Design in Progress: Conic Coat

DSCN1704Here is another of my designs in progress. I have slightly modified one of my Brooklyn Tweed Designs Submissions, and the pattern will be published in Familien’s Strikkebok this autumn instead. The yarn I chose is Embla – Hifa 3, a pure wool with bounce, in a shade called lilac beige (read: in other words; taupe) which is perfect for a certain pair of Monica Stålvang shoes. I do hope the coat will match her stunning shoes, and I am ready for the challenge! The stitch pattern I have chosen is Blocks and Triangles by Lynne Barr – the boring blocks are on the back, and they are completely flat unlike the sculptural triangles on the front. Yes, they are made with a DPN or a cable needle in hand. Above is the bottom of one of the sleeves, I will start making the other now, so that I can work them together to the end. After pondering for awhile I decided not to knit them in the round because of the equal amount of purl and knit, the yarn overs on the WS, and the folding. I have also tested how I wanted to make the hem and to make the set up perfect I chose the old fashion way of sewing it up.  The coat itself will have an a-line shape and end in a large shawl collar in a seeded rib pattern. I am very pleased it is an addictive stitch pattern, just as long as I remember  to increase along the way, since I am working as fast as I can with plenty of ideas flowing through my head at the moment!


Design in Progress: Scarftex

DSCN1703I have had a lot of fun lately coming up with new designs, and if I could not find the texture or color I had in mind, I made it up by combining two different yarns. To make cables really pop I love working them in double yarns, usually of the same quality but this time I chose to hold a pure wool, Rowan Fine Tweed, together with an alpaca mixture, Rowan Lima, to add bounce to the cables. A chunky jewelry scarf just like the type of statement jewelry I prefer. The stitch pattern I choose is a combination of reversible cables to make a scarf with a lot of texture; a Scarftex! Rowan Fine Tweed is a thin 4-ply/Fingering weight pure wool that comes in 25 g balls with 90 m/98 yds, while Rowan Lima is an Aran/Worsted weight yarn of a chain construction made of alpaca 84%, wool 8% and nylon 8% that comes in 50 g balls with 110 m/120 yds. The Norwegian pattern will be published in Familien’s Strikkebok late August after being photographed professionally, while the English pattern will be published on Ravelry. More designs are in progress and coming here on my blog soon!


Spring is here

DSCN1698I captured yesterday’s beautiful weather from our terrace, where I have spent a lot of time during Easter, knitting swatches and new designs. Not long now, and I can show you some of my latest designs. Outside it is getting greener by the day, and we have had lovely summery temperatures for several days now. The smell of barbecues is all around in the early evening, since everyone is making sure they enjoy the warm sunshine. So this is where you will find me, sitting on the terrace knitting!


Summer Leaves Sweater by Siv Jorunn Hjellbrekke

SAM_0407_medium2I am delighted to show you the beautiful Summer Leaves Sweater Siv Jorunn Hjellbrekke made during the test knit of the English pattern in my Ravelry group. It did not scare her off because she has taken part in many more test knits since then. Siv choose the same yarn, Hifa Luxor, a pure mercerized cotton, in the same color I choose; Wine Red, see Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk and knitted size XL. She shortened the sleeves to 3/4 long, after consulting me. It was the first time she made a hem using two circular needles held parallel as I suggest in the pattern and shown in my video no 5 here: Marveng-Puckett. You can also see more detailed photos on Sivjor’s Ravelry page. I love the matching nail varnish and shoes, the pose as well as the stunning view from her garden! Thank you, Siv! The Norwegian pattern will be published in Familien, date to be confirmed, while the English pattern is available to download from Ravelry.

Summer Leaves CoverAbove is stunning dancer Francesca Golfetto, brilliantly photographed by Kim Müller.


Monica Stålvang Shoes

DSCN1689I am in shoe heaven, and I have been there for quite awhile now. It is several months since I first spotted Monica Stålvang‘s amazing shoe creations at Designerkollektivet in Oslo. So what happened? Well, last week, I went to her showroom and studio at Bislett, and I have hardly slept since! Yes, her shoes have kick started a whole series of new designs to match their elegance and superiority. No, I did not leave the shop empty handed since I need to have them in front of me when I design! Entering the shop, with a studio at the back, feels like entering a smart shoe showroom in Milan. No wonder really since there are photos on the wall from Milan and Florence, indeed all of Monica’s shoes are made in Milan, where she has lived for years. I also loved seeing her sketches and then being able to study the finished pair. Monica has sourced the finest Italian leather, as well as Italian craftsmanship, and combines it with different materials, builds numerous kinds of soles and heals – that you can walk in and not merely totter around – into exquisite shoes and boots.

carla-wineAbove is Carla in wine, and despite Monica’s good photo, it does not do them justice because they are even more gorgeous in real life. The platform at the front and the stable heel do make them easy to walk in, to my utter astonishment!

carmen-petrolAbove is Carmen in petrol, which shows the play with different types of leather as well as colors. The interesting color and leather combinations makes each design seem like an unexpected innovation. Monica showed me some of the leather samples for the new collection which has not arrived yet, and I cannot wait to see it. There is, unfortunately, a limit to how many pairs I can buy, but thankfully I can borrow for press loans, so I am planning future photo shoot in detail far into the night.


Strikk til smårollinger

Strikk-til-smaarollinger_hd_imageKnitting clothes for small children is the English translation of this charming book by two sisters; Eli Østgård and Mette Harbo, who have 11 children together, and hence are very focused on children’s fashion and especially knitting. Together with their third sister, they have a popular blog called GustavogBerta, where you can see their retro style inspired by their own mother, and the outfits they wore as children. The book contains 50 patterns for children at the age of 0 to 6 years, in a classical, or modern or retro style in different difficulty levels. It is a book to treasure with stunning photos, taken by different photographers including the sisters themselves, that makes you smile, and wanting to dress up all the small children you know in these outfits. Take a look inside the book here: Issuu. The book is available in selected bookshops in Norway and directly from the publisher Gyldendal. You will find one of the patterns for a pleated skirt in Norwegian on Gyldendal’s blog, together with Easter Greetings, see Puff.Gyldendal.


Cablewing Sweater by Margaret Rowe

P1030746_mediumToday, I am delighted to show you the beautiful Cablewing Sweater Margaret Rowe, aka Marg3016 on Ravelry, test knitted in the stunning bright pink tweed yarn called Loden by Grignasco. She was inspired to join the test knit after seeing Yelena’s gorgeous version, see my blogpost Cablewing Sweater by Yelena Malcolm Dasher. In fact they are both popular test knitters due to their eagle eyes, and amazing pictures. Do notice Margaret’s matching lipstick! Her excellent choice of yarn in a mixture of 50% wool, 25% rayon and 25% alpaca with 110 m/120 yds per 50 g, has made me add it to my long list of yarns I want to test, see Grignasco. The only modification she made is to make the sleeves a little longer. Equally well fitting is the back, see below. Thank you so much, Margaret!

P1030744_mediumMy original sample of the Cablewing Sweater was knitted in Hifa Embla, a pure wool with bounce, and first published in the Norwegian separate issue called Familien Strikkebok in August 2013. The pattern is available in both English and Norwegian on Ravelry.


New pattern release: Arcade Vest

Arcade Vest COVERThe Arcade Vest pattern is now available in English, to download from my Ravelry Store, with chart, schematic and useful video links. Beautifully modeled by dancer Francesca Golfetto and photographed by Kim Müller. I am so grateful to the 11 test knitters who have checked and improved my English pattern in addition to my tech editor, thank you! The Norwegian pattern was published in the magazine “Familien”/The Family in January in issue no 3, and will be added to Ravelry when the rights revert to me. A straight vest inspired by Haider Ackermann’s architectonic style and jewel colours. It features arcades knitted by cables, framed by double moss/seed stitch and ends with an I-cord trim around the neck and armholes. The double front gives the vest weight – close it as you prefer with a shawlpin or a belt. Close it at the top for a trendy look and an asymmetrical opening. The sample is knitted in the beautiful Hifa Norsk Pelsull/Norwegian Pelt yarn from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk in a turquoise mélange color.

Size: S (M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL)
Finished measurements:
Bust: 92 (96, 102, 116, 124, 134) cm/36.25 (38.25, 40, 45.75, 48.75, 52.75)”
incl overlap: 6.5 (6.5, 6.5, 6.5, 8.5, 8.5) cm/2.5 (2.5, 2.5, 2.5, 3.25, 3.25)”
Length: 77 (77, 77, 79, 79, 79) cm/30.25 (30.25, 30.25, 31, 31, 31)”
Yarn: Hifa, Norsk Pelsullgarn in turquoise sh 1106: 4 (4.5, 5, 6, 6.5, 7.5) skeins;
1014 (1144, 1300, 1508, 1664, 1846) m/1109 (1251, 1422, 1649, 1820, 2019) yds (100% Norwegian pelt wool, 100 g, 260 m/284 yds). Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk

Alternative Yarns: Berroco, Ultra Alpaca Light (50% alpaca, 50% wool, 50 g, 133 m/144 yds). Berroco 
Anzula, Kern (100% alpaca, 50 g, 160 m/175 yds). Anzula
Or another DK/8 ply yarn.
Needles: 3.5 mm/US 4 circular needle (80 cm/32″)
3.5 mm/US 4 circular needle (40 cm/16″)
3.5 mm/US 4 DPNs (2 for I-cord bind off)
Or size needed for gauge.
Notions: Cable needle, 3 stitch holders and yarn needle
Gauge: 20 sts and 24 rows in Arcade Pattern, 20 sts and 26 rows in double moss/seed stitch measures 10cm/4″ square.
Notes: The vest is worked in rows in one piece to armhole, where it is separated. The armhole band is worked in the round.
Dec: When decreasing for neck and armhole only for XL and 2XL, change first and last Arcade Pattern repeat into reverse stocking stitch to avoid decreasing in pattern.
Length: Adjust length by knitting additional rows in double moss/seed stitch at the bottom and/or more/fewer Arcade Patterns before armhole decrease.


Knitting Design Workshop in Larvik

DSCN1680Last weekend I held my new Knitting Design Workshop in Larvik, and I stayed – as always – with my friend & Ravelry Group moderator Nina Hove Myhre who together with Inger Kamfjord Andersen came wearing my design; Regal Purple Jacket (read: in uniform). How thrilled was I? You can only guess! Nina made hers in her own dyed wool Vandre, see FiberAndArt, while Inger made hers in the original Hifa Perle, for more details see Ravelry. The workshop was organized by Larvik Husflidslag, and held at their marvelous premises – filled with looms, sewing machines and dressmaker mannequins – next to the museum. As if that in itself was not enough, Nina had baked buns that very morning in their kitchen so that the smell welcomed us and they were absolutely delicious!

007 copyMy plan was to go through the design process from beginning to finish, and follow one of my designs on its journey to completion; Tyrol Jacket was my choice since I have its initial  submission proposal with a sketch and preliminary schematic. Instead of making tasks for each knitter to do, after I had covered a section of theory,  I opted for them to bring a swatch in a pattern and yarn of their choice, then for them to make a project page where they would add their ideas as well as numbers as soon as they started to calculate with their gauge according to their measurements and chosen ease. I was amazed at the complexity of the swatches several of the knitters brought with them and recognized their Japanese influence, see below. All I had to do was make suggestions for edges and assist on calculations, especially the sleeve top one for a set in sleeve.

002Totally essential for the workshop, in my opinion, were stitch manuals, my design bible by Shirley Paden, my own swatches and designs, as well as favorite shade cards I use for inspiration and yarn selections. I also had to bring copies of my book, obviously. Just in case some of the participants had not seen it.

009On Sunday Nina had changed into another uniform, this time the Arcade Vest knitted in the original yarn; Norsk Pelsullgarn by Hifa in Grey Violett, see Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. The Norwegian pattern was published in Familien in issue no 3 earlier this year, while the English pattern will be released shortly. I am delighted to say that Nina took part also in this test knit. Here is the pattern page on Ravelry. You can also read, with Google Translate, if you do not read Norwegian, Nina’s blogpost here: Fiber And Art.

DSCN1686My next Knitting Design Workshop is scheduled in Oslo organized by Østre Aker Husflidslag at the end of October but more workshops will follow. This weekend I am holding Japanese Patterns in Oslo organized by Vestre Aker Husflidslag, and I am working on my workshop paper. Next on my agenda is calculating my own new designs…