This is the Marius pattern (shown here on a dishtowel). It is the most popular pattern for sweaters in Norway, and is a bestselling pattern on other spin-off items.
The original pattern occurred on a Marius-sweater designed in 1953 by Unn Søiland. Today it is known as the bestselling and most knitted pattern in Norway. It is considered a Norwegian icon that says something about Norwegians’ love for the outdoors.
Søiland made history designing new patterns and using wool with bright colors, which was very unusual at the time, and this made “Norwegian sweaters” an internationally popular concept. She received the King’s Medal of Merit in gold for her lifelong pioneering work to develop Norwegian knitting traditions and design for hand-knitting and wool, and to make Norwegian wool fabrics popular internationally.
Søiland was the first woman who was part of the Norwegian Industry Association, where she organized the women who knitted throughout Norway, where it was regarded as “home industry.” She developed a special manual for her hand-knitters, introducing measures, systematized techniques, and equipment for hand-knitting. These manuals have since been copied by all wool manufacturers, and are today the basic instructions for all hand-knitted patterns.
It was this classic “Marius” pattern that first made Norwegian knitwear famous around the world, and first had celebrity endorsement. It was worn Norwegian skier, fighter pilot, model and actor Marius Eriksen, when playing a handsome ski instructor in the Norwegian film Troll i Ord (Troll In Words) in 1954.
Following the outbreak of World War II, Eriksen fled Norway, leaving in November 1940 and making his way to Canada, where he underwent flying training at Little Norway, the Norwegian Army Air Service flight training school.
On his return to the United Kingdom, Eriksen served with No. 331 (Norwegian) Squadron RAF and then No. 332 (Norwegian) Squadron RAF as a fighter pilot flying Spitfires. He achieved nine kills, making him one of Norway’s aces, before he was shot down off the coast of the Netherlands and after being captured in May of 1943, he was held as a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft III in Poland until 1945. In recognition of his wartime service, Eriksen was awarded the War Cross with Sword, St. Olav’s Medal With Oak Branch, Haakon VIIs 70th Anniversary Medal, the Norwegian War Medal, the Norwegian Defence Medal, the British Distinguished Flying Medal, and the American Silver Star.
After the war, Eriksen became the Norwegian champion in alpine skiing in both 1947 and 1948. He also competed in two events at the 1948 Winter Olympics.
The picture of Marius Eriksen from the film was later used as the front cover of the knitting pattern that later became the most popular knitting pattern in Norway.
Marius’ brother Stein Eriksen, who won gold in slalom skiing in the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, was also photographed in the sweater, helping to secure its place as a Norwegian icon. Books with patterns for the “Marius” sweater top the bestseller lists for Christmas and the pattern itself has also inspired countless spin-off products.
During the World Chess Championship of 2014 between the world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and challenger Viswanathan Anand of India, to determine the World Chess Champion Norway’s largest paper VG wanted to reach a wider audience of their coverage of this championship game so they created a challenge to people to knit the world’s greatest chess supporter sweater using, of course, the Marius pattern.
Ingebretsen’s has many Marius products for you to wear, display, or use everyday.
We also have patterns for Marius sweaters as well as the fine yarn that you need to make a genuine Norwegian sweater.