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!


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.


Oslo Design Fair August 2019

Last Wednesday Michael and I attended the Oslo Design Fair in Lillestrøm. As always it was a great opportunity to meet Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk since they are located in Bergen on the coast and also other designers, as well as yarn companies and agents. Michael and I arrived in time for the press breakfast talk that introduced to the trade fair and its current topic: ”Rethink”. The modules in massive wood by Vardehaugen Arkitekter exhibited will be given a new life after the fair as cottages at Træna and in Sweden. The modules can easily be changed and put together depending on your need. Below you see a photo Michael took of the so-called Tower.

All the talks and most of the interior companies were located in Hall C, while the yarn companies were in Hall B, at the fair. Below you see me talking to MD Øyvind Myhr and Anette Toft at the Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk stand. They have made a new catalogue with my latest designs: Epona Pullover, Macha Jacket & Cowl and Gillah Swoncho. I am pleased to tell you that they wanted 4 new designs for the spring and that I have started working on those.

House of Yarn, consists of several separate companies some of them with previous lives but now joined into one: Dale Garn, Du Store Alpakka, Gjestal Garn, Camilla Pihl Strikk, Gullungen Garn, Oransje Skjerf Garn, Rosa Sløyfe Garn, and Linde Garn. The 1980s have come back and I am not too keen on the revival since I lived through it once already. There was no fashion show but House of Yarn did have a video of their fashion show running on their large stand. There were plenty of new yarns to look at and fondle.

I also talked with Thomas Kvist of House of Hobbies. He is the Scandinavian agent for the Italian yarn producer Lana Gatto and for the American Distributor Knitting Fever. Thomas talked me through the new yarns. On his stand was also designer Tove Lindtein who has used a number of the Lana Gatto yarns in her upcoming book that will be launched in November. We had a long talk about making books and knitting workshops.

Michael and I met up with Tove Fevang (centre), Bente Presterud (right), Sidsel Høivik (left) and Gro Sandvik (next to Bente) for lunch. I had not met Gro before but know the other designers from years back. It was a great opportunity for us to meet and update each other.

I must also show you a photo of the marvellous Japanese inspired stand that Kaja Gjedebo Design had set up in Hall B.

Kaja had commissioned fashion drawings to have on the wall of her stand. They were graphic black and white drawings, that lured you into her stand. Her artistic jewellery is so stunning and so beautifully displayed on the fair. I did enjoy hanging out here, I must admit. Late in the afternoon Michael and I headed home. The trade fair was on both Thursday and Friday too but this time the trade fair ended on Friday without any public days.


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: