Strikk & Chill at Lilleborg in Oslo

I spent last Saturday at Lilleborg (named after the first soap “boilery” from 1833), next to Akerselva, in Oslo having a stand at the Strikk/Knit & Chill event organised by Værbitt – the yarn shop & yarn dyer. Værbitt moved to Lilleborg earlier this summer from smaller premises at Grünerløkka, also in Oslo. For the first time I had a stand at a knitting event as I had printed pattern with Ravelry download codes, copies of the Norwegian book “Norsk strikkedesign. Strikk din favoritt” and a selection of design samples for sale. I was invited to take part by owner and yarn dyer of Værbitt Laila Henriksen, a week earlier when I visited her new shop. Above you see my stand next to the entrance to Værbitt talking to Tuva Hoen of Norne Yarn, a friend, and Lotte Holmboe aka osloknitter.

Michael spent nearly a week printing patterns, making labels and signs for me. By the time we arrived Saturday morning, the sun was shining and it looked like we would have a perfect summer’s day. Above you see the announcement Værbitt posted on Instagram earlier in August, listing some of the participating vendors.

I was wearing my design Ravna, first published in the final issue of the Norwegian magazine Bladet garn, knitted in Lille Persille/Little Parsley hand dyed by Værbitt on Sølje pelt yarn by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, see the top photo. Above you see a photo Michael took of me talking to Tuva of Norne Yarn, who sponsored yarn for my design Milana and the upcoming Varun. Tuva told me that she had been busying dying a large order for Woollinn in Dublin, hence she had not had the time to dye for this event.

There were a lot of knitters queuing to get into the Værbitt shop during the day and only six were allowed at one time due to the Corona restrictions.  I was glad that I brought a hat as I was baking in the sunshine in the late afternoon.

 Above is a photo Michael took from inside the shop. You can see the shelves filled with Hillesvåg yarns and Værbitt’s own hand dyed colours!

There were many knitters sitting outside knitting in the sunshine and Michael captured the stylish Tuva in action. I spent the day speaking to knitters, designer Kristin Wiola Ødegård, Spinnvilt (the spinning shop next door) friends of Michael including the property developer – and former neighbour of ours Bekkelaget – Per-Johan Placht in charge of the commercial premises at Lilleborg! I had a fabulous day with some sales and even some time to knit too!


New Design: Varun

I am thrilled to show you my new design called Varun – Norse for secret keeper – an A-line pullover with a cowl knitted in the gorgeous Norwegian Norne Yarn, DK – Merino/Silk/Yak in Fimbulwinter in size Small. The sample is beautifully knitted by Grete Jenssen, aka ma9 on Ravelry. My idea began with having a cable as a sash – signifying a position not necessarily royal but a secret one of your own choosing. Instead of a crown, make and wear a cowl. One sleeve has a cable cuff to match the sash, like an honorary bangle, while the second one has two small cables running along the sleeve. I am happy with the result and here you see me wearing size Small with only 2 cm/0.75″ of positive ease, photographed by my husband in our back garden early in April.

Varun will be graded into sizes XS to 5XL with a bust circumference of 82 til 164 cm/32.5 to 64.5″. Yes, I do have a number of calculations to make first and that is the reason why this pattern will probably be the last of the seven new patterns I have designed to be finished.

The sample is knitted using a 4 mm/US 6 needle and a 20 stitches and 30 rows in stockinette stitch gauge. Varun is worked back and forth in separate pieces and seamed.

While I am wearing it with a brown pleated skirt in these photos, I choose cream coloured silk trousers for new model Aksa Mortensen. I also brought a silk scarf to match the colour which she wore around her hair and it looked stunning on her! I look forward to show you the photos that Eivind Røhne took at Hvalstrand Bad at the end of May.

Both the English and the Norwegian pattern will be released after at the end of November as the test knitting begins on 18th of October.


Milana Pattern Released

Norne Yarn, Merino Silk Yak DK in Volva is the divine yarn that my design Milana is knitted in. It has a lovely sheen to it and is ever so soft to wear. Thank you, Tuva for sponsoring yarn to this design! The English and Norwegian pattern is now released on Ravelry, after a successful test knitting in my group. I look forward to showing you some of the wonderful versions that were made! The sample, knitted by Grete Jenssen – aka ma9 on Ravelry – was brilliantly photographed by Eivind Røhne, worn by the gorgeous Olivia Lindtein, with hair & make-up by Sissel Fylling.

Named after the sophisticated city of Milan in Italy, is this pullover with a high rib, creating a narrower waist. Two center cables travel towards the shoulder on the body with all their texture; Seed stitch, twisted stitch rib and cables. While a narrower matching cable adorn the sleeve with a panel of seed stitch. Milana is knitted in pieces for the ultimate fit and ends in a crew neck. A separate cowl can be worn as a crowning collar. The hand dyed DK – Merino/Silk/Yak yarn from Norne Yarn makes the cables pop and the texture shine in all its glory.

Sizes: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL)
Shown in size Small.
Skill level: Experienced.

Finished measurements:
Bust: 84 (92, 100, 108, 116, 124, 136, 148, 160) cm/33 (36.25, 39.25, 42.5, 45.75, 48.75, 53.5, 58.25, 63)”
Hip: 76 (84, 92, 100, 108, 116, 128, 140, 152) cm/30 (33, 36.25, 39.25, 42.5, 45.75, 50.5, 55, 59.75)”
Length: 59 (60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67) cm/23.25 (23.5, 24, 24.5, 24.75, 25.25, 25.5, 26, 26.5)”
Sleeve length: 48 (49, 49, 49, 50, 50, 50, 50, 50) cm/19 (19.25, 19.25, 19.25, 19.75, 19.75, 19.75, 19.75, 19.75, 19.75, 19.75)”
Cowl: 62 cm/24.5″ wide and 20 cm/8″ high
Intended ease: + 5-7 cm/2-2.75″. Sample shown is 92 cm/36.25″ and worn with + 9 cm/3.5″ ease on model.

Yarn: Norne Yarn, DK – Merino/Silk/Yak (60% Superwash Merino, 20% silk, 20% Yak, 100 g, 212 m/232 yds). Sample is knitted in Volva:
Pullover: 5 (6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9) skeins; 1060 (1144, 1228, 1312, 1396, 1480, 1608, 1736, 1864) m/1159 (1251, 1343, 1435, 1527, 1619, 1759, 1899, 2038) yds.
Cowl: 1 skein; 202 m/221 yds.

Needles: 4 mm/US 6 straight needles and circular needle (40 cm/16″) for neckband and cowl.

Notions: Stitch markers, stitch holders and yarn needle.

Gauge: 20 sts and 30 rows in st st using 4 mm/US 6 needle measures 10 cm/4″ square after blocking.
25 sts and 30 rows in twisted rib using 4 mm/US 6 needle measures 10 cm/4″ square after blocking.
29-sts Body cable measures 11 cm/4.25″ wide after blocking.
19-sts Sleeve cable measures 7.5 cm/3″ wide after blocking.

Notes: The pullover is worked back and forth in separate pieces and seamed. While the cowl is worked in the round with an I-cord bind off at each end.


Photoshoot at Bøler Church May 2020: Milana

The next set of photos I am going to show you is of Milana, knitted by Grete Jenssen – aka ma9 on Ravelry – in the divine Norne Yarn Merino Silk Yak DK. The hand dyed shade Volva has cream in it so I decided to style the pullover and the matching cowl with my cream coloured silk trousers. The gorgeous Olivia Lindtein, with make-up & hair by Sissel Fylling and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design, looked stunning in the pullover. Milana is also brilliantly photographed outside the church hall in the shadow at Bøler Kirke late in May by Eivind Røhne.

Milana is currently being test knitted in my Ravelry group and will be released in both English and Norwegian on the 12th of October. My test knitters are enjoying knitting the DNA like cables found in the Charted Knitting Designs (third book) in the Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting series. The Norwegian pattern will also be printed in the Norwegian magazine Familien at a later date. 

Eivind knew how much I appreciated the mirror images he captured at Mortensrud Church, so he went for it at Bøler Church too! Olivia is wearing size S with a bust circumference of 92 cm/36.25″, but I have graded it from size XS to 5XL with these measurements: 84 to 160 cm/33 to 63″.

Milana is knitted with a 20 stitches and 30 rows in stockinette stitch using a 4 mm/US 6 needle measures 10 cm/4″ square after blocking gauge. You can see behind the scenes photo here: Behind the Scenes Photoshoot at Bøler Church May 2020.

Named after the sophisticated city of Milan in Italy, is this pullover with a high rib, creating a narrower waist. Two center cables travel towards the shoulder on the body with all their texture; Seed stitch, twisted stitch rib and cables. While a narrower matching cable adorn the sleeve with a panel of seed stitch. Milana is knitted in pieces for the ultimate fit and ends in a crew neck. A separate cowl can be worn as a crowning collar. The hand dyed DK – Merino/Silk/Yak yarn from Norne Yarn makes the cables pop and the texture shine in all its glory.

I am very happy with these photos of my Milana and would like to thank my wonderful team!


New Design: Milana

I am thrilled to show you my new design Milana, knitted in the divine Norwegian Norne Yarn, Merino-Silk-Yak in Volva. I was introduced to the yarn dyer Tuva Hoen at Oslo Knitting Festival back in October last year by designer Marianne Skatten. Tuva also took part in both Bergen Knitting Festival and Barcelona Knits, so I had reminders to pick a yarn and colour to make a design. I decided to go for Volva and requested six skeins.
The cable I chose for Milana is a favourite from the Charted Knitting Designs (third book) in the Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting series. I wanted the cables to move towards the shoulder and decided to add a high waisted rib with the straight silhouette, since the rib holds in the waist, that was popular on Epona. I told Tuva about my idea and colour choice! She dyed the yarn and sent it to me, without any costs. 
I really wanted to test out this yarn and knit this pullover myself, but as usual, my hands were not free to do so as I was working on my Leylak. But I knew I could trust Grete, aka ma9 on Ravelry, with the task. Grete did a brilliant job, as usual! Thank you, Grete! So I only knitted the swatch with the Body cable (wider than the Sleeve cable), crocheted the pullover together and worked the neckband in the end. 
In these photos you can see me wearing size S, with a 92 cm/36.25″ bust circumference with 4 cm/1.5″ positive ease. I have not finished the pattern yet, it is the last one of the new ones I am working on, but it will be graded from XS to 5XL. And yes, Michael did make me wait for the duck to come into the photo.
There was so little yarn left over, since I wanted a cowl instead of a high neck, that I had to use scrap yarn for crocheting the pullover together so I had enough yarn left over for the neckband. In the end, the neckband had to be shorter than I would have wanted, but I ran out of yarn. I also had to search for a video for a tubular cast on method that did nor require several rounds of double knitting first, since I did not have enough yarn for it. Very Pink Knits has this Tubular Bind Off, that I used. 
The Norne Yarn, DK – Merino/Silk/Yak is made of 60% Superwash Merino, 20% silk, 20% Yak and comes in 100 gram skeins with 212 meters/232 yards. It is lovely and soft with a beautiful sheen as well as a slight halo. Milana is knitted using 4 mm/US 6 needle with a gauge of 20 stitches and 30 rows in stockinette stitch measuring 10 cm/4″ square.
My plan is to schedule the test knit for mid August with a release of the pattern on 12th of October.  
If you are interested in learning more about my life as a designer, read more about Milana, see my new Hillesvåg designs and want to support me, choose your level based on the rewards – such as monthly newsletter, sneak peeks of new designs, Hillesvåg yarn discount, pattern discount, free monthly pattern and monthly video – here:

Bergen Strikkefestival 2019

I was delighted to be invited to hold workshops and a talk at the Bergen Strikkefestival in 2019 at the Norwegian Knitting Industry Museum at Salhus about 20 minutes outside of Bergen by the Salhusfjord. Michael had never been to Bergen, so he wanted to come along. I had already heard about the well organised event and the delicious food on offer before I arrived. That was no exaggeration, by any means. For the first time, I had access to a Backstage Room and used it well, since the knitting cafe was packed most of the time with a high level of buzz in addition to clicking knitting needles. I met a number of knitters I knew during the even and even spotted designers Marianne Skatten & Rasa Ziburkute, aka Galgen Design, on the same plane, flying from Oslo to Bergen.

The festival began on last Friday 27. September with an Opening Party including a concert with Sigrid Moldestad (vocals & fiddle), a talk by Pickles & Dagny about colour choices in their patterns and a knitting quiz. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert which was a perfect ending to the party. Pickles had encouraged knitters to wear their garments knitted from their recent book and it was fun especially to see all these women on the stage in different colours all wearing different versions of the same dress.

The opening party took place in the Spoleloft/Winding Attic, with seating at the front and tables along the sides of all the old machinery. I saw Rasa walk by, so she and Marianne came to join us. We knitted and chatted through the evening. Marianne was wearing my design Yellow Gold Pullover, Rasa her own design Royal Cardi and I was wearing the Damara Skirt as a poncho. Michael took most of these photos, but I am better at photographing the yarn stands as you can see below.

For dinner I had the lasagne on offer and it was delicious as if I was in an Italian restaurant! You could also have Norwegian homemade waffles or a selection of homemade cakes. On the menu for Saturday and Sunday was two different soups: Indian Dal Soup and Beta Soup (a vegetable soup) and freshly made baguettes instead of the Lasagne. I choose the Indian Dal Soup both days, enough said.

My talk on Digital Strikking/Knitting was moved to the same location on the Saturday afternoon since there was a cancelled talk. They had a technician giving me a microphone, but I had Michael to assist on setting up my laptop. I talked about my social media experience, how much the internet has changed knitting with events such Knit-A-longs and Test Knitting on Ravelry, technical videos and Podcasts on YouTube as well as all the useful dictionaries as tips to be found these days. My experience with the different pattern sales platforms and magazine submissions. I was thrilled with the comments afterwards that it had been a revelation packed with useful information and very professional.

The festival volunteers made sure I was driven to and from the festival so I did not have to take the two buses to get there. 9 AM on Saturday, Michael and I was picked up outside our hotel – the festival hotel Augustin close to the harbour. I was quick to spot Julie Dubreux, aka JulieKnitsInParis, at breakfast since her hair is bright blue and introduced myself. We went in the second car, while the third car had to carry one extra suitcase, and were driven to the door. We had a lovely chat on the way there and will meet up again at Barcelona Knits. Below you see us in the Market Hall, Julie is wearing her Tuva’s Arrows and I am wearing my Aife, in case you were wondering.

I had booked the chartered festival ferry going back to Bergen at 6 PM, since it was so tempting to travel on the fjord. It also gave me some time to check out the Market Hall after my talk.

Flettestrikk Masterclass/Cable Knitting Masterclass was my first workshop, held on Saturday morning at the Strikkeloft/Knitting Attic. Again a very atmospheric large room with a view of the fjord. It was nice to meet knitters I have met at other festivals, that I knew as well as new ones. I had an hour in between the workshop and the talk so I had lunch Backstage. The photo above is from Japanske Mønstre/Japanese Patterns workshop I had on Sunday and you see Rasa wearing her Lithuanian Lily Cardigan at the front.

Here is the view from down along the inner wall.

The view towards the fjord from the Backstage room. Bergen is know for all its sideways rain as it is on the west coast of Norway, but we were lucky and sunshine one day and only a few scattered showers the next day.

I had to photograph all the lovely yarns on display at Norne Yarn where I found Julie again. The yarns are dyed by Tuva, who is an indie-dyer based in Oslo, to the left in the photo above.

Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk is located quite close to Salhus, at Hjelmås, so they had a stand. I had asked them bring more brochures and they had. I met the “Princess” as she introduced herself as from the Faroe Island there. Above you see her flicking through the latest brochure. She knew my designs and book well, I was happy to hear.

Saturday night, Michael and I had another nice evening with Marianne and Rasa. I had brought my knitting, but I got very little knitting done, as usual! Above is another photo from the Market Hall, of Ystabø Gull, taken late Saturday afternoon when it was possible to walk around in there. I had a wonderful weekend! Thank you to all the knitters, designers and yarn dyers I met! Well done, Bergen Strikkefestival!