Strikkefestivalen in Fredrikstad 2021

The Strikkefestivalen/Knitting Festival in Fredrikstad, one hour south of Oslo, was back in action last weekend (17th to 19th of September). It takes place in the lovely 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. I held workshops for the fourth time at this festival and met so many happy knitters, several of whom I had met before. Above is the beautiful Tina Hauglund, aka Strikkezilla, known for her baby and children patterns as well as her instagram profile. Michael came with me and took all these brilliant photos! Here is a link to the last festival held back in 2019: Strikkefestivalen in Fredrikstad 2019,

Above is a photo of the largest market hall just a few hours before closing time on Sunday afternoon. For the first time a second market hall was set up to space out the vendors due to the Covid-19. On Saturday there was a long queue to get in with limited number of people who could get in at one time.

Here are some of the yarns and patterns offered by Helgedatter Design. She hand dyes Rauma Lamullgarn (a fine lambswool yarn) and Rauma Plum (a mohair & polyamide mix yarn).

Designer Helle Siggerud and I had a closer look at the hand dyed yarns during the lunch break on Friday afternoon. If you are wondering what I am wearing, I can reveal that it is my Airic design, knitted in the soft Di Gilpin Lalland Lambswool.

Three of my four workshops were sold out. Above you can see me preparing for the first one; Smart Knitting Techniques. The workshop venue was the The Commandant’s House, which was the commander’s official residence for more than 200 years; from 1796 to 2002 to be precise. During the weekend I also used the opportunity to talk to the other participating designers who I had not seen for a long time: Tove Fevang, Denise Samson and Birger Berge. We all stayed at the same hotel and met at breakfast. The festival volunteers did a marvellous job assisting the organisers. I had a fabulous time! 


Catwalk at Fefor Strikkefestival 2019

The highlight of the Strikkefestival/Knitting festival at Fefor Høifjellshotell/High Mountain Hotel at Vinstra in the Gudbrandsdalen was the the catwalk. All the designers were asked to have at least one model for the catwalk, as you can imagine this was easier said than done, since they had to be free to go to the hotell from Saturday to Sunday and also fit into the sample garments. I was very fortunate that my sister-in-law Marianne Spæren Marveng said yes, and that she could also bring a friend of hers – Tove Wahl – too! The designer Helle Siggerud was able to persuade her daughter to step in on a short notice. While Heidi’s partner had no choice, he had to take part, since Pinnedans (Heidi and her sister Mette) needed a male model. Above you see Tove wearing my Sculpted Frost, while I am wearing my Yellow Gold Pullover knitted in Jamiesons Spindrift.

 Above you see him wearing one of May Britt Bjella Zamori’s new designs in brioche. He enjoyed his debut on the catwalk and did a great job, I think!

Helle’s daughter who has done this before but now also wearing Kari Hestnes’ popular Suzanna design knitted in a stunning orange shade of Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, Ask. Kari is talking about it at the back.

Another of Kari’s designs: Fransk Lilje knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed worn by one of her models who she also uses for her photoshoots.

Here is Tove wearing one of Helle’s designs: Veslemøy a pattern available in her Norwegian book: Strikk til alle tider.

This pullover, designed by Helle was perfect on Marianne.

Nina presented her book Knitting with Gradients and here is the Inside Out Skirt worn by one of Kari’s experienced models who loved turning around in it.

I thought this was a fun photo to end with, even though it shows us going onto the stage. Helle, Nina and I are wearing our own designs. I also had my birthday on Saturday, and had the birthday song sung to me, twice. First at my workshop, just after Kari came by to take some photos and told everyone present and second at the catwalk. A waiter came with  a piece of cake with fireworks on after everyone there had sung the birthday song. So that was fun and a great ending to the Saturday evening. I had a fabulous time at Fefor Strikkefestival and enjoyed meeting knitters, designers and my family members 😉


Book Launches at Cappelen Damm

Last Wednesday my husband and I attended a knitting evening at the Norwegian publishing house Cappelen Damm in Oslo. We knew the authors and their photographers: Helle Siggerud (left), was publishing her first knitting book called “Strikk til alle tider“/Knitwear for all occasions, while Nina Granlund Sæther was publishing her 10th book called “Sokker fra hele Norge“/Socks from Around Norway. Both books are beautifully photographed: Helle’s by no other than Eivind Røhne and Nina’s by Guri Pfeifer. Both authors have travelled around Norway visiting museums and studying local traditions. They did bump into each other at a carpark at a small museum in Telemark late one afternoon. Both talented designers held a talk; Helle on the costume traditions she discovered on her trip and Nina on the history of stockings going all the way back to the Egyptians. We were offered sparkling wine, the opportunity to study their sample projects, buy books at a discounted rate, take part in the raffle as well as ask our questions. Some of the women present were knitting, but I could only focus on their talks and gladly gave up my attempt.

Helle’s book is published in Norwegian, but the Cappelen Damm Agency presents the book as follows in English in order to sell the foreign rights: “40 garments inspired by Norwegian traditions In this wonderful knitting book, Helle Siggerud has been inspired by costume traditions and folklore from all over Norway. She has traveled far and wide and immersed herself in Norwegian patterns; used in knitting, weaving, embroidery and wallpaper; and has transformed it into beautiful knitwear. Helle is famous for her figure-hugging garments, good cuts and snappy details. And you’ll find all that here. The book features mostly women’s garments, but there are also great designs for men and children – and for dogs!”

Nina’s previous book “Votter fra hele Norge”/Mittens from Around Norway is in its 5th edition in Norwegian and has sold more than 31 000 books so far. The English translation has been reviewed in magazines abroad as well as promoted by the library in New York in the US. Here is an introduction to her latest book from the Cappelen Damm Agency pages: “Nina Granlund Sæther is back, this time with the follow-up to her best seller Mittens. In Socks From Norway, we travel once again through Norway’s countryside and it’s knitting traditions – this time while keeping our feet warm. In this book you’ll find fascinating stories about the origins of the various socks, archive images from museums around the country, and plenty of instructions for socks for the whole family.” I believe it is only a question of time before these books are translated into English.











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!