Happy New Year

IMG_2617Takk for det gamle/Thank you for the old one, we say to each other when the new year approaches in Norway! It is a good custom, in my opinion to thank friends and family for making the year richer, and so much better. So thank you for following me this last year, and I wish you a happy and healthy new year! I hope it will be one that makes us grow, not physically but mentally, that is! I also hope it will bring lots of happiness and shared pleasures. The lovely photo above is of my youngest nephew; Kristoffer aged 2, and his sister; Martine aged 7, but not showing their beloved older brother; Fredrik aged 16. They are having fun assisting their dad, my brother, refurbishing the basement of their house that is going to be Fredrik’s new room. In the meantime, the empty floor space is a perfect playground for Kristoffer. I will be welcoming the new year at home with my husband and my knitting! Bring it on!


Curvy Check Cowl Pattern Released

Curvy Check Cowl COVERI am finally ready to release the Curvy Check Cowl and Wrist Warmers in English in my Ravelry store. Above it is gorgeously worn by dancer Francesca Golfetto, beautifully styled by Line Sekkingstad, and brilliantly photographed by Kim Müller. The Norwegian pattern was published in Familien Strikk in August. Here is the introduction to it: A beautiful orange tweed, made of combining Rowan Fine Tweed together with Hifa Ask for a perfect color with sheen and depth, ideal for accessories such as a cowl and wrist warmers. A check pattern shows off the tweed to its best.

Size: One Size

Finished measurements: Cowl: Circumference 88 cm/34.75″, height: 31.5 cm/12.5″. Wrist warmer: Circumference 22 cm/8.75″, height: 27 cm/10.75″

Yarns: Rowan Fine Tweed (100% wool, 25 g, 90 m/98 yds) sample is knitted in               Col A: Tissington 386. knitrowan.com                                                                                        Hifa, Ask (100% wool, 100 g, 315 m/344 yds) sample is knitted in ull.no.                             Col B: Melange orange 6570.                                                                                                            Cowl: Col A: 4 skeins; 347 m/380 yds. Col B: 1.5 skein; 347 m/380 yds                           Wrist warmers: Col A: 2 skeins; 142 m/155 yds. Col B: 0.5 skein; 142 m/155 yds     Note: Col A and B are held together throughout. 5 skeins of Col A is sufficent for the set.

Alternative yarn: Brooklyn Tweed, Shelter (100% wool, 50 g, 128 m/140 yds) brooklyntweed.com

Needles: 4 mm/US 6 circular needle (80 cm/32″) for cowl. 4 mm/US 6 DPNs for wrist warmers. Adjust needle size to match gauge.

Notions: Stitch markers and yarn needle

Gauge: 18 sts and 26 rnds in st st, 18 sts and 26 in Check pattern using Col A and Col B held together, steamed and stretched measures 10 cm/4″ square.

Notes: Both cowl and wrist warmers are knitted in the round. The hem is folded in two and attached on the WS, but could easily be made using two circular needles.


Christmas is Here

DSCF1569I cannot believe how quickly Christmas approached this year. I had plenty of time to buy Christmas presents, not! Yesterday was Lille Juleaften/Little Christmas Eve, and I did my last present shopping. I have been in my own little world of new designs, and studying the stunning new cones of Zephyr Lace plus a complete set of shade cards I have received from Jagger Spun. They will sponsor me to my utter delight, and I had to start knitting with one of the cones, but it would go even quicker with another pair of arms! Above is a  recent view from our terrace photographed by my husband. Today is Christmas Eve which will be celebrated with my brother and his family, my mum, my husband and me. I will squeeze in as much knitting time as I possibly can during Christmas! I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year! May it bring lots of happiness to you all!


Design in Progress: Sculpted Frost Coat

DSCF1554I love the frost flower lace pattern with its lattice panels and want to create a a-line coat with lattice panels on the sleeves and the frost flower pattern on the back and the fronts. It is a design that has evolved from its beginning as a design submission to the Japanese magazine Amirisu. Now it has been given cuffs, and I am planning a shawl collar. I found that by combining the divine melange lace weight Du Store Alpakka, Dreamline, Soul with the beautiful light fingering comb wool Hifa Huldra Kamgarn a stunning stitch definition as well as a slight halo was created. The color that appeared was an extra deep pink color with lilac tones. This design is one of a series I am planning for the Norwegian magazine Familien’s special issue Strikk/Knit due out in late August next year, then in English on Ravelry.

Other great design news is that one of my designs for Interweave Knits have been excepted and will be published in the 2015 Fall issue.


Kaja Gjedebo Jewelry

jul_bolera4Last Saturday I went to an event called Christmas at the Artist Dwellings located at the suburb of Bøler, close to the border to Marka – the forest that surrounds Oslo – where 12 artists in the fields of graphic, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry took part, and opened their homes & studios. The poster is drawn by Kjetil Fornes who together with Anne Thomassen also housed the coffeeshop that occupied every inch of their studio as well as kitchen and living room. We were many that came to visit. No wonder when you see the impressive list of artists who live in these artist dwellings, see trolltun.net. As the poster says we were welcome to art, culture and for a walk at the edge of the forest. I was invited by Kaja Gjedebo, whose jewelry I borrowed for the photo shoot I had in October for the next issue of Made by Me, due out at the beginning of February. You might recognize the statement paper & scissors silver earrings or go back here and look: sneak-peak-made-by-me-photoshoot. I was delighted to be able to look at a much larger selection, and many were tempted to buy themselves Christmas gifts on the spot!


I can reveal that I did not, since I have a taste for expensive jewelry, preferably gold. But it is ever so good to know what I really want, and to make sure that I also would be able to borrow other stunning pieces for my future photo shoots!

DSCN0032Below is a list of the participating artists from this year’s event. It was such a treat to come into their homes and studios to see, not only their work, but also to take a step into their world and gain a bit of a vision! Take a look at the photo gallery from the event and you will understand what I mean in a flash: julemarked. Thank you to each one, and hope to see you next year!

Arild Yttri – copper plate art
Anne Thomassen – ceramics
Dina Hald – enamel jewellry
Einar og Kirvil Stoltenberg – pewter casting
Heidi Rognskog Mella – painting / drawing
Kaja Gjedebo – jewelry
Kåre Bondesen – knives and watercolors
Marianne Boberg – graphics
Mikkel Hald – product design
Solveyg Schafferer – sculpture
Torunn Skjelland – painter and gardener


Julie Skarland Exhibition

DSCN0019Paris – New Dehli – Oslo, is the subtitle of this magnificent exhibition at Kunstindustri-museet/Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Oslo, on to 1st of February 2015. Here is the introduction to Julie Skarland – photographed in a tulle dress with sneakers in the picture above – from the program: “Rough and poetic, with the whole world as her workplace: Welcome to fashion designer and artist Julie Skarland’s universe!”. Born 1960 in Trondheim, she has spent her entire career abroad. The label Julie Skarland/Princess Factory was set up in 1991 in Paris, where she presented annual collections and opened her own store in 1998. In 2005 she moved to India to produce according to fair trade principles, and today she resides in New Dehli. “Throughout Julie Skarland’s career handwork, such as knitting and embroidery, has been a hallmark of her folklore-inspired style. A style in which incongruity and ambiguity are underscored by the choice of materials and ornaments”. The combination of heavy knits with tulle, silks and other fine fabrics decorated with embroidery, pompoms and sequins is unexpected and characteristic of Julie Skarland. See the fox collar, below, knitted in a stranded color work motif designed by Per Spook and with a great sense of humor called “Spooky”.

DSCN0024“An original and varied use of recycled materials is characteristic of many of the designer’s piece. Fragments of knitwear and old embroidery create stories that both assert her fairytale aesthetic and convey tales of everyday Norwegian life”. In addition to Pret a Porter, Julie Skarland sets her instinct to work creating one-off designs by putting together, taking apart and recovering with painstakingly detailed work. Many of these one-offs have been sold to museums and art galleries. Embroidery is at the core in her new creative phase as an artist. Through these detailed embroideries she has achieved a greater sense of elegance. You can see her embroider, as well as glimpses of her daily life in New Dehli and the former Parisian collections; in fact the complete documentary from the exhibition here: vimeo.com.

DSCN0027The dresses Julie Saarland has made for this exhibition consists simple silhouettes in white fabric, across which she allows imagery inspired by nature, birds and islamic patterns to unfold, as if on a canvas. The embroidery is mind-blowing as it is done using a fine thread with precise execution. So if you are in Oslo before the beginning of February, you know where to go. I need to revisit and study her photo books available in the museum shop…


Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads by Cirilia Rose

mhncoverA magnificent title that conveys the three parts of a knitter’s personality; we collect like magpies, we sometimes prefer the quiet of our own perch like any homebody but we also venture into the world to meet friends and gather inspiration like a nomad, Cirilia Rose explains in the introduction; Finding Your Inner Bricoleur, and continues: “The past decade has seen a proliferation of knitwear designers, myself included, and we’re all working from essentially the same sourcebooks, with the same basic resources: the knit stitch, the purl stitch, and a whole lot of yarn. So how does one innovate in an increasingly crowded landscape? The answer is, of course, through bricolage. The combination of elements from seemingly disparate cultural sources creates energy that didn’t exist before, and when  each of us cultivates our own unique concoction of referents, it guarantees more idiosyncratic knits.”

This hardcover book is fascinating and well worth reading, as I am sure you already have discovered, in addition to containing 24 divine patterns. Like the title it is divided into three parts with excellent introduction to each part e.g. Magpies title: “I am, as I suspect many of you are, addicted to yarn.” Yes, that rings a bell, for sure! Each part also has two articles on Style inspiration: “Color Me Brave” and “Think Like a Stylist” in Magpies, “Surround Yourself” (read: with talented people), and “Substituting Yarns” in Homebodies, and “Finding Myself in Iceland” (read: inspiration and second home) and “Looking for a Come-up (aka Thrifting)”. As if that was not enough essential reading it also includes “The Canon” with recommended reading, sources for supplies, special techniques, abbreviations, acknowledgements and about the author. Do also enjoy listening to the podcast where Cirilia Rose is interviewed by her former employer Kathy Elkins of WEBS fame: blog.yarn.com and when visiting London having a party and plenty of giggles with the lovely Pompom magazine: pompommag.com.

Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads is photographed by Jared Flood, hence utterly captivating. Cirilia Rose has worked with well known yarn companies such as Berroco, Skacel and Brooklyn Tweed and it shows in her fabulous designs and their scope. There are 8 designs in each part including: cardigans, pullovers, hats, cowls, tanks and more. You can study all the projects on Ravelry, or have a look inside the book at Amazon.com. I bought my treasured copy online at Adlibris.com.


The Moon From Our Terrace

DSCF1233-EditMy husband took this brilliant photo of the moon from our terrace at Bekkelaget in Oslo, a month ago. I love the spectacular atmosphere he has captured and wanted to share it. We have a view of the fjord, people cannot believe until they have seen it with their own eyes. After so many years in London only seeing the carpark and into other flats, we truly appreciate seeing the horizon as well as this magnificent view of Ormøya and Malmøya.


Carla Coat Pattern Released

Carla Coat COVERI am proud to announce that the test knit of the Carla Coat is finished, hence the English pattern is now available in my Ravelry Store with video links and a detailed schematic. You can see all the different versions and the different yarn the test knitters selected on the pattern page (see the first link). Above it is gorgeously worn by dancer Francesca Golfetto, beautifully styled by Line Sekkingstad, and brilliantly photographed by Kim Müller. The Norwegian pattern was published in Familien Strikk in August. Here is the introduction to it: My Carla shoes in wine by Monica Stålvang needed a coat to accompany them on an evening out. However, the shoes demanded quite a bit of drama to make the coat as stunning as the shoes. Norsk Pelsull/Pelt wool by Hifa in burgundy with its lustre was my first choice, but more volume and texture was necessary so combining it with Rowan Lima created the perfect texture and rich color. Ideal for a voluptuous braid framed by reverse stocking stitch and double seed stitch. The coat is crowned by a large shawl collar in double seed stitch.

Sizes: S (M, L, XL, 2XL)

Finished Measurements:                                                                                                     Bust: 92 (98, 106, 116, 126) cm excl collar/36.25 (38.5, 41.75, 45.75, 49.5)”                           Hip: 112 (118, 126, 136, 146) cm excl collar/44 (46.5, 49.5, 53.5, 57.5)”                               Length: 77 (78, 79, 80, 81) cm/30.25 (30.75, 31, 31.5, 32)”                                                  Collar width to v-neck: 7 cm/2.75″                                                                                                Collar width (mid-neck) widest: 18 cm/7″                                                                       Sleevelength: 50 (50, 51, 51, 52) cm/19.75 (19.75, 20, 20, 20.5)”

Yarns: Hifa, Norsk Pelsull in shade Burgundy 1104 (100% pelt yarn, 100 g, 260 m/284 yds: 5 (5, 5.5, 6, 6.5) skeins; 1196 (1300, 1404, 1560, 1716) m/1308 (1422, 1535, 1706, 1877) yds. See http://www.ull.no/garn/ullgarn/norsk-pelsull                                            Rowan Yarns, Lima in shade La Paz 891 (8% merino, 84% baby alpaca, 8% nylon, 50 g, 110 m/120 yds): 11 (12, 13, 15 ,16) skeins; 1196 (1300, 1404, 1560, 1716) m/1308 (1422, 1535, 1706, 1877) yds. See http://www.knitrowan.com/yarns/lima                                         Note: 1 strand of each yarn is knitted together throughout.

Alternative Yarn for Norsk Pelsull: Berroco, Ultra Alpaca Light (50% alpaca, 50% wool, 50 g, 133 m/144 yds). See http://www.berroco.com/yarns/berroco-ultra-alpaca-light. Or another DK/8 ply yarn to be held together with Rowan Lima. Or another Bulky/12 ply yarn held singularly.

Needles: 5.5 mm/US 9 circular needle (80 cm/32″ and 120 cm/48″ for collar). 5.5 mm/US 9 DPNs for sleeves or a long circular needle for magic loop method. Or adjust needle size as needed to match gauge.

Notions: Cable needle, 8 stitch markers, 5 stitch holders and yarn needle.

Gauge: 14 sts and 22 rows in st st measures 10 cm/4″ square. 14 sts and 22 rows in Double Seed st measures 10 cm/4″ square. Braid across 12 sts measures 5 cm/2″.

Notes: The body of the coat is knitted flat, while the sleeves are worked in the round. The a-line shaping is done in st st. Each cable has been gathered to keep its texture to the end. The shawl collar is picked up and shaped by short rows. If you want a wider shawl collar continue with short rows as set, until it measures 22 cm/8.75″ at the widest point. You can also make it lie flatter by adding 1 center stitch worked in stocking stitch (making sure the knit stitch is out when folded), and increasing on each side of it on every 4th row, see Britt Grandin’s, aka brittg, notes on Ravelry and her other modifications.