Sarah Lund's Sweater

Michael Hayward

In Patti Smith’s wonderful M Train (reviewed in Geist 1, and here) she reveals that she is a huge fan of the serial crime drama The Killing—the American version though, not the original Danish version (Forbrydelsen), which aired from 27 to 212. How, I wonder, can Patti Smith fail to be fascinated by the mysteries of Sarah Lund’s sweater, which Lund wears in every one of Season 1’s twenty episodes—without the sweater needing to be changed or laundered? Lund’s sweater, a form-fitting Faroe Island knit, has a fan club of its own, as well as its own website: (from which I learn that “The Faroe Islands lie to the north of Scotland, equidistant from Iceland, Scotland and Denmark,” and that “Faroese knitwear is very traditional, with jumpers being worn for totally practical purposes, all winter through. The wool used is undyed organic wool from hardy northern Faroese sheep. The black wool in a jumper comes from black sheep—it isn't dyed. Organic wool is not just warm, it is lightweight, breathable and hypoallergenic”; perhaps this latter property explains why Lund never needs to change, or—it seems—to shower?). In 213 (the last time the sweater’s website was updated) the original sweater could be purchased through the website for £23; further research reveals that the current price for Lund’s Season 1 sweater—the official version, mind: not some cheap knockoff—is €38 (€312 for the men’s version). Lund sports a different Faroese sweater in Season 2 (where, once again, she seems never to have time to change). Her wardrobe has diversified somewhat in Season 3: in the opening episodes she sports a Faroese sweater with a chevron pattern; later, she changes into a heavier weight sweater in blue. For those who have the skills and time, Sarah Lund’s sweater’s website offers useful tips on how to knit your own: “You’re going to need some fat needles for starters! 7mm as a minimum, but I’d recommend 8mm”; and “KNIT IT TIGHT! The yarn will stretch once you wear the jumper—tradition says that the sleeves should be ‘smeared on.’” Good luck!

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