The Selbu mitten is unique in many ways, but especially because its origin is well-documented.
The history of Selbuvotten started on a cold winter Sunday in 1857, when shepherd girl Marit Emstad and her sister arrived at the regular Sunday church service. The girls were wearing homemade knitted mittens, something that attracted no special attention, but it was the mitten patterns and expression that virtually revolutionized Norwegian knitting traditions.
The mittens had beautiful two-colored star patterns – a totally unknown trend at that time. They became very popular among the locals with attempts to outdo each other in the beautiful design work. The different patterns took names from people, farms, activities or things of daily life: “The Emstad Rose”, “The Whiskers Rose”, “The Coffee Bean Rose” and “The Tree Rose”.
The development of new patterns would not end. Today, about thee hundred different Selbu patterns are registered most of which are variations of the “Eight Leaves Rose” or “Star Rose”. The Selbu mitten is a masterpiece. The graphic pattern blends with the shape of the hand and in addition the colors and the development of the pattern elements are basic.
In 2010, Selbu Husflidslag sat a world record: The world’s biggest Selbu mitten! It took three years and forty five people to knit the 6.5 feet (2.4 meter) long mitten. The Selbuvott has meant a lot for the little village of Selbu in Sør-Trøndelag County. Earlier, the mitten was used as a payment method, where they were exchanged against other goods. Any day soon, the world’s biggest Selbu mitten will get a partner.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Photos from top: strikkebloggene.blogspot.com, NRK.no