Norwegian 101: Crafting 101 (Håndverk 101)

Photo courtesy of Heidi Håvan Grosch

Photo courtesy of Heidi Håvan Grosch

Heidi Håvan Grosch
Sparbu, Norway

Many non-Norwegians would like to try using (vil gjerne prøve å bruke) Norwegian knitting (strikking), crocheting (hekling), or sewing patterns (symønstre), but have no idea (har ingen anelse) what the words mean (hva ordene betyr). Although (selv om) I have knitted, I don’t really like it (liker ikke det); apologies (unnskyldninger) to all you knitters out there. I have started (jeg har begynt) crocheting again after twenty years (etter tjue år), but to date (men opp til nå) can make only a simple hat (enkel lue); I do however sew. This crafting 101 primer is therefore not an article (ikke en artikkel) about how to knit, crochet, or sew. Instead (i stedet), it will hopefully give you a start (gi deg en start) in how some basic (grunnleggende) crafting words translate (oversetter) from English to Norwegian (fra engelsk til norsk), written with help from my crafting gurus, Mette and Inger-Marie.

Knitting patterns (strikkeoppskrifter), and crafting in general, go in trends (går i bølge). The Marius sweater (Marius genser) is one example (ett eksempel). It was popular (populært) about 30 years ago (ca. 30 år siden), and now appears everywhere (overalt) on almost everything (på nesten alt)! Mette called this type of sweater a kofte, a word I had never heard before (aldri hadde hørt før). This is an old Norwegian word (et gammelt norsk ord) meaning (som betyr) a knitted jacket as opposed to (i motsetning til) a cardigan which is knitted with finer yarn (finere garn) and opens at the front, or a pullover sweater (or jumper in British English).

Crocheting has also come back in fashion over here, as has sewing. With the arrival of (med ankomsten av) jersey fabric (jersey stoff) in Norway, young mothers (unge mødre) are jumping at the chance to make unique (unike) clothes (klær) for their young ones (til sine unger). This fabric is easy to sew (lett å sy), stretches (strekker), and works well for beginners (for nybegynnere). Fabric in general is expensive (dyrt) in Norway, and buying it mail order is hampered by the kr 350 price limit that includes the postage; after that you pay customs (toll). It is also popular to try and sell (å prøve å selge) what you sew, knit, or crochet. Many are tired of looking like everyone else (lei av å se ut som alle andre) so redesign, remaking old clothes into something new, is also popular here.

A Norwegian 101 Beginning Dictionary (in alphabetical order):
Alter — tilpasse
Approximate — cirka (ca)
Backstitch — attersting
Ball of yarn — nøste
Baste — tråkle sammen
Begin — Begynnelse/begynn (Beg)
Bolt of fabric — stoff rulle
Button — knapp
Cast — kast
Cast on — legge opp
Chain stitch (ch) — luftmaske (Lm)
Chalk — kritt
Cotton — bomull
Cover stitch — ad pynt
Crochet hook — heklenål
Crochet stitch — heklet maske
Cut out — klipper ut
Darn — å stoppe sokke (my friend added “that is its own craftform!” — “Det er nesten en kunstverk i seg selv”)
Dart — innsnitt stikk
Double crochet (dc) — fastmaske (Fm)
Double crochet stitch (dc) — dobbeltstav (Dst)
Double point needles — strømpepinner
Draw through a loop — dra garnet gjennom løkken
Embroidery — broderi
Fabric — stoff
Half double crochet (hdc) — halvstav
Hem — fald
Interfacing — vliselin
Knit — rett
Lining — fôr
Patchwork — lappeteknikk
Presser foot — trykkfot
Purl — vrang
Round(s) — rund(er) / omgang (Rnd)
Row(s) — rad(er) (Rd)
Sewing machine — symaskin
Single crochet (sc) — fastmaske (fm)
Skein — hespe
Slip stitch (sl st) — kjedemaske
Stitch length – stingbredde
Tension / gauge — strike / fasthet
Thread — tråd
Together — sammen (Sm) / felling
Wool — ull
Yarn — garn
Zig-Zag — sikk sakk

If you have any terms to add to this list (or anything I have not written correctly), please feel free to contact me at: (put “crafting terms” in the subject line).

• This Norwegian website,, has a nice chart comparing abbreviations for Norwegian, American, and British crocheting.

• Dictionary of terms in many languages:

• This website,, has a comprehensive list of knitting terms in Norwegian and English and was suggested by one of our readers.

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 23, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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