Norsk Strikkeforbund/Norwegian Knitting Association 2019

I was there when the Norsk Strikkeforbund/Norwegian Knitting Association was established in 2014, as a presenter, and last weekend I was back giving a talk on Digital Knitting. The annual meeting was this time held at the Scandic Asker Hotel. Designer and author as well as editor of the membership magazine “På Pinnen“/On the Needles Tove Fevang asked if I wanted to hold a talk at the event, several months back. I am assisting Tove with the magazine (read: the editorial staff). She also suggested that Michael come too and that we stayed with Tove and her photographer husband Geir Arnesen for the weekend, since they live in Asker. What a treat it was. So we all turned up for the meeting, but Geir and Michael went on a photo safari in Asker, while Tove and I joined the knitters.

We started the day with the a knitting café, and I spotted several knitters I knew; among them designer Ellen Andresen, aka Siso Designs (siso is short for stash in, stash out – ask any knitter about this). Geir was asked to do yet another unpaid job, he had to take photos of the new board. But this time at least he got lunch. At noon we had a delicious lunch buffet, before the meeting itself started with Tove as presenter.

Here we are, knitting away also during the meeting. As you can see from Ellen’s instagram posting, we also received a yarn kit for a pair of mittens with the Norsk Strikkeforbund’s logo, designed by Lill C. Schei, as well as two numbers for the prize draw. The prizes were a number of books we have reviewed, yarn and knitting gadgets from Tove’s stash. See Ellen’s photo below.

Here are the prizes we could win. Throughout the year more books have been reviewed and then given away. So if you are a Norwegian knitter and not yet a member do join in, here are the advantages listed:

Tove and Geir also listened to my talk, I am pleased to tell you, and they enjoyed it.

I had brought a number of swatches, garments and magazines for the knitters to look at. Here I am talking to Berit who also attended the knitting weekend at Røros. She did not mind that I gave the same talk here at this annual meeting at all and enjoyed the repeat. I had a fabulous day! Thank you, Norsk Strikkeforbund/Norwegian Knitting Association!


Weekend in Asker

Michael and I have just spent a lovely weekend in Asker, staying with designer & author Tove Fevang and her husband, photographer Geir Arnesen. The occasion was the Norsk Strikkeforbund/Norwegian Knitting Association had their yearly meeting at Scandic Asker Hotel and I was invited to hold a talk on Digital Knitting. Asker is just outside of Oslo to the west. The photo above is taken on the Sunday when we went for a walk by the Oslofjord at Vollen in Asker.

A lone fisherman was out in the water trying his luck, probably for mackerel. While Geir and Michael were walking closer to him, Tove and I were chatting hence falling behind. Or maybe it was due to the amount of wine we had drunk during the weekend. The temperature was 10 degrees Celsius/50 degrees Fahrenheit so it felt balmy in the sun, but a lot colder in the shade.

Vollen is one of 5 recommended beaches in Norway, see this article. Here is Michael checking out the water. Unlike our local lake, Rødenessjøen, the Oslo fjord is not frozen. There were a lot of people out walking this Sunday, even though you cannot see them in these photos.

We also visited the Oslofjord Museum and their coffeeshop. It is the low building at the bottom with flats above in this photo.

@ Geir Arnesen

Geir took this photo of the three of us. During most of Saturday he and Michael were out photographing while Tove and I attended the yearly meeting for the Norwegian Knitting Association. Michael and I had a lovely weekend with delicious food as well as fabulous company. I will tell you about the yearly meeting in my next blog post.


Hillesvåg Stand at Oslo Design Fair

_dsc1858-1920x1200_72Yes, I know it was back in the beginning of September, but I am trying to catch up with all the knitting related events that has happened during the last two months so far. Oslo Design Fair, opened Thursday 1. September and closed on Sunday 4. September, while I was at Strik Bornholm. The yarn producer Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk had a stand and launched the yarn kits for 4 of my designs see Hillesvåg Eksklusiv: Andor, Idunn, Halli and Elfa. All the designs are made in the wonderful Norwegian pelt wool/Pelsull, the last two are made in the new finer Hifa Sølje, while the first two are made in the re-named Hifa Tinde yarn. The lustrous yarn has a mohair feel and a melange colour due to its natural greyish base. The new yarn Hifa Sølje with 350 meters/383 yards on each 100 g skein is to die for, so do try it when it is ready in all the 30 divine colours. Closest in the photo above is Halli. Designer Tove Fevang and her husband photographer Geir Arnesen went to the fair, and Geir took these brilliant photos, as you might have guessed! Thank you!

_dsc1854-1920x1200_72Here are three displayed on mannequins and one hanging, with the yarn kits and the brochure made for retailers below: Halli, Andor, Idunn and Elfa. Here is my introduction to Halli: A sideways cardigan with a reverse textural pattern, and deep waterfall fronts. Each front and sleeve has two tucks at the end; one in reverse stockinette stitch and one in stockinette stitch. Choose if you prefer to leave the fronts hanging loose, pinned loosely together or draped across each other. Halli, comes from Old Norse and means rock. Perfect for the stitch pattern and symbolicly for becoming the rock in your wardrobe.

_dsc1873-1920x1200_72Above is Anette Toft from Hillesvåg, who used her time well, knitting. Here is the introduction to the most popular of the four designs the poncho Andor: A trendy oversized poncho defined by its pairs of ornamental cables on each wide shoulder part. The stockinette center part is crowned by a high neck collar. The poncho has sidebands that can be closed with buttons. It is knitted flat in two parts with shoulder and neck shaping. Andor is the Norse element for Eagle and its wingspan appropriate for this poncho.


Idunn is the pullover knitted in Hifa Tinde in Petrol. Named after the Norse goddess of spring and immortality is this straight sweater with a Henley neck with center cables. Ribs frame the cables in each side and make the sweater figure hugging. One center cable adds texture to the sleeve. The sweater is worked in the round to the underarm in the lustrous pelt yarn with a mohair feel, Tinde from Hifa.

Last is Elfa: Elfa is an a-line long jacket with central cables along all parts. Tucks divide the different patterns giving a slight flair and a softer touch to the jacket. A large shawl collar crowns the garment, hence the given name Elfa – after the Norse king and warrior. The body is worked in pieces while the sleeves are worked in the round to the underarm. It is knitted in the in the lustrous pelt yarn with a mohair feel, Sølje from Hifa.

They also launched eleven kits by London based designer Michelle Lowe-Holder. Michelle makes sensational designs that experiment with the mixture of vintage, antique and recycled materials. See the two photos at the back in the photo above. Here are more details: Hillesvag Eksklusiv Gjestedesign/Michelle Lowe Holder.

I am delighted that a number of knitters and shop owners have ordered the kits, and I look forward to hearing as well as seeing the results!


Makeløs Festaften in Fredrikstad

_dsc2626-1920x1200_72Makeløs/Remarkable re-design stylist Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik was in charge of the catwalk with a mix of new & old handcraft designs and jewellery to make numerous unique as well as colourful inspirational outfits, at the party night on the Strikkefestival/Knitting festival in Fredrikstad. Kristin combines new & old knitwear with embroidered table cloths, bell pulls and lengths of tulle fabric. With knitwear from Tone Loeng, Vanja Blix Langsrud, Sidsel Høivik, Kristin Holte, Nina Granlund Sæther, Annemor Sundbø and myself, together with jewellery from Siri Berrefjord and Gry Marie Grindbakken, in addition to a co-operation with local hairdressers Adam og Eva, Kristin made outfits that takes your breath away. The logistics with 14 models, 5 dressers to aid the models, a violinist to open the show, a sound technician and 25 outfits with accessories down to shoes, takes a lot of time, space (both head space and literal space to hang all the outfits) plus energy. Thankfully Kristin seems to have an endless supply of energy, unlike most people I know.

_dsc2628-1920x1200_72First out is the Setesdal Lovely outfit with brooches by Siri Berrefjord and bridal crown by Gry Marie Grindbakken. The coat has embroidered cuffs and neck and is worn with hand made lace cuffs & lace collar, in addition to layers of tulle skirts and fabric for a belt. All these crisp photos are taken by Geir Arnesen, and I am ever so grateful to be allowed to use them here. Thank you, Geir!

_dsc2648-1920x1200_72Here is another bridal crown, this one is by Kristin Holte and so is the knitted jacket. The brooches are by Siri Berrefjord. We enjoyed the colourful explosion to our senses, and I really wanted a pair of opera binoculars to take in more of the details. But since I stayed over with Kristin and her family I was lucky to have a sneak peek the day before.

_dsc2680-1920x1200_72This dress is part of Kristin Holte’s wedding outfit, usually worn with the cardigan and crown above. All the knitted flowers makes it heavy but also so sculptural.

_dsc2670-1920x1200_72My Lattice Back Jacket worn over one of Kristin’s many beautiful table cloths. Siri was present and pinned on her own brooches as she saw fit, just as Kristin had suggested.

_dsc2713-1920x1200_72This kofte is by Vanja Blix Langsrud, aka vanjastrikk, a new design called Blanda Drops. It is worn by Elise, Kristin’s daughter and now experienced model with a professional attitude.

_dsc2779-1920x1200_72Last but not least is the winner of the competition for the Fredrikstad Genseren 2017 by Marianne Solbrække, styled as only Kristin knows how to with layers of tulle skirts in matching colours. The catwalk went too quickly for us knitters who wanted more, but it was the highlight of the party evening that began with an introduction by the knitting organisers (read: knitting motors), music by a band, a buffet with delcious finger food, the mayor announcing the winner of the Fredrikstad pullover contest, chatting and not to forget knitting! I was not giving my knitting enough attention, so I ended up unraveling what I had done. I was fortunate to catch a lift with designer Sidsel Høivik who live close to me. Hence the weekend ended just as it had began with talk about knitting.


Strikkefestivalen in Fredrikstad

dscn0590For the first time there was a Strikkefestival in Fredrikstad. Of course the organizers – or knitting motors as they called themselves – Marit Larsen, Bente Vold Klausen and Torill Stokkan, choose the old town by the river Glomma as the location. Fredrikstad Old Town is actually the oldest fortified town in Norway (founded in 1567) and in the Nordic countries, and one of the best-preserved fortress towns in Northern Europe.  Above is the Provianthus/Provision house, and downstairs in the vaults the market hall for the knitting festival. You can spot the knitter in the photo above.

_dsc2417-1920x1200_72The entrance to the market hall was down these steps and they were rarely as empty as this. The festival opened on Thursday and lasted until the Saturday. On the first day there was a majority of retired knitters, while the age of the knitters seemed to decrease by decades for each day.

dscn0587This is downstairs in the busy market hall on the Saturday. At times several of us visitors preferred to walk around the old town or visit one of the many nearby coffee shops with our knitting in hand. I was lucky to meet several knitters who knew me by name only and happy to share my table at lunch. As all knitters we do have plenty to talk about.

_dsc2389-1920x1200_72Here is the Norwegian designers stall from left: Mette Hovden – one half of the design duo Pinnedans – Helles SiggerudNina Granlund Sæther and Ellen Andresen. Not present in the photo is Denise Samson, but you can see her two books: Hekta på Fletter and Poncho displayed on the table.

_dsc2379-1920x1200_72There were 21 stands in the market hall separated into two vaults next to each other. On offer in addition to hand knit designers, where yarn shops, the magazines Familien and Hjemmet both published by Egmont, the button shop Perlehuset – run by Aneta Kvist, Thomas’ mother – jewelry designers, machine knit designers, one travel agent and textiles.

dscn0579-copyHere is a blurry photo of designer Marte Helgetun, who I met for the first time and Mondial agent Thomas Kvist (former yarn producer, now super agent) both at the Flamingo Garn og Hobby stall. Make no mistake this is one of my photos – together with the first, third and eight from the top – the remaining sharp and brilliant photos are all taken by Geir Arnesen. He is married to designer and author Tove Fevang – who usually take part in all the Norwegian knitting festivals – hence he is omnipresent too.

_dsc2499-1920x1200_72I was promoting the yarn kits made by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk with my designs and spoke to shop owners, other designers I met and knitters. This time I held no workshop and was free to make up my program. I was delighted to stay with Makeløs/Remarkable designer Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik again – in charge of the Makeløs Festaften/Party evening – and to be on the guest list for the party. Her husband was the designated driver, taking runs to the market hall first me, then jewelry designer Siri Berrefjord and then to the party venue all of Saturday afternoon. Thank you, Espen! On offer were also a few exhibitions including a competition organized together with the Fredrikstad Town 450 Years Jubilee to make a Fredrikstad Pullover 2017. The winner was announced at the Makeløs Festaften, which I will write a separate post about. You can find photos and the pattern in Norwegian here: Fredrikstadgenseren 2017

dscn0607Here is one of the lovely views to be found walking around the ramparts. I was stopped a couple of times by local residents wondering what was going on, and why there were so many women around? I was happy to tell the uninitiated that there was a knitting festival on, and that the old town was invaded by knitters. One of the coffee shop owners were amazed and had never had this kind of turnover before. We were all wished welcome back with out knitting next year.

_dsc2505-1920x1200_72Above you see Tove Fevang teaching a workshop called: Perfekt avslutning på strikketøyet/Perfect finishing of your knitting. The first of two on the same day, due to popular demand. There were a total of 29 workshops to choose from and 11 lectures were held in  a selection of historic buildings.

_dsc2365-1920x1200_72I was thrilled to be able to attend talks for once without having any workshops that made it impossible nor being too tired. On top of my list of preferences was Annemor Sundbø – the Norwegian knitting legend – with her talk: Strikkekofter med tråder fra malerpensel/Knitting cardigans with threads from the paint brush. She did not disappoint and also talked about how she came about buying a shoddy factory. Above you see her presenting her books. You will find the English ones here: I also choose Nina Granlund Sæther’s talk on Norske Strikketradisjoner/Norwegian Knitting Traditions. It was ever so enjoyable and inspiring to hear! A separate post on the Makeløs Festaften/Party evening is coming.


Makeløs Catwalk at Strikke 2016

_dsc1770-1920x1200_72Hadeland Glassverk is organizing the knitting festival Strikke 2016 for the first time to celebrate the opening of their new gallery with a magnificent glass entrance area by Snøhetta. The launch of the festival was the first weekend in September, and the highlight was the outdoors catwalk by Makeløs/Remarkable – yes, it was and she is – stylist Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik. You see her above commenting on the gorgeous vintage table cloth used as a dress, worn with my Lattice Back Jacket and Aran mansjetter/cuffs. Yes, she did style that photoshoot of the jacket with the same divine table cloth, in Fredrikstad for the Norwegian magazine Made by Me too.

_dsc1767-1920x1200_72From the front view you see the table cloth worn with a brooch made by Siri Berrefjord. Kristin’s motto is that it is not essential that you know how to sew, to make an old stunning embroidered tablecloth into a poncho or a skirt, as long as you know how to use a stapler or creatively use safety pins. I could not attend this catwalk as I was teaching at Strik Bornholm that very same weekend. The photos above are taken by Geir Arnesen, and I am so grateful that he captured these moments to film.

20160903_140842_resized-helleKristin’s signature is her use of vintage embroidered table cloths for dresses and skirts as well as embroidered bell pull as belts. You will find more photos from another cat walk here: Makeløs Redesign Fashion Show. Above is the Fletteskjørt/Cable skirt from my Norwegian knitting book styled with a bell pull as a magnificent belt. This photo taken by designer Helle Siggerud also gives you an idea of the size of the audience. Kristin was also asked to take part in the knitting festival in Fredrikstad, for a Makeløs Festaften/Remarkable Party Evening. And in case you are wondering: Yes, it was!


På Pinnen with My Design: Talila

Magasin_Høst_2015_1_Page_01I am so thrilled to have the full cover of the new digital magazine “På Pinnen”/On the Needles for the members and published by Norsk Strikkeforening/Norwegian Knitting Association. Gorgeous model Anne Dorthe/Team Models, with hair and make up styling by Sissel Fylling, as well as beautiful jewelry by Kaja Gjedebo, is wearing the Talila Cowl – while the matching wrist warmers and clutch are shown inside the magazine – and is brilliantly captured by Eivind Røhne. The design submission request came early this spring from editor and Leader Tove Fevang who wanted an accessory with a cable pattern. I was not difficult to ask, and Talila was created and accepted. A few months later, Tove wondered if I wanted to be part of the editorial team together with Åse Bjørndal. I was flattered and certainly wanted to be part of making this digital magazine. In addition, Tove wanted to profile me, and asked if she could interview me at home bringing her husband, photographer – Geir Arnesen – to take some photos. Below you see the result, I was wearing my Quamara jacket and had prepared a rail with a number of my designs. The clean and modern look layout of the magazine is done by Janette Balchen of

Magasin_Høst_2015_1_Page_03The large photo of me is taken on the terrace while the other ones are taken in my living room. You might recognize my swatch photo of the Arcade Vest in the top right corner and that I am holding on to the back of the Gyda Jacket. I also asked jewelry designer Siri Berrefjord if we could use some of her fantastic photos of my swatches with her buttons. I was delighted when she accepted. The first part of the profile on me is based on my book introduction.

Magasin_Høst_2015_1_Page_04While the second part is more about my work and productivity today. Below is the first page of the pattern with all the essential information like the yarn; Hifa Norsk Pelsull and needles 3.5 mm/US 4 and 3 mm/US 2.5. The second page has a detailed photo of the clutch which I will show you in my next blogpost, together will all the brilliant photos Eivind Røhne took.

Magasin_Høst_2015_1_Page_05The magazine contains two more patterns, book reviews, report from Alta Strikkefestival and briefly from Koftefesten, article on yarn thickness, tips and ideas. I am delighted that the magazine has been popular so far, and we have started to plan the next issue and scheduled our next Skype meeting. So if you are Norwegian, or speak Norwegian, please join Norsk Strikkeforening and send us your ideas & suggestions for the magazine.


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!