denmark still knitting

left, cardigan designed by Ruth Sørensen using Excel and Kauni Effekt yarn and inspired by the landscapes of Ebeltoft; right, detail of wall in Christiania, the counterculture squat in the center of Copenhagen.

Despite educational sløjd, not every Dane wants to knit. While Ruth Sørensen learned to knit from her mother and in school, she abandoned the craft by the time she was a student at Designskolen Kolding, where she trained as a textile designer and weaver. Charmingly blunt, Ruth explains knitting was included in the curriculum but was her least favorite class. “After textile design training, I was absorbed by weaving, and found the patterns and colors that could be produced with this technique exciting. I never found knitting to be especially challenging.” She, her husband, and children lived on a farm near Ebeltoft, north of Århus, surrounded by apple orchards but moved into town when the children were in secondary school. Ebeltoft is a former seaport and now has a lively arts scene, an internationally recognized glass museum, and is a resort in the summer. Historically, in the provinces, knitters worked with white wool then brought their finished garments to a dye-works such as Farvergården in Ebeltoft.

Ballerby Garn in Ebeltoft's historic center is stockist for Bente Geil's kits and Isager yarns.