New Design: Gyro

I am thrilled to show you the new dress I have designed for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. Gyro works equally well as a tunic so we photographed worn both ways. The sample in size Small is beautifully knitted in pieces in Tinde and Sølje pelt wool by Grete Jenssen, aka ma9 on Ravelry, while I crocheted the seams together and made the I-cord neckband plus the garter stitch sleeveband. Michael took these photos of me wearing Gyro outside our hotel in Barcelona, back in November when I was teaching at Barcelona Knits 2019.

Gyro is an oversized dress with bat sleeves knitted in two yarn thicknesses and colours. The center cable panel crowns the dress and ends in a wide neck with an I-cord bind off. Gyro is an old Norwegian female name, well suited to this dress or tunic made in pieces and sewn or crochet together with a garter stitch sleeve band. The dress is knitted in the divine pelt wool yarn from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk; The thicker Tinde for the cable panel and the thinner Sølje for the side parts.

I have graded it in these sizes: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL). Since the bust measurement includes the sleeve part I chose to write in to fit sizes and not write out the ease in cm/inches:  To fit sizes:  UK 6 (8, 10, 12, 14, 16-18, 20-22)/US 2 (4, 6, 8, 10, 12-14, 16-18)/EU 34 (36, 38, 40, 42, 44-46, 48-50).

The gauge is 21 sts and 30 rows in st st with Tinde (COL 1) and 3.5 mm/US 4 needle measures 10 cm/4″ square. 24 sts and 32 rows in st st with Sølje (COL 2) using 3 mm/US 2.5 needle measures 10 cm/4″ square.

The dress is worked in pieces and seamed. You can easily adjust the length of the dress if you prefer, for instance by shortening (or lengthening) it with one or half a cable pattern repeat 12 cm/4.75″ or 6 cm/2.25″ and work less rows in between the increases.

The English pattern, and also the Norwegian one, will be released after the test knit which begins 17th of February.


Happy Knitmas & Holidays, Merry Christmas

Christmas 2019, just like last year will be a Knitmas for me. I never get even close to the preparations I had planned to do for Christmas, before it is Tiny Little Christmas Eve. That is tomorrow; Sunday 22nd of December. I have worked with Christmas patterns for the Norwegian magazine Familien since July, so my first greetings I received from the handicraft editor back then. No wonder I loose track, really. Michael and I will be celebrating Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, as well as my mum.

Our next party will be on 2nd Christmas Day (read: Boxing Day) – 26th – and then on New Year’s Eve. So I will have time off relaxing in between knitting and pattern writing for my next deadline in January.

Above is a detail from the door of the new Gol Stave Church from 1995, based on the original one from about 1200, now at Norwegian Museum of Cultural History at Bygdøy in Oslo, photographed by Michael on our way home from Geilo.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Knitmas and Holidays!


Thia and Damara Knitted by Nivine

I am thrilled to show you Nivine’s version of Thia jacket and Damara skirt, which she test knitted for me early this spring, before the Norwegian book “Norsk Strikkedesign. Strikk din favoritt“, which I take part in with 5 designs, was sent for print. I asked Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk if they would be willing to sponsor Tinde pelt wool yarn, made of 100% pelt wool with 260 meters/284 yards on each 100 gram skein, to five selected test knitters and to my delight they accepted. Nivine choose the colour Cognac 2103 and knitted size small in Thia and ordered extra Naturgrå/Natural Grey for the Damara.

 Nivine, aka neevoknits on Instagram, writes: “Last spring I was thrilled and honored to be asked by dear @lindamarveng to test knit 2 of her stunning designs for The Norwegian knitting book: “Norsk Strikkedesign. Strikk din favoritt” which has been released by publisher Cappelen Damm. First I knitted Thia, a sweet fitted cardigan with a small extra rib above the waist, cables, and a large collar that can be folded down”. I have graded the pattern from size XS to 2XL with a bust circumference (without front bands 2 cm/0.75″) from 84 to 126 cm/33 to 51.5″.

Thia is a sweet fitted cardigan with a small extra rib above the waist, cables adorning the center framed by double seed stitch. The lower part is all in stockinette stitch to allow the beautiful hand-dyed Mikkel Rev on Tinde pelt wool by Værbitt shine with its colours and depth. Thia ends in a large collar that can be folded down.

Nivine writes: “Damara is an asymmetrical skirt with a seeded rib check pattern, that can also be worn as a poncho. Such a beautiful and fun design”. I have graded the skirt/poncho in sizes XS/S, M/L and XL/2XL, with a waist (top band width) of 70 (82, 94) cm/27.5 (32.25, 37)”. The rib top band can easily be adjusted according to preference.

Nivine is an experienced test knitter, originally from Lebanon but living in the US in Georgia, and I am so grateful she took part! Thank you so much! You can see the Vaga sweater she test knitted on my blog here.

Thia and Damara patterns are only available in Norwegian in print in the book “Norsk Strikkedesign. Strikk din favoritt” until the rights reverts to me in January 2021 or if the book is bought by a foreign publisher and translated.


New Design: Ovedine

Værbitt, aka Laila Henriksen, asked me this autumn if I wanted to design a small accessory for the Advents Calendar she was planning to sell on her yarn shop website. Laila hand dyes so many gorgeous shades and I am especially fond of her colours on Sølje and Tinde pelt wool by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. I got to choose colours from her shop and loved “Dragegg”/Dragon Egg in green turquoise shades and “Lillebror”/Little Brother in darker navy shades the most. What should I design? I pondered for awhile and ended on a shawl or a wrap. How about a shawl you can wrap around you but also use as a scarf or a collar? Ovedine was born. Above you see me wearing it as a scarf, together with the new skirt Rebine I have designed for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk knitted in Tinde, photographed by Michael in Barcelona. We somehow ended up photographing on the coldest afternoon while we were there, which is so typical and why I look cold.

Named after an old female name from Norway is this shawl with tucks, short rows and garter stitch stripes in two colors. The hem and one tuck made on the wrong side, in addition to the double I-cord bind off, make the shawl two-sided. Choose if you want to wear it as a shawl, or a wrap around your body or as a shawl collar. Ovedine is knitted in two gorgeous hand dyed shades by Værbitt on the pelt wool Sølje from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk.

I developed further my earlier design Saqqara, but choose garter stitch instead of lace to show of the subtle depth of the colours and added more tucks. The tucks I worked in both the colours and I decided to do the same with the I-cord bind off.

Ovedine is knitted using 3 mm/US 2.5 needle for the garter stitch and 3.5 mm/US 4 needle for the tucks as well as the I-cord bind offs. The gauge is 21 stitches and 32 rows in stockinette stitch using 3.5 mm/US 4 needle so it is knitted with a loose gauge for the sportweight yarn. Ovedine requires 497 m/544 yds of Drageegg (2 skeins) and 315 m/344 yds (1 skein) of Lillebror, both dyed on Sølje from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. Each skein of Sølje has 350 m/383 yds on 100 g.

The pattern is already available from my Ravelry store and from Love Crafts in both English and Norwegian. I will soon share with you the brilliant photos Eivind Røhne took of model Olivia Lindtein at Mortensrud Church of this shawl.


O-Chem Tunic Pattern Released

The O-Chem Tunic pattern rights have reverted to me and I have released the pattern in English my Ravelry store with new photographs taken of the gorgeous Kaja Kvernbakken,  with make-up & hair by Sissel Fylling and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design, taken by Eivind Røhne at the Oslofjord Museum in May. The pattern was first published in Interweave Knits Winter 2019 and initially photographed by Harper Point Photography. The Norwegian pattern has been sold to the magazine Familien and will be printed at a later date. Below is my introduction to the pattern and its details.

The O-Chem Tunic features a striking central panel of hexagonal cables inspired by organic chemisty compounds. For visual balance with the three cables in the body, the sleeves have one main cable running down the arm, and all the cables in the sweater are framed with rope cables. The sweater sports a cozy standing collar and side vents in the rib at the bottom for a relaxed fit.

Sizes: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL)
Shown in size Medium.
Skill level: Experienced

Finished measurements:
Bust: 81 (88, 94, 104, 114, 124) cm/32 (34.5, 37, 41, 45, 49)“
Hip: 95 (102, 108, 118, 128, 138) cm/37.5 (40.25, 42.5, 46.5, 50.5, 54.25)”
Length: 74 (74, 76, 76, 78, 78) cm/29.25 (29.25, 30, 30, 30.75, 30.75)“
Sleeve length: 49 (50, 50, 51, 51, 52) cm/19.25 (19.75, 19.75, 20, 20, 20.5)”

Yarn: Tahki Yarns, Alden (50% merino wool, 25% alpaca, 25% acryl, 230 m/250 yds, 50 g). Sample is knitted in 06 Wine:
6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 9) balls; 1215 (1327, 1439, 1600, 1761, 1922) m/1323 (1451, 1574, 1750, 1926, 2102) yds.

Needles: 3.75 mm/US 5 circular needle (60 cm/24” and 80 cm/32”).
Adjust needle size as needed to match gauge.

Notions: Markers (removable), cable needle, stitch holders and yarn needle.

Gauge: 20 sts and 30 rows in st st measures 10 cm/4” square.
32 sts and 30 rows in Cable measures 10 cm/4” square.

Notes: The pullover is worked back and forth in separate pieces and seamed. A circular needle is used to accommodate the large number of stitches. The collar is worked in the round with an interfacing part. The sides on the body and the sleeves have garter stitches after the vent up to the armhole.


Ravna in Bladet garn 10/2019

Co-editor of Bladet garn Solveig Jensen Engevold asked me at the Oslo Strikkefestival in September if I wanted to contribute with a design to their last ever issue. How could I refuse, especially since I had said a couple of years back that I would? I had also just spotted several gorgeous hand dyed shades by Værbitt, aka Laila Henriksen, on Sølje, pelt wool from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. Solveig said yes to this colour, Laila offered to hand dye on sponsored yarn from Hillesvåg for the magazine. So it was my turn to make design something special with the yarn and I thought I could easily do it in time for the deadline by mid-October. Solveig did grant me an extra week and I did make Ravna on time, despite knitting the bottom of the back several times. The brilliant photos are taken by Solveig and the one above fills the first page you see when you open the magazine next to the leader by Solveig and co-editor Unni Cathrine Eiken. It is after all a celebratory issue!

The four year old magazine goes out with a bang and presents seven new designs, as well as a pattern cavalcade; eleven designs printed in previous issues. On the cover is “Øst Genser” by Marte Nilssen knitted in a thicker version of the pelt wool called Blåne from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. I wish to thank the editors for the inspiration and good luck on their future paths!

Ravna is an historic name from northern Norway, her charisma is given to this a-line pullover with a longer flowing shirt tail back. A cable medallion adorns the spine which is crowned by a high garter stitch collar. All the sides are marked by a strong garter stitch edge presence. Ravna is knitted in a divine hand dyed shade from Værbitt called Little Parsley, based on a childrens’ rhyme, on Sølje, pelt wool from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk.

I love this cable medallion that I found in Norah Gaughan’s inspiring Knitted Cable Sourcebook. I placed one at the center on the front and the back. The sleeves have a rib panel in the center because it shows off the colours in this hand dyed green so well and because the cable was too wide to fit.

My plan was to knit size Small but I calculated wrong and it turned into size Medium with a bust circumference of 98 cm/38.5″. I then decided to grade this pullover all the way from size XS to 5XL for the magazine. The bust circumference goes from 82 cm to 156 cm/32.25 to 61.5″. Ravna is knitted using 3 mm/US 2.5 needle with a gauge of 24 stitches and 32 rows in stockinette stitch measures 10 cm/4″ square after blocking.

The pullover is worked in pieces and seamed. The back has one more cable repeat and the center garter stitch band is twice as high as front garter stitch band. The side seam ends in the narrow part of the garter stich band. The collar is worked in the round and ends with an I-cord bind off.

The Norwegian magazine can be ordered directly from Bladet garn’s website in a digital format or in both a digital format and in print. Only a few of their stockists have this issue in stock. You can see all the patterns in the magazine on Ravelry.

Ravna will be available in English as a digital download, in my Ravelry store and on LoveCrafts, after the test knitting, beginning in early January, has been completed by mid-February.


Norsk Strikkedesign Book Launch at Cappelen Damm

The “Norsk strikkedesign. Strikk din favoritt” book with editor Iselin Hafseld, was launched at Cappelen Damm’s offices in Oslo last Thursday. A “Pre-Christmas’ Eve at Cappelen Damm” said the invitation on Facebook. Around 120 people attended and above you see the Editor-of-Chief of Non-Fiction Anne Søyland introducing the book. Both Iselin and Arne & Carlos were travelling, hence not present at the book launch, but the remaining four of us where there: Kari Hestnes, Bente Presterud, Birger Berge and me. Three other books were launched the same evening: “Moderne tradisjonsstrikk” by Birger Berge, “Lindteinstrikk med stil” by Tove Lindtein and “Babytepper” by Marta Skadsheim. Michael took these photos, while I presented, listened to the other designers, signed books and spoke to knitters & friends.

80 of the first people arriving was given a goodie bag, while everyone received a raffle ticket when they arrived. As you can see above, the Cappelen Damm canteen was full. I was sitting at one of the two authors’ table reserved for us.

So we were six authors present and we came around 4.30 pm with our display garments. Cappelen Damm had ordered pizzas and drinks for us, since only Christmas cakes and the hot Christmas drink “gløgg” was on offer. But you could buy drinks at the bar. Anne offered us free drinks, so Kari did check if they had Champagne but unfortunately not, so she settled for water instead. Before the evening started I had to show Tove the photos I had selected from the photoshoot of her daughter Olivia.

First out was Birger and he gave a presentation of his book as well as knitting experience. Above you see the cover of his book but also a photo of him as a child standing surrounded by sheep and he did tell us how scared he had been then. Quite funny considering how much wool he has both knitted and crocheted with since the photo was taken.

Next out was the book I took part in and the four of us sat in the two sofas present on the stage: next to me is Bente, Kari and Birger. Anne introduced us and then wanted to hear why each one of us thought knitting had such a resurgence. We all agreed it was several reasons behind it such as: Being creative, the meditative process (you have as a knitter not as a designer, though), taking back the slowness from an everyday where everything goes fast.

Then we talked about two designs each. I wore my Damara skirt and took it off at to wear it as a poncho.  It was easier said than done because of the microphone wire. Tove thought I had lost my marbles, but I hadn’t and did wear a second skirt beneath it.

My second design I had chosen to talk about was my Thia jacket, knitted in the hand dyed Mikkel Rev by Værbitt on Tinde pelt wool by Hillesvåg Ullvarfabrikk. I told the story about my idea for the five designs and how I had constructed my garments.

Bente had brought a tailors dummy for her stunning dress and spoke about her ideas behind it.

Next on the agenda was Marta talking about her book and her baby blankets.

Then Tove presented her book and several of her garments. She ended her talk by reading from her book. And no, it was not a pattern she read, but from her introduction which summed up her intent with the book.

Before the book sales and signing, the raffle prizes were drawn. Cappelen Damm had asked the yarn sponsors to contribute yarn kits for the designs and the Hobby Club (read: book club) had also contributed with several gifts. The happiest winner of them all was this woman who won yarn for one of Tove’s designs. It is presented to her by Linda Aagnes, head of marketing at Cappelen Damm.

Friends and other designers had come to celebrate with us. After the raffle we took our seats at the signing table. Above you see designer Rasa Ziburkute, aka GalgenDesign, waiting to have her copy signed.

I had a fun evening in great company! I met a number of knitters I knew but also some new ones! Thank you to everyone who came and to Cappelen Damm for hosting this fun evening!