Japanese Patterns Workshop Report

My Japanese Patterns workshop was a success, and I enjoyed every minute just as everyone else present. To my delight Nina Hove Myhre, the study leader from Larvik Husflidslag was wearing my design; the Summer Leaves Sweater which she recently test knitted, and Inger Kamfjord Andersen was wearing her first – yes, she is already making her second in purple – Morbærsilkejakke/Mulberry Silk Jacket from my book. As if that was not enough, Kari-Mette Rolsø had brought yarn and started knitting my Milanese Lace Shawl/Milanesisk-Blondesjal while Karianne Karlsen was working on the swatch for my Regal Purple Jacket. So with my head in the clouds, we began our workshop at the marvelous premises next to Larvik Museum. Japanese patters are extremely detailed when it comes to numbers stated in the schematic, we all agreed and found them easier to understand than ordinary written patterns. You can have a look, at all the Japanese books & magazines, and also find the excellent free pdf “Interpreting Japanese Knitting Patterns” here: needleartsknitting. It is definitely an advantage to see inside the books before you buy them so do take a look at the acknowledged Japanese publisher here: nihonvogue. And of course there is a link directly to YesAsia, where I have bought most of my selection…

I had selected a number of my favourite swatches from the stitch dictionaries, which they had a go at, after we had studied how the Japanese write their knitting patterns. Nina had brought her selection of Japanese books as well, so we spent quite a bit of time studying them all. We agreed that the stitch patterns, as well as garments, are exquisite and mind blowing at times! I had a wonderful day in such great company!


Milanese Lace Shawl by Nina Hove Myhre

Does the name sound familiar? Yes, Nina is nearly ready to start on project no 4 from my book and this is her Milanese Lace Shawl knitted in the original yarn Wollmeise Lace in beautiful shades of brown called “Tollkirsche”. The tension is looser than the original making the shawl wider, covering her back which she is exactly what she wanted and with lesser repeats. Again, Nina knitted a small piece in stocking stitch to make covered buttons to match the shawl. She prefers wearing the rectangular shawl buttoned up as a shrug, see above. You can find more photos on her blog: fiberandart. The pattern is available in Norwegian in my knitting book “To rett, en vrang. Designstrikk” (and Finnish: “Nyt neulomann!”) but also in English to download from Ravelry: stores/linda-marveng.

Nina, aka FiberAndArt on Ravelry, is one of my two group moderators together with Jane Brindley, aka JanieB, and she is currently test knitting Summer Leaves Sweater (here are work in progress photos: fiberandart), so I can promise you more photos to come. If you want to join us on Ravelry, we are here: groups/linda-marveng. Another Milanese Lace Shawl I am excited to see, is Karen’s, aka Sweaty Knitter who is using Anzula’s ”Cloud” in a divine blue (100 g, 575 yds/525 m). Cloud is one of the alternative yarns I suggest in the pattern and is made of 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. Do read Karen’s blog post: marvengs-milanese-shawl-road-trip-project. I was thrilled: “Not only do her patterns evidence careful attention to detail, but her designs make sophisticated garments that are equally at home with a pair of jeans or the favorite outfit you put on when you need a bit of a boost.” Below is the stunning Anna Pfeifer photographed by Kim Müller illustrating the different ways you can wear the shawl.

I also wanted to share crime writer Val McDermod’s posting on The Guardian: “Don’t disrespect Julia Gillard – knitters are not to be messed with. We knitters wield a lot of power with our needles and yarn. My own knitting career began with an act of defiance and now I have graduated on to the hard stuff… My latest adventures in knitting involve translating patterns from Norwegian. Because knitting in English is for wimps.” Read the full article here and enjoy: guardian!


Milanese Lace Shawl by Jane Brindley

I am so delighted to show you Janie’s Milanese Shawl, designed for my book, knitted in the original yarn Wollmeise Lace in Sabrina, a stunning teal shade photo-graphed on her mother. Janie ordered the yarn from Loop in London by telephone (details here: loopknitting) after checking their Wollmeise updates in their Ravelry group. The demand for this marvelous lush hand dyed yarn is greater than the supply, see: wollmeise-one-of-my-favourite-yarns. The shawl requires nearly a full 300 g skein (1591 m/1740 yds) of Wollmeise Lace (rohrspatzundwollmeise) or Malabrigo Sock (malabrigoyarn) or Anzula Cloud (anzula) or Kauni Effekt Garn (kauni) or Rauma Lamullgarn (raumaull). Thank you, Janie!


The shawl is rectangular with buttons on one side of each end so that it can be buttoned up into a shrug or a vest and therefore easier to use than a triangular shawl in my opinion. Holes in the pattern are used instead of made buttonholes. The lace is framed by garter stitches on all sides and has a ruffled bell border on each end. Hence it is cast on with a temporary method which is unpicked at the end and the border knitted on. The shawl, measuring 46 cm/18″ wide and 150 cm/59″ long, is knitted using a 3 mm/US 2.5.

The pattern is not only available in Norwegian and Finnish in my book, but also in English as a downloadable pdf from my Ravelry store here: ravelry. Below is the beautiful Anna Pfeiffer wearing it in the colour I chose for the book: Petit Poison No 5 dark, photographed by Kim Müller.


3 Book Patterns in English

I am delighted that my publisher Cappelen Damm has given me permission to release 3 patterns from my book “To rett en vrang. Designstrikk” in English on Ravelry. It was a fairly easy choice based on popularity of the designs, combined the number of pattern request messages sent to me. My chosen photographer Kim Müller has allowed me to use the photographs he took for the book, and I am thrilled to be able to add those to the downloadable patterns in PDF format. The 3 are: Mohair Poncho and Wrist Warmers, Milanese Lace Shawl – thank you, Janie for knitting a stunning one – and Indigo Sweater and Cowl.

Mohair Poncho. A poncho not reminiscent of the -70s but fashionable in addition to being warm, was my aim. It is easy to knit in 3 identical rectangular pieces but an intermediate challenge to sew together, and comes in one size. The yarn I have chosen is a mixture of alpaca and mohair with a little acrylic from Texere Yarns, now replaced by Destiny Mohair, texere-yarns. It is easy to knit since it is made up of 3 identical rectangles sewn together using a 5 mm/US 8. Why not chose a brushed alpaca instead: Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca, plymouthyarn or a mohair and wool mixture from Classic Elite Yarns called La Gran classiceliteyarns. A short front seam, a longer back seam, a bottom seam and a hem. Here stunningly worn by dancer Cristiane Sá.

Milanese Lace Shawl. Wollmeise has a large fan base and the phone glows when Loop receives a new delivery. Intense, glowing colors in a yarn with a fantastic stitch definition. All you can do is to become a member of Wollmeiseholics Anonymous on Ravelry. I chose the Wollmeise Lace in a popular color reminiscent of beetroot, in a lace pattern called Milanese Lace. Study all the shade at: shop.strato.de. You can also chose another thin fingering yarn such as Anzula Cloud from anzula or Malabrigo Sock: malabrigoyarn, for the shawl knitted using a 3 mm/US 2.5. With added buttons you can easily wear it as a shrug or a vest like Anna Pfeifer beautifully demonstrates.

Indigo Sweater and Cowl. The Tucks give a sculptural effect to an otherwise plain sweater knitted in Jaggerspun Zephyr Lace, in a dark indigo color which easily can be combined with the rest of your wardrobe. I have designed yet another party sweater, this time fitted  and with a regal cowl. In black in this luscious yarn, it would look like it was made of leather, see jaggeryarn. Knitted with 2 strands held together using a 3 mm/US 2.5 and available in S, M and L. I love the lightness of the yarn, the soft sheen of the silk and the denseness the double yarn creates. It can however be replaced for a single strand option such as Juno Fibre Arts; Alice Sock, available at loopknittingshop and at etsy or Heritage Silk from cascadeyarns.

All 3 patterns will shortly be available to buy and download on Ravelry, here is my designer page: ravelry. I am also proud of the “Merino Omslagsvest” Nina Hove Myhre has knitted from my book using Tosh Sock in a stunning green shade. See her photos and her button making on the previous blog post, here: fiberandart.