The story of Kvitebjørn and tips on how to knit it
The idea for Kvitebjørn came from my old job. I always sat fiddling with things and drawing on all sorts of sheets at work so I got a small wallet from two colleagues (I think they were reasonably tired of all their sheets being cluttered haha). The same day I drew the first draft for Kvitebjørn and I wanted so much to start knitting that I had to order yarn right away! As usual, I had to reach out a bit. The bear's head became too big compared to the rest of my body so I reached up and knitted again.
The sweater is knitted with 8 colors, but you never knit with more than 2 colors at a time. I have also made a children's change and a version with 4 colors. All the versions can be found in my book. (The book can be ordered here) .
One of my drawings of what the bear should look like. This picture was taken in our home and I have also decorated the door in the dining room with a Polar Bear: D
When I finished the first sweater I was so happy that I had to knit another one right away! During the winter, I ended up knitting 7 or 8 White Bear sweaters.
I so wanted one of the pictures of Kvitebjørn in the book to be taken on Svalbard. I therefore sent a White Bear to Melissa Schafer who has published a book about Polar Bears together with her boyfriend Fredrik Granath! They were going up to Svalbard to work and were to take some pictures while they were there. This was just before the municipal boundaries were closed due to Korona. I got a message from Melissa that they had so little time before they had to go again, but they did get some pictures! I felt really stressed! because I so wanted to include the pictures in the book from Svalbard. But luckily it worked out.
One of the pictures Melissa Schafer sent me before they had to leave Svalbard due to coronary restrictions. Photo = Fredrik Gran ath
The polar bear sweater is a pretty decent sweater to knit, even for beginners. But there are simple things that I have been asked about that I will explain here: D
Long distances and knitting strength
One is that you have to twist the threads when there are long distances. Twisting the thread is exactly what it sounds like. You just have to catch the thread that gets long with the thread you are knitting with. There are lots of movies on youtube about how to do it and you can search for "how to catch floates in knitting". It is also very common to knit tighter on a pattern so it is quite possible that you will have to use a larger needle size than what is stated as a guideline needle size.
How to increase when there is a pattern on the entire sleeve
The other thing people are wondering is how to increase stitches in pattern. This is much easier than it seems at first glance. I usually knit a purl stitch in the middle of the sleeves to make a clear distinction between the start and end of the round. You knit up to where you want to increase stitches on each side of the purl stitch.
This is what the inside of the sleeve looks like.
Increase on right side of center stitch =
See where you are in the chart. So let's say you are in row 10 and stitch 3 when you have finished the round and are ready to increase (right picture). Use sheets to mark where in the chart you are. Slides the sheet one stitch away to the left. As you can see in the picture, increase in dark pink (left picture).
Increase on the left side of the middle mask =
You do exactly the same as on the right side just the opposite. Find out where you are in the chart and slide the sheet a notch to the right as the picture shows. Now you should increase in light purple.
How to knit the bears
Knitting the bears can be a little confusing! My best tip is to use the sheet again and lay it over the rows you have not yet knitted.
Yarn for Kvitebjørn
Which yarn you should use depends on the use. I prefer Lettlopi, Vidde lamull yarn and Varde fur wool yarn that I have stated in the book, but it is possible you will want a sweater with other properties and appearance. Here is an overview of some of the options🐧
🌲🐑Easy running = Suitable for you who will use the garment a lot outside in all kinds of weather. This yarn contains cover hair and undercoat from the sheep which makes it water-repellent. Garments that are knitted in light lopi can withstand a lot of hard use, but it feels a bit tangled with use, so it is better that you knit the sweater too big than too small. The yarn can itch so I recommend wearing wool underwear underneath.
LatPlatulopy = This yarn is unspun so it can be a little difficult to knit with since it breaks easily. But you get an incredibly light, warm and soft sweater, but the same features as Lettlopi.
🐑🌲Vidde lamull yarn = Vidde is a soft Norwegian quality yarn from lamb wool which fits great if you are going to use the sweater both outside and inside. The yarn only contains undercoat, which means that it is not as water-repellent in the same way as light lopi, but in return you get much softer garments. Wool contains lanolin, which is the sheep's natural wool fat. This means that all yarns that are made of untreated wool (not superwash.) Are to a certain extent water-repellent. Lanolin also makes the garment self-cleaning.
🐑🌲Varde fur wool yarn = A yarn of Norwegian fur sheep. All the wool is dyed on the sheep's natural color which is gray, so the wool gets a special shine. High quality yarn. Suitable for outdoor life.
🐑Pure merino from mimilano = A yarn for you with very sensitive skin. 100% merino. Fits everyday clothes.
🐑Alpaca tweed from DSA = A tweed yarn of alpaca and wool. I react to alpaca so I can unfortunately not say much about this yarn other than that it looks beautiful. Garments in alpaca get wet very quickly outside so it is not suitable for outdoor life.
🐑Drops Nepal, Alpaca wool from sandnes yarn or Big strong from DSA (these yarns contain alpaca and wool) = Suitable for everyday garments.
Faroese speech from DSA, Drops Air or Drops brushed alpaca silk = Brushed alpaca. Here you get a slightly "puffy" look on the garment (suitable for indoor use).
🐑Drops Alaska = 100 percent wool. Suitable for both outdoor and indoor use.