Archives

In the summer of 2023 Helga Isager, once again, invited a group of the most talented Danish knitwear designers for a weekend in Tversted to meet around our shared passion for knitting and to begin the process of making a new joined Isager collection – this time with inspiration from the designs by Åse Lund Jensen from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

On the contrary to the political knitwear of the time which cultivate spontaneity and knitting without a pattern, Åse’s designs were always very well thought out and clearly showed her background as a tailor. We treasure her neat patterns and drawings and keep them all in binders which we normally only have access to ourselves.

The idea with Isager Archives was that every designer should base their individual design on one or more patterns from the archives and from these and a predetermined colour palette they should create a new and more contemporary design.

We have bounced ideas, made sketches, and knitted piles of samples and now the finished designs are finally here; 12 beautiful pieces of knitwear. View the collection below.

KARLA CAPE / Design: Anne Ventzel

Anne Ventzel writes about the pattern:

KARLA CAPE is my contribution to the joint collection ISAGER ARCHIVES. The inspiration is found in Åse Lund Jensen’s knitting patterns from the 50s and 60s. The specific knitting pattern I have taken as a starting point is BRIKKER, a cape with a matching hat. At first glance, I was attracted by the graphic slip-stitch pattern, which I have chosen to reinterpret here. I like the idea of ​​a cape that you wear over your clothes. In terms of functionality, however, I think a cape is a bit cumbersome in practice when you rush out in everyday life, and the clothes must fit. Therefore, I have transformed it into a more “controlled” shape: a roomy cardigan with half sleeves.

The cardigan is knitted in a slip-stitch pattern, which is a simple technique that makes it possible to knit a multicolored pattern without knitting with several colors at the same time. This means that what looks like fairisle knitting on this project is only knitted with one color at a time, making it easier to knit.

MATERIALS
Eco Soft
Tvinni
Buttons

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@anneventzel

INGE SWEATER /  Design: Lene Holme Samsøe

Lene Holme Samsøe writes about the design:
I have been particularly happy to contribute to the Isager Archives collection, because the inspiration had to come from Åse Lund Jensen’s designs. Her book „Strikning“ (EN: Knitting) inspired me to start writing knitting patterns. In the book, it was the first time I encountered the professional and systematic way of looking at knitting and it made me want to learn all the technical aspects of knitting. One of the best decisions I have ever made!

Åse’s pattern “Stjerner” has been my inspiration for Inge Sweater. It has a clear reference to the patterns of the 60s and 70s – but also to an even earlier pattern tradition.

MATERIALS
Jensen Yarn

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@leneholmesamsoe

NORMA SWEATER /  Design: My Favorite Things Knitwear (Louise Rasmussen)

My Favorite Things Knitwear (Louise Rasmussen) writes about the design:
To be allowed to dive into Åse Lund Jensen’s work and reinterpret one of her old patterns was a dream for me. Åse Lund Jensen is a knitting pioneer. So it is with great reverence, that I send my interpretation Norma Sweater out into the world.

Norma Sweater is based on Åse Lund Jensen’s classic sweater design ‘Svendborg’, and fragments of the pattern report form the basis for distinct stripes of Norma Sweater. To bring the design from the 60s into the present and into MFTK’s design universe, I have subtracted more than I have added.

The fit and expression are classic, elegant, and comfortable. Deep raglan, slightly oversized, wide sleeves. A unisex sweater that can be worn by everyone.

The combination of colors and pattern report was a natural and intuitive choice, which arose already during the first collection meeting at Isager in Tversted. I was attracted by the clean, graphic pattern report and lines of ‘Svendborg’ right away.

I went with my intuition and threw myself into my very first multicolored design. I have had many ideas for multicolored designs over the years, but it is only now – standing on the shoulders of Åse – that it feels right to publish.

With Norma Sweater, I have strived to create an accessible design that hopefully encourages more people to venture into the discipline of knitting in multiple colors. The sweater is worked with a maximum of two colours at a time, making it both simple, fun, and manageable.

Norma Sweater is a tribute to the classic Nordic knitting tradition and to one of its great pioneers.

MATERIALS
Isager Tweed
Silk Mohair
Tvinni

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@myfavouritethings.knitwear

ESTHER JACKET /  Design: PetiteKnit (Mette Okkels)

Petiteknit (Mette Wendelboe Okkels) writes about the design:
When I got the chance to have a look at the archives of all the Isager patterns, there was no doubt when I saw the cardigan that is the inspiration for Esther Jacket. The simple yet recognizable pattern consisting of regular knit and purl stitches has a timeless quality to it. It is the kind of knitwear you would love to find in your grandfather’s closet and bring straight home to your own. Esther Jacket is knitted from the top down in Isager Jensen Yarn and Isager Highland.

MATERIALS
Jensen Yarn
Highland

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@petiteknit

GERDA SWEATER + SKIRT /  Design: Aegyo Knit (Karoline Skovgaard)

Aegyoknit (Karoline Skovgaard) writes about the design:
The inspiration for the Gerda Set came from a pattern, made by Åse Lund Jensen. The pattern was for a sweater with a lot of structure and cables and was found in the old archives from that time around 1960s and 1970s. And it seemed perfect for an update. The sweater, which with its classic expression felt obvious to revive, with a more modern knitting technical approach as we know it from patterns today. I wanted to retain as much as possible from the original source of inspiration, without compromising Åse’s original version. Therefore, there are only small changes and additions like the construction with knitting from the top to the bottom in one piece. In addition, a skirt in the same structure as the original sweater has been added, to match the fashion from that time as well as today.

MATERIALS
Spinni
Silk Mohair

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@aegyoknit

JOHANNE_LOOP_SWEATER /  Design: Other Loops (Maja Kløvdal)

Other Loops (Maja Kløvdal) writes about the design:
JOHANNE_LOOP_SWEATER draws inspiration from the ‘Alstrøje’. A sweater in nuanced knitting designed in the 1960s-1970s by Åse Lund Jensen, the founder of the company that later became Isager. The interpretation is based on the original pattern repeat, and the shift in nuances is emphasized as the colours graduate from the top down over the sweater via the pattern repeat that extends to the bottom.
The sweater is knitted top down. To ensure a good fit, short rows are worked at the top of both the back, shoulders, and sleeves. The body and the lower part of the sleeves are knitted in two-coloured colourwork according to chart.

MATERIALS
Isager Tweed
Silk Mohair

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@otherloops

ÅSE SWEATER /  Design: Hanne Rimmen

Hanne Rimmen writes about the design:
Aase sweater boasts a graphic pattern, which with its weaving repetitions, evokes a sleek and contemporary Nordic look.
The pattern is inspired by the knitwear designer Åse Lund Jensen, particularly her enchanting pattern named “Skæl”, which was originally crafted for a tote design.
Throughout the 50s and 60s, Åse pioneered an iconic style with focus on blending patterns and rhythmic decrease and increase in her pattern knitwork. These details are revived in a modern context within this design, paying respect to the original craftsmanship.
Aase sweater is designed for the Isager Archives 2024 collection, a collaborative effort with Isager.

MATERIALS
Spinni
Tvinni

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@hannerimmen

TOVE SHIRT + SKIRT /  Design: Odd Row (Lene Rix)

My contribution to the Isager Archives collection consists of a shirt blouse with a collar and a mosaic knitted yoke along with a simple skirt in mosaic knitting. The inspiration was two patterns from the Isager archives from the 60s and 70s – a fitted blouse with a button placket and a mosaic knitted vest, both of which were typical of the time.
Together Tove Shirt & Skirt make an elegant set – or the shirt blouse can be combined with your favorite trousers and the skirt with a classic shirt. Both styles are knitted in Spinni, which was also used in both original patterns – now with a thread of Silk Mohair added.
Tove Shirt is knitted top-down. First, the collar is worked in rib and then the yoke is knitted in mosaic knitting with one or more contrasting colours. The body and sleeves are in stockinette stitch and decreases are made to define the waist. The sleeves are finished off with mosaic knitted cuffs.
Tove Skirt is a simple mosaic knitted skirt. It can be knitted as a short model for above the knee or as a slightly longer pencil skirt for mid-calf. The skirt is worked in the round, from the waist down, in mosaic knitting.

MATERIALS
Spinni
Silk Mohair

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@odd_row

RITA JACKET /  Design: Helga Jóna Thórunnardóttir

Helga Jóna Thórunnardóttir writes about the pattern:
“RITA Jacket” is my contribution to the ISAGER ARCHIVES. I was inspired by Åse Lund Jensen’s knitting pattern “PJUSK Battlejacket”, which she created in 1974. I have always been fascinated by that jacket, by the loop knitting, and by the beautiful hand drawing Åse made of it.
I have reinterpreted the jacket in a lighter version of a bomber jacket, where the loops are knitted in ISAGER Bouclé, which in my opinion is made for the jacket. The nice little loops in the yarn give the knitted loops extra nice finishing touch, almost like fur.
The rib, edges and collar of the jacket are knitted in slip-stich pattern, with one strand of Isager Trio 2 and one strand Alpaca 1 are helt together, creating a beautiful contrast to the loops.
I have really enjoyed the process of putting my own fingerprint on one of Åse’s patterns.

MATERIALS
Alpaca 1
Trio 2
Bouclé

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@helgajona

AGNES SWEATER /  Design: Knitthing (Tine Rousing)

Tine Rousing writes about the design:

Agnes Sweater is my contribution to the collection ISAGER ARCHIVES. The sweater is inspired and designed based on Åse Lund Jensen’s model called FÆRØ TRØJEN, which is a multicolored sweater for both children and adults.
In my interpretation I have combined the classic raglan sweater with a balaclava, which is worked in extension of the neck edge with exciting details. The model is worked mostly in twisted rib, which is inspired by the time where the model is originally from. The yoke is worked in two strands of Highland Wool. The multicolored pattern is simplified and worked with 2 colors of Spinni for a color mix.
The Agnes Sweater is worked top-down ending with a loose rib at the bottom, which gives the model a fine silhouette.

MATERIALS
Highland Wool
Spinni

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@knitthing_

FLORA SLIPOVER /  Design: Camilla Vad

Camilla Vad writes about the pattern:
FLORA SLIPOVER is my contribution to the joint ISAGER ARCHIVES collection. I have found inspiration in Åse Lund Jensen’s pattern ‘FLOWERS’ (in Danish ‘BLOMSTER’), which is originally a cardigan and a sweater. I have known the pattern for many years, from when I was employed in Isager’s store, which was then also located in Copenhagen, and knew immediately that it was the one I wanted to work with.
Åse Lund Jensen’s ‘FLOWERS’ has a continuous pattern with pretty little flowers made with colourwork knitting. A lovely  pattern that is easy to memorize.
The model had to be retro 60s or 70s in style and for me a slipover with a floral pattern is as retro as it gets.
To add something new to the fine flower pattern, I have chosen to mirror it so that there are leaves on both sides of the flower crown and gathered the flowers a little so that there are fewer stitches between the colors which makes it easier to knit even if you are new to colourwork knitting.
Flora Slipover is knitted in the round from the bottom up to the armhole, where the pattern is knitted back and forth on the needle. There is therefore no need to cut the finished knit. The model is fitted, as vests were in both the 60s and 70s. I of course chose Jensen Yarn – the former ÅLJ yarn held together with a thread of silk mohair. This gives you the opportunity to play with colours as both yarn qualities come in a multitude of colours.

MATERIALS
Jensen Yarn
Silk Mohair

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@camillavaddk

KIRSTEN SHIRT /  Design: Helga Isager

Helga Isager writes about the design:
The starting point for my contribution to the Isager Archives Collection was Åse Lund Jensen’s pattern ‘Skjorte’ with stripes lengthwise and crosswise and knitted in one strand of Isager Jensen Yarn.
My own version, Kirsten Shirt, is knitted in one strand of Isager Tvinni with garter stitch ridges worked in one strand of Isager Silk Mohair. I wanted to make a Springlike lightweight garment and Tvinni is perfect for this. At the same time, I love knitting on fine needles and that knitting takes time and involve techniques that make a beautiful finish. The garments I spent a long time making often stay in my wardrobe the longest.
The front and back body are worked sideways. Short rows are worked so the space between the garter ridges is narrower closer to the yoke. When the body has been completed, stitches are picked up and knitted along the top of it, and the yoke with the front placket is worked from these stitches. Short rows are worked at the shoulders and the shoulders are knitted together.
The design has a rib collar and little cap sleeves, which are worked separately and sewn on.

MATERIALS
Tvinni
Silk Mohair

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@helgaisager