Strikkekafé at Sandefjord Husflidslag

I was happy to be back at the knit café organised by Sandefjord Husflidslag/Handicraft Association, this time to present my designs and work after my Norwegian knitting book was published in 2012. Last time, I presented my book and brought a number of the garments with me. This time I brought newer designs, a lot of my swatches and skeins of selected yarns. I had also for the first time made a PowerPoint presentation, starting with my job as a design consultant for Rowan Yarns at Peter Jones department store in London. One of the knitters I met years ago when she organised a book presentation for me at Larvik Husflidslag is Nina Hove Myhre, and she used the opportunity to invite Michael and me for dinner before hand. We were delighted to accept, and to meet her newborn son, Olav for the first time as well as seeing her husband again. Above you see Nina to the left, wearing my design Saga and she is talking to her colleague Kari Cotton. I am wearing my Bowery Tunic talking to Hege Marstein who was wearing my design Cable Round Sweater knitted in a lovely green shade.

Michael was my technical support, photographer and roadie. But unfortunately there were an awful lot of photos where I was pulling faces. Here I am talking about the process of submitting a design proposal to the American magazine Interweave knit.wear and showing off the second set of photos taken of the Irina Pullover by photographer Eivind RøhneAfter my presentation, I was given a beautiful bouquet of flowers from treasurer Kristin Stolpestad. Next on the agenda was upcoming events and then the raffle draw.

Several of the women present were busy knitting both during my talk and after, I am happy to report. Above you see me with a tea cup in my hand talking to Nina. Olav was sleeping in his pram next to her. Behind us the rail I had brought with a selection of my designs. I loved seeing knitters turn up in my designs and I had a very enjoyable evening!

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Strikke 2017 at Hadeland Glassverk

For the second time around the knitting festival and exhibition Strikke 2017 is organised by Hadeland Glassverk at Jevnaker, by the south end of Randsfjorden, about 1 hour from Oslo. I am pleased to say that I was invited to exhibit and to hold workshops, this year too! The festival is on from 2. September to 29. October. Above you see the entry to the exhibition, with the list of participating designers. I was very excited to see my name listed at the top, and as you can see I am in excellent company. Luckily, I had my husband with me to take some great photos.

The most striking part of the exhibition was the designs made by Imogen Abbot. She is a London based Fashion Design graduate specialising in intricate textiles and knitwear. These garments are based on the topic “childhood and escapism”. Read more here: Imogen Abbot.I choose to exhibit 6 garments and above you see 4 four of them: Patent Poncho, Cablewing Sweater with wrap, Harding Cardigan and Kathe Cardigan. Large accompanying photos of model Alexandria Eissinger and Silje Andresen hang in background. I held two workshops on the Sunday I was there: Introduction to Sweater Design and Cable Knitting Master Class. That is why I choose to wear my Yellow Gold Pullover with the loose sleeves from my Saqqara pattern.Also exhibited is the Embrae and Irina Pullover. As you might see my photos are taken by Eivind Røhne either at National Museum – Architecture or at Ingierstrand Bad
Here is Nina Skarra’s exquisite designs from her book and available as kits.

Here is a few of the beautiful garments designed by Kari Hestnes who has recently published her 14th knitting book in Norwegian.

I also loved the texture and silhouette of these garments designed by StrikkeGry, Gry Johannessen.Just like last year, Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik – Makeløs/Remarkable was in charge of the Catwalk at the opening day of the festival and also for making this fantastic wedding outfit with the special designed “kofte” for the festival by Randi Ballangrud. The crown is made of knitting needles. Kristin is not an ordinary stylist she is The re-design stylist and she is remarkable in every sense of the word. This photo is taken by designer Nina Granlund Sæther of the catwalk at the opening day, Saturday 2. September. The model is wearing my Aran Bolero magically styled by Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik – Makeløs/Remarkable with an embroidered table cloth as a skirt.

Here is the beginning and end of the exhibition: The Yarn Shop and the coffee shop where the knitting café takes place. At the very front you see yarn kits with my Idunn and Halli made for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk.Here is a close-up of the missing yarn wall with exciting yarns. In the center you see the Sølje and Ask yarn by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. Do visit if you can. You will find a lot more photos as well as videos from the exhibition and from the catwalk on the Facebook page for the festival: www.facebook.com/STRIKKE2017.

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Familien Strikk 2017

The special magazine Familien Strikk is out for sale here in Norway. I am delighted to have 4 patterns included in the magazine and a small photo of the back of the Irina Pullover on the cover. It is a very popular annual magazine, with a large number of patterns: 61 patterns from Norwegian designers, some translated patterns and some from different yarn producers. All my designs: Irina Pullover, Biondo, Embrae and Harding Cardigan were brilliantly photographed by Eivind Røhne, modelled by Silje Andresen/Team Models with hair & makeup by Sissel Fylling and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design at the National Museum – Architecture in November last year. The long stunning skirt worn together with Irina Pullover and Biondo is by Judith Bech Design.Irina Pullover (made for knit.wear Spring/Summer 2016, but the rights have reverted back to me now) Named after the beautiful Russian ballerina Irina Baronova, a fitted pullover with elegant cables swooning across it in panels with garter stitch dividers for shaping. Timeless, knitted in the round from the bottom up to the armholes then flat to soft square neckline and shoulders. The sleeves are also knitted in the round, long to adorn the hands and set-in. A divine sky blue color, and luscious texture was made by combining Rowan Rowan Felted Tweed with Rowan Kidsilk Haze.

Biondo – Italian for blond – scarf is reversible with a twisted stitch as a divider between each of the three cables. The stitch also work as a folding line, hence emphasises the more relaxed alternate side. The scarf is knitted in a divine silk and alpaca mixture for that lovely feel and sheen, Du Store Alpakka Baby Silk.Embrae, a fitted cardigan with a lace collar, is like a flowery embrace. A lacy leaf pattern adorns the sleeves and the back of the cardigan. The lattice at the center of the lace pattern continues on each side of it and covers the collar. The collar can be worn flat or overlapping and pinned together or folded. The colour Iris, in the stunning yarn; Anzula Squishy is perfect for the lace pattern. The English pattern is currently under test knitting in my Ravelry group and will be released as soon as it is over.Harding Cardigan: An allover telescope lattice gives this long, straight cardigan a textural feel. A cabled rib-cord collar adds a modern look to the Harding Cardigan. Wear it open or close it with a shawl pin or belt. The English pattern was first published in Interweave Knits Summer 2016. I suggested the rustic Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and editor Meghan Babin agreed with my choice and suggested the shade Foothills.

The magazine is available at selected news agents and super markets. If you are in Norway you can also order it by SMS just write “Strikk17” in addition to your name & address to 2205 or buy a digital version for iPad, see www.klikk.no. If you live abroad you can order the Norwegian special magazine by e-mailing kari.bachke@egmont.com and then transfer payment into their bank account.

The samples and the professional photographs of all these, except for Biondo, together with Kathe Cardigan, Cablewing Sweater and Patent Poncho, will be exhibited at Strikke 2017 Festival at Hadeland Glassverk from 2. September to 29. October.

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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: digilpin.com. 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.

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Irina Pullover Pattern Released

The time has come to release the Irina Pullover Pattern, since the rights from Interweave has reverted to me. It was first printed in knit.wear Spring/Summer 2016 with stunning photos by Harper Point Photography, see my blogpost. My photoshoot team took the challenge and managed to create wonderful photos of it too, see my blogpost. Model Silje Andresen/Team Models, with hair & makeup by Sissel Fylling and jewellry by Kaja Gjedebo Design, wore the pullover with a long silk skirt with a train by Judith Bech Design, at the National Museum – Architecture and was brilliantly captured by photographer Eivind Røhne. The English pattern is available on Ravelry and shortly on Loveknitting while the Norwegian pattern will be printed at a later date in the magazine Familien. Here is the pattern introduction:

Named after the beautiful Russian ballerina Irina Baronova, a fitted pullover with elegant cables swooning across it in panels with garter stitch dividers for shaping. Timeless, knitted in the round from the bottom up to the armholes then flat to soft square neckline and shoulders. The sleeves are also knitted in the round, long to adorn the hands and set-in. A divine sky blue color, and luscious texture was made by combining Rowan Felted Tweed with Rowan Kidsilk Haze.

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

Finished measurements:                                                                                                    Bust & hip circumference: 77 (86.5, 95, 104, 113, 122) cm/30.25 (34, 37.5, 41, 44.5, 48) Length: 53 (54, 55, 56, 57, 58) cm/20.75 (21.25, 21.75, 22, 22,5, 22.75)”                          Waist circumference: 68 (77, 86.5, 95, 104, 112) cm/26.75 (30.25, 34, 37.5, 41, 44)”       Sleeve length: 47.5 (48, 48, 49, 49, 50) cm/18.75 (19, 19, 19.25, 19.25, 19.75)”

Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed (50% wool, 25% alpaca, 25% viscose, 50 g, 175 m/191 yds). Sample is knitted in Clay 177: 5 (6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins; 875 (965, 830 (910, 990, 1080, 1180, 1280) m/907 (995, 1082, 1181, 1290, 1400) yds. http://www.knitrowan.com/yarns/felted-tweed Rowan Kidsilk Haze (70% mohair, 30% silk, 25 g, 210 m/230 yds). Sample is knitted in Heavenly 592: 4 (5, 5, 6, 6, 7) skeins; 830 (910, 990, 1080, 1180, 1280) m/907 (995, 1082, 1181, 1290, 1400) yds. http://www.knitrowan.com/yarns/kidsilk-haze

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

Needles: 4 mm/US 6 circular needles (80 cm/32″ and 40 cm/16″). 4 mm/US 6 DPNs. Adjust needle size as needed to match gauge.

Notions: Stitch markers, cable needle, stitch holders, and yarn needle.

Gauge: 18 sts and 30 rnds in garter stitch using 1 strand of each yarn held together measures 10 cm/4″ square after blocking. 24-sts Cable panel using both yarns held together measures 12 cm/4.75″ across after blocking.

Notes: The body is worked in the round to the underarm, then the front and back are worked separately back and forth. The sleeves are worked in the round from the bottom up, with the sleeve cap worked flat.

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Photoshoot at Architecture Museum: Irina Pullover

@Eivind Røhne

I am thrilled to show you my favourite photos from our shoot at the National Museum – Architecture. Irina Pullover is the design – returned from the magazine knit.wear in the US – worn by the gorgeous Silje Andresen/Team Models with hair & makeup by Sissel Fylling, jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design and skirt by Judith Bech Design, all brilliantly captured by Eivind Røhne. The complete outfit seemed to belong there in the cloister next to the Fehn Pavilion, so we had to take several full length photos. It was no surprise that I had difficulties choosing which ones to pick, but did come to a conclusion in the end with the help of experienced editor, now House of Yarn’s Marketing Director, Mary-Ann Astrup.

@Eivind Røhne

Named after the beautiful Russian ballerina Irina Baronova, a fitted pullover with elegant cables swooning across it in panels with garter stitch dividers for shaping. Timeless, knitted in the round from the bottom up to the armholes then flat to soft square neckline and shoulders. The sleeves are also knitted in the round, long to adorn the hands and set-in. A divine sky blue color, and luscious texture was made by combining Rowan Felted Tweed with Rowan Kidsilk Haze.

@Eivind Røhne

The English pattern was first published in knit.wear Spring/Summer 2016 issue and the magazine is available from Interweave Store  (digital & print), individually and also in the The Barre Collection (five barre- and ballet-inspired projects). It will be released on Ravelry and on Loveknitting at the end of March with these new photos. The Norwegian pattern will be printed in the magazine Familien, the date will be confirmed later.

@Eivind Røhne

The lovely texture is made by holding Rowan Felted Tweed (50% wool, 25% alpaca, 25% viscose, 50 gram, 175 meter/191 yards) in shade Clay 177, together Rowan Kidsilk Haze (70% mohair, 30% silk, 25 gram, 210 meter/230 yards) in Heavenly 592, with one strand of each yarn. The gauge is 18 stitches and 30 rounds in garter stitch using 1 strand of each yarn together measures 10 cm/4″ square after blocking. The sample sweater is knitted using 4 mm/US 6 needle.

@Eivind Røhne

The body is worked in the round to the underarm, then the front and back are worked separately back and forth. The sleeves are worked in the round from the bottom up, with the sleeve cap worked flat. During shaping, if there are not enough stitches to work a complete cable crossing, work the stitches of the partial cable as they appear.

@Eivind Røhne

The pullover is available in sizes XS to 2XL with a bust circumference of 77 to 122 cm/30.25 to 48″.  Silje is wearing size S: 86.5 cm/34″ with 2″ of positive ease. I tested the pullover with both light blue and black before I tried this wonderful skirt. A perfect match for the pullover, embodying the cloister backdrop.

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Behind the Scenes: Photoshoot at Architecture Museum

dscn0665It was a cold November day, our photoshoot took place at the National Museum – Architecture, but at least it was not raining. I had settled all formalities with the museum and they were expecting us, with an extra security guard since we were photographing outside around the Fehn Pavilion, in the “klostergang”/cloister, designed by Norwegian Architect Sverre Fehn. This time the team consisted of photographer Eivind Røhne, the hair & makeup artist Sissel Fylling with assistant Nora, model Silje Andresen/Team Models and assisting photographer Michael Marveng-Puckett. Silje retired as a full time model ten years ago, at the age of twenty seven, to my astonishment. She knew Sissel and was probably not too surprised that Sissel just had to cut her hair. So no change there, then.

mmp-xt1b5415We were photographing ten designs with two extra accessories, not all new designs: 2 designs returned from Interweave; Irina Pullover and Harding Cardigan; 2 old designs in need of new photos: Check Cable Cardigan and Cable On Scarf, in addition to 6 new designs. At the top is Hanasa a-line pullover, below is the Irina Pullover. I had, as usual, borrowed several skirts and a dress from designer Judith Bech. I am sure you recognise a few of those we used this time. In addition to jewellery from designer Kaja Gjedebo. Selecting from her home studio where she keeps it all, is ever so difficult and the list does seem to grow longer for each photoshoot…

dscn0653Eivind and I started by walking around the premises together with Michael, to look at possible backdrops, while Sissel was cutting and then styling Silje’s hair. We agreed that the “klostergangen”/cloister was the best one, and that there were possibilities at the front, the main entrance door to the museum, the terrace entrance to Grosch Bistro, as well as the back wall. The interior – with its vaults and the tiled entrance hall – is lit with LED lights and difficult to use as backdrops without using blitz plus a lot of extra work for Eivind to do afterwards. The main building is the old (and first) National Bank completed in 1830, by architect Christian Heinrich Grosch, while the Fehn Pavilion was built in 2008, together with the refurbishment of the building into the National Museum – Architecture.

mmp-xt1b5172I had brought several blankets to keep Silje warm, in addition to a Reindeer skin I planned for her to sit on while we were photographing Biondo scarf and a short jacket. Below you can see how that worked out. As for keeping her warm, I made sure we started with the coldest designs and then the warmer ones. But we all got cold and had a warm lunch at 12.30 inside at Grosch Bistro. I had spoken to the manager to let her know that we would be a bit in and out during the day, ordered fruit and drinks for us in the morning and that we would have our lunch when we needed a break.

mmp-xt1b5231After lunch we were ready for the last designs. Thanks to Silje’s experience we could speedily photograph the remaining garments in quick succession. In time before the November light turned blue and the approach of what we call the “blåtimen”/blue hour arriving after dusk around 3.30 pm. All the photos reflect the amazing day we had, and the wonderful team work! Thank you so much!

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My Irina Pullover

XT1A5418I knew I had to submit a design for the Film Noir Ballet theme and re-launch of knit.wear because I adore the grace of ballerinas and because knit.wear is such an outstanding magazine. A body conscious silhouette with set-in sleeve and tailored waist, was just what I had in mind. I obviously wanted to include cables and instantly knew which one I wanted to use for this pullover I had in my mind. The very same ones I used for a set of accessories, I called Talila was not forgotten and would be ideal as a panel on a sweater. In between the panels I decided to use garter stitch and also on the sides I opted for garter stitch. These were made to simplify shaping the garment but also to let the cables be the focus point. What if I move the cable panels towards each other, was one I idea liked and will continue to explore in the time to come. In the end I choose a minimal move. Above you see it worn on my, and yes, I do have an extra long back making the pullover seem cropped, not intentional. The Irina Pullover is available in English as a single pattern, in a digital version and in a printed version of knit.wear Spring/Summer 2016.

XT1A5419The sleeves have the same cable panel as the body. The remainder of the sleeve is knitted in garter stitch. Here is my introduction to the pullover:  Named after the beautiful Russian ballerina Irina Baronova, this fitted pullover has elegant cables swooning across it in panels with garter stitch dividers for shaping. Timeless, knitted in the round from the bottom up to the armholes then flat to soft square neckline and shoulders. The sleeves are also knitted in the round, long to adorn the hands and set-in. A divine sky blue color, and luscious texture was made by combining Rowan Felted Tweed with Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I initially suggested Rowan Fine Lace an alpaca mixture which makes the cables flatter. Editor Meghan Babin suggested the well known combination instead making the cables pop and giving the pullover a fuzzy appearance. She also choose a lighter blue tone giving it a more delicate look. By holding the two yarns together and using a 4 mm/US 6 needle the cables stand out.

XT1A5421I knitted this myself, while sample knitter Grete Jenssen was busy knitting Helka, last October. Both the body and the sleeves are worked in the round up to the underarm and then worked back and forth to the end. It is an enjoyable knit. I love how it has been photographed on a ballerina and the styling of the theme in knit.wear. I look forward to sharing more of my design ideas, as my new ones come off the needles.

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knit.wear with My Design

FC_KW_Spr_16-769x1024Interweave’s magazine knit.wear Spring/Summer-2016 is now released digitally and I have design in this for the first time! The magazine is a re-premiere issue, as it has taken back its old name, instead of using knit.purl. I am delighted to have my design submission accepted in this fashion forward magazine. The theme I choose was initially called Film Noir Ballet but has been changed to Odile & Odette in the magazine. Editor Meghan Babin described it as follows: “1940’s drama and intrigue. Pulp fiction ingenues. Urban spaces. Body-conscious silhouettes and singular design elements. The set-in sleeve and tailored waist give way to low-backs and floaty fabrics, styled with tights and ballet flats and the unexpected leather jacket. Explode one element of a vintage sweater and go over the top—an outrageous intarsia flower on a cream mohair pullover; a plunging back; an exaggerated puffed sleeve cap, a profusion of bobbles. Subversive, beautiful, refined.” My submission with the working title Baranova Pullover was given its first name Irina Pullover. I am thrilled that the series, including my pullover, was photographed on a ballerina by Harper Point Photography.

Irina Pullover_1 crop

knit.wear / Harper Point Photography

Named after the beautiful Russian ballerina Irina Baronova, is this fitted pullover with elegant cables swooning across it in panels with garter stitch dividers for shaping. Timeless, knitted in the round from the bottom up to the armholes then flat to soft square neckline and shoulders. The sleeves are also knitted in the round, long to adorn the hands and set-in. A divine sky blue color, and luscious texture was made by combining Rowan Felted Tweed with Rowan Fine Lace.

knit.wear / Harper Point Photography

knit.wear / Harper Point Photography

Meghan suggested using Rowan Kidsilk Haze instead of Rowan Fine Lace and choose an ever more delicate color combination than I did. In Kidsilk Haze she choose a light blue called Heavenly which is held together with Rowan Felted Tweed in a whitish tweed with light blue flecks. They make the cables even more visible and make then pop. Using 1 strand of each yarn, I choose to use a 4 mm/US 6 size needle and got a gauge of 18 stitches and 30 rounds in garter stitch measuring 10 cm/4″ square. You might recognize the cables I choose, as they are the same I used for the accessories; cowl, wrist warmers and clutch called Talila. I discovered after designing Talila that I was not finished with those yet.

knit.wear / Harper Point Photography

knit.wear / Harper Point Photography

I decided to use garter stitch as the background and make the cables into panels so that I could shape in between them. The sleeves were given a narrower panel than the one on the body. This body of this pullover is worked in the round to the underarm, then the front and back are worked separately back and forth. The sleeves are worked in the round from the bottom up, with the sleeve cap worked flat. Decreases and increases are worked on each side of the body to create a fitted shape. I have graded the pattern in sizes XS to 2XL.

knit.wear / Harper Point Photography

knit.wear / Harper Point Photography

Here is a detail of the square neckline that is knitted double, folded and sewn in place at the wrong side. I am delighted to be in the design company of my tech editor Corrina Fergusson, Carol Feller and Sarah Wilson who has designed the amazing huge Anna Cowl on the cover, just to mention a few. The digital version of the magazine is available to download from the Interweavestore.com and while the print version can be ordered here: knitwear-springsummer-2016. The pattern will be available in Norwegian after the rights return to me in a year, and new photographs will be taken. It will be a challenge to make them as brilliant as these.

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