Førjulskveld/Pre-Christmas Evening at Cappelen Damm

12244574_10153557311424504_6695750695063281330_oYes, another year has passed since last Christmas and I spotted the invitation to this year’s “Førjulskveld”/Pre-Christmas evening at my publisher Cappelen Damm. I did not miss it, and was lucky enough to receive a well filled goodie bag with books, knitting needles, darning needles, Arne & Carlos Adventskalender, embroidery kit, knitting tools and a ball of yarn. The evening was brilliantly hosted by editor Kaja Marie Lereng Kvernbakken, former manager of Du Store Alpakka yarn store in Oslo & designer. Several newly launched Norwegian books and authors were presented: Alf Knutsen and his book: Salmesang/Psalm songs. Andreas Viestad and his book: Den Store Kjøttkokeboka/The Large Meat Cook Book. Lise Nymark and her book: Lett Og Lekkert Tilbehør/Easy and Gorgeous Accessories. Miriam Morken and Tone Stenkløv and their book: Førjulstid/Pre-Christmas Time.

DSCN0377Kaja Marie started by introducing us to books with sounds panels – new to some of us – and their success with the book “Fuglesang“/Birdsong. Now, they were launching “Salmesang”/Psalm songs. It was useful to hear the sound from the book presented but it was not until Kristin Kjemphol Lohne began singing that it felt like the roof was coming off. It was ideal to put us all into the spirit of Christmas.

DSCN0378Andreas Viestad did not need an introduction since he is so well know for his cook books, food writing and from television, but he still got one. His 10th book is about meat and how to use the full animal including a cow’s tail. He emphasized that the all the recipes were chosen because they were very good, including the tail one, and not out of curiosity.  Next on the agenda was Lise Nymark’s book on knitted and crocheted accessories. Above is the cover of her latest book.

DSCN0380Lise was wearing one the shawl from her book, see above. Her book is not only intended for women but also for younger girls, and her variation of accessories were impressive. It even included key ring decorations for handbags. Luxurious yarns and leather straps were chosen in addition the metal labels sewn on, see below.

DSCN0382The decorations on the stage, were all from the book by Miriam Morken and Tone Stenkløv. In their new book you will find numerous kinds of crafts represented. Below you can see a blanket made of both knitted squares and crocheted squares.

DSCN0386While all the presentations were going on, I sat next to designer Stella Charming – both of us knitting obviously – eating ginger bread and drinking the traditional drink gløgg. Neither of us won one of the many yarn kit prizes but thoroughly enjoyed the evening and met up with designer Denise Samson and the Cappelen Damm staff! Christmas is certainly coming soon.


Hobby Night at Cappelen Damm

1467328_10151918403974504_488794827_nLast year’s Hobby Night at my publishers’ was such a success that it had to be repeated, this time with another set of knitting and crochet book authors presenting their new and upcoming books: Arne & Carlos, Tove Fevang, Cecilie Kaurin & Linn Bryhn Jacobsen and Eline Oftedal. 180 people had signed up for the free event, and looked forward to another fab evening, and an amazing goodie bag – yes, even bigger this year. The Christmas serving was rice porridge, the traditional spicy drink “gløgg”, gingerbread cookies and for those wanting a bit of wine; Arne & Carlos’ own brand for an extra fee. In addition to the generous goodie bag – with several kits and balls of yarns, I will reveal all – we also received two raffle tickets each. Arne & Carlos started the show, and told us about their recent world wide tour as well as their latest book “Strikk fra Setesdal/Knits from Setesdal”, not yet published in English but coming soon, see cappelendamm.


Arne is one of those speakers, he joked that you can just insert a penny and he will keep talking, proven by the fact that the technical support staff had to change the battery of his microphone. Carlos continued and said; “While Arne is having his battery changed, I will do the talking”. They are such a joy to listen to, and no wonder their books are available in 14 languages so far. One of the latest additional languages is Japanese. Not only are their previous clothes designs popular in Japan, but their books are too. You can see their 5 books on the screen behind Carlos in the photo below.


Next on the evening’s agenda was interviews by presenter and former designer Kaja Marie Lereng Kvernbakken, see makaroniblogg, left in the photo above, of all the authors. First out was Tove Fevang, whose latest book published by Cappelen Damm was on crocheting for the kitchen, she is seated third from left. It is only a few days since Tove was last in the newspaper, as the front person of the Amanda Project, knitting & crocheting to aid the premature born babies founded by Amanda’s parents, see amandaprosjektet. Tove’s next crochet book is out next year. Seated next to her is Cecilie Kaurin & Linn Bryhn Jacobsen whose book  “Hønsestrikk til folket”/”Chickenknit to the people” is due out in early January, see inside it here: issuu. The concept began in Denmark in the -70s with statements knitted into garments, usually without using any specific patterns, just making it up and the term “chicken” was used because it was the name of the first publisher to publish a book on the topic. It is back in fashion, and became a huge hit when Cecilie Kaurin designed a sweater capturing the Norwegian Rap band Karpe Diem’s latest CD title; “Kors på halsen, Ti Kniver i hjertet, Mor og far i døden”/”Cross your throat, Ten knives in the heart, Mother and father into death”, see a photo of rap duo with sweaters on here: strikk-karpe-diem-genseren. The design request came on twitter fittingly enough, after her daughter wore a sweater decorated with both the twitter and Apple logo on. Here is the free pattern of the Karpe Diem Genser in Norwegian: dalegarn.

DSCN1529Eline Oftedal published her first book in the UK; “Knit Nordic”, available at amazon, and she has translated it into Norwegian herself. The book has recently been published as “Marius, Setesdal, Fana, Voss. Norske strikkemønstre på nye måter/Norwegian knitting patterns in new ways”, see cappelendamm. Kaja asked how she works, and Eline responded that she submits designs to magazines such as the American “Designer Knitting” and British “The Knitter” without knowing whether a design will be accepted or not. The red shrug she is wearing is one design that was accepted by “Designer Knitting”. Here is her blog, with links to downloadable pdf patterns to buy: byeline. Eline’s iPhone cover was one of the kits included in the goodie bag with two balls of Sportsgarn from Viking Garn, the other was Arne & Carlos placemat with two balls of 3 Tråds Strikkegarn from Rauma Ullvarefabrikk, patterns and two balls of lovely alpaca plus the canvas bag from Du Store Alpakka, hardback Tilda diary, pocket book by Vetle Lid Larssen, 10 lovely Christmas cards, stamp with “Homemade” on, plus another handy shopping bag with Cappelen Damm logo on. I could tell by the response that the goodie bags were a hit, just like the filled to the brim raffle price bags were!


After the interview, each author had a selection of items/garments on display and answered questions, while Arne & Carlos seemed to have mainly photo requests to deal with. I had an excellent evening, I had brought my knitting but was busy eating porridge, drinking gløgg, and being captivated by all the authors. I for one, will be back next year…