Tau for Vienna Wool & Design Festival

I am back in Vienna, this time for a new festival called Vienna Wool Design Festival  organised by yarn store owner, Suncica Wilhelmer and Ursula Koll. When I was invited I was also asked if I could submit a pattern to their festival magazine WOOL 2 GO and I accepted the challenge. The impressive glossy magazine, printed in German and English, contains 12 patterns by 9 participating designers: Nancy Marchant, Isabell Kraemer, Hanna Maciejewska, Valentina Cosciani, Emma Boyles, Karina Moebius, Suncica Wilhelmer and Ursula Koll. On the cover is Vienna Mitts by Nancy and I had the pleasure of meeting her at the airport, she landed half an hour before Michael and I arrived, so we shared at taxi to the Arcotel Hotel Wimberger. I have also meet the organisers, Hanna, knitters I met last time I held workshops in Vienna and had a lovely dinner with Irene Brenner.

One of the Lang Yarns I wanted to test was Yak, made of 50% yak and 50% wool, available in 50 gram balls with 130 meters/142 yards. All the colours have a black melange colour and I choose the Teal colour. I was thrilled that they choose to photograph the scarf on a handsome young man. Just to emphasise that the scarf is unisex.

The scarf is knitted using 4.5 mm/US 7 needle with a gauge of 18 stitches and 26 rows in stocking stitch to 10 cm/4″ square. It is available in one size with a width of 17 cm/6.75″ and length: 150 cm/59″. Here is my introduction to the pattern:

I was instantly captivated by this teal coloured luscious Yak yarn by Lang Yarns, especially chosen and designed for the Vienna Wool & Design Fesitval. A rope like cable worked over rib stitches gives it a sculptural feel. Naturally, I named it Tau meaning rope in Norwegian, and human being in an Eskimo language.

One of the photos of the scarf is featured on the back page together with Suncica’s acknowledgements as well as exciting news that she is opening a concept yarn store in the centre of Vienna in the summer of 2017.

I am looking forward to meeting more knitters  while teaching 4 workshops here in Vienna and to the Galla Dinner later tonight!

Thank you to the team behind the magazine:

Sunčica Wilhelmer

Filip Fiska

Nino B. Pavlek

Sophie Kaspar

Julia Stix

Tina Stundner


Halli Pattern Released

I am pleased to release the English pattern of Halli after the test knit in my Ravelry group. The pattern has been corrected and improved. It is available to buy on Ravelry and on Loveknitting. I have enjoyed seeing the different versions of Halli appear and look forward to seeing more completed. The sample was brilliantly photographed by Eivind Røhne on the stunning Alexandria Eissinger/Nordic Model Agency, with hair & make up by Jens J. Wiker and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design, on a sweltering day in June last year at Villa Malla by the Oslo fjord. The Norwegian pattern is only available as part of a yarn kit from selected yarn stores and directly from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. Here is the introduction to the pattern:

A sideways cardigan with a reverse textural pattern, and deep waterfall fronts. Each front and sleeve has two tucks at the end; one in reverse stockinette stitch and one in stockinette stitch. Choose if you prefer to leave the fronts hanging loose, pinned loosely together or draped across each other. Halli, comes from Old Norse and means rock. Perfect for the stitch pattern and symbolicly for becoming the rock in your wardrobe.

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

Finished measurements:
Bust (excl armholes and collars): 100 (107, 114, 124, 134, 144) cm/39.25 (42.25, 45, 48.75, 52.75, 56.75)”
Bottom width excl collars: 120 (129, 138, 152, 166, 180) cm/51 (54.75, 58.25, 63.75, 69.25, 74.75)”
Full width incl collars: 140 (149, 158, 172, 186, 200) cm/55 (58.75, 62.25, 67.75, 73.25, 78.75)”
Length (back): 76 (78, 80, 82, 84, 86) cm/30 (30.75, 31.5, 32.25, 33, 33.75)”
Sleeve length: 50 (51, 51, 52, 52, 52) cm/19.75 (20, 20, 20.5, 20.5, 20.5)”

Ease/size note: The cardigan is intended to be worn with extra ease at the front to create the waterfall effect. If you want less fabric to drape at the front, work a shorter front before the armhole on right front and after armhole on left front. If you prefer a shorter length on the body choose a smaller size when casting on, but work to the lengths given and the armhole for your correct size. Alexandria is wearing size S and is a clothes size European 34/UK 6/US 2.

Yarn: Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, Hifa Sølje (100% pelt yarn, 350 m/382 yds, 100 g). Sample is knitted in Lys Dongeriblå:
7 (8, 8, 9, 10, 11) skeins; 2240 (2520, 2783, 3115, 3465, 3815) m/2449 (2755, 3043, 3406, 3789, 4172) yds. https://www.ull.no/produktkategori/garn/ullgarn/nyhet-solje-pelsullgarn/

Yarn alternatives: Cascade 220 Sport (100% wool, 50 g, 150 m/164 yds).
Tosh Sock (100% wool, 100 g, 361 m/394 yds).
Hand Maiden, Camelspin (70% silk, 30% camel, 100 g, 300 m/328 yds).
Berroco Cosma (60% alpaca, 30% wool, 10% silk, 50 g, 150 m/164 yds).
Or another Sport/5 ply or Fingering 4/ply yarn.

Needles: 2 sets 3 mm/US 2.5 circular needles (120 cm/47”).
3 mm/US 2.5 DPNs.
Adjust needle size as needed to match gauge.

Notions: Stitch markers, stitch holders, crochet hook, waste yarn and yarn needle.

Gauge: 24 sts and 32 rows in st st measures 10 cm/4” square.
24 sts and 34 rows in Halli measures 10 cm/4” square.

Notes: The body is knitted sideways in one piece, from right front to first armhole, where it is split and worked in two parts until armhole is complete, and back is worked to second armhole, and finally left front. Right front begins with a provisional cast-on, which is later removed and replaced by an I-cord bind-off, while left front ends in an I-cord bind-off. The sleeve is knitted in the round to the armhole, then flat to final bind off. The fronts and the sleeves have two tucks; one in reverse stocking stitch and one in stocking stitch after each other at the beginning. The tucks are worked with 2 sets of circular needles held together, and with the magic loop method on the sleeves.


We Are Well Settled

Yes, we are well settled in our new house. Michael has just finished the last building the last bookshelf and has moved onto the next project; extending the front terrace. I am working in my new studio – still at our dining table but it is not our dining table any more and it will eventually become my working & meeting table. Most of the boxes are unpacked, even though there are plenty of tidying and sorting of drawers to be done. We have even met a few of the neighbours and discovered that this is indeed a small place. A few shop owners in our local town knew we were moving in and exactly which house we have moved into. The previous owners are well known in Ørje, and so will we be, by the sounds of it.

Now even our mailbox is in the right place across the road now – the first few days we did not have one and missed having one. Even the mail redirection service works well, I am pleased to say. There are deer out in the forest close to our kitchen window in the early mornings. Above you can spot one of them. All we can hear are the birds and a bit of traffic, so my shoulders seemed to have moved down several centimeters since we moved.

My studio, originally the garage then a “peisestue” (read second living room usually with a fireplace – here a gas heater), will be refurbished beginning this summer when we are planning to replace the small basement windows with floor-to-ceiling windows. The gas heater will be removed, since there is floor heating installed beneath the slate floor tiles. A number of my folders, samples, yarn and workshop materials are still in boxes and I need to sort out the ones that will be kept stored in boxes in the next door storage room. My new orange leather chairs are from IKEA, while I have inherited the bookshelves we used to have in our old living room, in addition to the cow skin. As you can guess, I wanted to add some colour to my studio and it was an easy choice for me. My sister-in-law and niece have already tested them and approved of my choice.

On the short wall you can see two of the five photos exhibited at the Strikke 2016 at Hadeland Glassverk last autumn. There is a third one in the corner and two on the opposite short wall. I do love having so much space and living for years in London does make me appreciate it even more. If you find my desk extremely tidy, it is not because I do not have any work on, but because I cleared it especially for this photo. As usual I am working to keep my deadlines. A new place to photograph has been found and it has already been tested; it is a nearby beach. All we need now, is for warmer weather to arrive since it has been colder than usual for April. However, I am busy preparing for the upcoming Vienna Wool & Design Festival as well as writing patterns, so it does not matter that much.


Strick Mode – Bowery Tunic in German

The American magazine knit.wear Spring/Summer 2017 has been translated and is published in German as strick mode issue 0217. I am excited to hear this news since it means that my design Bowery Tunic is now available in German as well.

Above you can see the Bowery Tunic presented in German at the strick mode website. Here is the American version: “The body of this pullover is worked back and forth in pieces and seamed. The sleeves are worked in the round, with the sleeve cap worked flat. You’ll love working the gorgeous cable motifs on the front panel, and the asymmetrical hem gives unexpected flair to this pullover.”

The tunic is knitted in madelinetosh, Tosh DK, a hand-dyed merino wool with crisp stitch definition, in a divine medium grey called Tern. The yarn comes in 100 gram skeins with 205 meters/225 yards and knits with a gauge of 20 stitches and 30 rows in stocking stitch to 10 cm/4″ square.


Biondo Scarf Pattern Released

My new design, Biondo Scarf, has been released in English on Ravelry and Loveknitting. The Norwegian pattern will be printed in Familien at a later date. The pattern has been test knitted and you can see the four completed ones on Ravelry. The reversible scarf, that can be used as a shawl was worn by Silje Andresen/Team Models, with hair & makeup by Sissel Fylling and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design, over Judith Bech’s divine silk skirt. The scene was brilliantly captured by Eivind Røhne at the National Museum – Architecture in late November last year.

Biondo – Italian for blond – scarf is reversible with a twisted stitch as a divider between each of the three cables. The stitch also work as a folding line, hence emphasises the more relaxed alternate side. The scarf is knitted in a divine silk and alpaca mixture for that lovely feel and sheen.

Size: One size

Finished measurements:
Width: 29.5 cm/11.5”
Length: 140 cm/55”

Yarn: Du Store Alpakka, Baby Silk (80% baby alpaca, 20% mulberry silk, 50 g, 133 m/145 yds). Sample is knitted in Pale Yellow 352:
6 skeins; 758 m/828 yds.

Alternative Yarns: Madeline Tosh, Pashmina (75% merino wool, 15% silk, 15% goat, 100 g, 329 m/360 yds).
Blue Sky Fibers, Alpaca Silk (50% silk, 50% camelid alpaca, 50 g, 134 m/146 yds).
Drops, Baby Alpaca Silk (70% alpaca, 30% silk, 50 g, 167 m/182 yds).

Needles: 3.5 mm/US 4 circular needle (80 cm/32”) or straight needle.
Adjust needle size as needed to match gauge.

Notions: Stitch markers, holders, cable needle (cn) and yarn needle.

Gauge: 24 sts and 32 rows in st st measures 10 cm/4” square.
33 stitches in Rib Cable measures 9.5 cm/3.75” across.


Bowery Tunic Again

The time has come to show you the photos – well, a selection of the best ones, really – that my husband took of me wearing the Bowery Tunic just before I sent it off to Interweave in July. The pattern was released in the latest issue of  knit.wear Spring/Summer 2017, which is available both in a digital and a print edition. We photographed the tunic close to the beach at Ormøya, in walking distance to our old house at Bekkelaget in Oslo. It was not a sweltering July day, so I had no problems wearing boots and the tunic knitted in hand-dyed merino wool – madelinetosh, Tosh DK to be specific. The yarn comes in 100 gram skeins with 205 meters/225 yards and knits with a gauge of 20 stitches and 30 rows in stocking stitch to 10 cm/4″ square using a 4 mm/US 6 needle. The shade chosen by editor Meghan Babin is a stunning medium grey called Tern.

I wanted to make sure that the different length on the back and the front plus vent was easy to see: A cable panel with electronic vibes, not unlike Jean Michel Jarre renown music – hence the Jarre working title – is the focus point for this a-line pullover with a longer back ending in a vent in the sides. The collar, just like the bottom edge, is in garter stitch and crowns the garment ending in an i-cord bind off.

I am wearing the sample, made in the third size with a bust circumference of 105.5 cm/41.5″, with 15.5 cm/6″ of positive ease. The tunic is graded into 6 sizes with a bust circumference from 85 to 136 cm/33.5 to 53.5″. The back is one cable pattern repeat longer than the front, 11 cm/4.25″. Here is a presentation of the Leather & Lace  Story in the knit.wear Spring/Summer 2017 issue.

We also wanted to have a go at photographing it sitting down so here is one of those photos. I did look for a high stone that could work, but could not find any in the correct position nor size.

Last but not least, here is a detail of the back and the sleeve. The sleeve has a center garter stitch panel since the cable was too dominant to add to the sleeve. I also wanted more texture than what plain stocking stitch can provide, but this can easily be omitted if you prefer to work it plain. Now that we have moved to Ørje, we are on the look out for a new place to photograph, but is bound to be close to Rødenessjøen.


Check Cable Cardigan Knitted by Katja

I just had to share these amazing photos showing Katja’s Check mate based on my  Check Cable Cardigan pattern. Yes, Katja is Norwegian and lives north of the Lofoten islands in Northern Norway. She braved the icy waters to take these photos. The cold hit her later, as you can imagine… Katja knitted size XS/S with some adjustments and choose garter stitch bands instead of double hems. It is knitted in Ice Yarns Viscose Merino, now discontinued, using a 3 mm/US 2.5 instead of the given 4 mm/US 6 to achieve the stated gauge of 22 stitches and 30 rows. The cardigan has grown while Katja has been wearing it, due to the 50% viscose content. But the long length looks stunning and Katja loves it!

Here is the back view with the same stunning nature in the background. Thank you so much Katja! I am so thrilled that Katja discovered my patterns this January and quickly signed on for the test knit of my Andor poncho. Yes, those photos are equally stunning and will appear here later. Katja is a meticulous test knitter and a very skilled knitter who knows exactly what adjustments she wants to make! I am so grateful that she has chosen to knit more of my designs! You will find more of Katja’s photos on Ravelry where she is known as ekatja.

The Check Cable Cardigan pattern is available in sizes XS/S (M, L, XL/2XL) in both English and in Norwegian on Ravelry and Loveknitting. It was first published in Norwegian in the magazine Familien in December 2012, but was revised and tech edited last autumn. New photos were also taken by my favourite team including photographer Eivind Røhne, since they needed to be updated. But we did not have Katja’s wonderful nature in the background.