Vigdis from Viking Patterns for Knitting, p. 78


With the return of sweaters with a back that is longer than the front, I decided to rework my design Vigdis which I originally designed in the mid 90’s. Still a cool design. See the original at

I decided to knit it in my new yarn, Misty Wool (I wrote about Misty Wool in an earlier post), even though that has a completely different gauge, 18 sts / 4 inches instead of 13 sts / 4 inches as in the instructions, and just see what happened.

So here I will share some thoughts on how to handle the changes.

I made some simple calculations that indicated that knitting from the instructions for size Large would produce a size Small. I also decided to make it shorter, striving for a 20 inch front and a 4 inch longer back. I got my fabulous knitter, Helena Norén, to do the actual knitting, and here is the result.

The new Vigdis is worked on US8 / 5 mm needles at a gauge of 18 sts x 26 rows / 4 inches. It used 600 g of Misty Wool.

The chest width came out 39 inches and my lengths worked fine. The front has 4 repeats + Rows 1+2 before neck shaping, the back has a total of 6 repeats.

Place 16 sts on a holder for the front neck and make the neck 3½–4 inches deep. For the back neck place 28 sts on a holder. Other than that, follow the instructions in the book. You will need around 8 or 12 more sts for the neck band, I had 86 sts.

Since the the chest width is smaller, the sleeves need to be longer, about 2 inches in my case, and that means that the increases could be placed every 8th row instead of every 6th.

The sleeve width at the top is approx. 16 inches. That is a bit tight, they would have been better with 4 more sts the whole way up.

Basically it is easy to adapt Vigdis for any size; just add the necessary number of sts in the stockinette sections on either side of the center panel. For the sleeve you need to calculate the number of stitches needed for the ribbing and for the upper arm width, than you can space the increases every 8th row and if you need more width when you reach the top, place the last few increases closer together.

I think I will be cozy in my new Vigdis this winter.

Viking Patterns for Knitting was published in a soft cover edition last year so it should still be widely available.

Photo by Anders Rydell.


More designs

Here are two more designs in my lovely Silky Wool.

Devin Sizes XS (S) M (L) XL


Talk about not seeing the forest for all the trees. These trees are made by combining yarnovers and garter on a stockinette background. The patterns is bordered by cables and the rest of the sweater is plain stockinette with rolled edges. The cable is echoed at the neck, where it is knitted separately and attached afterward.

Jeanette Sizes Smaller (Larger)

The neck piece with matching cuffs could be considered either something to keep you warm on a cold day or it could be seen as a decorative neck piece, knitted jewelry. Your choice, but either way they are pretty and versatile pieces, feminine without being girly. Quick knitting with a bit of challenge.

Photos, as usual, by Anders Rydell.