Summer View

It is summer, at least it does feel like it some days if not all! Here is the view from our terrace on one of the beautiful days. The awning is often in use so I can sit comfortably and knit on the terrace. What am I knitting at the moment? I am on the last part of a Clotheshorse project for their Fall/Winter issue and on the last part of a the Regal Purple design. It will be revealed. In the mean time I am enjoying our marvelous view and the bright colours of summer. I hope you are too!


Milanese Lace Shawl by Nina Hove Myhre

Does the name sound familiar? Yes, Nina is nearly ready to start on project no 4 from my book and this is her Milanese Lace Shawl knitted in the original yarn Wollmeise Lace in beautiful shades of brown called “Tollkirsche”. The tension is looser than the original making the shawl wider, covering her back which she is exactly what she wanted and with lesser repeats. Again, Nina knitted a small piece in stocking stitch to make covered buttons to match the shawl. She prefers wearing the rectangular shawl buttoned up as a shrug, see above. You can find more photos on her blog: fiberandart. The pattern is available in Norwegian in my knitting book “To rett, en vrang. Designstrikk” (and Finnish: “Nyt neulomann!”) but also in English to download from Ravelry: stores/linda-marveng.

Nina, aka FiberAndArt on Ravelry, is one of my two group moderators together with Jane Brindley, aka JanieB, and she is currently test knitting Summer Leaves Sweater (here are work in progress photos: fiberandart), so I can promise you more photos to come. If you want to join us on Ravelry, we are here: groups/linda-marveng. Another Milanese Lace Shawl I am excited to see, is Karen’s, aka Sweaty Knitter who is using Anzula’s ”Cloud” in a divine blue (100 g, 575 yds/525 m). Cloud is one of the alternative yarns I suggest in the pattern and is made of 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. Do read Karen’s blog post: marvengs-milanese-shawl-road-trip-project. I was thrilled: “Not only do her patterns evidence careful attention to detail, but her designs make sophisticated garments that are equally at home with a pair of jeans or the favorite outfit you put on when you need a bit of a boost.” Below is the stunning Anna Pfeifer photographed by Kim Müller illustrating the different ways you can wear the shawl.

I also wanted to share crime writer Val McDermod’s posting on The Guardian: “Don’t disrespect Julia Gillard – knitters are not to be messed with. We knitters wield a lot of power with our needles and yarn. My own knitting career began with an act of defiance and now I have graduated on to the hard stuff… My latest adventures in knitting involve translating patterns from Norwegian. Because knitting in English is for wimps.” Read the full article here and enjoy: guardian!


Stitch Maps

“Stitch maps are a new form of knitting chart that use traditional symbols in a novel way: without a grid. The symbols within a stitch map clearly show what stitches to work. And – not being confined within grid squares – they also show which stitches of the previous row should be worked. The end result? Charts with unparalleled fluidity, authenticity, and beauty.” According to designer JC Briar and her recently launched website Stitch Maps, Who is she, I had to check and found this: jcbriar. It does make the knitting charts look more like the crochet charts which do follow the shape of the fabric. But how do you follow a long row? One of the most ingenuous features of it is that you can add a row guide as well as a column guides. Knitters and designers have responded to her through her group on Ravelry: Can you add a highlighter through the row you are working on? Yes, you can but only with a basic subscription and Stitch Maps will keep track of your current row. JC Briar is a puzzle solver at heart and will continue to develop Stitch Maps, which at the moment contains 145 stitch patterns. I, for one will be watching! What do you think? Would you subscribe?


Strikketreff/Knitting Gathering

Exactly two years and one day after Aase Lynne (pictured right below) started the Facebook group: Strikkesida/Knitting page, 70 out of more than 29 000 members, met in Oslo for a knitting gathering on Sunday 16. July. Designer Denise Samson (pictured left below) convinced Aase that Frognerparken, a public park, might not be the best place due to the unreliable Norwegian summer weather, and hence found a great location for our gathering, next to the police HQ in Oslo. A small fee, paid for lunch: a delicious wrap and free supply of drinks, fruit as well as biscuits during the day. We received raffle tickets at the door, a small gift for all of us from the Hobbyklubben/Hobby Book Club which contained three handy small knitting zipped bags, needle gauge and a bracelet. I grabbed a chair, took out my knitting and chatted just like everyone else did! For once we did not have to ask if we could knit!

Denise welcomed us and introduced Aase who started this extremely popular Knitting group, with approximately 3 postings a minute! We had lunch before Denise gave a short talk about her entry into designing, how she turned her hobby into her living. I love the story about her company name Andre Boller/Other Buns a term which means: this is something else. The post box signs in her block of flats says Baker Samson and above it Andre Boller.

Stella Marie Tveter aka Stella Charming gave her presentation in auditorium, showed us a few of her designs available as kits at Strikkenett, an online shop, as well as how to adjust a garment to fit you perfectly. Based on the number of knitters photographing the screen at regular intervals I would say it was a very successful presentation! And, yes she is charming!

I on the other hand, showed a small selection of garments from my book and how you can wear them in different ways even upside down. I talked about my change of career and how my book came into being, before I demonstrated how to make hems and tucks with 2 sets of circular needles. If you missed it, see my video here: knitting-techniques-videos.

Raffle excitement grew, as Denise with the assistance of the youngest member present, aged 7, drew the winners. There were numerous books to be won, several translated into Norwegian by Denise, latest issue of the magazine MbyM and most popular of all: 6 yarn kits from Rowan Yarns, Bergere de France, Sandnes Garn, Viking Garn and Du Store Alpakka. Above are all the happy winners! One of the kits is for Denise’s latest design and available in this week’s issue (no 13) of Familen/The Family in Norwegian – the pink pullover you can glimpse in the photo to the left. We had a fabulous day! Thank you Aase and Denise for organizing, and to everyone who came!


Shades of Winter

Shades of Winter, Knitting with Natural Wool, is a gorgeous book by Swedish designer Ingalill Johansson, photographed by Ewa K. Andinsson and published by Interweave. There are more than 35 wearable projects separated into 3 natural shades: Natural White, Gray and Beige and they have intriguing textures and shapes. But equally enchanting is the exotic setting, The Icehotel in the Sami village of Jukkasjärvi in Northern Sweden, see icehotel. “It is the world’s biggest ice hotel at 5,500 square meters and is built totally of snow and ice. During each winter season, about 50,000 people visit the hotel, mostly from abroad. The Icehotel has the Torne River as its source, and the hotel exists in harmony with the world around it. After every summer, artists from all around the world create and rebuild the hotel from scratch. It is a unique concept, created entirely from the perspective of being environmentally friendly.” Snow and ice were Ingalill’s first sources of inspiration and it shows in her equisite designs. The book captures the Nordic winter and inspires, I discovered it at Tanum in Oslo (also available in Swedish), see tanum or at Amazon (also available in German and Danish), see amazon.


Professionally photographed: Summer Leaves Sweater

I am delighted to show you a couple of the professional photographs of the Summer Leaves Sweater, taken by Esten A. Borgos on behalf of the Norwegian magazine Familien/The Family. The preliminary publishing date is set to 12. August, issue 17 but this might still change so I will keep you posted. The stylist selected a white shirt to be worn under it to emphasize the lace sleeves, with a scarf and a necklace. The sweater has an A-line shape, with a triangle in each side of a body in stocking stitch knitted in the round until the armholes, then flat. The lace pattern is the highlight of the sweater and relishes the beautiful mercerized Egyptian cotton, called Luxor from Hifa, see ull. The English pattern is currently being test knitted in our group on Ravelry, please come and join us here: ravelry.

One of the group members on Ravelry asked for an additional size to be added to the pattern to fit her 120 cm/47 1/4″ bust, so I have added an XXL size to the range from a size S photographed on the model above. You can read more about the design and see the photos my photographer (read husband) took of me wearing size S, here: new-design-summer-leaves-sweater.


Clotheshorse Mood Board

Yes, it is time again to send in another design submission to the fashionable knitting and crochet magazine Clotheshorse, this time for their Spring/Summer 2014 issue. Out of the four inspiring mood boards, one jumped right at me: “Underwater Love”, it was the colours in addition to all the floating shapes that did it. I have found a yarn I want to use – that is not too difficult – but the stitch pattern took a bit longer and the shape of the garment do make my head spin. There are way too many “what if” at the moment, so it is a good thing that I have a limited amount of time to come up with a proposal and have my Creative Director (read: husband) draw a sketch. The deadline is 15. June and I will keep you posted on the outcome. Check out their Spring/Summer 2013 issue here: clotheshorsemag.


Merino Vest Wrap by Nina Hove Myhre

I am delighted to share this stunning photo of Nina Hove Myhre’s Merino Vest Wrap, from my book (available in Norwegian and Finnish), knitted in the original yarn Madeline Tosh Sock yarn in a gorgeous green shade; Tannenbaum – here are more divine colours to chose from: madelinetosh. To adjust the length of it, hence the width since it is knitted sideways Nina used a 3.5 mm/US 4 instead of the 3 mm/US 2.5 recommended, and notice the covered button she has knitted and attached on one end. You can read about how she did it and see more detailed photo on her blog: fiberandart.

My idea was to design a vest with a small waterfall front, which you could wrap tight around your body and use a shawl pin to hold it in place, or leave to hang loose. It can be worn upside down with a larger collar and a shorter back if preferred. I was smitten with all the turquoise shades in the colour called Baltic, and thought it looked marvelous in the extended openwork pattern, where you wrap the yarn 3 times around the needle, pulling out the extra wraps on the next row and then cable them, 3 stitches at the time, framed with garter stitch on each end and around the armholes. Instead of doing the wraps, a skilled knitter on Ravelry has discovered, knit a row instead of the wrap row on much larger needles, a 9 mm/US 13. The yarn in an incredible soft merino hand-dyed in semi solid or multi colors. Above is the beautiful Anna Pfeifer wearing the vest, photographed by Kim Müller from my book “To rett en vrang. Designstrikk” (here it is: cappelendamm) I would be thrilled if you wanted to share a photo of your finished project from my book, on Facebook, here on the blog or in our group at Ravelry. Come and join us, if you have not already done so!


Lekre masker og lekne sting

Gorgeous stitches and playful stitching is the title of Designer Sidsel J. Høivik’s new book, stunningly photographed by Anne Helene Gjelstad and recently published in Norwegian by Gyldendal. The book is like a treasure trove filled with inspiration, it is made with the intention not only to knit but also to simply enjoy each garment and each photo. “What makes knitting fantastic is that you make everything from scratch; out of one single thread. It is the closest you can come to magic!”, a great introduction to this spellbinding book. Sidsel learned to knit as a four year old and has never stopped since. Indeed, after completing a four year degree at Accademia di Costume e di Moda in Rome, Sidsel designed even more beautiful garments for yarn companies and magazines – see sidsel-j-hoivik, on Facebook: sidselhoivikcom and on Ravelry. But this is her first book and Photographer Anne Helene Gjelstad herself a former designer with a unique vision – see annehelenegjelstad – was Sidsel’s choice. And what a team they make!

Above is one of Sidsel’s favorites a poncho with set in sleeves, knitted in a pure alpaca; Inca by Rauma with a thin mohair; Plum and fashion yarns; Beo and Concorde for the bubble/popcorn crocheted edges. The collar is attached at the neck but could easily be made into a cowl and worn on its own together with the hat.

I adore this cropped Bolero with a long top underneath in a delicate beige wool Finull by Rauma held together with a fine kid mohair; Plum, knitted in cables and rows of eyelets on a stocking stitch background, edged by garter stitch.

The cover photo is a popular design based on the traditional Fana pattern given a modern remake by Sidsel; Fritt etter Fana/Freely after Fana, worn with one of several crocheted necklaces, made of flowers delicately attached by mother of pearl buttons to a chiffon ribbon.

The book contains 50 patterns including accessories, a few matching patterns for girls and babies, great sketches, advices and tips; covering  an amazing 254 pages. No wonder it has hit the best seller lists! Who would not, want to be inspired?

The book is available in most bookstores in Norway, and can be ordered from Gyldendal, their information in English pages will add the book details, this summer: Agency.