Norsk Strikkeforening/Norwegian Knitting Association Founded

_DSC8213-1920x1080-wmThe Norwegian Knitting Association was founded on Saturday in Bragernes Menighetshus/Congregation Hall in Drammen, west of Oslo, in the company of nearly 70 knitters and the photographer Geir Arnesen – the only male present, married to designer and Vice Chair Tove Fevang. I spoke to many knitters who did not want to miss this event for anything in the world, and had traveled far to be present. The initiative was taken by Liv-Norunn Stavik after finding both the Swedish: Sticka and the Danish association: Gavstrik online, as she explains in the photo above. A group was set up on Facebook, and a webpage created for it – see Norsk Strikkeforening – before the search for the remaining board members began. It did not take long until a number of knitters had volunteered, and the board was complete. I agreed to hold a presentation on the topic “Vanskelig strikk/Difficult knitting”, in addition to Tove Fevang’s  presentation on “Enkel strikk/Simple knitting”.

DSCN1997A few days in advance I was also asked to lead the meeting, and read through the articles of association for approval. I am not familiar with the founding of association but thought I would manage, merely based on my previous tour leader experience. The board had organized an exciting exhibition of their knitting books, large pattern selections, extensive yarn stash from all corners of the world, finished projects and work in progress (No UFO’s in sight). Take a look at these photos and you will understand what I mean. In addition they had made goodie bags, organized a serving point offering tea/coffee, waffles and “svele” similar to American pancakes, and a raffle with a large number of books plus yarn kits. The kick off for the meeting was at 11.00 but eager knitters came 8.30 in good time for the official 9.00 opening, and of course they were let in to study the exhibition, and to dig out their knitting.

DSCN1995Accompanied to the sound of knitting needles in use, we began the meeting with Liv-Norunn talking about the intention of the association. Then continued with a brief presentation of the board members. There were no obviously no objections to the suggested board of members, and it was quickly approved to everyone’s delight. We did however reach a halt when the membership fee and its related articles were read. It was not the level of the fee, which actually was suggested raised from 250 NOK to 300 and half price for children, students, OAP and others on health benefits, but the possible dissolution of the association with its technical challenges that needed retuning. After a number of suggestions on this article, the remaining articles were all read with only minor interventions. The board suggested a coffee break to re-phrase the membership fee articles, and with a bit of aid of the knitters present, as well as a lawyer it was approved together with the remaining articles.

_DSC8312-1920x1080-wmFuture plans include a knitting party from the 19th to the 21st of June 2015 in Drammen and then every year, during the second weekend of June, a membership magazine called “På pinnen/On the needles” – a name voted for on the Facebook group – as well as a charity knitting program. These are only the first few suggestions and hopefully a lot more suggestions from members will come. The raffle draw was popular but a few book trades had to be done since some winners already had the book they won. After a longer break it was time for my presentation. I talked about my knitting experience and my attraction to more difficult stitch patterns. Above is a photo of me wearing a Kimono called Season of Darkness and Winter Lightsee the aristrocrat of knitting books, by designer Margaretha Finseth from the book Norsk Strikkedesign.

_DSC8254-1920x1080-wmTove Fevang is the most acknowledged designer and published crafts author in Norway. She has a background as a designer, graphic designer and journalist, and has published 18 books. Tove was the initiative taker behind the Norsk Quilteforbund/Norwegian Quilting Association which was set up in 1988 and the well known face of the Amanda Prosjektet – a charity set up to knit for premature babies, see Aftenposten.

DSCN1996Here are Tove’s exhibition table with 2 of her books, featuring her grandchild on the cover, photographed by her husband, Geir Arnesen. In the background preparing for the next part of the meeting is Tove and Jette Kjørseng.

_DSC8379-1920x1080-wmHere is the Board members, first row from right; Chair Liv-Norunn Stavik; Vice Chair Tove Fevang; second row from left; Cashier Jette Kjørseng; Board member Gunnhild Marie Hagen; Secretary Rita Stenseth.  There are many of us who are curious to know more, and whom will follow this association’s future work. We believe it will prosper, and encourage us all to do even more knitting!


Hobby Night at Cappelen Damm

1467328_10151918403974504_488794827_nLast year’s Hobby Night at my publishers’ was such a success that it had to be repeated, this time with another set of knitting and crochet book authors presenting their new and upcoming books: Arne & Carlos, Tove Fevang, Cecilie Kaurin & Linn Bryhn Jacobsen and Eline Oftedal. 180 people had signed up for the free event, and looked forward to another fab evening, and an amazing goodie bag – yes, even bigger this year. The Christmas serving was rice porridge, the traditional spicy drink “gløgg”, gingerbread cookies and for those wanting a bit of wine; Arne & Carlos’ own brand for an extra fee. In addition to the generous goodie bag – with several kits and balls of yarns, I will reveal all – we also received two raffle tickets each. Arne & Carlos started the show, and told us about their recent world wide tour as well as their latest book “Strikk fra Setesdal/Knits from Setesdal”, not yet published in English but coming soon, see cappelendamm.


Arne is one of those speakers, he joked that you can just insert a penny and he will keep talking, proven by the fact that the technical support staff had to change the battery of his microphone. Carlos continued and said; “While Arne is having his battery changed, I will do the talking”. They are such a joy to listen to, and no wonder their books are available in 14 languages so far. One of the latest additional languages is Japanese. Not only are their previous clothes designs popular in Japan, but their books are too. You can see their 5 books on the screen behind Carlos in the photo below.


Next on the evening’s agenda was interviews by presenter and former designer Kaja Marie Lereng Kvernbakken, see makaroniblogg, left in the photo above, of all the authors. First out was Tove Fevang, whose latest book published by Cappelen Damm was on crocheting for the kitchen, she is seated third from left. It is only a few days since Tove was last in the newspaper, as the front person of the Amanda Project, knitting & crocheting to aid the premature born babies founded by Amanda’s parents, see amandaprosjektet. Tove’s next crochet book is out next year. Seated next to her is Cecilie Kaurin & Linn Bryhn Jacobsen whose book  “Hønsestrikk til folket”/”Chickenknit to the people” is due out in early January, see inside it here: issuu. The concept began in Denmark in the -70s with statements knitted into garments, usually without using any specific patterns, just making it up and the term “chicken” was used because it was the name of the first publisher to publish a book on the topic. It is back in fashion, and became a huge hit when Cecilie Kaurin designed a sweater capturing the Norwegian Rap band Karpe Diem’s latest CD title; “Kors på halsen, Ti Kniver i hjertet, Mor og far i døden”/”Cross your throat, Ten knives in the heart, Mother and father into death”, see a photo of rap duo with sweaters on here: strikk-karpe-diem-genseren. The design request came on twitter fittingly enough, after her daughter wore a sweater decorated with both the twitter and Apple logo on. Here is the free pattern of the Karpe Diem Genser in Norwegian: dalegarn.

DSCN1529Eline Oftedal published her first book in the UK; “Knit Nordic”, available at amazon, and she has translated it into Norwegian herself. The book has recently been published as “Marius, Setesdal, Fana, Voss. Norske strikkemønstre på nye måter/Norwegian knitting patterns in new ways”, see cappelendamm. Kaja asked how she works, and Eline responded that she submits designs to magazines such as the American “Designer Knitting” and British “The Knitter” without knowing whether a design will be accepted or not. The red shrug she is wearing is one design that was accepted by “Designer Knitting”. Here is her blog, with links to downloadable pdf patterns to buy: byeline. Eline’s iPhone cover was one of the kits included in the goodie bag with two balls of Sportsgarn from Viking Garn, the other was Arne & Carlos placemat with two balls of 3 Tråds Strikkegarn from Rauma Ullvarefabrikk, patterns and two balls of lovely alpaca plus the canvas bag from Du Store Alpakka, hardback Tilda diary, pocket book by Vetle Lid Larssen, 10 lovely Christmas cards, stamp with “Homemade” on, plus another handy shopping bag with Cappelen Damm logo on. I could tell by the response that the goodie bags were a hit, just like the filled to the brim raffle price bags were!


After the interview, each author had a selection of items/garments on display and answered questions, while Arne & Carlos seemed to have mainly photo requests to deal with. I had an excellent evening, I had brought my knitting but was busy eating porridge, drinking gløgg, and being captivated by all the authors. I for one, will be back next year…