I blame it on Ikea. I think they started it all. The Scandinavian influence on all things is what I'm talking about. I remember watching a lot of the Lillyhammer Olympics and thinking I could live there. Norway seemed so much like Canada, but maybe it was just the winter scenery which tends to have a sameness about it and therefore was familiar to me. But whoever or whatever began it all, the scandinavian influence is turning up across our culture. It is all hugely popular.
Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland make up the Scandinavian countries. Their designs are known to be efficient, well made, simple and beautiful. If you've ever used an Electrolux or sat in a Volvo you have been using Scandinavian know how.
These days anything to do with Scandinavian is referred to as Scandi.
On the internet you will find links to anything you can think of from how to have Nordic floors (which usually means whitewashed) to how to knit a Nordic/Scandinavian sweater like this. Actually this sweater is from Patagonia, which is one of my very favourite sites for neat clothes, however, expensive. I used to order one item a year from them. And I just love this; perhaps it will be marked down at some point.
Here is a sweater pattern from Mary Maxim which they describe as having a Nordic yoke and you can check out ebay if you don't want to knit your own. There is usually a page or two of these sweaters for sale there.
I love the images found in Scandinavian Folk Art.
The Dala Horses are famous and represented in art, fabric, and all manner of household items.
Michael Miller's Birds of Norway
I remember watching the British t.v. series, Vera, and the young detective's wife saying she wanted to redecorate their house and have it Scandi Chic. That was the first time I heard that phrase. This is a style of home decorating favoured by condo owners and certain decorators, in particular. I confess I used to think it meant blond wood, but now I know it means much more. Clean lines, deceptively simple construction, and especially utility in form and function are hallmarks of the look.
Unbelievably trendy is Scandi Noir; the Scandinavians have always been famous for their crime and mystery fiction. We are seeing more and more of it here in Canada. One of the local libraries has set up a special section just for Scandinavian fiction.
This is a book I'm reading right now by Asa Larsson; I'm struggling with what I think is awkward translation. Not all their books will be wonderful.
And T.V. Shows
We have been watching a slew of Scandinavian shows. Wallander, Arne Dahl, The Bridge, and Dicte. We have to use subtitles which is not always what you're in the mood for and some of these are better than others.. What I love about their productions is the characters look like real everyday people; when they've been on the job all night, they look tired and frazzled as they should. I also love how women play equal roles with the men and it's no big deal. And they do the genre of murder mystery really well.
And Needlework too.
I've always liked Scandinavian designs in stitchery. I found these images of cross stitch and embroidery on Pinterest.
When I was in university, I remember working a piece like this onto a cotton tote bag. I eventually used it to hold my clothespins later when I married.
And I love some of the Scandinavian fare; Swedish meatballs, marinated herring and smoked salmon are my favourites. I also like Lingonberry jam.
Yet another reason to admire these northern countries. They are among the greenest countries in the world. Recycling is mandatory.
Yes, I do think I could live there.