University Has Its Own Knitting Pattern – Knit the Soihtu Sweater!


The University community’s wishes have been heard, and the University of Turku has now been designed its own knitted sweater pattern. The most central symbol of the University’s logo and emblem, the torch, served as knitting pattern designer Jenna Kostet’s inspiration when designing the pattern.

Designer of Kalevala-themed knitting patterns and author of a related book, Jenna Kostet was a natural choice as the designer of the knitting pattern, as she is an alumna of the University of Turku who studied ethnology and folkloristics.   

“It was a wonderful opportunity to get to design a sweater for the University where I studied myself. I’ve mainly designed patterns related to the Finnish nature and folklore, so I had to consider the University’s idea for a little while: how could I incorporate the University’s atmosphere in a knit sweater,” explains Kostet.

“However, it fairly quickly became evident to me that the design should be based on the winged torch, which has been a visible emblem throughout the history of the University of Turku. It is the most essential and recognisable part of the University's visual identity. The flames of the torch represent passion for knowledge and in my opinion also the University’s role in helping spread and maintain the “light” of science and also excitement and passion towards fascinating matters.”

According to the designer, simply copying the University’s logo in the sweater as it is was not an option; instead, Kostet designed and drew a unique pattern which combines both the familiar patterns of the popular Icelandic yoke sweaters and the winged torch familiar from the University’s logo and emblem. 

Fairly easy unisex model also suits beginner knitters

The Soihtu sweater is a pattern knit from top down with a Fair Isle pattern in the yoke. With the clear instructions and instructional videos found in Youtube, even beginner knitters are able to knit the sweater. The instructions are free of charge (download below) and published simultaneously in Finnish and English. .

The so-called test knitters of the pattern were recruited from among the University’s own active knitters. The colours of the model sweaters in the photos were decided by each knitter themself – some selected the colours from among the University’s brand colours, some based on their own favourite colours. 

The designer hopes that the knitting pattern inspires the University’s students, staff and alumni to knit the Soihtu sweater for themselves or as a gift and also try different colours: 

“When you grab the knitting needles and a tea cup in the darkness of the autumn, the pattern might remind you of a candle which brings some light to the darkening evenings. When choosing the colours of the knit, you can also use any leftover yarns you might have and have fun with the colours: what would the sweater look like if the flames on the top were knitted with different colours than the rest of the pattern?”

If you are sharing photos of your knit sweater or the knitting moment in social media, use the hashtags #soihtuneule #yliopistoneule.

Created 31.10.2022 | Updated 31.10.2022