Sweater Dresses

A sweater dress makes you feel both cosy and comfortable. The key is to make the dress in a lighter yarn instead of a thicker one and to choose a bouncy wool or another fiber you like wearing that will also keep its shape. I admit that I have several in my wardrobe that I wear a lot. Hence it did take me a long time to actually design one as I wanted to make it extra special. Now, four dress designs later I can tell you the story of Sigyn, Aibell, Gyro and Keila – coming very soon.

My first and most popular dress is Sigyn made for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk in the fine yarn Sølje pelt wool, modelled by Emma Ross. The A-line silhouette becomes bodycon with the ribbing and has two central swinging cables that are divided, then moving towards the shoulder to make a v-neck at the front.

The second dress I designed was Aibell made for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk this time in the slightly thicker yarn Tinde pelt wool, also modelled by Emma Ross. The balloon dress is shaped by cables introduced one at a time and can be worn as tunic or a minidress.

I did not have to appoint Beth Robinson, aka yarnbeth, as my Aibell Ambassador – she actually volunteered after she had made her first Aibell dress. Beth has made another two, so far..

The third one I designed, also for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, is made in two colours and in two yarns both Tinde pelt wool yarn for the center panel and Sølje for the sleeve panels: Gyro modelled by Olivia Lindtein. This time I wanted to try out an oversized dress with bat sleeves. The center cable panel crowns the dress and ends in a wide neck with an I-cord bind off.

Keila is the latest one and you can guess which yarn company it is made for. Yes, it is for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk knitted in their Sølje pelt wool and modelled by Aksa Mortensen. Honeycomb cables cover most of the dress except for the armhole and half the sleeves. You shape the skirt part into the high bodice part by changing the sizes of the cables.

Wear the dress as a balloon dress or a tunic by inserting a cord into the double hem. I am looking forward to the launch of the yarn kit and the test knit of this pattern beginning in November in my Ravelry group. All the dresses are brilliantly photographed by Eivind Røhne. If you are wondering if I am going to design any more dresses, I can reveal that the next one is already in the works! Enjoy the Sweater Season and your Sweater Dresses!


Aibell Ambassador Beth Robinson

I am proud to present my Aibell Ambassador. American test knitter and Patron Beth Robinson, aka yarnbeth, made her Aibell in Madeline Tosh Work Sock Sport in a size M to L with length, gauge and band modifications using a 4 mm/US 6 needle. On Beth’s project page on Ravelry she writes: “This is absolutely my most favorite knitted thing I have ever done. I am wearing it around the house now like pyjamas, and don’t know when I will take it off long enough to wash it.”

Beth loves it so much she bestowed the role as Aibell Ambassador upon herself, with my blessings; “The shape is fabulous – it is very comfortable and looks good too!” I think my Aibell Ambassador is the best!

Before she made the cowl, back in November 2019: “Haven’t made the cowl yet but I might….not sure if I would wear it as a belt, and not sure if I have enough yarn left. I could always blend it with other yarns…hmmm. And hey, I was wrong about whether I could wear this dress shape, so maybe I am wrong about whether I would wear the cowl as a belt too! ”

“Finished up the belt – decided to make it more of an obi style since I had so little of the Work Sock left, and I think I would wear that more, if I even do.” The only thing left for me to say is that my Aibell Ambassador is doing a fabulous job encouraging knitters to make an Aibell dress for themselves. Thank you so much!

The Aibell  yarn kit with the pattern in English or Norwegian is available from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. The individual pattern is available in English and Norwegian in my Ravelry Store and on LoveCrafts.


Aibell Pattern Released

The test knit of Aibell has come to an end, and the pattern has been corrected as well as improved. I am delighted to let you know that the pattern is now available in both Norwegian and English in my Ravelry Store and on Loveknitting. Aibell was made for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk and is knitted in their divine Tinde pelt wool yarn using 3 mm/US 2.5 needle and 3.5 mm/US 4 needle. The dress came alive to me when Emma Ross wore it at the Vigeland Museum last November. Sissel Fylling who did her hair and make up also suggested wearing the cowl as a belt for those who dare. The stunning jewellery is by Kaja Gjedebo Design, while the black Benedetta wedge boots are designed by Monica Stålvang. Eivind Røhne captured it all.

The idea began as a balloon dress, with a tight rib at the bottom and a voluminous stockinette stitch part. What if I used the stockinette stitches to make cables instead of decreasing and what if I made the introduction of the cables to look like a royal sash? Hence the front and back had to be opposite and not identical. I made a small swatch to see if the idea would work out. Yes, it did to my excitement. I choose to make the sample in a neutral colour and went for natural grey.

Grete Jenssen, aka ma9 on Ravelry, knitted the sample for me in her usual turbo speed and grafted the ends of the cowl together. After I had finished crocheting the dress together and made the neckband, I tried it on and discovered that I could wear it with the rib pulled up a bit, or folded in to make a thick layered tunic or merely hanging down.

Named after the Celtic Goddess of Munster who had a magical harp in her possession is this balloon shaped dress where the shaping is done by the cables. The a-line created by the cables is mirrored on the body. The front has Right cables beginning at hip one at a time, while the back has Left cables. A cowl make a high cabled collar or a belt. Wear it loose hanging down, slightly pulled up or as a tunic with the rib turned.

The dress is available in sizes XS to 2XL and you can see the gorgeous projects from the test knit on the pattern page on Ravelry.

Happy Easter! Enjoy the holidays!

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Photoshoot at Vigeland Museum: Aibell

The next set of photos I am going to show you is the Aibell, the dress I made for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, knitted in the divine Tinde pelt wool yarn. This was actually the first garment we photographed at the Vigeland Museum at our photoshoot in November. So while Sissel Fylling was working on Emma Ross’ hair and makeup, Eivind Røhne and I looked at the different halls and what we wanted as the backdrop to the different designs. We were awestruck by the large plaster sculptures in the Monolitt Hall and decided to start there. I styled the dress with boots from Monica Stålvang and statement jewellery from Kaja Gjedebo Design. Em did look magnificent in the dress. First I wanted to show you how I prefer the dress, simply hanging down and with the cowl worn as a collar.

I did have a hard time choosing photos, especially for this dress since I also wanted to show off the different ways it can be worn. Here is my introduction to the dress: Named after the Celtic Goddess of Munster who had a magical harp in her possession is this ballon shaped dress where the shaping is done by the cables. The a-line created by the cables is mirrored on the body. The fronthas Right cables beginning at hip one at a time, while the back has Left cables. A cowl make a high cabled collar or a belt. Wear it loose hanging down, slightly pulled up or as a tunic with the rib turned.

Aibell is knitted in Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, Tinde pelt wool yarn made of 100% pelt wool with 260 meters/284 yards per 100 grams using 3.5 mm/US 4 and 3 mm/US 2.5 for the bottom rib. The gauge is 21 stitches and 30 rows in stockinette stitch measures 10 cm/4″ square.

The dress is knitted in pieces and seamed. The cables shape the dress, by adding one cable at a time. Add elastic to the bottom if you prefer to wear it higher up. Adjust the length in the stocking stitch area, depending on how you prefer to wear it. The cowl can easily be adjusted to your preferred height by adding cable repeats or purl stitches in between the cables.

Next view is the rib pulled up. Em is wearing size Small with a bust circumference of 92 cm/36.25 but the pattern has been graded from size XS to 2XL: 86 to 122 cm/33.75 to 48″.

Here is how it looks slightly pulled up from the back.

My last option was to pull the rib inside out and using it as interfacing for a tunic. Here you can see it without the cowl. The neck has an I-cord bind off.

 A close up photo with the cowl, showing the dress worn as a tunic from the back.

Just before Em went to put on trousers for the photos with the dress worn as a tunic, Sissel had an idea. It was a revelation really. She suggested using the cowl as a belt. So we had a go at helping Em putting on the cowl.

It is not a look that will suit everyone but I did love seeing this trendy young look, so thank you Sissel for that idea! You can easily adjust the cowl or belt to your own preference.

Here is the final photo I will show you of Aibell and it is just in time for the test knit which begins on Monday in my Ravelry group. The English pattern will be released after the test knit is completed with the Norwegian pattern and yarn kits will be launched by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk at “Fagstrikk” in Oslo in April. I am so thrilled with all these photos! Thank you to my amazing team!