New Design: Varun

I am thrilled to show you my new design called Varun – Norse for secret keeper – an A-line pullover with a cowl knitted in the gorgeous Norwegian Norne Yarn, DK – Merino/Silk/Yak in Fimbulwinter in size Small. The sample is beautifully knitted by Grete Jenssen, aka ma9 on Ravelry. My idea began with having a cable as a sash – signifying a position not necessarily royal but a secret one of your own choosing. Instead of a crown, make and wear a cowl. One sleeve has a cable cuff to match the sash, like an honorary bangle, while the second one has two small cables running along the sleeve. I am happy with the result and here you see me wearing size Small with only 2 cm/0.75″ of positive ease, photographed by my husband in our back garden early in April.

Varun will be graded into sizes XS to 5XL with a bust circumference of 82 til 164 cm/32.5 to 64.5″. Yes, I do have a number of calculations to make first and that is the reason why this pattern will probably be the last of the seven new patterns I have designed to be finished.

The sample is knitted using a 4 mm/US 6 needle and a 20 stitches and 30 rows in stockinette stitch gauge. Varun is worked back and forth in separate pieces and seamed.

While I am wearing it with a brown pleated skirt in these photos, I choose cream coloured silk trousers for new model Aksa Mortensen. I also brought a silk scarf to match the colour which she wore around her hair and it looked stunning on her! I look forward to show you the photos that Eivind Røhne took at Hvalstrand Bad at the end of May.

Both the English and the Norwegian pattern will be released after at the end of November as the test knitting begins on 18th of October.


Milana Knitted by Heidi Torres

Meet Swedish knitter Heidi Torres, aka Heidi197 on Ravelry, who is one of my test knitters and patrons. I had the pleasure of meeting Heidi in Spain at Barcelona Knits back in 2019, at a workshop I was holding. Here she is wearing her stunning Milana for Halloween, knitted in Madeline Tosh DK Twist. The gorgeous orange shade is called High Plains Drifter. Heidi knitted size XL, with a 116 cm/45.75″ bust, using a 4 mm/US 6 needle to the given gauge of 20 stitches and 30 rows in stockinette stitch measuring 10 cm/4″ square. On her project page, she writes: “The pattern is absolutely top notch, I didn’t do any mods at all, except for knitting in the round where possible.” I am so thrilled to hear just that!

As you can see from these photos, Heidi is extremely photogenic and always seem to have fun during her photoshoots!

The hand dyed yarn was ordered directly from Madeline Tosh, but this time she did not receive matching skeins. Heidi writes: “I didnt notice at first, so had to frog quite much where I had alternated the wrong two skeins. Then I decided to use the lighter skeins for the body and the darker skeins for sleeves, neckline and cowl (coming later) That way the color variation looks a bit more intentional.”

The final photo I will share is of the back, see below. The sweater was finished fittingly for Halloween, hence her chosen project name. The photos are taken at the cemetery where the leaves match the colour of the pullover! Thank you so much for these divine photos, Heidi!

The Milana pattern is available in English and Norwegian on Ravelry and on LoveCrafts, in sizes XS to 5XL with a bust circumference of 84 to 160 cm/33 to 63″.

Here is my introduction to the pattern: Named after the sophisticated city of Milan in Italy, is this pullover with a high rib, creating a narrower waist. Two center cables travel towards the shoulder on the body with all their texture; Seed stitch, twisted stitch rib and cables. While a narrower matching cable adorn the sleeve with a panel of seed stitch. Milana is knitted in pieces for the ultimate fit and ends in a crew neck. A separate cowl can be worn as a crowning collar. The hand dyed DK – Merino/Silk/Yak yarn from Norne Yarn makes the cables pop and the texture shine in all its glory.


Stavanger Strikkefestival 2021

Yay, Stavanger Knitting Festival is happening this year in Stavanger (on the west coast of Norway), from Thursday 21st of October to Sunday 24th, and I am holding both workshops & a presentation at the Clarion Hotel Stavanger. Just as previous years it is organised by “Strikk og Drikk”/Knit and Drink and has a very impressive program which will happen live this year and not digitally – like last year. Most of the events and workshops are in Norwegian but there are a few workshops in English held by Mona NicLeòid Wagner. Below you see a number of the contributors this year.

In addition there are knitting cafés, fashion show, knitting bingo, knitting clinic, speed knitting competition, last knitter standing competition and a market hall. Below is the list of workshops and the talk I am holding. For a full program and details on how to book, check out their website: Stavanger Strikkefestival. I have lost count of the number of times I have taken part in this knitting festival but I am delighted not to have to miss another one! I hope to see some of you there!


Kaibara Pattern Released

The test knit of Kaibara has just come to an end with 20 knitters taking part in my Ravelry group. Not only did they correct and improve my pattern but they also made stunning versions of Kaibara! Thank you so much! The Kaibara pattern, in both English and Norwegian, is available on Ravelry and soon on LoveCrafts too. Above you see it worn by the gorgeous Olivia Lindtein, with hair & make up by Sissel Fylling and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design, captured by Eivind Røhne at Mortensrud Church last November.

Named after Kaibara Ekken the father of botany in Japan is this flowery lace adorned A-line pullover with short sleeves. To allow the lace pattern to shine, the remaining pullover is worked in stockinette stitch. The pullover is knitted in pieces then seamed, for the ultimate fit, in the drapey and lustrous Como Silk from Handweavers Studio. Kaibara is made to be worn on a perfect summer’s day or at a party.

Sizes: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL)
Shown in size XS
Skill level: Experienced.

Finished measurements:
Bust: 82 (92, 100, 110, 124, 134, 146, 156, 166) cm/32.25 (36.25, 39.25, 43.25, 48.75, 52.75, 57.5, 61.5, 65.25)“
Hip: 94 (102, 112, 120, 138, 148, 166, 174, 184) cm/37 (40.25, 44, 47.25, 54.25, 58.25, 65.25, 68.5, 72.5)”
Length: 60 (61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68) cm/23.5 (24, 24.5, 24.75, 25.25, 25.5, 26, 26.5, 26.75)“
Sleeve length: 24 (24, 24, 25, 25, 26, 26, 26, 26) cm/9.5 (9.5, 9.5, 9.75, 9.75, 10.25, 10.25, 10.25, 10.25)”
Intended ease: + 5-10 cm/2-4”. Sample shown is 82 cm/32.25” and worn with + 1 cm/0.5” ease on model.

Yarn: The Handweavers Studio, Como Silk 4.5nm (100% Silk, 100 g, 350 m/382 yds).
Sample is knitted in Poppy Red: 4 (4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7) spools; 1278 (1404, 1530, 1656, 1831, 1957, 2083, 2209, 2335) m/1398 (1535, 1673, 1811, 2002, 2140, 2278, 2416, 2554) yds.

Yarn alternatives: Lang Yarns, Mulberry Silk (100% Mulberry Silk, 50 g, 145 m/159 yds).
Malabrigo Yarn, Silky Merino (51% Silk, 49% Merino Wool, 50 g, 137 m/150 yds).
BC Garn, Jaipur Silk Fino (100% Silk, 50 g, 300 m/328 yds)
Or another Sportweight or Light DK yarn.

Needles: 3.25 mm/US 3 straight needle.
Adjust needle size as needed to match gauge.

Notions: Stitch markers (removable), stitch holders and yarn needle.

Gauge: 17-st Lace repeat measures 8 cm/3.25” across after blocking.
23 sts and 34 rows in st st measures 10 cm/4” square after blocking.

Notes: The pullover is worked back and forth in pieces from bottom up and seamed. The lace repeat is the same for all sizes but not the number of reverse stocking stitch in between the lace panels; 2 for some sizes and 4 for other sizes.


New Design: Saxi

The time has come to show you the first of my new design, the fitted pullover Saxi with a cowl knitted in Donegal Yarns, Donegal Tweed (also called Soft Donegal) 3.8/1nm discovered at The Handweavers  Studio in London. The design itself began its life as a submission for the Winter 2020 issue of the magazine Pom Pom Quarterly. As it was not accepted, I put it aside for awhile, until I found the perfect Donegal Tweed yarn!

I have combined two cable patterns and one textural pattern, all used in different patterns in the past: The center cable is from my Cable Round Sweater, while the Honeycomb pattern is from my Neva vest and the check pattern is from Yaelle. The cowl has cables from the Cable Round pattern all around.

Saxi is a fitted cabled pullover that ends in an I-cord crown around the crew neckline. The play of texture begins with the round cable shape mirrored in the honeycomb pattern and continues with purl bands in all the stitch patterns. The squareness of the check pattern offers a contrast to the cable and ends the texture in the side of the pullover. Named Saxi after the Saxon in Norse is this sweater knitted in the Donegal Tweed yarn. A cowl crowns the pullover and can be worn folded as a high collar or as a headband.

The pullover is knitted in pieces and seamed using a 3.25 mm/US 3 needle and a 24 stitches and 34 rows gauge.  The neckband is worked in the round. Stitches are picked up and knitted from the first round of the neckband for the I-cord bind off decoration. The cowl is knitted in the round and can be worn folded double as a high collar, see above, or standing high, see below.

I have graded the pattern into sizes XS to 5XL, with a bust circumference of 85 to 159 cm/33.5 to 62.5″. In these photos taken by Michael in our back garden I wearing size S with a 4 cm/1.5″ positive ease.

The test knit will begin on the 23rd of August, as the first of my new designs to be test knitted this Autumn. But long before that I will show you how stunning model Aksa Mortensen looked in this pullover, photographed by Eivind Røhne.


Ravelry Group 8th Year Anniversary

My Ravelry group is now 8 years old! There are now more than 2100 members and my fear that only a few would join was needless. I am so pleased to have attracted so many wonderful knitters! It has been another thrilling year with many test knits of my English patterns, showing off of finished garments, discussions of different knitting techniques, chatting and Knit-A-Longs just to mention a few of the topics in this lovely group. I am delighted to have met so many new knitters. So it is time to celebrate that eight years has passed! How can I best do this? By organizing a draw in my group with 10 exciting prizes like yarn kits (2 sponsored by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk and 2 from my stash), e-books and pdf patterns from my Ravelry Store.

All you have to do is join my group on Ravelry, if you have not already done so, and post an answer to a simple question in the thread called: FREE YARN KITS – Group Anniversary Draw. I will use Random org to pick winners based on the number matching the response/posting on Monday 14th of June. Here are the top two prizes, and a good reason to join, see, in my opinion:

1. and 2. Prize: Choose one of these yarn kits from Hillesvåg and choose which size & colour you want (includes pattern in English as well as Norwegian): Yaelle or Bubala or Caravay or Neva. The yarn kits have been generously sponsored by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. See Tinde colours for Caravay and Yaelle, Sølje colours for Bubala and Neva.

 These four designs, all made for yarn kits for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, were brilliantly photographed by Eivind Røhne at Bøler Church in May last year. The gorgeous model is Olivia Lindtein and her hair & make up are by Sissel Fylling, while her jewellery is by Kaja Gjedebo Design.


Seneka Pattern Released

Here is another released pattern from 2021: Seneka is knitted in the divine hand dyed Neighborhood Fiber Co. Organic Studio Worsted. The shade Woodberry looked stunning on model Olivia Lindtein wearing Seneka as both a skirt and a poncho. It can also be worn as a maxi hood, see the photo below! Her hair & make-up is by Sissel Fylling, the jewellery is borrowed from Kaja Gjedebo Design and brilliant photographer Eivind Røhne captured it all! The English and Norwegian pattern is available in my Ravelry Store and on LoveCrafts.

Seneka, a nickname for Senna meaning brightness in Arabic. This is an A-line skirt with an elaborate cabled center that ends in a waistband; knitted like a hem in one piece with boot laces placed inside. Seneka is knitted in the divine Neighborhood Fiber Co. Organic Studio Worsted and can be worn as a skirt or a poncho or a maxi hood – all together with the matching Senna cardigan.

Sizes: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL)

Finished measurements: 
Waist: 76 (82, 88, 94, 100, 110, 118, 126, 132) cm/30 (32.25, 34.75, 37, 39.25, 43.25, 46.5, 49.5, 52)”
Hip: 86 (92, 102, 112, 122, 132, 140, 146, 156) cm/33.75 (36.25, 40.25, 44, 48, 52, 55, 57.5, 61.5)”
Bottom: 98 (104, 114, 124, 134, 144, 152, 158, 168) cm/38.5 (41, 45, 48.75, 52.75, 56.75, 59.75, 62.25, 66.25)”
Waist band height: 3.5 cm/1.5″
Length to waist: 56 (56, 57, 57, 58, 58, 58, 59, 59) cm/22 (22, 22.5, 22.5, 22.75, 22.75, 22.75, 23.25, 23.25)”
Full length: 59.5 (59.5, 60.5, 60.5, 61.5, 61.5, 61.5, 62.5, 62.5) cm/23.5 (23.5, 23.75, 23.75, 24.25, 24.25, 24.25, 24.5, 24.5)”
Intended ease: – 4 cm/1.5″ to + 6 cm/2.25″. Sample shown is 92 cm/36.25″ hip and worn with + 11 cm/4.25″ ease on model who stands 167 cm/5’6″ tall.

Yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Co. Organic Studio Worsted (100% wool, 183 m/200 yds, 113 g). The sample is knitted in Woodberry; 5 (5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8) skeins; 794 (842, 922, 1002, 1082, 1162, 1202, 1250, 1330) m/868 (921, 1008, 1096, 1183, 1271, 1315, 1367, 1455) yds.

Needles: 2 sets of 4 mm/US 6 circular needle (100 cm/40″).
Adjust needle size as needed to match gauge

Notions: Flat, white boot laces for waist band 150 cm/59″ long. Stitch markers (removable), cable needle and yarn needle.

Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows in st st using 4 mm/US 6 needle measures 10 cm/4″ square, after blocking.
24 sts in Cable measures 10 cm/4″ across.

Notes: The skirt is knitted in pieces and seamed. If you want to adjust the length of the skirt, remove up to 8 cm/3.25″ or add an extra length before shaping the hip. The waist band is worked like a hem, with boot laces laid inside it before it is closed.



Behind the Scenes: Photoshoot at Hvalstrand Bad 2021

What a difference a day makes; we went from what felt like a green winter to a hot summer over night. Hence I did not dress for a party at the Polar Base Camp, instead I should really have brought my bikini to cool down in the summer heat or worn a cocktail dress to fit in with the wedding that took place on the beach while we where at Hvalstrand Bad in Asker (about 20 minutes west of Oslo) on last Friday (28th of May). But since I was there for our photoshoot I needed to wear something a bit more practical and opted for a pair of summer trouser with my Maith shrug on top in addition to two more jackets (making sure I would not freeze – fat chance!).

At the top you see Hair and Make up Stylist Nina Hjertaas Bull is covering for the sun on Aksa’s hair and you can spot her standing high up in the diving tower. You can barely spot model Aksa Mortensen standing at the bottom of the stairs. Photographer Eivind Røhne is adjusting the reflector, while Michael had to hold it in place as soon as we started. Above you see us trying out different spots at the diving tower. Michael has taken a number of these photos, but not all of them, as I was able to capture a few too.

This is the second time we are photographing at Hvalstrand Bad, as we were there back in 2014 with the then editor Mary Ann Astrup of the magazine Made by Me in charge. This time I wanted us to photograph the diving tower – as it was pouring down the last time. It was not a lot easier this time with a blue sky without any clouds for a bit of shadow. Hence we only photographed one garment outside and went inside instead. Above you can see Aksa wearing another of the four new designs for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk.

Just as last time we wanted to use the Art Deco wall painting inside. Photographer Eivind Røhne remembered it well. Above you see us preparing to photograph the last three garments after a lovely lunch. Aksa is wearing one of my new designs, an a-line pullover called Varun. I had also booked modell Olivia Lindtein, but unfortunately she had to go into a waiting quarantine (a friend of hers had been exposed to an infected person, hence she had to wait for the result – it was negative).

We had a total of nine garments to photograph this time; 7 new ones and 2 old ones. Above is the old Mistale worn by Aksa and I am holding onto the cowl plus a silk scarf for hear to wear on her head.

Above you see both Nina and me in action. Aksa is wearing another of my old designs, this time the Syrin Shrug from my book. As always we had a lot of fun and also had to help the ice cream delivery man to find the delivery entrance downstairs. Eivind did tell him that we would be happy to eat some of it, if he wanted just to deliver it to us. He chose to deliver it downstairs instead. We also spotted a wedding outside on the beach in addition to several school classes coming to relax.

It was a treat in these Corona days to have lunch together at the restaurant – we had it all to ourselves – as we had rented the space for the day.  Just before lunch we had two visitors: designer Tove Fevang and photographer Geir Arnesen, who recommended Aksa to me. Michael and I were lucky to stay with them after the photoshoot so we did not have to drive the long way back to Ørje. It was a great way to end the perfect photoshoot day!