Knitted Little Nisse

21st December

By the time it comes to decorating the dining room properly for Christmas it is usually around  the 20th December, a few bits always sneak in a little earlier as I re discover them year on year, but the main push is always around now.  One of my favourite homemade decorations (apart from the crocheted snowflakes, see earlier post) are the little knitted Nisse that mamma made many years ago.  Every year they come out and squirrel there way into our home, one just one, but many many Nisse are hung around the room.

Norwegians often bring in twigs and branches to hang decorations on and Christmas time is no exception.  So today I have been in the garden and have cut a few branches from the holly tree to hang the Nisse on.  Simple, plain, homely and for us in our home, Christmassy.

These Nisse hang all over the dining room, we must have about 50 of them,
notice the shy one with his back to you,
they each have their own character and no two are exactly the same!

Knitted hanging Nisse 

These were made so long ago that we do not have the pattern any longer, but they are very simple to make.  As a rough guide and you will need to play around with this, knit on 3 needles (although Norwegian will knit on 4) a needle size of 2 or 2.5.
Use wool size appropriate to needles.

With black cast on 18 st, divided on the three needles.  Knit 3 rows.
Change to red wool and knit 7 rows.
Change to white or flesh colour and knit 4 rows.
Change back to red and knit 3 rows.
Now we need to begin to decrease.  On the next four rows decrease by knitting 2 together at the beginning of each needle, so you should have 6 stitches left after 4 rows.
Final row, knit 2 together 3 times, leaving you with only 3 stitches left.
Cut wool and pull through the last 3 stitches make a hanging loop and fasten off.

To make the face, you will need to embroider on the eyes.  for beards and hair, it is personal preference how you do it, but we tend to get a long piece of wool and thread in and out in the desired area, not pulling the wool all the way through, so as to allow for the hair to be sticking out.  If you struggle to understand, email me and I can give futher instructions and possibly some photos too.  am assuming no one is going to make these now before Christmas, but if you do I may struggle to give photographic help!

All our Nisse are different sizes to help give a more individual feel to them , just adjust how many you cast on and take it from there!  Enjoy!


Cork Nisse
These little chaps are cute, fun and very quick to make.  We began making these over 20 years ago and a couple you see in the below photograph are that old.  Inside are champagne corks, so get drinking and start saving the corks, ready to make for next Christmas.  Of course you can dress them in any colour you like and have these little chaps around all year.  Should you like a female version, just plait up some wool and add it under the hat and you have yourself a lady!  Blow are patterns both for a knitted and a crocheted version. 

For crochet version:

and for the knitted version:

EDIT:  I have been informed that the above link does not actually contain the pattern anymore, please try this one:  Kork Nisse

Today we will partake in another new family tradition and will trudge into London to the glorious Albert Hall and sing carols to our hearts content, all wearing Christmas hats of course, even Mr H (he may wear a black one with Bah Humbug written on it!)  Enjoy today and all the preparations that so close to Christmas inevitably bring


  1. Thanks for sharing and to let know more about traditions :) and during the year Nisse sleep in box with all Christmas decorations?

    1. Traditionally in myth and legend Nisse would help around the farm. My Nisse however hibernate until the following December. Have a lovely Christmas. Hope you pop back soon!

  2. I love those little cork Santa's and am going to have to get my husband to give up drinking cask wine and take up the more expensive habit of wine with corks! To be honest, I don't think I am going to have to try that hard ;). Thank you for sharing this lovely pattern with us all and in lots of time for Christmas :)

    1. Get him drinking with every meal and you should gave a good collection! They are such fun to make. Each one seems to have its own character. Would love to see a photo if you get time how yours turn out. You can mail me on eclectichomeandlife{at}gmail{dot}com Enjoy!

  3. They're so pretty and cute! And I love the idea of hanging bright little decorations from holly branches. May I steal the idea please?

  4. I have not been able to find the complete knitted pattern for this cute little cork fella.

  5. Martha, huge apologies. I have edited the post and linked to the correct pattern. Shout if I can help further. Merry Christmas to you x


I will always read all comments and will try to reply but it may take me a couple of days, do please pop back and lets get a conversation going...