The Norwegian sweaters we think of today — with snowflake motifs and lice patterning — originated in the Setesdal region of Norway. The lice pattern, with single stitches of a contrasting color worked over a solid background, is much easier and faster to knit than complicated color patterns, but it still adds extra warmth to a garment. You can see why it would have been popular on sweaters knitted by rural women who worked from dawn to dusk on housework and helping out on the farm, and still needed time to make clothes for their families. The oldest Setesdal sweaters were made as undershirts, and only later did people start wearing their warm woolies on the outside. Once sweaters changed from underwear to outerwear, more embellishments were added and the black-and-white designs were decorated with brightly colored embroidery at the neckline and cuffs.