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 that we look forward sharing with you all!
The patterns from the collection are released from February 13th until March 16th, 2024. Follow along here, on Instagram and Facebook.
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.
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.
Anne Ventzel writes about the design:
Inge Sweater is knitted top-down. The pattern is only worked in the round, as the short rows are worked before the pattern begins, and you knit with no more than 2 colours at a time.
It was important for me to get the pattern symmetrical and neat along the raglan increases to make the sweater look superb in all sizes.
For me, the Inge Sweater is a modern classic, and therefore it was obvious to knit it in Åse’s own yarn, Jensen Yarn. It is a three-ply wool yarn that is produced in Denmark, is durable and ages beautifully.
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.