Oslo Strikkefestival 2019

I have spent an exciting weekend at Oslo Strikkefestival/Knitting Festival and since I was not teaching I had the opportunity to sign up to workshops but due to the packed program it was difficult to choose. Last time I attended a workshop was at Strik Bornholm in 2014 with Norah Gaughan. I picked three in the end, all held in English by; Canadian Artist/Maker Arounna Khonnoraj, aka Bookhou; American Designer Renate Yerkes, aka Elephino PDX; and American designer Jennifer Steingass, aka knit.love.wool. I have learnt several tips on the Social Media front, how to work double knitting and more in depth on colorwork design. Above you can see the Lain’amouree stand.

I discovered new yarns at the Market Place, got to fondle quite a number of lush yarns, met designers, knitters and yarn producers. I stopped Eli, aka Skeindeer, to introduce myself and I spotted Stephen West in his colourful designs. The festival was held at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History at Bygdøy, in the different historic buildings with the main attraction being the Gol Stave Church dating back to 1200. Like most of the tourists, I preferred to take the ferry from Aker Brygge/Wharf instead of the very full bus. Above is the Garthenor stand. “Garthenor Organic have produced exclusively organic yarn in the UK since 1999, being the first company in the world to gain organic certification for wool yarns from sheep to skein in 2003. They offer lovely certified organic, breed specific, fully traceable yarns in dyed and undyed shades. Nothing less than gorgeous!”

Instead of travelling from Ørje both days, I chose to stay with my mum in Oslo for the weekend. The market hall on the first day on Saturday was packed and with a queue to get into the second room. I spotted designer Kristin Wiola Ødegård in the queue and I exchanged position with her relieved husband. Below is another photo from “Lain’amouree is a hand dyed luxury wool brand from France offering a wide variety of soft and exclusive wools ranging from baby alpaca and silk, through mohair and merino, to yak and baby camel. Their colour palette is soft and delicate, and every colour has its own story— revealing itself stitch by stitch”.

While I was looking at yarns at the French Lain’amouree, Øyvind & Anette from Hillesvåg walked in together with designer Sidsel Høivik. They were heading for a talk by Erling Digernes of Rauma Ullvarefabrikk and I decided to join them. I enjoyed seeing old photographs of the factory and hearing about their production process.

After the talk I saw designer Marianne Skatten and her designer friend Rasa Ziburkute, aka galgendesign, who I met last time at Fefor Strikkefestival. We are all wearing our own designs in the rain. I asked if I could join them for lunch. We headed towards the coffee shop next to the entrance at the museum. It was packed with knitters and a fab place for sweater spotting.

Marianne and I had both booked the Social Media workshop, so we headed there after lunch. There were about 20 of us attending the class so we had ample opportunity to ask questions during Arounna’s presentation and after it. The workshop ended with her commenting on a few of the Instagram pages to some of the volunteers. I also had time for a quick spin in the knitting history exhibition at the museum and that is what you can spot above. Below is the full listing of the workshops I attended. I so enjoyed meeting these designers and learning new techniques, tips and ideas!

  1. Arounna Khonnoraj, Bookhou — Social Media and Marketing your Business Online.
  2. Renate Yerkes, Elephino PDX — Two Sides to This Story: The Dynamic World of Double Knitting.
  3. Jennifer Steingass — Introduction to Colorwork Design.

For the first time I could look at the bright coloured Garnsurr yarns. They had a stand outside in the courtyard. Here is the introduction from the Market Hall listing: “Garnsurr is a Norwegian social entrepreneurship hiring refugee women. The women in Garnsurr dye yarn for sale, knit and learn Norwegian, so this truly is hand dyed yarn with a purpose. They offer beautifully hand dyed yarn in unusual and often surprising combinations—a real colour explosion!”

Værbitt also had a stand in the courtyard. Above you see Laila’s friend looking after the shop while she was holding a workshop. The four last skeins on all rows are hand dyed on Sølje by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. Here is the introduction to Værbitt from the Market Hall listing: “Værbitt Garn is an Oslo-based indie dyery working their colour magic on no-nonsense wool, aka yarn bases that are locally produced here in Norway. With great care for the environment they make sure the yarn is short travelled and made from the wool of happy sheep wandering freely.”

I also met Sophie from Pom Pom, who took a photo of my holding up last issue 27 issue 27 Winter 2018 magazine with my design Ataraxia for their Instagram story. The weather only cleared up later in the evening after the festival ended on Sunday at 5 PM. I went back to the centre on the ferry and had a walk on Aker Brygge/Wharf where a boat festival was ending and the boats were leaving. My head has been buzzing for a few days now, but my what a knitting festival it was! Oslo is a Knitting Capital, I agree with Ronja Cecilie Moås! Thank you for a fantastic festival!


Gol Stave Church

Gol Stave Church is one of less than 30 remaining stave churches in Norway dating from 1200, and was moved in the 1880’s from Hallingdal to Oslo, presently the  Norsk Folkemuseum/Norwegian Folk Museum at Bygdøy. “The congregation at Gol had grown hence a new larger church was built in the 1870’s. In 1881, the Society for the Preser-vation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments bought the stave church, and King Oscar II offered to finance its re-erection in the public park at Bygdø Kongsgård. Because the snow conditions for sled transportation was too poor, the disassembled church could not be moved to Christiania (Oslo) before in January 1884! In the summer that same year, the church was re-erected at Bygdøy after extensive restoration. When the stave church was disassembled in 1884, it had been and altered and remodeled both in 1664 and 1802.  When re-erected at Bygdøy, only the basic interior structure was reused. The exterior was modeled after Borgund Stavkirke in Sogn on the Norwegian west coast.” Today it is the most popular of the 150 historic buildings at Bygdøy, and one of only five medieval buildings in the open-air museum.

See how it has been altered and remodeled by looking at Hans Gude’s drawing from 1846, here: norskfolkemuseum.

“The term “stave church” refers to the staves, or posts, that support the roof. The hand carved ornaments on the south and west portals has plant and dragon motifs. The runic inscriptions on the choir wall presumably date back to the time when the church was originally built. The paintings on the choir and apse walls date back to 1652.” I love studying the ornaments as well as it beautiful form. The open air museum as well as their exhibitions, see the-norwegian-spirit post, is well worth a visit, during the summer it is a short and pleasant ferry trip from Aker Brygge/Wharf. Do visit when in Oslo.


The Norwegian Spirit

The exhibition shows outfits designed by Esmod Fashion School students from all over the world, who took part in a competition organized by Esmod Oslo and Dale Yarns to interpret Norwegian knitting tradition. The result of the competition is this temporary exhibition at Norsk Folkemuseum/Norwegian Folk Museum on from June 26 to September 15, see norskfolkemuseum. It is an astonishing exhibition – a must see – but if you are nowhere near Oslo, there are excellent videos on YouTube and I have selected the ones I found the most jaw dropping. All the garments are made from Dale Yarns’ selection of hand knit yarns, see dalegarn. Above, a design by Mika Tollefsrud, is one of the contributions from Esmod Oslo – see esmod – and their video serves well as an introduction to the exhibition since it is filmed outside the Stave Church at the Museum, do watch: youtube.

The exhibition is located among Norwegian Church Art. “A unique national collection of richly ornamented altar pieces pulpits, baptismal fonts, memorial plaques and church organs from the period after the Reformation i 1537 up to around 1800.” The clashing time epochs seems bizarre until you start to study the intricate details of the ornaments and find the similarities. The cabled dress at the front – White Wind – is by Esmod Seoul. The mannequin does not do the outfit justice, and you cannot see the amazing back nor the matching boots with knitted decorations in the photo, but you can see them here: youtube.

Snow on the branch, above, is also designed by Esmod Seoul. I found this padded shoulder eye catching. Equally intriguing is the skirt and the matching boots, all shown in the video clip. The outfit below, also by Esmod Seoul, look even more gorgeous on a live model with over-knee matching boots, do watch the video and see how they were made.

Esmod Munich have contributed with several breathtaking outfits which are brilliantly presented in their video clip. Below is an embellished uniform jacket made in macrame with pearl beads inserted on safety pins by Marian Kathan, see the zip padded front and how it looks worn by a handsome male model at youtube.

The last outfit I want to show you is the Missoni inspired I-cords sewn together and sculpted into a marvelous top with a perfect skirt and dramatic acrylic bangles to draw you in.

To my delight, Esmod France has gathered all the videos from participating fashion school cities and students so you can keep watching more here: youtube and see all the sketches + videos here: esmod. Enjoy and be inspired!