Bergen Strikkefestival 2019

I was delighted to be invited to hold workshops and a talk at the Bergen Strikkefestival in 2019 at the Norwegian Knitting Industry Museum at Salhus about 20 minutes outside of Bergen by the Salhusfjord. Michael had never been to Bergen, so he wanted to come along. I had already heard about the well organised event and the delicious food on offer before I arrived. That was no exaggeration, by any means. For the first time, I had access to a Backstage Room and used it well, since the knitting cafe was packed most of the time with a high level of buzz in addition to clicking knitting needles. I met a number of knitters I knew during the even and even spotted designers Marianne Skatten & Rasa Ziburkute, aka Galgen Design, on the same plane, flying from Oslo to Bergen.

The festival began on last Friday 27. September with an Opening Party including a concert with Sigrid Moldestad (vocals & fiddle), a talk by Pickles & Dagny about colour choices in their patterns and a knitting quiz. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert which was a perfect ending to the party. Pickles had encouraged knitters to wear their garments knitted from their recent book and it was fun especially to see all these women on the stage in different colours all wearing different versions of the same dress.

The opening party took place in the Spoleloft/Winding Attic, with seating at the front and tables along the sides of all the old machinery. I saw Rasa walk by, so she and Marianne came to join us. We knitted and chatted through the evening. Marianne was wearing my design Yellow Gold Pullover, Rasa her own design Royal Cardi and I was wearing the Damara Skirt as a poncho. Michael took most of these photos, but I am better at photographing the yarn stands as you can see below.

For dinner I had the lasagne on offer and it was delicious as if I was in an Italian restaurant! You could also have Norwegian homemade waffles or a selection of homemade cakes. On the menu for Saturday and Sunday was two different soups: Indian Dal Soup and Beta Soup (a vegetable soup) and freshly made baguettes instead of the Lasagne. I choose the Indian Dal Soup both days, enough said.

My talk on Digital Strikking/Knitting was moved to the same location on the Saturday afternoon since there was a cancelled talk. They had a technician giving me a microphone, but I had Michael to assist on setting up my laptop. I talked about my social media experience, how much the internet has changed knitting with events such Knit-A-longs and Test Knitting on Ravelry, technical videos and Podcasts on YouTube as well as all the useful dictionaries as tips to be found these days. My experience with the different pattern sales platforms and magazine submissions. I was thrilled with the comments afterwards that it had been a revelation packed with useful information and very professional.

The festival volunteers made sure I was driven to and from the festival so I did not have to take the two buses to get there. 9 AM on Saturday, Michael and I was picked up outside our hotel – the festival hotel Augustin close to the harbour. I was quick to spot Julie Dubreux, aka JulieKnitsInParis, at breakfast since her hair is bright blue and introduced myself. We went in the second car, while the third car had to carry one extra suitcase, and were driven to the door. We had a lovely chat on the way there and will meet up again at Barcelona Knits. Below you see us in the Market Hall, Julie is wearing her Tuva’s Arrows and I am wearing my Aife, in case you were wondering.

I had booked the chartered festival ferry going back to Bergen at 6 PM, since it was so tempting to travel on the fjord. It also gave me some time to check out the Market Hall after my talk.

Flettestrikk Masterclass/Cable Knitting Masterclass was my first workshop, held on Saturday morning at the Strikkeloft/Knitting Attic. Again a very atmospheric large room with a view of the fjord. It was nice to meet knitters I have met at other festivals, that I knew as well as new ones. I had an hour in between the workshop and the talk so I had lunch Backstage. The photo above is from Japanske Mønstre/Japanese Patterns workshop I had on Sunday and you see Rasa wearing her Lithuanian Lily Cardigan at the front.

Here is the view from down along the inner wall.

The view towards the fjord from the Backstage room. Bergen is know for all its sideways rain as it is on the west coast of Norway, but we were lucky and sunshine one day and only a few scattered showers the next day.

I had to photograph all the lovely yarns on display at Norne Yarn where I found Julie again. The yarns are dyed by Tuva, who is an indie-dyer based in Oslo, to the left in the photo above.

Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk is located quite close to Salhus, at Hjelmås, so they had a stand. I had asked them bring more brochures and they had. I met the “Princess” as she introduced herself as from the Faroe Island there. Above you see her flicking through the latest brochure. She knew my designs and book well, I was happy to hear.

Saturday night, Michael and I had another nice evening with Marianne and Rasa. I had brought my knitting, but I got very little knitting done, as usual! Above is another photo from the Market Hall, of Ystabø Gull, taken late Saturday afternoon when it was possible to walk around in there. I had a wonderful weekend! Thank you to all the knitters, designers and yarn dyers I met! Well done, Bergen Strikkefestival!