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On my needles: the “Sarah Lund” sweater

June 29, 2012

I’m finally home (hurrah!) after a year spent in Northern Ireland working on an M.A. at Queen’s University Belfast. I’m supposed to be fully immersed in researching/writing my dissertation (due in a few months), so I swore up and down that I would not start a new craft project until I was finished with it. Then I promptly ignored myself and picked up my knitting needles. I blame Danish television, for which I currently have a slight obsession. It started when my husband introduced me to Forbrydelsen (or The Killing — the US TV version of which pales in comparison), then we progressed to Bron/Broen (the Bridge — a Danish/Swedish production), and we’re now quickly making our way through Borgen. If you’re looking for addictive, pulpy-yet-smart television, then jump aboard the Nordic bandwagon! Alright, so what does this have to do with knitting? Well, if you know anything about The Killing, you’ve probably heard about the famous “Sarah Lund sweater/jumper” — an article of clothing that the detective heroine of the show wears so often it should receive co-star billing. Indeed, there is an entire website dedicated to it and a YouTube spoof inspired by it.

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So, after doing some research online (mostly on Ravelry where many have made terrific renditions of this sweater — just search projects using the keywords “Sarah Lund”) I got to work. Ravelry member sunshinewheels provides some great notes (albeit not a detailed pattern) on how she knit hers up.  The actual sweater is made by Gudrun & Gudrun and is available to purchase here, but if you’re not prepared to drop 280 euros (about $350) then you can buy the exact wool used for the sweater from the Faroe Islands (which I did) and make your own (which I am doing).

Here’s what I’ve got so far.

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The problem is, it fits very, VERY snug on me. Hopefully blocking will do the trick, but I fear I’ll have to give this one up to someone of more petite build. Still, it’s a fun project and a much needed diversion from the schoolwork. Too much of a diversion, though, I fear!

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13 comments

  1. Wow, it looks great ! I’ve been trying to find instructions to make one for a girlfriend of mine who is crazy about it (and the serial). Do you have the pattern ? I can’t knit without one.
    Funny, I just came back to Paris, France, two days ago from South Ireland (a week vacation, not a year) !


    • Hi there! I apologize for the unforgivably long time it’s taken for me to respond to your post. Life was incredibly hectic for the past few months. I don’t have a complete pattern for the sweater, I simply searched for “Sarah Lund”on Ravelry.com within projects (not patterns) to read tips on how other knitters made theirs (you’ll find slight variations between projects). I picked and chose what felt right to me. Mostly, though, I followed these instructions: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/sunshinewheels/sarah-lund-jumper-from-the-killing. Hopefully this helps!


  2. Hi there, your jumper looks great! I’m trying to knit one myself but am having trouble with the arms. The star pattern I’m using doesn’t fit into the number of stitches I need to knit the arms, and increasing every 4 cm as per my pattern makes it even trickier. I’m using a pattern from Scandinavian Knitting Design, but it doesn’t explain how to deal with this. Any tips?


    • Hi Helen! I’m not sure which increases you’re talking about–the raglan increases or the sleeve increases? The raglan increases are what gave me the most trouble, as I didn’t know what to do about the star pattern whenever I came to the increase stitches. I just winged it from row to row, referring to the original Gudrun and Gudrun jumper for some quick and dirty visual guidance. (I really should have taken down notes as I went along so I wouldn’t have to repeat work should I attempt to make another one.) My sleeves, though, are just straight tubes with no shaping. I just made sure to cast on enough stitches at the underams (when I transferred my sleeve stitches to my needles from the waste yarn) to give me the right amount of stitches for the star pattern and then I knit even all the way down to the wrist cuffs. If there’s no way for you to do this and have a workable circumference for the arms, I would consider slightly tweaking the star pattern (just for the sleeves) to make it a bit longer or shorter. Would that work?


      • Thanks for the reply – very much appreciated! I was talking about increases on the sleeves. My pattern knits the sleeves from the cuffs up. From the start there are insufficient stitches cast on to complete the star pattern correctly and then increases are worked every 4 cms. I’ve tried tweaking the pattern so that the stars join up, but the first sleeve I’ve knitted doesn’t look quite right as each row of stars looks a little different (it is tricky as the number of stitches is changing so regularly). I was wondering about just knitting the patten as it is and accepting a mismatch where the stars would join, but can’t quite resign myself to that :) Maybe just knitting the arms as a straight tube would be a better option – might give that a go!


  3. Hi there,
    I am from Germany and I would like to knit a sweater like this, too. Which wool exactly did you order, 2 ply or 3 ply and how much do you need for a sweater size S?
    Thank you very much!
    Claudia


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