Behind the Scenes: Photoshoot at Sentralen 2021

Last Friday I had another photoshoot, this time at Sentralen – the former Christiania Bank HQ, now a meeting place for culture and innovation – in Oslo city centre. The oldest of the two buildings date from 1901 and is by architect Henrik Nissen. A fascinating fact about it is that railway tracks were stacked into the walls to keep the robbers from digging their way into the building. But I digress. I was there for the photoshoot of six new designs and four old ones, that needed new photos for different reasons. My initial plan was to rent the Marble Hall, but that proved way too expensive. In the end I rented a meeting room the team could use a base camp and received a permission to photograph in the public spaces at Sentralen. The team booked was photographer Wenche Hoel-Knai, make-up & hair stylist Nina Hjertaas Bull, model Olivia Lindtein and hobby photographer & technician Michael Marveng-Puckett. Above you see us preparing to photograph the first garment the Adeline’s Cardigan, first published in Interweave Knits Winter 2021.

PhotographerEivind Røhne cancelled the day before due to a cold which meant he had to be tested for Covid-19 to be certain. His test was negative, we heard later. First I contacted a photographer Eivind recommended but she was not available, then I rang Wenche Hoel-Knai, who was recommended by former editor Mary-Ann Astrup. Wenche could step in on a short notice, I am pleased to say. Above you see the new jacket & trouser set I have designed in Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 5 Ply. If you are wondering what I am wearing, I can tell that it is Helka. Below you see me hanging up the clothes in the meeting room I had booked.

I had pre-ordered pizzas for lunch at 1 PM, giving us time to photograph a number of garments before hand, as we started at 9 AM. On my previous visit to Sentralen I had identified three possible backdrops I wanted us to use: The Marble Hallway & Stairs, the concrete staircase with orange railings and The Golden Bar.

Our first venue was The Golden Bar – that did not have a bar, just seating – named after the    monumental sculpture called “Growing Gold” made in textiles by Hanne Friis. Inspired by the history of the building and the future cultural building containing values of a different kind. In short not all that glitters is gold. Olivia is wearing the Cable Round Sweater in the photo above. We photographed five of the designs in the bar, using every minute until our lunch break at 1 PM. A delicious lunch later we started again, this time in another room.

The second backdrop was the Marble Hallway and in the end we photographed the remaining five designs in this room choosing different angles. All the four Hillesvåg designs made in the yarn Ask were photographed here, above you see the oversized pullover called Jari.

In the large room next door to this, a film was being made. Hence all the extra plants and furniture were moved around. Michael took most of these photos, above is one of the few I captured of the paparazzi Michael, planning to capture model Olivia in action. For the last two designs we moved down to the bottom staircase. As always it was a day filled with laughter and fun, while working hard to make it all work. Olivia had to stretch her neck, pretending to be a puppet, while keeping her chin low. My team did a wonderful job and I had an amazing day!


Strikkefestivalen/Knitting Festival in Fredrikstad 2017

I was back in Fredrikstad last weekend for the second Strikkefestivalen/Knitting Festival located in Fredrikstad Old Town – 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 (see more photos from last year here). Michael was with me – which means I have some good photos to share from the event. We were booked into the Hotel Victoria on the opposite side of the river Glomma from the Old Town. That was not a problem at all, since there is a free ferry across the river. Yes, there are only 2 free ferries in all of Norway and they are both in Fredrikstad. It did not take many minutes before I had spotted the first knitter staying at our hotel. Above is a photo taken Sunday morning, as I walked towards the workshop building just off the ferry.Most of the workshops were held in the Commandor’s building, dated 1768. On Saturday afternoon I taught Smart Knitting Techniques and on Sunday morning I taught Cable Knitting Master Class, both in Norwegian. I met several knitters I knew from previous workshops and presentations as well as other Norwegian designers, agents and shop owners I knew. Rarely have I had such posh surroundings for a workshop nor the amount of space. Coffee and tea were on offer from the kitchen, and I did find the kitchen but I found the wrong one, it was the bigger one they used. So you get the picture. See below the room where I held my workshops. Annemor Sundbø had a workshop before me, and we found wool tops left over from her class.

Here is the room where I held my workshop with a lovely view of the river. Michael is my “roadie” as well as photographer when he joins me at these festivals. I met two lovely groups of knitters in my workshops and spent a weekend in their company. We did not finish all the tasks I had given them in the new Cable Knitting Master Class so the remaining tasks were given as their homework.

On Saturday afternoon before my workshop I met up with designers Tove Fevang and Nina Granlund Sæther – who I tend to meet at International airports, these days; as we met at Preveza Airport in Greece a few weeks back. I also met Annemor Sundbø again as well as finally meeting the founder of Koftegruppa on Facebook (the group has nearly 100 000 members celebrating traditional stranded colourwork sweater knitting) Tone Loeng, who I have only met and worked with through Facebook and e-mails. Above is a photo of one of the exhibitions; strømper/knee highs from Annemor Sundbø’s collection (initially bought by the shoddy factory for recycling).

In the center in the photo above is Mette Hovden one half of the design duo called Pinnedans/Needle-dance, next to Tone Loeng at the Norwegian Designer Stand. We also met at the Strikkefest/Knitting Party the evening before. I am wearing Helka (read: I did wear another design on the Saturday – Yellow Gold Pullover) with the Saqqara shawl. The market hall was jam packed all Saturday, so we gave up trying to have a look and came back on the Sunday, when it was possible to see the stands and the yarn, patterns, buttons and jewellery on offer.

Here is another stand, a local yarn shop called Garnhuset and a great photo showing some action as well as sweater on display.

I also wanted to take a photo of all the beautiful colours in Cascade Heritage on display with Wollmeise yarn in the background from the Projo stand. We discovered two more knitters who stayed at our hotel at the Strikkefest/Knitting Party, who we sat next to. The party was in the same room where the market hall was last year, inside the fortified wall, previously the Provianthus/Provision House. Above you see me wearing my Adoe design, knitting on a new design. As you can see from the photo, it was easy to count the ones that did not knit. One of the organisers, Marit Larsen is a member of the acknowledged choir called KorLuren who sang after our dinner. She is also the founder of the tour operator Explore Travel and used to organising events such as this. The program included a knitting cruise as well as a knitting church service in addition to the exhibitions, talks and workshops on offer. I had a wonderful weekend! Thank you to the organisers, designers, and all the knitters I met!


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.


Helka Knitted by Kate Klocker

Finally after a very long absence, here is another post in the series of my designs knitted by others; this time it is Helka knitted by British knitter Kate Klocker – aka Kalanche on Ravelry – but modelled by her sister-in-law at Kew Gardens, London’s Botanical Gardens in July, last year. Kate explains in her project notes: “15.7.16 Was going to get my SIL to be the photographer, but she was better as the model.” Kate took part in the test knit of Helka and made size XS in Garnstudio DROPS Merino Extra Fine using a 5 mm/US 8 with a little tighter gauge than stated. Kate worked 1 pattern repeat less than stated in the pattern since her row gauge was also slightly off and she wanted it a bit shorter than the given length of  79 cm/31″. You can read Kate’s useful and details notes on her project page.

This is how Kate presents herself with her lovely humour shining through, on her profile page: “I’m a self-taught knitter and crocheter with my own way of doing things (as in, not what my Mum calls “properly”)”. I know her to be a dedicated and meticulous test knitter, hence it came as no surprise that is a full-time doctor working in London. I love these photos of her version of Helka, so thank you Kate and to your sister-in-law for modelling! The English pattern is available in sizes XS to 2XL to buy on Ravelry and on Loveknitting.


Helka Pattern Released

Helka COVERThe successful test knit of Helka ended a week ago, and I am very pleased to release the English pattern. My skillful test knitters have improved the pattern, and I added their useful notes. The Norwegian pattern was first published in Familien Kreativ in March. Above you see it worn by the gorgeous model Alexandria Eissinger/Sweden Models, with beautiful hair & make up by Sissel Fylling and jewelry by Kaja Gjedebo Design, all brilliantly captured by Eivind Røhne. The buttons are bespoke and like jewelry designed by Siri Berrefjord, you can see them close-up in this blogpost. Here is my introduction to the pattern: A long straight classical jacket with woven cables in a diamond pattern that ends in a rib. The cables are erased into a rib, then into stockinette stitch in the sides. Named after Helka the prosperous one, it has a deep v-neck and a double button band, leaving all the glory to the cables. Use it with a belt or adorn it with beautiful buttons like these jewelry ones by Siri Berrefjord.

Sizes: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL)

Finished measurements: Bust circumference: 84 (92, 100, 108, 116, 124) cm/33 (36.25, 39.25, 42.5, 45.75, 48.75)”. Length: 79 (80, 81, 82, 83, 84) cm/31 (31.5, 32, 32.25, 32.75, 33)”. Sleeve length: 49 (50, 51, 51, 51, 51) cm/19.25 (19.75, 20, 20, 20, 20)”

Yarn: Hifa, Huldra Kamgarn 8, 5/2 (100% combed wool, 200 g, 850 m/929 yds). Sample is knitted in Unbleached White 428026; 3 (3, 3, 3, 3, 3) cones; 1892 (2012, 2131, 2251,  2371, 2492) m/2069 (2200, 2330, 2462, 2593, 2725) yds.                            Du Store Alpakka, Dreamline Soul (68% baby alpaca, 32% nylon, 25 g, 177 m/195 yds). Sample is knitted in White DL201; 11 (12, 13, 14, 14, 15) skeins; 1892 (2012, 2131, 2251, 2371, 2492) m/2069 (2200, 2330, 2462, 2593, 2725) yds.

Note: One strand of each yarn is held together throughout.

Needles: 4 mm/US 6 circular needle (80 cm/32″). 3.5 mm/US 4 circular needle (120 cm/47″ or 2 sets of 80 cm/32″) for button band. 4 mm/US 6 DPNs. Adjust needle size as needed to match gauge.

Notions: 14 buttons (18 mm/0.7″). Bespoke buttons on sample are made by Siri Berrefjord, see, cable needle, 8 Stitch markers, 4 stitch holders and yarn needle.

Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows in st st using both yarns held together measures 10 cm/4″ square blocked. 42 sts and 28 rows in Woven Cable; 1 pattern repeat measures 13 cm/5″ across and 9 cm/3.5″ high.

Notes: The body is knitted from the bottom and up in 3 parts, back and forth, while the sleeves are worked in the round. The Woven Cable pattern ends in a rib at the sleevecap and at the v-neck shaping on the fronts, as well as on shoulders at the back.


Familien Kreativ with My Designs

16_no_fao_03_cover_68409Familien Kreativ is a new Norwegian magazine, which replaces Familien Håndarbeid, released on Monday 14. March with 4 of my Designs to my delight: Helka the long cardigan you can see the back of on the cover, Shinju the shawl, Elora the bolero and Adoe the jacket. Even though the picture on the cover is small, the coverage I have received inside is fantastic. I will show you the 6 pages that show off my designs with the brilliant photos by Eivind Røhne of stunning model Alexandria Eissinger with hair and make up by Sissel Fylling, jewelry by Kaja Gjedebo Design and dresses by Judith Bech Design.

Magazine spreads1The heading says “Ready for a Party”, and continues; “Romantic and beautiful garments that add the finishing touch to the outfits for both bride and guests.” The introduction to Elora is mine: A beautiful reversible lace pattern adorns this bolero with a slightly longer scarf collar you can fold and pin as you desire. Garter stitches make up the edges of the bolero and divide the stitch pattern from the stocking stitch sides. Named after the giving of the laurel; the crown of victory and ideal for this garment made in a wool and cashmere mixture by Mondial. The bolero is worn by Alexandria Eissinger over the wedding gown “Secret”, designed by Judith Bech.

Magazine spreads2Adoe: Wavy lace with garter stitch edging is the focus of this delicate jacket. The deep v-neck is adorned with scallops made by the wavy lace pattern. It is knitted in the stunning chainette yarn; Truesilk by Rowan Yarns, and intended for those special times. Adoe means time, and it seemed entirely appropriate. Close the jacket with a beautiful brooch. The jacket is worn with a skirt designed by Judith Bech.

ShinjuLove, affection and beautiful are all parts of the Japanese word for pearl and was perfect for this lacy shawl knitted in a luxurious fiber mix with both mohair and silk with beads attached on an Italian yarn from Mondial called Perle. Ruffled bell borders grace each end of the shawl and highlight Judith Bech’s Secret; a divine felted wedding dress with a mermaid tail.

Magazine spreads3Helka: A long straight classical jacket with woven cables in a diamond pattern that ends in a rib. The cables are erased into a rib, then into stockinette stitch in the sides. Named after Helka the prosperous one, it has a deep v-neck and a double button band, leaving all the glory to the cables. Use it with a belt or adorn it with beautiful buttons like these jewelry ones by Siri Berrefjord.

The magazine is available at newsagents, selected supermarkets and by SMS – Kreativ16 til 2205 – if you are in Norway. If you are abroad you can order the Norwegian magazine by e-mailing customer services: Thank you to Familien for accepting my designs. You can also find my designs presented by former editor of Made By Me editor Mary-Ann Astrup on the blog “Tusenideer” by Egmont Publishing:


Photoshoot at Ekeberg Restaurant: Helka

20151028 LM Ekeberg 0539The time has come to show you the stunning photos taken by Eivind Røhne of Alexandria Eissinger with hair and make up by Sissel Fylling and jewelry by Kaja Gjedebo Design wearing Helka over a tulle skirt by Judith Bech. The Norwegian pattern of Helka will be published in the special issue Familien Kreativ out on 14. March, while the English pattern will be test knitted in my Ravelry group, late Spring, before its release. The Helka sample is knitted in a combination of a pure combed wool in 3-ply Hifa Huldra Kamgarn and an alpaca mix in a chainette lace yarn: Du Store Alpakka, Dreamline Soul held together using a 4 mm/US 6 needles by Grete Jenssen, aka ma9 on Ravelry. Here is my introduction to the pattern: A long straight classical jacket with woven cables in a diamond pattern that ends in a rib. The cables are erased into a rib, then into stockinette stitch in the sides. Named after Helka the prosperous one, it has a deep v-neck and a double button band, leaving all the glory to the cables. Use it with a belt or adorn it with beautiful buttons like these jewelry ones by Siri Berrefjord.

20151028 LM Ekeberg 0575Helka is knitted with a gauge of 20 stitches and 28 rows in stockinette stitch with both yarns held together. Both the yarns were generously sponsored. The Woven Cable has cable crossings on every second row, so it is time consuming, but also very rewarding to knit. I also wanted to add the most beautiful buttons I could think of, so I ordered bespoke buttons by Siri Berrefjord. You can study the details in the photos, Siri herself took of them in this blogpost. There are 14 buttons attached on the jacket, but you can easily adjust it to your own preference.

20151028 LM Ekeberg 0581The body is knitted from the bottom and up in 3 parts, back and forth, while the sleeves are worked in the round. The Woven Cable pattern ends in a rib at the sleevecap and at the v-neck shaping on the fronts, as well as on shoulders at the back. The sleeves have one cable pattern repeat and rib on the remaining part.

20151028 LM Ekeberg 0555

I did consider making the sides in rib too, but realized that the Woven cables only need a frame and that stockinette stitch would highlight them more than a rib would. Hence the sleeve could easily have been made with stockinette stitches on the inside instead of rib.

20151028 LM Ekeberg 0545The neckband was picked up and knitted the evening before the photoshoot, so I did not have time to adjust the number of stitches in the back neck to the rib below, but I have decreased a number of stitches in the pattern to make it lie flat. The brilliant idea to wear Helka only over the tulle skirt – intended as an underskirt/petticoat by dress designer Judith Bech – was Sissel’s since it did not work out as I had hoped with any of the wedding gowns I had borrowed. I am ever so thrilled with the resulting photos, and extremely grateful to be able to work with such a magnificent team!


Helka Buttons by Siri Berrefjord

_SBB6523I wanted to add the most stunning buttons I could think of to my Helka, the long jacket with cables that looks woven, so I sent a request to jewelry designer Siri Berrefjord to check if she was willing to make me some bespoke buttons. I am thrilled to say that she was happy to oblige, so I sent her my knitted swatch and told her about my design plans to make garments to fit with dress designer Judith Bech’s wedding gowns. I had decided that I wanted to adorn the button band with an excess of buttons and ordered 13 buttons from her, all in the size small with a diameter of 18 millimeters/0.7″, all in cream with gold on the center top. Included, I wanted a set of photos taken by Siri, a trained photographer, that shows the immaculate details on these handmade buttons molded in plastic after old traditional national costume/bunad silver.

_SBB6515Siri played around with the color and decided to go for a foggy white color – a thinner layer of white – so that the button would look cream and at the same time absorb the background color of the knitted jacket. She also tested covering more of the button in gold but discovered it would remove all the details of the pattern below.

_SBB6517As always I am impressed by the composition of the photos, making sure the background matches the object in the photograph. These beautiful buttons also work equally well as button cufflinks or earrings or small brooches. Makeløs/Remarkable stylist Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik – yes, she is – proved this on our photoshoot in Fredrikstad for the magazine Made by Me. Take a close look at the cufflink in orange worn by Pia Cecilie/Team Models in this photo:

_SBB6510I love how all the rounded details on the buttons stand in contrast to the straight lines created by the cables. These photos also show a bit of the texture of the numerous cables that make up the pattern on Helka. The Norwegian pattern will be printed in the special magazine called Familien Håndarbeid out in March, while the English pattern will be test knitted in my Ravelry group late April before its release.

_SBB6512In the photo above you can clearly see the cable in all its glory while the buttons look less textured than they are. I wanted to show you all these photos so you had the chance to study the buttons. You will find a selection of her buttons available in her shop on Epla here: Siris Skattkammer. Siri sent me 14 buttons in the end, and I am ever so pleased that she did, since I decided to use them all! The professional photos of Helka taken by Eivind Røhne will soon be revealed here, but first I will show you 3 more new designs…


New Design: Helka

XT1A7030I was instantly captured by these intricate cables that look woven with such a sculptural feel to them. They needed a lot of space so I decided to make a long straight jacket with those diamond shaped cables covering all central parts of the jacket. I loved the idea of the cables vanishing first into a rib then into stocking stitch in the sides of the body and into a rib on the top of all the parts. The sleeves are made in cables and rib, but the increases could easily be made in stocking stitch if preferred. Named after Helka the prosperous one, the jacket has a deep v-neck and a double button band, leaving all the glory to the cables. Of course, I wanted bespoke buttons and Siri Berrefjord obliged. I initially planned to make this long jacket to go with a wedding gown with a straight skirt hence I choose white Dreamline Soul from Du Store Alpakka and held it together with the Huldra Kamgarn from Hifa for a slight tweedy structure to it.  With cabling on every second row and round, I need help to knit the sample and Grete Jenssen, aka ma9 on Ravelry, was ready to assist and knitted it to my utter satisfaction. The Norwegian pattern will be published in the special magazine: Familien Håndarbeid out in March, while the English pattern will be test knitted in my Ravelry group late spring before it is released.

XT1A7034The jacket is knitted with the 2 yarns held together using a 4 mm/US 6 with a gauge of 20 stitches and 28 rows in stocking stitch measuring 10 cm/4″ square. The body is knitted from the bottom and up in 3 parts, back and forth, while the sleeves are worked in the round. The Woven Cable pattern ends in a rib at the sleevecap and at the v-neck shaping on the fronts, as well as on shoulders at the back. I have graded the jacket from size XS to 2XL, with bust circumference from 84 cm to 124 cm/33 to 48.75″. The length is from 79 cm to 84 cm/31 to 33″, but it can easily be adjusted to preferred length. I am wearing size S (sample size) in these photos taken by my husband on our terrace on a cold November day. Both yarns were generously sponsored by Hillesvåg and Du Store Alpakka.

XT1A7039I was uncertain how many buttons I wanted. Personally, I would probably only use 3 around the bust area, but also loved the idea of of filling the double button band with Siri’s jewelry buttons to adorn the jacket even further. In the end I reasoned that it was better for me to calculate too many buttonholes and for the knitter to remove those not wanted. First, I thought 13 buttons would be enough but ended up adding all the 14 buttons Siri had made. The rib at the top of the back also required that I decrease the number of stitches of the button band at the back neck. This was not done on the sample since I was knitting the button band the evening before the photo shoot and had no time to undo the more than 400 stitches and re-do. The pattern has been corrected to decrease 8 stitches, and is now in a queue with my American tech editor Corrina Ferguson of Picnic Knits. I ended up choosing 5 of Judith Bech’s wedding gowns for the photo shoot and which one suited the Helka best? The tulle petticoat/underskirt which I preferred to use on its own and not under any of the wedding gowns…