The Day Job: Made By Me

The latest issue of Made By Me came out on Monday, here in Norway. I have not submitted any designs, but I have written some of the picture texts, translated a number of the patterns from English into Norwegian, and formatted a number of the patterns. That is one part of my day job, the other much larger part is the translation of the previous issues of Made By Me – 3 in total – into English for both the UK and the US market where it will be sold as an app. The popular magazine covers Knitting, Crocheting, Sewing and Crafts and the latest issue contains a whopping 92 patterns, printed in a separate booklet. I love reading the designer portraits, the trend reports as well as studying the designs!

My favorite designs in this issue are by acknowledged Norwegian designers Ann-Kristin Knardal: an Inca inspired series of garments in alpaca – see below, Sidsel Høivik: an elegant outfit in layers with a matching bag decorated with buttons – see button set: knappesett, and Nina Granlund Sæther whose book: Putefest is presented with 2 patterns, read my post: putefestcushion-party. The formerly bi-annual now quarterly magazine is published by Egmont Hjemmet Mortensen, designer is Tine Solheim, see tinesolheim – I am listed under Diagram og Oversetting/Chart and Translation, since you ask – and it has a Swedish version. Its conquest continues…

Design Update: I am pleased to let you know that Clotheshorse has accepted my design submission for their Fall/Winter 2013 issue!


Professionally photographed: Cablewing Sweater & Cowls

I am pleased to show you my Flettevinger/Cablewing Sweater with cowls plus the Tweed Cowl stunningly photographed by Esten Borgos on behalf of the Norwegian Magazine Familien/The Family. Unfortunately, I do not have a publication date yet, but will keep you posted. Above the large cowl, is worn as a hood but equally elegant worn around the shoulder like a shrug, see the photo below. The yarn is firm pure wool with a beautiful stitch definition, called Embla – Hifa 3 from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk and comes in a large selection of magnificent colours. It knits on a 4 mm/US 6. Here is the link: ull.

If you prefer knitting accessories, I designed matching wrist warmers and a smaller version of the cowl. I was smitten by this purple pink with all its flower connotations which seemed so perfect for the lace and cable pattern. It is an additive pattern – the number of projects tells its tale of how I addicted I became – and not as complicated as it looks with its symmetry of yarn overs and cable crossings. The cowls are created in two sizes so that they can be worn in layers, essential in cold climates like here in Norway.

A second pink, named red purple, was chosen to make a third cowl in tweed, more like a high neck and to bind the offwhite sweater together with the pink accessories. See the Tweed Cowl photographed below. So if you have a high neck – like me – and need to wrap up in the winter, wear all three cowl at the same time. Photographed by my husband on me, here: new-design-cablewing-sweater-and-cowls.

These patterns will be published in Norwegian together with the Patent Poncho, knitted in the thinner Ask – Hifa 2 by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, which I am excited to show you very soon in another post.

PS: When the pattern rights are released after one year, I will publish the patterns for sale in both Norwegian and English from my Ravelry pattern store, see


Lace Workshop in Larvik

I spent the weekend in Larvik, 2 hours by train, south of Oslo where I held a workshop in Lace knitting, called hullstrikk/hole-knitting in Norwegian organized by Larvik Husflidslag. It is not difficult to make holes in knitting, but to make them on purpose in alignment is quite an achievement! So the reaction Nina Hove Myhre received when she told friends and colleagues that she was taking a course in “hole-knitting” was: you are going to do, what? Read more about it in Norwegian – or use Google Translate – on her blog: fiberandart.

It was to a small group of four women I was teaching and it was such a pleasure. We had plenty of time to chat, as well as exchange knitting experiences, during lunch and in between periods of concentrated pattern reading, and me teaching theory and techniques such as; how to insert a lifeline; identify the spine; how to make lacy effects; and how to read lace charts.

The day went quickly, and I spent the evening knitting, chatting and eating – delicious homemade food – with Nina, while her husband was busy refurbishing downstairs. I was also lucky to meet Nina’s niece who popped by with her father – to give refurbishing advice. Ingrid is a fellow blogger, so both I and my book was duly photographed. Here is the result: ingrid-inmari. On the second day of the workshop, we practiced beading, before more lace swatches and lace projects were worked upon.

I look forward to holding my next weekend workshop in Larvik, in April, on Finishing and Fairisle. For more details go to: larvikhusflidslag.

After reading my previous blog post and watching my video on making tucks Mary Jo wrote a blog post – with a marvelous heading. Do read it:


Work in Progress WIP

What are my works in progress at the moment? Here are two of my projects on the go, and yes – I have another two I am working on according to my preference. My knitting time is precious to me hence I have no time to calculate the armhole nor wind yarn, when I have moved onto my comfortable knitting sofa. I have for a long time wanted to test out Norwegian dyer Fiber and Art’s gorgeous yarn Vandre (70% Blue Faced Leiceter (BFL), 30% Nylon, 100 g/3.5 oz, 350 m/383 yds) and since she is organising and participating in my Lace workshop this weekend, the time is ripe. Above is the stunning purple with shades of lighter pink (marked dyelot 50 V) in my Dewdrop wrist warmers from my book, knitted using a 3 mm/US 2.5. Nina has a shop at epla and a blog: fiberandart, and patterns in Norwegian for sale at amicapatterns. Contact her for yarn requests at:

Second project on the go is a long open vest in my beloved Norsk Pelsullgarn from Hifa. A pure wool which feels like it has quite a bit of mohair in it but it has not (100% Norwegian Furwool, 100 g/3.5 oz, 260 m/284 yds). Knitted using a 3.5 mm/US 4 and available here: ull. Here are some of my previous post on this yarn, if you missed those: norwegian-pelsullgarnfurwoolyarn and more-on-my-newest-favourite-yarn-pelsullgarn. I adore the turquise color and how the cables stand out from the background. The arcade pattern creates a depth and is an additive pattern to knit. I have chosen double moss – again, yes I know – as edging, and I am considering adding an attached I-cord to the outer edging for some extra volume and weight too. I need to test it, or whether I should fold the double moss edge into a hem? Armholes are next so it will not be long until I can show you the result…


Knitting Techniques Videos

After completing a weekend workshop in Finishing and Fairisle I held for Vestre Aker Husflidslag/Handicraft association in Oslo, I am preparing the next which is Lace knitting for Larvik Husflidslag. So my mind is set on knitting techniques at the moment, spurred on by questions e-mailed to me for assistance on my patterns. The most popular video which is all over the Norwegian knitting groups on Facebook is one called Tilbakestrikkingens Kunst/The Art of Backwards knitting. It used to be the colloquial term for unraveling a row or a round; stitch by stitch, but this is literally knitting backwards without turning your knitting and purling, hence creating stocking stitch by knitting into the back loop in the opposite direction. For all of you knitters out there who dislike purling, do watch this:

The Art of Backwards Knitting

I adore tucks and hems. They are both enjoyable to knit and give such a distinct look to a garment. Above is the Indigo Sweater with tucks (pattern available in English on ravelry and in Norwegian in my book) modeled by the beautiful Anna Pfeifer, photographed by Kim Müller. Using two needles held parallel to each other, also raises some eyebrows, but it is ever so useful not to have to pick up stitches several rows down on the wrong side of work when you make a tuck or a hem. You only cast on, or knit one row with 2 needles held next to each other, and then on the next row or round pull out the extra needle so the stitches stay on the cord hence it becomes a stitch holder, while you continue to work with the other needle until you are ready to close the tuck or the hem. Then you fold the second needle – the holder – at the back and work knit 2 together with one stitch from each needle. This is a video I have made, but even if you do not understand my Norwegian I think you will find the demonstration useful.

Tuck or Hem Making

An I-cord, and especially an attached i-cord, is a method I favour for edgings when a bit of extra volume is needed at the end. Like at the top front edge of my Aran Bolero, and at the hem of my Aran Skirt, just to mention two garments where I have used it. The name in Norwegian is knitted cord, but that removes the fun of the name. I for Idiot, in several senses of the word: so easy that even an idiot can do it, that is when you know how, obviously! Other knitters have been quick to add: So boring that only an idiot would actually do it… Yes, I agree it is not what I enjoy knitting the most, but then it does make a neat rounded cord finish. And even an idiot have to admit to it…

Attached I-cord


Liebster Award

The other day I received an e-mail from Tracy Alteri, acknowledged blogger better known as myretiringlife, telling me that she has nominated my blog for the Liebster Award. Even with my extremely limited German I knew that it means “dearest” or “favorite”. This award is actually a way of “paying it forward”.  I did not enter a competition, nor applied, nor was I judged only appreciated by an earlier nominee.  The purpose is to bring exposure to small, wonderful blogs that may not be well known.  I, in turn, will pass it on to some of my favorite blogs.

So, here is how it works:

When you receive the award, and choose to accept it, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you.  Then:

  • Pass the award on to at least 3-5 ( I stretched it to 6) other blogs and ask them 11 questions that you have created.
  • Make sure that you let them know that you have nominated them!
  • You are not allowed to nominate the blog that nominated you!
  • Make sure that the blogs that you choose have 200‑3000 or less followers.   Now, I did some exploration on the origins of the award – and some sites indicate that the number is 200-300 or less.  I took the liberty of choosing somewhere in between.

So here is goes, starting with 11 random facts about myself:

  1. I knit with an obsession.
  2. I love my skipping rope, after re-discovering my childhood skill.
  3. My husband is British.
  4. I have a younger brother.
  5. I love my fashion magazines. Not only to read, but to look and be inspired!
  6. Tea not coffee. I stick to tea, I have never liked coffee.
  7. Peanuts is banned in our house, since I have a deadly allergy, and have tested different A&E’s after eating them unknowingly.
  8. I like Indian movies – the marvelous colors, how a scene usually turns into a song & dance number makes it hard not be cheered up by.
  9. I enjoy walking in marka, the forest which surrounds Oslo.
  10. Shades of orange are my very favorite color.
  11. I enjoy Danish thrillers like “Forbrydelsen”/The killing. Of course, I did not mind all the interest in her knitted sweaters, see sarahlundsweater.

The questions I have to answer, asked by My Retiring Life:

  1. What is the one food that you wish you liked, but you just don’t? For example, I wish that I liked mushrooms – but I can’t stand them. Anchovies, so often included in exciting recipes, and I cannot stand them.
  2. How many books a year (or month or week) would you say you read? I usually listen to audio books, so that I can knit at the same time. But have found that I miss BBC Radio 4 since I moved to Norway, and have only listened to podcast since our move. I do however have several audio books ready so I will soon be back to an average of 2 a month.
  3. What is one embarrassing memory from your youth that you feel comfortable sharing? Attending a birthday party at the age of 10 wearing a new dress my mum had sewn for me in a fabric I had chosen, and discovering they had chosen the fabric for curtains in the kitchen. My mother did insist it was not a kitchen curtain fabric, and I agreed!
  4. Hellman’s Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?  There’s only one right answer here – so be careful! I do not like Mayonnaise, and I am not familiar with Miracle Whip – obviously not the right answer. I actually prefer Danish remoulade!
  5. If you could do something else in your life other than what you are doing right now – what would it be? I would love to work with an organization which promotes Design and Architecture, especially Norwegian!.
  6. Favorite all-time singer or musical group? That is an easy one; it would be Norwegian singer Kari Bremnes. Hear her dedication to the coastal ferry Hurtigruta here:  youtube.
  7. Do you like riding on roller-coasters, and if so – do you have a favorite one? No, I do not and never have. The few times I tried I ended up screaming my head off…
  8. Favorite season of the year? That would be spring with all the flowers coming into bloom.
  9. If you could have one talent that you know you don’t have, and will never really have, what would it be? I wish I could play the piano really well.
  10. What is your favorite way to spend time by yourself? Knitting and listening to a podcast or an audio book.
  11. Would you rather do the cooking, or do the cleanup afterward? I would rather do the cooking than the cleanup, but somehow I usually end up doing both – hm!

And now for the 11 questions I would like my Liebster nominees to answer:

  1. Where are you right now?
  2. If you could beam yourself, where would you go in this exact moment?
  3. How does your usual Sunday look like?
  4. How do you relax?
  5. If you were to learn a new craft/hobby what would it be?
  6. What inspires you?
  7. Name your favorite yarn or flower, if you could only pick one?
  8. What would be your dream job?
  9. What is your worst craft/hobby disaster, that you can reveal?
  10. Worst task you have to do?
  11. What is your favourite garment? It can either be a type or one you wear whenever you have the chance? 

And now it is my turn to pass the Liebster Award on to some of my favourite bloggers:

Finally, I want to thank myretiringlife for awarding me, and then pay it forward!


Winter View

My view from the terrace is covered in white. It has snowed for a few days and a thick layer of snow – more than a dusting, this time –  has brightened up the scenery. The fjord and the sky are at times one, only disrupted by the occasional cargo ship breaking its way through the ice into the dock, which we can see in the distance.

It feels like a clean and a crisp view, where all fallen leaves and bare trees have been given  a brushstroke of paint. I enjoy the dramatic changes in the seasons more than ever, and find peace in the clean slate the whiteness gives!


Clotheshorse Submission for Fall/Winter 2013

As soon as I saw this mood board from Clotheshorse, I knew I had to make another submission. It spoke to me with its headline Experimental, which is what I love to do when I design. The ideas might be wackier than the finished result, since I need to have in mind that most knitters do not want to feel like they are making a jigsaw puzzle when trying to join the parts. Where does this part belong? And I am not talking about those temporarily memory lapses knitters have because they are working on several projects at the same time. Especially not in these days, when you can knit a sweater top down without any seams. Perfect for all those knitters who do not enjoy finishing. I however, do just that; enjoy finishing and often prefer a seam for strength and stability but realize they should be limited and not in excess.

Maybe some accessories knitted in the round? I can not reveal a lot except that I was pleased that I bought several hanks of Tosh DK in the popular shade, with the imaginative name: composition book grey, aka gunmetal at loop when I was in London in December. Another favorite yarn with its fabulous stitch definition and subtle hand dyed color variations. Essential knitting information: 4 mm/US 6, 100% super wash merino wool, 100 g/4 oz hanks, 225 yds/206 m. Check out all the gorgeous shades here: madelinetosh. I have also received the extra hanks I needed in Posy from eatsleepknit from the US, it took only 12 days to reach me – bliss! So while I am working on my submission to Clotheshorse, do check out their fashion conscious magazine and study page 62 to 65 carefully – yes, those are my patterns: clotheshorsemag.