Strikkefestivalen in Fredrikstad 2019

I have been back to the lovely Fredrikstad Old Town; the oldest fortified town in Norway (founded in 1567) and in the Nordic countries, and one of the best-preserved fortress towns in Northern Europe. The Strikkefestivalen/knitting festival is in its 4th year and still going very strong, run by four Knitting Motors: Marit Larsen, Lill Bjørnstad, Mette Bakken and Rita Walter together with numerous volunteers. They offer an impressive program with workshops, talks and including events such as “Knit & Poetry”, “Psalms & Knit” and “Knitting Cinema”. Above you see the courtyard surrounded by the museum, the market hall and the knit café, all held in these magnificent historic buildings dating back to 1775.

Michael and I went down to the Fredrikstad Museum on the day before the festival to mount my exhibition. Above you see a photo Michael took of me and my corner. I am wearing Aylwen next to my blue Vela, behind it is the grey Prescott Pullover. On my other side is the natural Nemetona and behind it the green Rørbye Cardigan. I used the opportunity to check if Makeløs – Remarkable Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik if she wanted to meet us for lunch at Café Magenta and she did! Read more about the café at the bottom. Indeed, she found me several times during the festival too and brought her husband to the Indian restaurant where designer Tove Fevang, Michael and I had our dinner on Friday night.

Lunchtime on Friday, Kristin found Tove and me having lunch at the knitting café. Kristin is a culture stylist and her outfits are magnificent and combines stylish elements with bright splashes of colour here made of tulle around the neckband plus cuffs of this otherwise traditional Setesdal Inspired Kofte (read: stranded colorwork jacket with traditional borders from the Setesdal Valley). Michael captured them better than I did.

I held two workshops on Friday: Flettestrikk Masterclass/Cable Knitting Masterclass and Engelske Mønstre/English Patterns. Luckily, I met both knitters I knew from previously but also knitters I had not met earlier! Above is three of them yarn shopping at the Projo stand.

Of course I also had a chat with the other designers present: Tove Fevang, Helle Siggerud, Denise Samson, Kari Hestens and Annemor Sundbø – the Norwegian knitting legend.

Just like me, Helle Siggerud also had an exhibition in another corner of Fredrikstad Museum. Unlike me, Helle is a sewer and have designed all these lovely outfits, inspired by our national costumes. Yes, Helle also sews national costumes, see more on her webpage: Helles Syskrin.

Yarn dyer Hege Dagestad was there – see above – and so was Karen Walthinsen of Enchanted Forest Fibers, who I had not met before. Below is another yarn photo, as I know I cannot include too many of those for you to look at.

Below is a photo Michael took of Tove and me checking out the stands. I am wearing my Aife knitted in the gorgeous hand dyed Dye Dye Done, Pure Sport and it is currently being test knitted before I release the pattern in English and Norwegian on Ravelry and Love Crafts.

I took the other photos above on Saturday morning before the Market Hall became too full and before my third workshop. The festival had booked all the workshops holders into the same hotel so we all met up for breakfast on Saturday morning. That was a nice treat.

Above is the sign and the outdoor seating for my favourite coffee shop in the Old City, Café Magenta – where the captives of the fortress were held back in 1731. The owners have come to love the knitting festival. Back in 2016, they had no idea what caused the invasion (of mainly female vistitors that is) during the first knitting festival. This year they were prepared and their meny was found printed to take away, inside in the Market Hall.

After my workshop on Saturday from 3 to 6 PM, Michael and I drove home. While I was finishing up my workshop, Michael dismounted my exhibition. I had a fab time, as always! Thank you to the organisers, to all the knitters I met and all my designer friends!