Familien Photoshoot: Honeysuckle Shawl

20141023 MbM LM 0218I loved this silk dress by Judith Bech the moment I lay my eyes on it at the Designer-kollektivet in Oslo. So I had to include it in our Nordic Vintage series. I designed a shawl, a cowl and a belt knitted as a hem, and called the pattern Honeysuckle after its lacy stitch pattern. It still felt like a revelation seeing the dress, with Honeysuckle and fantastic shoes by Monica Stålvang, worn by gorgeous Alexandria Eissinger at Pholk with hair and make up by Sissel Fylling, brilliantly captured by Eivind Røhne at Hvalstrand Bad. The Norwegian pattern was published in Familien Trend in February.

20141023 MbM LM 0278Honeysuckle is knitted in Rowan Softknit Cotton, a very well fitting name indeed, since it is made of 92% cotton and 8% polyamide and of a cable structure in 50 grams balls with 105 meters/115 yards put up, using a 4.5 mm/US 7 needle. The shawl can be buttoned into a shrug. Like Honeysuckle the shawl is equally beautiful on both sides. Wear it with a cowl as a collar and a stylish belt in Stockinette stitch. The belt can either be tied or pinned together with a stunning brooch.

20141023 MbM LM 0251The shawl is knit flat and the cowl is knit in the round. You can easily adjust the width of the shawl and the circumference of the cowl by removing or adding pattern repeats of 16-sts. Eyelets in the lace pattern is used as buttonholes. The belt is designed to wrap twice around the waist and then be tied. It is worked like a hem in Stockinette stitch and cast on using two circular needles held parallel. Adjust the length of the belt by measuring your waist and add preferred tying length. The English pattern is currently being test knitted in my group on Ravelry and will be released when it is complete. Now, there is only one more design you have not seen professionally photographed and that is Hennika, coming up next.


Buttons by Siri Berrefjord

_SBB4025I have for a long time admired Siri Berrefjord’s jewelry, see Siris’ Skattkammer/Treasure Trove, and when I finally met her at a Designerkollektivet event last year, I asked if she could make buttons for my designs. The answer to my delight was positive as long as I did not need 10 identical ones since they are cast from a mold. All that Siri needed was a yarn sample, and an idea of the size I wanted the button to be. I showed her my swatches when a brilliant idea popped into my mind; would she photograph them with her buttons on? Siri is a former professional photographer of antiques and jewelry so she knows exactly how to capture colors and texture, see fredenshavn.no. Here is the unique result of the buttons made to order and the equally stunning photos she has taken. My swatches are of the Icelandic Jacket, a new design I will reveal next week, made in a combination of Jaggerspun Zephyr LaceRowan Felted Tweed and Rowan Fine Tweed to be published in Made by Me on 1st of September. The cuff has tucks in tweed and the cables adorn the back panel and the matching cowl. Notice the layers of color that Siri has applied to the buttons making them a perfect match to the color specks in the three different yarns. They are made in plastic inspired by traditional historic national costume silver and each one is unique.

_SBB4027Now, that I have been spoilt with these magnificent buttons, I am not sure I will be satisfied with a mass produced buttons ever again! Yet another addiction of mine. If you want Siri’s unique buttons for a special garment, you too can order directly from her stating what size, how many and sending her a small yarn sample. Just email: siri@fredenshavn.no


As it Rises Forward. Nation, Tradition, Fusion.

Invitasjon til utstillingJewelry designer and photographer Siri Berrefjord is currently showing at Bærum Kunsthåndverk, see bkh, in Sandvika, on the outskirts of Oslo. The title of the exhibition is taken from our National Anthem, and the painting shown at the bottom of the poster is from our Constitution, celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.  I have not had time to visit yet, and going away this weekend holding a workshop in Stokke, but hope to have time next week. Here is Siri’s introduction to the exhibition: “I am impressed and excited by Norway’s rich cultural inheritance. I am inspired by the many treasures made here. For a long time, I have used the farming culture with its rich decorations as a basis for my own expression. In this exhibition I wanted to take a closer look on a few selected items; their cultural expressions and interpret these in my own way. I have been inspired by distinctive folk artists and color palettes. I have also used old handicrafts recalled from bottom of chests, and a forgotten past.

In addition I wanted to express something about time. We live in a time where time itself has become scarce. When studying earlier periods, where I find my inspiration, our relation to time becomes a paradox. Two hundred years ago man worked a lot more, they used more time on daily tasks such as house work and cooking. Life was cumbersome. Yet ordinary people used an awful lot of time on decoration and handicraft.

I wanted to do something similar in this exhibition. Both the clothes and the jewelry I make, take a long time to process. I want to make this time visible, in other words the time used on the presentation of these objects. What is really time in such a context? For me, it is also an expression of care, of lasting attention and of love to the thing itself. By using time to make items, you also give them a soul. When things are properly worked and have had time to evolve slowly, but surely, becoming visible, first then can they reach their potential.

Few expensive and exclusive materials have been used in these works, a conscious decision on my part. But they are carefully chosen; right materials – which suits the nature of the things themselves. And then it is time, the duration of the presentation which gives the things their exclusivity  – where they finally rises forward.”

I am thrilled that Siri is making buttons for one of my knitted jackets, and look forward to seeing the result – I will show and tell when I can. It is one of the many special orders she receives throughout the year, in addition to her collection available from Designerkollektivet at Glasmagasinet in Oslo and online from sirisskattkammer.


Hot Nok/Hot Enough at Designerkollektivet

Ragnhild Hemsing i rød HILDE.jpg høyoppløselig copyThea Glimsdal Temte, the tailor behind the brand HotNok/Hot Enough was one of the designers at the talk “A Tradition that Inspires” at Designerkollektivet, who I want to present in greater detail.  She started the brand in 2006, after working with restoration of 200 year old clothes specializing in folk costumes in co-operation with Norsk Folkemuseum/Norwegian Folk Museum. Hot Nok makes clothes that allows you to move freely without any restrictions, just as the folk costumes did in their time, but with its own visual expression adjusted to modern life. A rock musician from Trondheim who modeled the clothes expressed; “It is just as if the jacket is embracing me!”. In other words clothes that takes care of you, made in mainly felted wool in bright colors with striking small details like a straight seam ending in a small heart. Above is the inspirational photo by Cathrine Dokken of the stunning dress “Hilde” worn by the gorgeous violinist Ragnhild Hemsing, it is also available in green and black, the tulle petticoat is separate and perfect for special occasions. The magnificent clothes are available at Designerkollektivet  at Glasmagasinet in Oslo, online at miinto.no or contact Thea directly by e-mail: thea@hotnok.no. Check out how well they fit and be inspired.


A Tradition that Inspires

1460272_10151872631618143_1255876355_n_000Such a perfect way to spend an evening! I was encouraged by Makeløs/Remarkable stylist Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik, see bakketunet, to attend an evening with two small presentations by talented jewelry designer Siri Berrefjord of Fredenshavn and knitwear designer Thea Glimsdal Temte of HotNok/Hot Enough tailored clothing in colorful felt. Their topic was how tradition, folk costumes in particular, had inspired them to design the marvelous items they do. We were a small but dedicated group that had turned up at the Designerkollektivet/Designer Collective at Glasmagasinet in Oslo, accompanied by two fiddle players to transcend us into the right mood, we were seated among rails of discounted clothes by HotNok and discounted jewelry by Siri Berrefjord. The temptations proved too large for some, including my friend Kristin… After two talks both we were all filled with inspiration, and the need to create ourselves. While we chatted and studied all the offers, delicious home made cinnamon swirls, fruit, gingerbread cookies – Christmas is coming – chocolate and drinks were presented to us. The entrance fee ticket resulted in a magnificent draw with the possibility to win a pair of stunning earrings or a mixed bag of felted wool remnants. Two lucky winners went home even happier. I had to ask if Siri had considered making buttons, and to my delight she has already done so and would gladly special make some to order for me, all she needed was a yarn sample. At that point I lost my bearings and my head started spinning with ideas!


First out was Siri who talked about her changing career from a photographer of antiques to a jewelry designer inspired by the very same antiques she used to photograph but with a very modern and trendy touch cast in colorful plastic. Siri transforms the traditional brooches and earrings into playful everyday accessories taking them into the future. See above, photographed by Siri herself, for an example of her brilliance, none are identical to each other of the brooches, as she paints with the different layers of colors on top of each other. Not exactly knowing what the outcome will be, but willing to leave it to chance with a strong gut feeling it will be magnificent. And of course she is right! You will find her jewelry for sale at Designerkollektivet and at her Norwegian online shop here: epla.no or contact her by e-mail: siri@fredenshavn.no.

DSCN1391Then Thea Glimsdal Temte continued and showed us photographs of folk costumes, and talked about how they have inspired her. She is a tailor by trade who has become more relaxed in her approach to design than her education allowed her to be. Felted wool in bright colors is her material, with a good cut, and small playful finishing details like a seam in a contrast color or an edging in a contrast material, see photo above from the Designer Kollektivet. Thea has specialist knowledge on historic textiles used in folk costumes, and is often contacted by the Norsk Folkemuseum/Norwegian Folk Museum who needs her expertise in fabric restoration. In addition to her collections, for sale at Designer Kollektivet and Norwegian online shop: miinto.no or contact: thea@hotnok.no, Thea custom makes dresses. One woman had seen her Huldra Dress – after the seductive forest creature in Scandinavian Folklore with a long tail, see wikipedia – a long cream coloured long A-line dress with buttons at the front and a tail, and wanted one. The customer did not want Thea to make her a new one, but was happy with the photographed one, since she wanted to use it the very next day for ice-skating so bought the very dress with that purpose in mind. Fairytales do come alive in all senses of the word.


Ulluka – Campaign for Wool Week

DSCN1485It is that time of year again, the Campaign for Wool Week or Ulluka as we simply call it. I was delighted to be invited to the launch of the Wool in Fashion Pop-up shop at Glasmagasinet and the book launch of Ren Ull/Pure Wool last Tuesday. The shop is a co-operation between Designerkollektivet and Norwegian Fashion Institute, it represents more than 20 designers who work with wool and focuses on design talents among them: Makeløs reDESIGN, Telespinn, Sorl ved Strand and Judith Bech. The book is by Tone Skårdal Tobiassen – journalist and newly converted wool-fluff – and Ingun Grimstad Klepp, an ethnologist at Sifo, who has spent 15 years researching clothes habits and sustainability. I would have liked to share Ingun’s colourful crochet dress in green and blue stripes which had sheep walking across it but it was very crowded, and she was extremely popular. We were all given a small piece of yarn – a very appropriate identity tag – on entering which allowed us to venture outside the shop with our glass of wine or beer. The book covers the road from sheep to products, kills myths like all wool is itchy, tells wool stories never before told nor collected, and presents acknowledged designers, published by Aschehoug. A must-have in other words!


This treasured teddy is a very special teddy, it belongs to Per Spook of Haute Couture fame and he made his first clothes for it. The authors asked if he can knit and the answer was; “Yes, of course!”. The teddy was on a one-day loan only to the pop-up shop with his suitcase of garments displayed, you can see some of them pictured above in the book. The teddy was given to Per Spook just after WW2 when he was 6 years old… Here is his Winter 89/90 collection, see nasjonalmuseet.


I was drawn to the beautiful sheen of this mohair yarn from Telespinn. Here is their own description of it: “Symre is named after the flower Symre which there are several kinds of in Svartdal (in Telemark). Symre knitting yarn is a thin 2-ply knitting yarn which is very soft and shiny. Symre is spun of fiber from young mohair goats.” See more on their website: Telespinn.


See what Kristin E. Halkjelsvik, Makeløs/Exceptional reDESIGN, can do; the belt to the right is a former embroidered wall hanging, while her modern take on the Setesdal costume has both traditional silver brooches and new brilliantly coloured ones made in plastic by artist Siri Berrefjord part of the Designerkollektivet as well as stunning fabric combinations! Well, exceptional is part of her name and I was delighted to meet her outside of Facebook! See photos from her latest fashion show focusing on recycling of garments, cloth and traditional women’s handicraft called Redesign goes Jugend, here: glamor-st-moteshow.


I was also delighted to meet designer Sissel Strand behind the brand Sorl ved Strand whose garment construction I admired at the Designerkollektivet shop. I was also in good company, accompanied by another handknit designer, now employed by the yarn company Du Store Alpakka, Sidsel J. Høivik whose knitting book I love, see my blog post: lekre-masker-og-lekne-sting! A perfect way to spend an evening, in other words. The Wool in Fashion Pop-up Shop will stay until the 19th October, so if you are in Oslo, you know where to go…



A group of Norwegian designers set up a Collective in 2009, first with a pop-up store but now in a permanent shop in Glasmagasinet, a department store in Oslo.  The shop has recently been launched and contain some stunning pieces made by the 21 brands taking part in the Collective. It feels more like a gallery than a shop and several of the designers offering business-cards to take with you. I was inspired by one-off designs by Sorl ved Strand, they were machine knitted and several were marked with “concept under development”, an extremely fitting phrase for a designer’s work in progress! You can see photos from the launch, which included a fashion show here: designerkollektivet-opens-new-store-during-oslo-fashion-week. Here are links to all the designers participating in the Designerkollektivet.

I love the look of these shoes made by designer Monica Stålvang and were not surprised to find customers trying these ones on. They have heels you can easily walk on without any discomfort, and look trendy – a rare combination, indeed. See more of her collection here: monica-stalvang. You will obviously find beautiful jewelry as well in the Designerkollektivet. Below are some of the stunning brooches made by Siri Berrefjord. They are based on traditional folk costume jewelry several centuries old, but not made in silver nor gold but in colourful plastic. See more at fredenshavn. A marvelous shop, I will be back for more inspiration!