New Design: Skyla

I am thrilled to show you my new design Skyla knitted in the gorgeous hand dyed Dye Dye Done, Sport yarn by turbo knitter Grete Jenssen, aka ma9 on Ravelry, for me. It is Daniel Maciejewska, husband of designer Hanna, aka Hada Knits, who dyes all the Dye Dye Done yarn. I was offered yarn support for yet another design. The idea came from a skilled test knitter and patron of mine with the nickname GG, aka WoollyPurlfection on Ravelry. GG suggested the a-line silhouette, the short sleeves and a travelling cable. The cable I chose is one of Devorgilla’s designs, I wanted a fairly simple one that did not have a large stitch count. Grete suggested a matching cowl as there was yarn left over. I do like having an extra collar to add, hence I wrote a pattern for it. My husband took these photos of me at the beach in Ørje a few weeks back.

Skyla is a cabled a-line pullover with short sleeves, adorned with two central mirrored cables divided by twisted stitches. The small cables, created by Devorgilla, runs towards each shoulder and make a v-shaped panel of reverse stockinette stitch at the center. The sweater ends in a casual wide rounded neck. To show off the stunning hand dyed Pure Sport yarn by Dye Dye Done, the sides are all in stockinette stitch. Skyla is knitted in pieces for the ultimate fit and has a cowl that can be worn as a collar.

I am wearing size S with a bust circumference of 90 cm/35.5″ with 2 cm/0.75″ of positive ease. The pattern is graded from size XS to 5XL with bust measurements of 82 cm to 164 cm/32.25 to 64.5″.

The Dye Dye Done, Pure Sport yarn is made of 100% Superwash Merino and has 300 meters/328 yards on each 100 gram skein. Skyla is knitted in the shade Mystic Mermaid, using a 3 mm/US 2.5 needle with a 25 stitches and 32 rows in stockinette stitch gauge measuring 10 cm/4″ square.

The pullover is worked back and forth in separate pieces and seamed, while the cowl is worked in the round. 

I look forward to seeing how it will look on Olivia during our photoshoot held yesterday (Friday 29th of May) at Bøler Church in Oslo.

The English pattern will be test knitted in my Ravelry group beginning on the 15th of June and released on the 3rd of August.

For more details on the design, become a patron and receive rewards like monthly newsletter, sneak peeks, free pattern(s), monthly video, all depending on the level chosen, see more details here:


New Design: Aife

Aife is a slightly fitted pullover beautifully knitted by Grete Jenssen, aka ma9, in the hand dyed, Dye Dye Done, Pure Sport in Baby Elephant. Last year Hanna Maciejewska’s husband Daniel started hand dying yarn and Hanna asked if I wanted some sportweight for a design. How can I refuse gorgeous hand dyed yarn? She suggested the popular shade called Baby Elephant, a taupe colour and I was happy to accept it. I had already designed Gillah Swoncho but I was not finished with that cable, by Devorgilla, so I made it into a fitted pullover too with two mirrored cables. I am wearing size Small, with a bust circumference of 92 cm/36.25″ but the pattern will be available in sizes XS to 2XL, in these photos taken by Michael at The Halden Canal Museum in Ørje. The English pattern will be test knit in my Ravelry group, beginning on August 12, before its release in both Norwegian and English.

I actually met designer Hanna & Daniel first time in Vienna for a knitting retreat in October 2015 (Wollness Weekend), then for the second time around at the Vienna Wool & Design Festival in May 2017. We connected straight away and have been in touch ever since. Their lovely Pure Sport yarn is made of 100% Superwash Merino and comes in 100 gram skeins with 300 meters/328 yards. The sample took 5 skeins and 1470 meters/1608 yards to make.

The swatch took quite a bit of time to make using 3 mm/US 2.5 and a 25 stitches in stockinette per 10 cm/4″ square gauge, so I knew I had to ask turbo knitter Grete to help me, since I was still knitting Gocce. Grete suggested 2 central rope cables instead of just one and I had thought about it so I did. The cross back became wider than I had planned and the merino yarn has less bounce than I am used to from the pelt wool.

Aife was the Queen of the Isle of Shadow according to Celtic mythology. This elaborate cabled pullover with a slightly fitted waist, is made for a female warrior. A large cable panel, created by Devorgilla, is mirrored with two small cables at the center. The sweater ends in a generous turtle neck in ribbing. To show off the stunning hand dyed Pure Sport yarn by Dye Dye Done, the sleeves are in stockinette stitch with only two small centered cables. Aife is knitted in pieces for the ultimate fit.

Coming soon on my blog is news about an upcoming Norwegian book I am taking part in.


Report Two: Vienna Wool & Design Festival

It has taken awhile to mentally land after attending Vienna Wool & Design Festival. I look forward to seeing the official photos taken with all of us teaching present on the stage. In the meantime I can show you one with four of us, taken Sunday afternoon before my last workshop: Italian designer Valentina Cosciani, standing next to me, in front of her American designer – living in the Netherlands – Nancy Marchant and Polish designer Hanna Maciejewska. Photographing are Daniel, Hanna’s husband and my husband with extra cameras. Valentina has her own YouTube Channel and she has made an excellent video from the festival where she walks through the workshop rooms and all the 23 stalls in the market hall. Yes, it is in Italian but it does make you feel like you are there:

I also wanted to share my haul from the festival: Gorgeous mini-skeins and a full skein of British Gotland 4ply in addition to their two magazines called Sticka, all given to me by The Little Grey Sheep so I can play with their yarns. Take a look at the previous blog post to see how I am holding onto the skeins as if my life depended on it. 5 lovely balls of Lalland Lambswool by Di Gilpin, I could not decide which colour I wanted to test and when Sheila – Di’s assistant talked about how to work with two or three strands at a time, my mind exploded. I did not really want to let go of any of the colours and Di let me keep them all to test. My friend, test knitter and organiser Uschi, was so kind and ordered the two German magazines “Neu Strick Mode” for me – they are German versions of the two latest American knit.wear magazines. Uschi also gave me the rest of her Doulton Flock Border Leicester Yarn DK she used to knit my design Helka for me to try out. Suncica gave me a copy of the festival magazine: wool 2 go – a large glossy magazine with 12 patterns in English and German from 9 participating designers, including yours truly. The pink flyer at the back is the floor plan of the market hall.

Susanne, aka shannara13 on Ravelry, assisted at Suncica’s first stand, Wollsalon and showed off her test knitted version of my design Idunn sweater, knitted in String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn Merino DK in a pale grey called Pewter. Thank you, Susanne! I was so happy to meet knitters, test knitters and designers, some I had only meet online before, in person!

On Saturday evening there was a Galla Dinner, so I brought a long silk skirt and a silk top. I claimed a large part of Michael’s suitcase in addition to the one I had already filled with workshop materials and my designs to show off before we left. Michael was hoping that the suitcases would be lighter coming back, but he was wrong. Yes, I did give away a lot of workshop papers but with the extra yarn and magazines, we traveled home with even heavier suitcases. But I digress. Seven of us met in the reception and walked to the Italian Restaurant, Trattoria Martinelli at the Palais Harrach: British designer Anna Maltz led the way – assisted by Michael – for German designer Isabell Kraemer, Nancy Marchant, Hanna & Daniel Maciejewska and me. When I realised I was the only one of the designers who had not brought my knitting, everyone stopped abruptly – knowing the scale of this disaster – and offered to go back. I decided that I could manage without it, but loved the shared feeling & laughter as we walked on. Of course we arrived late, but it was a very pleasant stroll through the streets of Vienna.

At the palace we talked and Suncica introduced the team behind the magazine; graphic designer, stylist and photographer. You can spot the top of my head, behind Isabell Kraemer, talking to Di Gilpin. We had champagne and canapés before we went inside and had another 4 amazing courses. I sat next to Di’s husband and across from Hanna at the end of second table. The six of us at the end of the table had not finished talking at 23.00 when most of the party had left and decided to have a last drink in the bar at the hotel. It was a marvellous evening and late one before I went to bed!

On Monday, our last day in Vienna, we said goodbye to Nancy, had a late breakfast with Hanna & Daniel pluss Isabella and her partner. That was yet another highlight from Vienna and all for this time.  Thank you to everyone I met in Vienna!


Report One: Vienna Wool & Design Festival

My first highlight of the Vienna Wool & Design Festival was that I met up with Nancy Marchant at the airport in Vienna on Friday afternoon. She landed half an hour before Michael and I so, Suncica suggested booking a taxi for the three of us, knowing that we would have a lot of luggage with us. It gave me a wonderful chance to get to know the Queen of Brioche Knitting. The festival had already began by the time we arrived; the first set of workshops started in the afternoon. Several of the stands were set-up, ready for the influx of knitters on Saturday, in the Market Hall  (read: the Ballroom) at the Arc Hotel Wimberger. While I was busy looking down at all the yarns on all the 23 stands, Michael looked up and captured the banners with my design Tau, published in the: Vienna Wool & Design Festival Magazine: wool 2 to go 01. Mail order is open from today.

Suncica, one of the two organisers, had three different stands: The first for her current yarnshop: Wollsalon with the wonderful yarns like: Artyarns, Hedgehog Fibres, Lorna’s Laces, Malabrigo and Shibui. The second for her new brands called Pop-Up Store with: The Uncommon Thread, Biscotti Yarns and Doulton Flock. The third for her new yak yarn: Myak. I must admit seeing all those brands made me craving yarn. I am sure that sound familiar to many of you! I was way too busy talking to knitters I had meet in Vienna in 2015, test knitters from my Ravelry group and friends to take photographs, so most of these are taken by my husband!

Uschi, the other organiser, told me that they early figured out that they needed a photo wall, and where better to place it than on the stage. We took advantage of it and asked Susanne, aka shannara13 on Ravelry, to join us. On the Friday we were all wearing the same bluebell shade of blue and all my designs: Uschi, aka Grinsekatz on Ravelry, is wearing Ronette, Susanne is wearing Irina Pullover, both have made adjustments to the pattern to make them their own and  I am wearing Kori.

I was looking forward to seeing Scottish designer Di Gilpin again. I met her first time at the Rowan Yarns’ stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show in London several years ago, while I was still working for Rowan and she was launching her first book with Rowan yarns. Now, she has her own yarn brand: Lalland Lambswool, sell finished garments and designs both for hand knitters and for haute couture. In the photo above you see Sheila, who trains all their sample knitters and assists Di. Her eye for design and especially intricate cable work stand out, just take a look at her website here: And yes, I have several balls of her yarn to play with now. To be continued.

All the beautiful colours and yarns on the British The Little Grey Sheep stand blew me away. Here I am lost in colours. All you can see of me is the back of my design Helka. I first spoke their shepherdess Susie (you can see her in action in the picture hanging above the mini skeins in the photo below), before I spoke to dyer & manager Emma.

Invited to this festival was also the Polish designer Hanna Maciejewska, aka Hada Knits, who I met up with during the festival. We enjoy each others company a lot! Suncica, aka Sunce5555 on Ravelry, stopped us in our tracks asking for more autographs for the magazines. We obliged, enjoying the lime light for a short period of time.

Hanna’s husband Daniel was walking around with his camera just as Michael was. Another designer who also brought her man was Isabell Kraemer, but due to our workshop schedules I was not able to talk to her until Monday morning when the six of us had a late breakfast. I am very proud of the fact that I did not buy any yarn, but I was given several skeins and balls to play with so I do not feel deprived in any way.

None of my workshops were fully booked and the small groups made them extra enjoyable since it gave us more time to get acquainted! Among the participants I spoke Norwegian to three of them to my surprise; two of them were living in Austria while the third had worked as an au-pair in Norway. The rest of the time, I spoke English and several of the Austrian participants where surprised how quickly they could recall their English vocabulary that not been used for awhile. More photos and stories are coming up next so stay tuned.


Interview with Designer Hanna Maciejewska

knitting in public

Photo by Daniel Maciejewska

I was so lucky to meet the fantastic designer Hanna Maciejewska, aka hada131 on Ravelry, at the Wollness Weekend in the beautiful hills of the Pielach Valley, 1.5 hour outside of Vienna in Austria. Even before we met we exchanged experiences and became good friends. Hanna is taking part in the GAL 2015 and not for the first time, hence I had to ask her more about it. Then she asked to interview me, and I was delighted that she agreed to be interviewed by me too. The following questions are the brilliant ones I first received by designer Janelle Martin, and you can read my responses on her blog. Here is the interview with Hanna:

Who taught you to knit/How did you learn to knit?                                                      It was my grandmother who taught me how to knit.  I don’t remember exactly when it was, but probably when I was 10 or so. In High School, I knit sweaters all the time and most of them were my own creations, but only a few years ago I realized that designing knitwear is truly my biggest passion!

GAL 2015 - photos by Daniel Maciejewska

GAL 2015 – photos by Daniel Maciejewska

How did you get started designing?

I have loved knitting since I was a child! And, I have always been knitting – mostly from my own imagination because I always wanted to have something unique and… I didn’t have too many knitting books 🙂 So I guess, it has always been a little bit of designing…

When I joined Ravelry a few years ago, at first, I posted projects just for fun. After a dear friend, who is a talented hand dyer, created a special yarn for me, I designed “Colors of Kauai” and felt encouraged to publish it. It was so well received that I decided to write down more of my designs – this is how it all started. I was hooked on designing from that point on!

What inspires your designs?

Everything! Most people who create things say this, don’t they? It is all true! The world is full of colors and shapes.

The place I live in influences me a lot, though it is not that obvious when you look at my designs. The serene place in the countryside near Toruń, where I live, my big garden (I am a huge fan of gardening, and whenever the weather permits, I love to sit on the porch and knit) and the forest nearby are quiet places to think about new designs and life in general and to look for sources of inspiration and get new ideas. I also like to walk around the Old Town of Toruń, feeling history and watching people.

The yarn stimulates me a lot, too. Its texture, colour, the possibilities it can bring etc. always amaze me. If a yarn doesn’t “talk” to me, I tend not to work with it.

A huge part of my inspiration originates from online sources. I can spend hours browsing Pinterest, Tumblr and similar sites, checking out current fashion trends and allowing myself to get inspired. It’s easy to get carried away when there is such a multitude of inspirational sources to explore, but there’s a downside to this too! I’m not alone watching these sites; everybody is seeing the same pictures, and however beautiful and inspiring they are, truth is if several people see the same pictures, then those several people might end up getting the same ideas!


A Floral Affair – photo by Daniel Maciejewska

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration? 

It could be either. I’ve had it work both ways but most of the time it is the design idea that comes to me first. Then, I try to figure out what yarn would be the best for it and almost always discover that I don’t have it in my stash! LOL

On the other hand, several of my designs – such as Maisie, Aiolos or Fino – have been strictly inspired by the yarn that captured my attention.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?

I always try to make them interesting to knit! And of course seamless 🙂

Since I am not the biggest enthusiast of seaming, I prefer to construct my garments and accessories as seamlessly as possible and move on to the next idea.

Also, the fit is very important to me. We all have uniquely shaped bodies, don’t we? Not all women have model-like measurements; therefore, we may want to custom tailor different areas of our knitwear to assure the best possible fit.

I have been quite generously equipped by the bust fairy and as you know, this can be both a blessing and a curse because it requires extra shaping in that section.

I keep this in mind and try to design garments that slim out the top of women’s bodies and balance them with the bottom half. I love open cardigans, deep neck openings and intriguing waist shaping – in short, everything that flatters!

What is your favourite type of item to design? 

I am definitely a sweater designer. I like knitting and designing accessories (mostly hats and shawls) but sweaters I love the most.

There are so many different constructions you can play with! So many ways to do the shaping! Possibilities are endless.


Wien – photo by Daniel Maciejewska

Tell me about designs like “A Floral Affair” and ”Wien”.

Both garments have been designed for a special purpose (if I may say that) and knit with Malabrigo Yarn.

A Floral Affair” was originally published by “Knit Now” Magazine, while “Wien” was created especially for the Wollness Weekend we had a pleasure to attend in September.

A Floral Affair” is an elegant, fitted vest (or a top tank, if you wish) with a center flower motif and very deep, flattering neckline. This is something you would wear to work but also on a date.

Wien”, on the other hand, is the traditional, classic winter sweater, with lots of texture, cables, garter stitch and extra cushy half-cardigan stitch sections. For a modern spin, waist shaping is achieved by the way the pattern on the back is arranged.

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?

As most of the knitters, I always have a few projects on the needles at the same time.

At the moment, I am all about knitting hats and other winter accessories 🙂

However, I am also working on a collection for one of the great yarn companies and hope to have it ready in January. More exciting collaborations are coming next year! In the meantime, I hope to publish a few designs under my own name, too!

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)

This is such a tough question. I don’t think I can pick one yarn. I love them all! I want them all!!! 🙂

Wink - photo by Daniel Maciejewska

Wink – photo by Daniel Maciejewska

Which is your most under-appreciated design?

Oh, there are a few of them actually. However, I’m very self-critical, and I always find something that I could have done better.

 What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?

Keep knitting! Have fun! Look out for opportunities, and never ever let others put you down!

 Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?

Stick to my design schedule as much as possible. Be more organized and focused.

Pompanos Hat - photo by Daniel Maciejewska

Pomponious Hat – photo by Daniel Maciejewska

Thank you so much, Hanna! You can read more about Hanna here: and find all her lovely patterns here:


Vienna Part Two

XT1A5884Our program in Vienna was so packed, just as the Wollness Weekend was, with plenty of knitting related events, in addition to a fashion show and sightseeing. We had 3 knit nights at Steinschalerhof and then a fourth in Vienna, again organized by the Austrian Yarn Club. Did I tell you that I have discovered Bingo? Knitting bingo that is; where all the numbers are replaced by well known pattern names, knit speak or a fun yarn fiber quote. Who wants to shout bingo when we can use knitting terms, right? Above is a photo from the Elke Freytag Fashion Show, we were invited to join curtesy of Teresa Schinwald of the Austrian Yarn Club.  The brilliant photo is taken by my husband! We all loved mingling with well known politicians and other celebrities, as well as watching the fashion show and the possibility to study all the garments.

DSCN0322Designer Hanna Maciejewska, aka Hada Knits, had arranged to meet her test knitter Susanne and she asked me if I wanted to join them. I would be mad not too, since I have enjoyed every minute of Hanna’s company as well as our exchange of experiences. Susanne turned up in the latest pullover she had test knitted for Hanna; Wien. It was beautifully knitted with a perfect fit on her. Hanna was wearing her own design: Endearment, while I was wearing my Gyda. To our joy Susanne took us to the Museum Hundertwasser, where the coffee shop look as charming as the outside did. Below you see a photo of the three of us, so happy to be sharing our knitting experiences.

23466682th_medium 2 cropI was overwhelmed to meet several of my test knitters and seeing so many of my designs at the Wollness Weekend – a total of 8 to my astonishment. Due to our tight program I was not able to photograph them all, but here is Anne Marie, aka anne1981 on Ravelry, wearing her stunning Lattice Back Jacket knitted in Schulana Donegal-Tweed.

XT1A5729On our last day in Vienna, Michael and I went to see the Edvard Munch exhibition at Albertina with Hanna and Daniel, and then to the Leopold to see their Klimt and Schiele collection. The atrium took our breath away with its height, light and scale. Just as most of the buildings in Vienna did…

XT1A5929I am still trying to land after this amazing trip to Vienna and the Wollness Weekend. Thank you Austrian Yarn Club for this opportunity!


Knitting Retreat On The Outskirts Of Vienna

WollnessYes, was the obvious answer I gave to the question, from a good Ravelry friend of mine – who is also one of the founders of Austrian Yarn Club – if I wanted to teach at the Wollness Wochenende, Friday 16. to Sunday 18. October, at Steinschalerhof, on the outskirts of Vienna. It was an offer I could not refuse, in fact, I could barely contain my excitement. I will be teaching two different workshops in English: Professional Finishing and Lace Knitting. Both workshops will be split in two half-day sessions, to make sure everyone is in retreat mode. My husband was more than eager to join me, and is currently planning our program for the extra days in Vienna we have added at the end. The workshops, most of them in German, are still being organized, so I will post a full program when it is ready. More fabulous news followed as I am not the only foreign designer invited, so is Polish Hanna Maciejewska of Hada Knits. I am so excited to meet her, as well as my Austrian Ravelry friends. Booking in not yet open, but if you are interested in attending, do join the Austrian Yarn Club on Ravelry and send an e-mail (to confirming your interest. I am so looking forward to this knitting retreat, and hope to see you there! To be continued.