Norsk Strikkedesign – Book Club Presentation

Above is the new cover of the upcoming Norwegian book: “Norsk Strikkedesign“, featuring model Emma Ross wearing a pullover designed by Arne & Carlos. The editor is Iselin Hafseld and she is also a participating designer together with Arne & Carlos, Kari Hestnes, Bente Presterud, Birger Berge and me. The book will be launched before the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, where Norway is the Guest of Honour this year. We all hope that this will increase the possibility of it being sold by the Cappelen Damm Agency to foreign publishers, hence translated. The Book club, called Hobbyklubben, have sent out their magazine where the book is the main book for October. Below you see the cover they choose, a stranded colour work dress made by Bente worn by model Kaja Kvernbakken. The photographer, you will recognize I believe, is Eivind Røhne.

Gorgeous garments from six of our most popular knitwear designers. 30 knitting patterns. On the second page mittens by Arne & Carlos and the heading saying “Godt norsk” as in “Good Norwegian”.

“The interest for the Norwegian knitting tradition has had a surge during the last years. In the book “Norsk Strikkedesign” designer Iselin Hafseld has persuaded 5 other active Norwegian designers to join in. It has turned into a book filled with unique designs, with small and large garments for everyday use and party, for both women and men.”

Above is four garments named with designer name.

“Knit your favourite. The best of Norwegian design. Here you will find more than 30 gorgeous garments from six of our most popular knitwear designers.”

The book club editor writes that this includes the best from some of the best and that she has looked forward to flickering through this. The advantages of having a real book (read: printed book) in your hands and being able to flick forward and back. How easy it is to find  a pattern she wants to try out, evaluate what colour to use and suddenly she is back with her head into her yarn basket and just have to start.

 Next is Iselin’s introduction to the book: “The idea behind this book was to gather a group of designers active in the field today and who have made their mark on Norwegian Knitwear design. Six designers were invited to join with their unique designs for women and men. We, who have contributed hope that this will become your new inspirational book. A book that makes you want to create even more with needles and balls of yarn.” Then follows a few sentences from each one of us about our inspiration and information about the yarn used.

The book is on schedule and has been sent to print. I have also received all the photos of my garments taken so I will be sharing those soon.


Norsk Strikkedesign – Upcoming Book: Thia

I am taking part in a Norwegian book, called Norsk Strikkedesign/Norwegian Knit Design, together with 5 other designers, all with 5 designs each, that will be published early in October by Cappelen Damm (who also published my knitting book in Norwegian and sold it to a Finnish publisher). My former mentor Iselin Hafseld, who is also the editor and a participating designer, asked me at the end of last summer. When we all had agreed, the publisher’s editor Anne-Berit Tuft revealed the other 4 designers taking part: Arne & Carlos, Kari Hestnes, Bente Presterud and Birger Berge. I was thrilled with the company I am in, and that Iselin would be in charge of the photoshoot. The book was Anne-Berit’s idea and she suggested it should be launched before the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, where Norway is the Guest of Honour this year. We all hope that this will increase the possibility of it being sold by the Cappelen Damm Agency to foreign publishers, hence translated.

Above is the cover, the second version that is, and we are eagerly awaiting the next one. The photographer, you will recognize I belive, is Eivind Røhne. Below is my Thia jacket knitted in Tinde pelt wool by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk but hand dyed in Mikkel Rev/Michael the Fox (a child’s rhyme) shade in red/orange/pink by Laila Henriksen of Værbitt/Weather bitten in Oslo.

All my designs are made in Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, Tinde pelt wool since Cappelen Damm preferred Norwegian yarn or at least yarns that are easily available in Norway. I also wanted to take advantage of the offer I had received several months back from yarn dyer and shop owner Laila Henriksen, who runs Værbitt/Weather bitten in Oslo. She hand dyes on Tinde and I had already fallen in love with her Mikkel Rev/Michael the Fox. Laila was delighted to take part in this project and dyed Mikkel Rev for a cardigan for me, especially. I just had to knit this one myself, while I asked my fantastic sample knitters: Grete Jenssen – aka ma9 on Ravelry – a turbo knitter and Kristin Nygård – aka Quiltefeen on Ravelry to make the remaining 4 projects: a pullover, cowl and beret with the same cable and a skirt. All are knitted using 3.5 mm/US 4 needles and a 21 stitches and 30 rows gauge per 10 cm/4″ square.

My initial idea was to make an outfit, including a beret and a skirt. I asked Laila for colour suggestion to go with her Mikkel Rev, she suggested Burgundy and Natural grey. I agreed and thought Burgundy looked best with it, so I decided to use it for the skirt, while the pullover and accessories are all made in Natural grey. As I did the finishing of the garments, I was no longer convinced they all fitted together, hence I suggested to Iselin to photograph the skirt and cardigan together.

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.

Cappelen Damm wanted all the garments for women in size medium, so above you see me wearing Thia with more ease than intended. The pattern is graded 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″.

I invited a small number of my test knitters with sponsored yarn from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk to check all my 5 book patterns early this spring and I look forward to showing you their wonderful results! But first I will show you the Cian Pullover, Cian Cowl & Cian Beret and Damara Skirt.

If you support me on Patreon, you can read on and see more photos of this. Take a look here:


Pre-Christmas Evening at Cappelen Damm

10384274_10152760419364404_8593596648580514622_nYet another invitation I received on Facebook, which I could not refuse since it included both knitting and Julemat/Christmas Food by brilliant cook, food critic and presenter Andreas Viestad plus wonderful cakes by popular blogger Kristine Ilstad of Det søte liv/The Sweet Life. I admit I would have come just for the food! Of course Arne & Carlos were there, talking about their new book: 30 Tøfler/Slippers and taking us all on their fun creative journey. In addition to television presenter and celebrity Dorthe Skappel talking briefly about her book: Skappelstrikk and the huge knitting wave her simple patterns have made. On top of this I was lucky to be surrounded by 6 other designers who came since Nina Granlund Sæther suggested we should take the opportunity to meet up; Sidsel Janne HøivikKristin Wiola ØdegårdMay Britt Bjella ZamoriStella Charming and Ellen Andresen all agreed. And yes, we did bring our knitting.

DSCN0008Arne & Carlos do know how to entertain, and lets us in on their secrets; like how they prefer the back cover of their new book instead of the front one with their photo (see above). All the slippers in the book are easy to make and felted so it does not matter whether you make a mistake or two because they will not be visible after the felting process. If you are on Facebook you might also have seen their latest doll, and noticed the stir it has caused, see below. It all began with a photo they saw of the American TV-personality Kim Kardashian; “We saw that Kim Kardashian got so much attention because she showed off her buttocks. We love knitting nonsense things, so we knitted a doll that also shows off the butt, Arne tells” They realized they could knit her by combining two of their Christmas Balls (one of their other book titles which got lost in translation) and their Knitted Doll. The Knit Kardashian is about to break the internet, and with it the record for getting new followers in a flash: 17 000 just during the show on Thursday evening!

10015160_993467840669340_3759132458228681858_nDorthe Skappel is former model, turned television presenter and celebrity. How she came to start a huge knitting wave will go into the history books. Dorthe told us the story of the over-sized casual sweater she knitted in a soft yarn for her daughter who wore it during a photo shoot for the Norwegian fashion magazine Costume. That was the first step, and the second and final step was when her eldest daughter Maria blogged about it. The Skappelgenseren went viral, especially among young new knitters. Skappelstrikk has sold 35 000 copies so far and you can even buy the yarn: Skappelgarn made in a collaboration with Sandnes Garn. So there is no surprise that there will be a second book from Dorthe Skappel.

DSCN0004There were no yarn in the goodie bags this year (read: major disappointment) but several books, one magazine, a map for my husband, a key ring, a hair band and shopping list pads. But then I did enjoy the company I had at my table, the entertainment and the food, not to forget the cake. It also was a reminder that Christmas is coming, soon…


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…