Inspired by all the Fisherman’s rib – patent in Norwegian – garments in fashion at the moment, I have designed a poncho in an oversize sweater style with long splits in each side, to make it less voluminous, and with full arm capacity instead of a restricted one. The poncho is knitted in panels in order to create a contrast between the linear rib and the unstructured braids in a beautiful camel brown – another source of inspiration to me but not necessarily your chosen colour, there are another 85 solid colours to chose from – in Ask – Hifa 2, a pure wool with a lot of bounce, which also is available in an additional 16 stunning melange colours, see ull.no. The sleeves are knitted long to keep your hands warm on cold days.
The poncho is one size, but the length can easily be adjusted, and knitted on a 3 mm/US 2.5. I have sold the pattern to the Norwegian magazine Familien/The Family and will come back with details of publication date when it is confirmed. Indeed, it will be part of a series of my designs to be published together so I better knit and design some more! I am afraid that means it will be a year before the pattern will be released and for sale on my webpage, marveng-puckett and on ravelry. But it is not long – mid November – until the next issue of the digital knitting & crochet magazine Clotheshorse, see clotheshorsemag, is out and another of my patterns is released, this time in English. I am very excited to see it styled and photographed professionally. I will keep you posted and go back to my knitting…
Our garden has changed colour over the last month. Beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow have quickly replaced the green. Those are my favourite kind of shades. Vibrant earthy tones that show the gradual change like on a painters palette. I want to capture each one with the same vibrant hue it has when the sun finds it, in my designs! Here is a photo of our garden taken a few weeks back on a crisp autumn day. The hedge went blood red before the birch started turning yellow.
The tree above has captured my kind of orange. The first flurry of snow came on Thursday and we are expecting more this weekend. My husband is delighted and have already found the closest cross country ski tracks to us at Ekeberg – not that he has bought his skis yet – and their state of preparation. Yes, it does seem unlikely that their are already being prepared before the snow has fallen but an even ground does make a better basis for ski tracks.
Equally beautiful are these amazing shaped pods, I have just discovered in our back garden. Not unlike paper party lamps! I hope you enjoy the autumn and treasure the colours!
Does a fursheep exist? Was my first question when I received what felt like my perfect goodie bag, an envelope with a shade card, an information sheet and 3 hanks of Norwegian Pelsullgarn /Furwoolyarn from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrik. Hurrah! At first it was on display but it did not take long until my knitting needles came out and I had to test it. And yes, a Norwegian Pelssau/Fursheep is a mixed breed of Norwegian Spælsau/ Old Norwegian Short Tail Landrace and of Swedish Gotlandsfår – no translation found. Here are photos: nsg. I have found yet another favourite yarn and this time it is Norwegian!
The wool produced is fine, soft with the lustre and feel of mohair. Most of their wool and skin are ideal in production of fur skin hence the name Fursheep but luckily for me and all you knitters out there Hillesvåg has been able to obtain the best quality for their Hifa Pelsullgarn. I am totally smitten by the yarn, which knits on a 3.5 mm/US 4 or a few sizes larger and comes in a few divine colours, all melange see above.
Reversible scarf in a melange grey is the project I started with but the latest list of yarn request to Hillesvåg was becoming longer by the day so I realised I better send it of this instant, which I did. The photo can not tell you how much you want to keep stroking this yarn but I can. Pelsullgarn is not yet on their webpage but the secret is out, so it will not be long before they will receive a deluge of orders, I believe. In the meantime you can study their other yarns and magnificent colours at ull.no.
I have designed another pair of wrist-warmers and a matching cowl in Lerke, a soft snuggly merino and cotton mixture by Dale Yarn, see dalegarn, knitted using 4mm/US 6. Texture and colour is my palette and this design began with a stitch pattern from one of my Japanese stitch dictionaries. I am pleased to say that the design is sold to the Norwegian magazine Familien/The Family but the publication date is not set yet. So it will be a year before I release the pattern on my webpage, see marveng-puckett and on Ravelry, see ravelry.com/designers/linda-marveng.
The diagonal triangles with an opening on top makes you think of Egyptian hieroglyphs depicting the pyramids with the sun above. A delightful image for a cowl to warm your neck or accessorise your dress. Fasten it if you wish, or wear it across one shoulder. Or why not use it double? The cowl and the matching wrist warmers are knitted in a lovely soft and warm mixture of merino and cotton with a stunning stitch definition.
I look forward to seeing it photographed professionally, as always, and will show you those when they are available as well as keep you posted on the publication date.
Even the second time around, trying to enter the exhibition at the Kunstindustri Museet/The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, felt like a mission because the security staff at the reception desk was not aware of its recent opening. Not unlike the pop up shop it was well worth seeing and if you were there when I was there you would have seen me awestruck by several creations and garment stories told by prominent designers. One of the new upcoming designers whose name I have just learnt is Mari Vaagen, a 2012 graduate from KHiO/Oslo National Academy of the Arts, already presented in Vogue Italia and at the “Fashion – a development industry in Norway” seminar which I attended on Thursday. Take a look at the jacket to the left in the photo above and even more fascinating is the back of it, see below. Here are more stunning photos: vogue.it/designavgang-2012-oslo.
Vaagan’s lambskin jacket “Salt” is inspired by the Norwegian wild sheep bred and the rough coast climate where these sheep live according to the designer. It is made by a fur technical seam, while details and texture are created by felting, tying and shaving of the fibres. You will find more of her creations on marimagi.
A jaw dropping jacket by Nina Skarra – another international sensation do look at: ninaskarra, hat by Cathrine Hammell – known for her contemporary basics well stocked in my wardrobe, see cathrinehammel, shorts by Vera & William – luxurious underwear, see verawilliam. Not all designers, established and upcoming ones, were presented by their garments but told a story of their favourite knitted garment. Norway’s most acknowledged designer, Per Spook – the only one who used to have his own fashion house in Paris – presented his old traditional jacket he inherited and still carry in his back pack when he is trekking.
Test yourself, “what is wool?” the sign says and encourage you to feel each sample and guess the fabric. A good lesson because I could not distinguish between all the different types of wool or blends. Several yarn producers were presented as well including my Norwegian favourite Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk who has just introduced a new yarn called Norwegian Furwool yarn – yes, there is actually a sheep breed called Norwegian Fur who mainly supply fur skin producers – until now, that is! I have received samples and I am ever so happy to test it out and will let you know my progress…
I have always considered my husband to be the gadget obsessed of the two of us, but I must admit that I relished inheriting his first iPad (read: 1. version, outdated – but still!) – and finally I have my own iPhone. But my next step is even more shocking, I have been discovering apps – nearly with the same passion as new yarn discoveries – and like any heirloom they should be passed on. Yarn Pro is just what it says; a pro assistant always on hands when you need it when you have questions about substituting yarns in a pattern. Will this yarn work? You wonder and your Yarn Pro offers a yarn substitution calculator as well as an gauge/tension calculator in both inches if you are using an American pattern, or in cm if you are using a European pattern. All you have to do is simply key in weight and length the pattern calls for and then the yarn substitute numbers or the numbers of stitches and rows in the pattern and the ones on the ball band or the ones from your own knitted swatch.
A list of recommendation appears after you have filled in the yarn substitution calculator, here is an example: “How does the substitution yarn compare with the yarn called for in the pattern? With great reservation. The substitute yarn is significantly thinner than the original yarn. Should the substitute yarn be used? Probably not. How many hanks, balls, skeins or cones are needed of the substitute yarn? 10. Suggestion for gauge swatch: As the substitute yarn is not an ideal replacement for the yarn called for in the pattern, above average skill in pattern design and adjustment will be needed.” In other words time to rethink. The Sweaty Knitter who has created this masterpiece claims “[As] guage is critical to garment fit…” and I could not agree more!
I find Yarn Pro not only extremely useful, but also addictive because it also has a lot of essential info and advice about swatching, ease (read: do check how close fitting your project is), substituting yarn (read: should be close in weight), yarn weight & fibre content, the different fibres; protein, cellulose, artificial and synthetic in addition to list of comparable needle and hook sizes. You can read more about it here: sweatyknitter and you can buy your own Yarn Pro for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch through Apple’s App Store at itunes. It is a cheap way of obtaining your own yarn PA.
Monday was the start of the Woolweek – campaign for wool 2012 – organised by the Norwegian Fashion Institute, Nortura, NICE Fashion and the Institute for Consumer Research along with spinners and wool brands to highlight the unique potential in local use of wool. I have been looking forward to seeing the pop up shop “Wool in Fashion” at Paleet (a posh shopping arcade at the main street Karl Johan in Oslo – see above), the exhibition “Det Kvite Gullet”/The White Gold at The National Museum and last but certainly not least the seminar “Fashion – a developing industry in Norway” on Thursday at the Norwegian Parliament. I have signed up for the seminar and I am waiting very impatiently for Thursday 1100 hours to arrive…
The Pop up shop is a co-operation between 14 Norwegian designers and established brands and NFI. The theme is the manufacture, experiment and designs with different types of wool as a natural resource. As you can see from my photos there were lots of garments and labels to study. The coat, below, is part of a tailor-made range for men by Norwegian Rain, here is norwegianrain. Do also look at the stunning dresses made by Malin Håvarstein Nilsen, here: havarstein, and the knitted cowls photographed below. One of several new Norwegian designers I have discovered. The rolls of fabric and the colourful cones hanging from the ceiling gave the shop space a feeling of wannabe exhibition!
The concept for the “White Gold” exhibition is the result of the research report “Valuing Norwegian Wool”. It has a focus on Norwegian wool and the exhibition refers to a time when the wool industry in Norway was still a profitable business. The exhibition wants to encourage a dialog between the value chain within the Norwegian wool industry, and to create a debate. I have already made one attempt to view the exhibition but was a day early, eager to see it…
I like the fact that this week is the designated Wool Week even though my brother would probably object and say that I seem to consider all the weeks of the year just that! With the possible exception of a few Silk and Linen Weeks during the summer months when I change the fibre I am knitting with to something cooler on the hands. Do visit the Wool Week in Oslo if you can or make your own if you cannot – then there is no need for such an extensive program, obviously. But the program for the Oslo Wool Week is at the bottom of this informative page: norwegianfashioninstitute.
I had a fabulous time in Larvik, 2.5 hours train ride south from Oslo, last Tuesday where I held a presentation of my book. Nina Hove Myhre, the Study Leader standing left in the photo above, who invited me not only met me at the train station but also acted as driver the rest of the evening, as a great cook (read: I am more than happy to return), as a photographer and let me into her hobby rooms with space for yarn dying, spinning and sewing (read: I do want more than 1 room too!). You will find her yarn here: fiberandart and her neatly sewed articles here: epla. Next to Nina is Torunn Moe, then me – wearing the Japanese Lace Jacket – and Ingunn Hemm Tomter who came all the way from Sandvika. We had a great chat and knit on the train back home, even though Nina had hoped to organise a much busier knitting train!
Nina and I arrived early at their meeting rooms, former art studios with lots of atmosphere and several looms, just to find that it was filling up quickly. 78 persons turned up to hear my presentation, a new high for them and for me! But then Nina had done more than her share of promotional work: it was in the local paper two days in a row, on the local radio, on several knitting groups on Facebook, on her blog as well as on the team’s web page. More tables and chairs were added as people continued to arrive to the free event which included a light meal. As you can imagine the kitchen team worked really hard and were running out of grapes to decorate their sandwiches with!
To my delight a woman had knitted a jacket from my book and was wearing it. I asked her to stand up when I too was wearing the same jacket and she obliged! Sorry, we were too busy to take photographs at that point in time! While I was walking around showing off my garments I had quick chats with lots of lovely people and time flew away. Afterwards I sold and signed books at a great speed, I was so chuffed with the reception I got that I do want to come back to Larvik Husflidslag, see larvikhusflidslag!
Oslo has a gained a new canal, a new beach and a new sculpture park with the relocation of the Astrup Fearnley Museum to Tjuvholmen in a magnifiscent new building, an architectural masterpiece, designed by Renzo Piano in co-operation with Narud-Stokke-Wiig. It is his first building in Scandinavia and it is quite a signature he has left in Oslo. Located by the fjord the building, all 3 actually, has the shape of a boat and is made of wood with glass roofs that looks like sails. We are fortunate enough to see the distinctive roofs from our kitchen window and hence excited to visit at the earliest opportunity – the opening for the public on last Saturday.
My husband did a smart move and became a art club member the evening before, to secure our quick entry and we were surprised to find the queue so short just before the opening hours. But then we are used to queuing for popular London exhibitions and timed tickets. So we were probably one of the few that thought it was a lot less busy than we had imagined. Apparently Renzo Piano was eagerly awaiting people’s reaction and hiding out of sight to observe. I am sorry to say that I did not spot him only the museum’s talented Islandic director Gunnar B. Kvaran showing our newly appointed minister of culture, Hadia Tajik, around.
The museum is privately owned and is one of the most important collection of contemporary art in Oslo. It has impressive masterpieces by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koon, Cindy Sherman, Bjarne Melgaard and Tracy Emin among others. The current exhibition “To Be With Art Is All We Ask” a title that sums up the museum’s passion and purpose, according to the director. I recommend you visit to study the captivating art, the building that seems to move with its surroundings giving you numerous new vistas through the building parts and windows, and last but not least; the location. For more info and stunning photos see their website afmuseet.