Now you've seen the sweater but have you seen the t.v show yet? The Killing is a huge sensation in Europe and Denmark and it is about to hit the USA.
A 20 part thriller from the old scary school, the lead detective, an enigmatic woman, wears this hand-knit Faroe Island sweater which has become a fashion and eco sensation.
It's one of those serendipitous stories. The sweater was created by the little knitwear company Gudrun Gudrun in the Faroe Islands. The night before a big trade show in Denmark the owner came up with an idea for a new sweater. She says "the inspiration was an old fisherman's jumper my father had. I wanted it to look Nordic." So she and the lead knitter finished the sweater at 4 in the morning and took it with them.
The stylist for the Killing came to the show because the actress who plays Sarah Lund, the detective in the series, was looking for the kind of hippy sweater that her parents used to wear in the '70's in Copenhagen. The stylist saw it, said "that's it" and a trend, and business success,was born. The orders for the sweater are coming in from all over the UK and Japan.
The sweater is knitted with 100 % organic Faroese wool which is neither dyed nor treated with any chemicals. The colours are the natural colours of the sheep. The sheep live freely in the mountains all year around. The wool holds a high level of natural oil that makes the finished garment quite water resistant and self-cleaning.
The company has 30 women from across the islands, aged 28 to 70, who knit from home all through the long dark winters. So far they have sold thousands of the patterned jumper. So much so that they are looking for more knitters to fill the orders. All production is placed inside the European Union to assure decent working conditions.
Fishermen in the Faroe Islands have been wearing these hand-knit sweaters out to sea from the 1900's. It was a tradition that the women would knit the warm and itchy sweaters out of heavy Faroese wool. Each one would have a different pattern and you could recognize the fisherman by his sweater.
Photo: amc: USA Version
An American-made series (filmed in Vancouver) is due to start next month. Apparently the American producers have requested samples for their series and the owners have been told that some of their sweaters will be worn in the upcoming episodes.
The company also works with a project in Jordan where the women are taught to knit and make the sweaters there out of the Faroese wool. The finished products are sent back with the knitter's name attached to it. These are being sold in markets in London.