from Setesdalen. Lusekofte The “Lusekofte” dates back to the 19th century, and the traditional sweaters and jackets used the natural colors of sheep wool – black, gray, brown, and white. The pattern was altered and got brighter colors when she redesigned it to make it the Marius we all know and love today. As the years have gone by, this sweater is considered as Norwegian as the fjords and the Brunost. (Norsk Folkemuseum) Knitting in Norway It is unsure how early knitting was introduced in Norway, but the first archeological finds are dated between the years 1400-1500. Until the 18th century, knitting was mostly a job and not a hobby. The poor knitted to make money. When the industrial revolution came around, and yarn was easier to produce, it made it easier for everyone to take to knitting both as work and a hobby. As the years went by, knitting became a very popular activity, and patterns were made locally, like the folk costumes every corner of Norway had its own traditions. Popular motifs were often based on nature, like snowflakes and flowers representing different landscapes where the people lived. digitaltmuseum.no This resulted in collections of knitting patterns being made. Like former collections of fairy tales, carefully curated by Asbjørnsen and Moe, Annichen Sibbern traveled all over the country to collect different knitting patterns, resulting in the book “Norske strikkemønstre”(Norwegian knitting patterns), published in 1929. Norwegian knitting yarns Knitting is a popular hobby in Norway, and knitted garments found in Norway have been dated as far back as between 1476 and 1525. In hand knitting, wool from sheep is the most important yarn material. The strong, Norwegian wool means that many older cardigans are preserved and in use. It is also knitted a lot in alpaca and cotton. The market for knitting yarns in synthetic fibers, such as acrylic, is far smaller in Norway than in other countries. One should also not forget the environmental aspect. By buying Norwegian yarn, you buy short-haul. The animals go out a lot in Norwegian nature and there is a great focus on animal welfare. The production at the spinning mills follows strict rules for the environment, and wool is a natural material. Explorers and sportsmen In the good old days, the influencers were explorers and sportsmen, and the sweaters they were pictured in, became sought after for both children and adults. Like before mentioned when sweaters were worn in movies, they became instant hits. And we thought product placement in movies was a modern-day thing? To this day, the Olympic teams of Norway often wear sweaters made especially for the Olympics, like OL Passion from Dale of Norway. OL Passion by Dale of Norway Knitting as a political protest During the Second World War, Norwegians actually protested against the occupants by knitting and wearing red hats, called “Nisselue” (Santa’s hat). It eventually became so popular that they were banned in 1942. If you were caught wearing one it was taken from you and you would be punished for it. WikiPedia.org Artists like Kjell Aukrust and Thorbjørn Egner made postcards with motifs of people wearing them as a quiet protest. The ban also resulted in several postcards and Christmas cards being published with Santa and his helpers without hats or with hats in other colors. Christmas card by Paul Lillo Stenberg during the war. Marius for everyone After some years when knitting was considered an old fashioned activity, it has again become very popular and trendy. People in general have become more aware of the environmental aspect of ready to wear clothes and long for the homemade clothes and natural materials. Nowadays you can get a variety of colors and different variations of the pattern for the beloved Marius sweater. The pattern is also used on hats, mittens, dresses, Rauma Marius sweaters, jumpsuits, coats, and a lot of other things. There have been published several books of Marius knitting patterns, even with happy cats and dogs wearing their Marius sweaters. It is no longer just clothes made of wool, but also lighter fabrics such as cotton and bamboo. One of the most loved knitting patterns of all time To this day the Marius is one of the most loved knitting patterns of all time. Almost all people in Norway will have had this sweater in some way, shape, or form, and the members of the Royal Family of Norway have also been seen wearing their sweaters when skiing or hiking in the Norwegian mountains. These days the popular Marius is not limited to woolen knitted sweaters and other clothes. You can find the famous pattern on kitchenware like spatulas, napkins, thermoses, and thermo cups, as well as decorative items like playing cards, notepads, and candle holders. Shop Marius themed products Æ Rainwear Copenhagen Marius Citycoat Black BLUE NAVY Red USD 432.81 ️ Select options Æ Rainwear Berlin Marius Citycoat Black BLUE NAVY USD 306.54 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius wool babysuit assorted colors Blue Grey USD 90.08 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius wool dress assorted colors Blue Lotus pink USD 87.68 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius wool cardigan assorted colors Blue Lotus pink Pink USD 75.64 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius wool dress blue Blue USD 72.04 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius bamboo babysuit assorted colors Blue Dodger blue Light blue Light pink Red White USD 67.23 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius bamboo cardigan assorted colors Blue Red USD 60.01 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius hoodie kids navy Navy USD 60.01 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius bamboo dress assorted colors Blue Red USD 60.01 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius bamboo body assorted colors Blue Cameo green Dodger blue Light blue Light pink Pearl blush Purple Red White USD 47.99 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius adults wool hat blue USD 47.99 ️ Add to cart Rauma Rauma Marius wool hat blue red Blue/Red USD 46.90 ️ Select options Flaarønning Woolen scarf marius White USD 43.18 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius wool baclava lotus pink Lotus pink USD 41.98 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kis Marius wool hat lotus pink Lotus pink USD 41.98 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kis Marius wool hat baby blue Baby blue USD 41.98 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kis Marius wool hat blue Blue USD 41.98 ️ Select options Cacas Apron Marius Black Blue USD 35.96 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius wool mittens navy Navy USD 35.96 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius wool headbandd lotus pink Lotus pink USD 35.96 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius wool headbandd navy Navy USD 35.96 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius wool mittens baby blue Baby blue USD 34.75 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius wool mittens blue Blue USD 34.75 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius 2-pack wool socks assorted colors Lotus pink Lotus pink/Egret Navy/Grey USD 29.95 ️ Select options Eyepoc Porcelain cup with red Marius pattern USD 23.94 ️ Add to cart Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius bamboo hat assorted colors Blue Red USD 23.94 ️ Select options Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius baby cloth navy baby blue USD 23.94 ️ Add to cart Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius baby cloth navy lotus pink USD 23.94 ️ Add to cart Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius baby cloth navy USD 23.94 ️ Add to cart Eyepoc Sunglasses case set marius USD 23.94 ️ Add to cart Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius adults cap navy USD 21.53 ️ Add to cart Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius kids cap navy Navy USD 21.53 ️ Select options NVRLND NVRLND crew socks Marius aktiv Navy White USD 21.53 ️ Select options Eyepoc Bag Marius Blue White USD 21.53 ️ Select options NVRLND NVRLND crew socks Marius assorted colors Business Classic Glitch blue Lime Oceanside Orange Sands Sunset USD 17.91 ️ Select options NVRLND NVRLND women Marius crew socks assorted colors Glitch pink Grape Pink aqua Pink bright Pink navy Snowflake USD 17.91 ️ Select options NVRLND NVRLND Marius Crew socks assorted colors Pride Summer Vintage USD 17.91 ️ Select options NVRLND NVRLND low cut socks Marius assorted colors Green navy USD 16.71 ️ Select options NVRLND NVRLND low cut socks Marius assorted colors Green navy Pink navy Pride Vintage USD 16.71 ️ Select options Eyepoc Notebook Marius Blue White USD 16.71 ️ Select options Cacas Silicone spatula Marius Light blue Light pink USD 15.51 ️ Select options Cacas Silicone spatula Marius Black Blue Red White USD 15.51 ️ Select options Eyepoc Notebook Marius A6 soft cover Blue Light pink USD 14.31 ️ Select options Cacas Silicone spatula mini Marius 2stk Pastel Red/Blue USD 11.90 ️ Select options Cacas Kitchen towel Marius USD 11.90 ️ Add to cart Nordic Kids Nordic kids Marius joyful socks assorted colors Crocus Girly pink Moonlight blue Pine green White USD 8.30 ️ Select options Eyepoc Playing cards Marius USD 8.30 ️ Add to cart Cacas Dishcloth Marius Blue Red White USD 5.89 ️ Select options Post navigationPrevious post: What do Norwegians eat? Traditional food from Norway.Next post: Norwegian Christmas traditions and food Leave a Reply Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.